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Windows 7: Reporting Live from the Windows 7 Seminar: Boot Camp

16 Nov 2009   #1

Reporting Live from the Windows 7 Seminar: Boot Camp

Here we are at the LA Convention Center, attending the FREE Windows 7 Seminar: Boot Camp. We managed to “sell out” (just a reminder-- it is free) this event, getting more than 1200 registrations. This day is all about learning what’s new in the Windows 7 kernel, how developers can take advantage of these feature, and then learn how to take advantage of some “user mode” features like multitouch, taskbar, sensor and location, and others. Today started with Mark Russinovich, Technical Fellow and the man behind SysInternals and many of the improvements in Windows 7, describing some of the changes made to the Windows 7 kernel. Immediately after Mark, Arun Kishan, a Principal Architect for the process management components, described his work around the thread and process allocation that frees the kernel from its thread dispatcher locks and gives Windows 7 the ability to scale seamlessly to 256 cores. Then Landy Wang, a Distinguished Engineer in the Kernel team, described changes made in Windows 7 memory management, mainly focusing on memory Working Set and memory trimming.

After lunch, Jaime started his run, giving some insight and very useful tips about using the Taskbar, from understanding the difference between Application ID and Program ID to the effective use of custom previews. Jaime has only 60 minutes, but I am sure his tips for working with the Taskbar will prove very useful. For example:

  • Tip1 – when writing your own jump list item or link, make sure you remember what items you wrote, because you can’t just “read” the jump list items
  • Tip2 – if you decide to invest in cutom switcher and provide your own thumbnail preview and Aero Peak make sure you “save the state” of your application and images as DWM will not always perform for you.
I'll be up next, explaining Windows 7 libraries in depth, with a focus on useful tips for programming Windows 7 libraries, and specifically how to stay in sync with library updates. We have already had plenty of Windows 7 libraries posts - Windows 7 Programming Guide – Libraries, so I am not going into great detail. However, I do want to hand out the presentations and code samples used. All my demos as well as Jaime’s are part of the Windows 7 Training kit.

Right after our discussion about libraries, we will take a deep dive into the Windows 7 Sensor and Location platform. I just LOVE the endless amount of innovation and opportunity developers have generated while using this platform. After the Windows 7 launch on October 22nd, we saw a large number of laptop models coming out with built-in sensors. Developers will most probably use these to create truly adaptive applications that adjust their functionality and UI based on sensor input. 

After our Sensor and Location Platform discussion, it will be Michael Oneppo's turn to explain the changes in the Windows 7 graphics stack. Michael's presentation is very interesting, as it describes some of the DirectX API that was down ported to Windows 7 as a result of the Platform Update for Windows Vista and the Platform Update for Windows Server 2008. For example, did you know that the Microsoft Direct3D API DirectCompute feature allows your applications to use a new pipeline stage in the GPU, the compute shader stage, to implement highly data-parallel algorithms with unmatched speed and performance? This means that now you can use GPU power for parallel programming, freeing your CPU to do other things. It is amazing how powerful these GPUs have become; allowing them remain idle would be a huge waste of resources. If you want to learn more, you can always view Chas Boyd PDC session – DirectX11 DirectCompute.

To close the learning part of the day, Jaime Rodriguez takes us through a quick tour of Windows 7 multitouch. Jaime is taking his usual practical teaching approach of focusing on a few tips and tricks that will make it easier for you to start using multitouch.


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 Reporting Live from the Windows 7 Seminar: Boot Camp

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