What is MinWin?
Windows 7 will include a new kernel, but MinWin is not that kernel. MinWin is a strip down of Windows to a complete minimum to create a "clear architectural layer". It is 25megs big and runs on 40megs of memory. It actually is the core of Windows 7. The MinWin layer is part of the Windows 7 code base. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNsS_0wSfoU. Currently MinWin is referred to as "Windows 7 Core". The result. No more useless HD-activity. No more strange slowdowns in copying data. Etc...
So what is the kernel?
Well, that remains uncertain. Vista's version is "Version 6.0". The screenshots of Windows 7 builds show "Version 6.1" as the version. Not much of a 7 there. According to Eric Traut it should be Version 7.0. But maybe the early versions didn't include the new kernel, or maybe even the new core yet. We'll find out soon.
Is it Vista?
Yes it is. Windows blackcomb/longhorn (for those who still remember) was supposed to be a complete new Windows. The .NET runtime would be the core of a lot of applications. Avalon, Indigo. It al became part of the .NET Framework and was purged from the Windows project. Windows 7 is no different. Steve Ballmer said: "It's Vista, but a whole lot better".
Major differences with vista?
• No legacy User Interfaces anymore. Wordpad, Notepad and Paint get the ribbon interface instead of the file-edit-view bar. Even the UI of calculator is rewritten.
• The UAC interface will be optimized.
• Windows 7 will include multitouch. Asus is even going to release a multitouch EeePC by the end of 2009. (Woohoo!)
• Speed ups. A major feature (go figure) of Windows 7 will be that it will offer just as much (and more) as Vista, but with betters speeds and less clutter. This is still a bit "rumory", but the use of a new kernel, a Windows 7 Core and the Vista fail, we can safely say Microsoft wants to clean up a mess.
Next week at the PDC, previews of Windows 7 will be released. According to softpedia, the release will be at July 2009. Sound pretty darn fast to me, but then again: maybe it's good to forget about vista and start incrementally update a system that is build with a vision and build to last. Who knows?
Be cautious with optimism. We must learn from the past. Microsoft did promise us a new world of personal computing before and Vista was the result. Gladly, Microsoft is being far more realistic about the future nowadays. http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/ is a nice blog by the Windows 7 team to keep up with their plans.
We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software.
We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don’t steal our work. It has happened before. While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others.
However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.
Thanks to everyone who provided us constructive feedback on this matter.