Hi, Mark Rogers here. I run the Software Ecosystem Team here at Microsoft. Building on Mike’s recent post on overall ecosystem readiness, I wanted give you a quick update on our progress helping developers get ready to serve the hundreds of millions of users of Windows with our next release.
We listened carefully to our partners on every continent, except maybe Antarctica, and overhauled our online content and tools for Windows 7. Millions of developers have been visiting the Windows Developer Center to take advantage of code samples, white papers, and tools. The team recently released the Windows 7 RC Training Kit for developers- which includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. Al Gillen recently released a whitepaper on Windows 7 and why developers should be considering this product now.
I also wanted to take a moment and highlight a new contest for developers called the Windows 7 Code Contest. The Windows 7 Code Contest is a worldwide contest recognizing and rewarding professional and hobbyist developers for applications showing off the features in Windows 7. Developers can prepare to innovate and Code to the Power of Windows 7! To sign up, developers can go here: www.Code7Contest.com. We made it easy to submit with short videos and submissions are already flowing in – I look forward to seeing what you come up with!
It’s exciting to see that, even before Windows 7 ships, we’re seeing software partners deliver products that are better with Windows 7 by taking advantage of new features. Here are a few examples.
Windows Touch and multi-touch features provide a natural, intuitive way for users to interact with PCs. Companies such as Roxio, Corel, and Cegid are all enabling Windows Touch in their applications. Roxio has been developing a range of applications and services designed for Windows 7 that use the full capabilities of our platform. Personally – my favorite is Roxio PhotoShow Touch. Here is what Michael Demeyer, Vice President of Corporate Products from Sonic Solutions, says about Windows 7 and Windows Touch:
We’re seeing new opportunities combining the power of online services with new features in Windows 7 such as Windows Touch. Our new PhotoShow Touch application on Windows 7 allows us to create an immersive and engaging experience for creating and editing slideshows with the touch of a finger. The new technology in Windows 7 has enabled us to shorten our time to market and expand our business as customers experience our new software first hand.
On the commercial side, we have Cegid Group who is integrating the desktop functionality, new functions, features, and gadgets of Windows 7 with its Cegid Business ERP product lines. Cegid takes advantage of the new Jump Lists, Search functions, and Windows Touch to connect people and information throughout the enterprise. Pierre Dianteill, Director of Marketing at Cegid Group, talks about early integration of Windows 7 in their products:
Cegid and Microsoft have a profound and long standing partnership providing both enterprise applications and vertical solutions to our mutual customers, world-wide. Cegid is a Microsoft Gold Partner and a consistent early adopter of Microsoft technologies. The early integration of Windows 7 within the Cegid Business ERP product lines demonstrates our on-going commitment to offer Microsoft based solutions delivering business value and competitive advantage to our customers.
Corel is taking advantage of new features in Windows 7 to deliver new and exciting ways for consumers to interact with creative software. New products in the works will support the newest features of Windows 7. Joe Roberts, Executive Vice President of Products at Corel, discusses bringing people closer to their content with Corel products and Windows 7:
Looking at the Windows 7 Release Candidate, one thing is absolutely clear — Microsoft has it right. With the introduction of Windows Touch technology, Corel has the opportunity to design an entirely new generation of consumer graphics and digital media applications that will enable users to create in more personal and exciting ways. We believe the user should always be at the center of the creative process. With the hands-on capabilities in Windows 7, we’re now able to foster more natural, connected interactions between people and their content, whether it is a favorite photo, video or digital painting.
Sensor and Location API’s in Windows 7 offer a platform for using sensor devices, such as light sensors or GPS sensors, to create environmental or location awareness in programs. FullArmor delivered a software-plus-services offering called PolicyPortal which utilized Windows Azure services for scale, and used sensor APIs in Windows 7 for location based tracking for theft deterrence and management, reducing hardware requirements and training, which directly reduced the cost of deploying the solution. Here is what Danny Kim, CTO of FullArmor, has to say about their products and Windows 7:
Our goal with Windows 7 is to help our customers reduce costs and extend the Windows platform to provide greater value. Our solution, PolicyPortal, is a service that runs on Windows Azure to manage laptops running all flavors of Windows Client, including Windows 7. We believe the combination of PolicyPortal on Windows Azure, and Windows 7 is a great combination to lower costs for our customers while increasing functionality.
Software and hardware companies are also taking advantage of Shell Integration to be more discoverable, informative and interactive. Nuance is leveraging new technology in Windows 7 to revolutionizing the way people scan, search, edit and store paper. Windows 7 lets Nuance make scanning easy and accessible – just a click away within Windows Explorer. Nuance PDF Converter lets us make converting from paper or PDF into Microsoft Office formats as easy as a single click with Jump Lists, and makes it possible to search and find scanned documents as easy and as integrated as searching your Microsoft Office files. Here is what Robert Weideman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Nuance’s Document Imaging Division, says:
Since 1999, Nuance and Microsoft have partnered to help users and organizations overcome barriers to productivity cause by paper. With Windows 7 we have dramatically magnified the benefits of that partnership, to the benefit of all users. Scanning has never been so easy, converting documents never so valuable, and the user experience never so compelling. The combination of Nuance imaging applications on Windows 7 will make everyone believe in the Green Office.
The best part of my job is seeing all the new investment in Windows 7! There are many other partners getting ready for Windows 7 – please visit www.readyset7.com to learn more or simply see what they are saying here.