Thoughts from Lenovo on Windows 7

Thoughts from Lenovo on Windows 7

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Windows 7 RTM is finally here! It feels like it’s taken a long time to get here and yet all the effort made time pass by quickly since we started working with Microsoft in early 2007. Our Lenovo teams from around the world have been engaged with Microsoft to help bring Windows 7 to this milestone. Since Microsoft will tell you about Windows 7 features, I wanted to share a snapshot of how Lenovo and Microsoft have worked together on Windows 7.

Beginning with the Basics

Our collaboration between software and hardware began with many meetings over many months to discuss technology strategies, customer needs, priorities and schedules. Testing started early with Lenovo PCs in the Microsoft labs from the start of development ensuring Lenovo PCs work well with Windows 7. We started our testing with the beta in the first half of 2008, providing ongoing feedback as we received each new version of code.

Technology Deep Dives

We identified several technology areas for joint focus, and we spent many months collaborating on – performance, touch, WWAN, Fingerprint , XP Mode, Device Stage, Display Connectivity and more:

  • Performance: PC performance will be a significant measure of the success of Windows 7. This means not just the performance of Windows 7, but all the pieces that make up a PC: BIOS, device drivers, applications and how they are configured to work together. We worked with Microsoft to improve Windows 7 and all of these components. Our developers have kept performance a key measurement in their work and requirements to our suppliers. As a result, Windows 7 runs significantly faster, especially on solid state drives making the new ThinkPad T400s the fastest Lenovo laptop yet.
  • Touch: Multi touch has created a “buzz” in technology circles, and we’ve been working with Microsoft to bring you not only great hardware but software solutions that offer expanded usability. We’ve worked together since the prototype stages and soon we can show it off.

Quality – Testing and More Testing!

No matter how great the technology is, it doesn’t matter unless it is a quality solution. We start with a quality design and then test every part of the solution, every step of the way during the development phase of both Windows and Lenovo PCs. Our testing includes not only the new PCs you haven’t seen yet, but PCs customers already own to so they can be seamlessly upgraded to Windows 7. We test the hardware, every piece of software and how they work together. And we do this for 25 languages!

Applications are Important Too

As part of a Windows 7 Lenovo PC, you’ll not only get a great new operating system but a set of applications designed to embrace and extend the new technologies. Lenovo developers have redesigned our ThinkVantage solutions to bring you enhanced functions, improved usability and improved performance on Windows 7. We also work with our software suppliers to ensure their solutions are ready and perform well on Windows 7.

Enterprise Customers

Enterprise customers bring a unique expertise to testing a new operating system because of their requirements for manageability and mass deployment. Lenovo has been working with enterprise customers who started testing Windows 7 early, providing technical assistance along with device drivers and applications for use in their corporate environments.

Finishing Touches – More work yet to do

As we receive the RTM version of Windows 7, we now begin the finishing touches to bring a new operating system to customers as part of Lenovo PCs. We’ll add the applications and drivers to Windows 7 and run the final performance, compatibility and Windows logo testing on our PCs.

This RTM milestone marks the final phase to launch a new set of products across the PC industry. Lenovo still has a lot to finish before the Windows 7 launch on October 22, but we will be ready to bring you significantly better performance and great new functions on day one. Our manufacturing team is ready to produce Windows 7 on all our product lines: ThinkPad business laptops, ThinkCentre business desktops, ThinkStation workstation PCs, IdeaPad consumer laptops and netbooks and IdeaCentre consumer desktops.

Debra Kobs-Fortner
Director of Software Strategy, Lenovo

6 Comments
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  • zidrees
    1 Posts

    Having been a long-time Thinkpad user, I have always been prudent about the operating system. For my last 2 Thinkpad purchases, I opted for Windows XP Professional downgrade options - having known the various challenges with Vista.

    Nevertheless, the positive reviews on Windows 7 compelled me to install the Windows 7 RC version on my custom-built X200s and I was very pleased with the performance. Windows 7 recognized all my devices, and the software drivers (although generic) have caused no problems except for the DVD drive which overheated because it doesnot recognize the difference between intermittent but heavy data retrieval versus slow continuous DVD playback.

    Windows 7 recognized full 4 gigabytes of my installed memory (XP only recognized 3) and the Windows-7 file system is better optimized for Solid State Hard-drives.

    What I would really wish for, is if Lenovo releases a bundle of Windows-7 native 64-bit drivers and softwares for ThinkPad users who do not have OEM-version of Windows 7, and who are buying Windows 7 off-the-shelf. This would be great.

    Zeeshan

  • Thanks for the great comments!

    Here are a few responses to the questions/suggestions.

    Regarding multi touch TrackPads, the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 netbooks and the recently announced ThinkPad T400s both come with multi touch TrackPads today!

    Regarding the ThinkPad T60 upgrade, we’ll look into the SATA driver suggestion.

    The ThinkPad Hot Key utility will be posted on the Lenovo support web site for download.  Currently only driver updates are supported on Winodws Update so we are unable to post the Hot Key utility there.

    Debra

  • lollht
    44 Posts

    Love Lenovo laptops and only use them, but let's keep those boot times down.  Keep looking at the Macs for inspiration and competition.

  • anonymuos
    87 Posts

    Can we have a multi-touch trackpad on Lenovo laptops?

  • I just installed Win7 RTM on my Thinkpad T60 and was quite impressed. It even automatically had full integration with the new device center and showed a customized UI there.

    There are really just two minor wishes where it would be great if they could be addressed before the launch: The first concerns the SATA driver. With the build in Win7 SATA driver the notebook hangs every couple of minutes for something like 5-10 seconds, in a complete way (nothing works). This was the case with a fresh install of Win7 RC and now also with RTM. Model is T60 1951-24G, but with a replaced harddisc, namely a Hitachi (HTS721010G9A00). This problem entirely goes away once I install Intel Matrix Storage Manager. So, I wonder, can that be pushed via Windows Update automatically? Seems quite key, because this is way too complicated for most people to sort out, plus it is a real show stopper.

    Second question concerns hotkey display. Any chance that could be shown in Windows Update as well? In general, I guess I REALLY like it when key hardware drivers are surfaced via Windows Update, it just is SUCH a cool experience if I install clean, once go through Windows Update and am done and ready without further hunting for stuff.

  • Can't wait to see some new Lenovo PCs hit the market, its great that you guys have worked so closely with Microsoft.  Hopefully this will result in some top notch machines being released soon.