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October 28, 2008 8:36 AM
Posted by Benjamin J. Romano
LOS ANGELES -- It's Day 2 of Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference and the next version of the company's flagship operating system software, Windows 7, is on tap.
Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of Windows and Windows Live engineering, is set to take the stage here to explain the new features of Windows 7 and his approach to building the product, which already appears markedly different than the process the company followed during development of Windows Vista.
(Update, 9:45 a.m.: Microsoft is announcing an online version of four of its most important Office applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Also, check this post for more updates from Sinofsky's keynote, during which he confirmed that Windows 7 will run on low-cost "net book" computers.)
This is the first time the company is talking in detail about Windows 7. The radio silence has been part of a deliberate campaign to manage expectations around the delivery day for Windows 7 and the features it will include. For now, the official target date is January 2010, three years after the launch of Vista.
Microsoft even created a new position within the Windows organization to manage its strategy for disclosure and messaging around Windows 7.
Today, the developers here are expected to be given a DVD with a pre-beta version of Windows 7. They will get a product key that unlocks the test code for one month. They key will expire in August 2009.
Check back throughout the morning for updates on Sinofsky's presentation and the future of Windows.