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Windows 7: Windows 7 At PDC09

08 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 At PDC09

The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is the one event that all developers who use any Microsoft technologies must attend at least once in their professional careers. It’s the flagship event for developers, offering the most comprehensive, future-looking, technically deep, densely-packed set of sessions from Microsoft speakers you can find anywhere. This year’s PDC is no exception and you can expect it to be a very exciting event.

My first PDC was PDC08, held last November at the LA Convention Center. As one of the people at Microsoft who work on Windows 7, I was fortunate enough to be in the loop regarding Windows 7 @ PDC08, and was able to contribute (even if only in a small way) to one of the keynote. During the Day 2 keynote,

Steven Sinofsky presented Windows 7 to the world and for the first time people outside of Microsoft saw the new Taskbar, the Windows Ribbon, and witnessed a live multitouch demo. Attendees received a 160G hard drive (makes you wonder what they'll get this year…) with Windows 7 build 6800 (does anyone remember this build number?). The Windows team presented a lot of its technologies in a series of impressive sessions. And since then, through the different versions of Windows--Beta, RC, and RTM--we continued to push new content to help developers ramp up and get ready for Windows 7.

Windows 7 will become “Generally Available” (GA) to the public on October 22nd, exactly two weeks from today, and this year’s PDC takes place right after Windows 7 GA. With the pre-release veil of secrecy lifted, during this year's PDC we can dive deep (very deep) into Windows 7 to extend our understanding of how Windows 7 works and, even more importantly, how developers can take advantage of all the great new improvements and features Windows 7 has to offer.

To start with, on the day before PDC09 starts, there is a FREE Windows 7 (seminar) Boot Camp led by top Microsoft Windows experts like Mark Russinovich, Landy Wang, and Arun Kishan. Then, during the PDC proper, we’ll have several deep-dive Windows 7 sessions.

So here is the first set of Windows 7 sessions that we are announcing:

This first one is probably my favorite topic (I am a geek, what can I say). What could be more important than performance, especially as it relates to Windows 7 and applications running on Windows 7? This has to be a MUST Attend session for any developer who writes any software (native or .NET) for Windows (and not just Windows 7) – this is truly a unique opportunity.

Optimizing for Performance with the Windows Performance Toolkit

The Windows team uses the Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT) to optimize the Windows OS. Come and see how the Windows Performance team used the WPT throughout the Windows 7 development cycle to optimize for customer scenarios and how you can leverage many of its features and capabilities to help you build faster applications on Windows. This session will present case studies that demonstrate how you can use the toolkit to pinpoint areas for improvement in your application and provide you with some best practices to follow in order to create applications with optimum performance.

The next two sessions are also personal favorites (you can’t blame me for loving Windows 7), as I think these technologies represent new levels of user interaction and adaptive user interfaces:

Building Sensor- and Location-aware Applications with Windows 7 and .NET

How many times have you thought to yourself, “My application would be so much better if it knew where the user was?” With Windows 7 and.NET Framework 4.0, you now have the tools at your fingertips to location-enable your applications. Based on the new Location platform for Windows 7, the location API in .NET Framework 4.0 provides a single, consistent API to get you your latitude and longitude regardless of the underlying technology that acquired it—allowing you to focus on creating exciting, differentiated location-aware applications.

Windows Touch Deep Dive

Windows provides applications with a default experience for gestures and touch interaction. This provides applications that you want to go beyond that basic experience with a powerful platform to build upon. This session is targeted at developers interested in building touch-optimized experiences. We’ll look closely at some of the more powerful portions of the Touch platform, like manipulation and inertia processors, as well as cover real-world problems that developers have encountered and overcome. Come help build the next generation of user experiences!

Another highly recommended session is the Windows Ribbon session. Before you dismiss the Ribbon, I suggest you take a second look and read between the lines of the Windows Ribbon native API. There is a lot of very interesting software architecture in the current API that provides a glimpse into tomorrow’s “commanding framework.”

Windows Ribbon Technical Deep Dive

This talk will cover some of the more subtle and complex aspects of ribbon implementation, like designing a great gallery (a critical task for any ribbon), adding an outspace MRU, etc. We will draw from specific experiences with Windows Live and other partners and spread the learning that those teams amassed as Windows Ribbon guinea pigs.

A lot has been said about the update to the Windows 7 graphics stack. This stack plays a major role in the performance improvements Windows 7 offers. You, as a developer, can tap into that user experience and start enjoying a rich and modern graphic framework that pushes GPUs to their limits.

Modern 3D Graphics Using Windows 7 & Direct3D 11 Hardware

Dig deep into the capabilities of Direct3D 11 and Windows 7to gain practical knowledge that will help you push graphics to the limit. Learn about the new tessellation stage in Direct3D 11, which enables an unprecedented level of rendering quality by dynamically generating geometry on the GPU. In addition, see how the multi-core improvements in the Direct3D 11 runtime can help you scale your application to take full advantage of all of the cores on a machine. Finally, take a peek at the power of DirectCompute (the hardware-accelerated general purpose computing technology) in a graphics application context.

Advanced Graphics Functionality Using DirectX

The number of PC configurations is exploding. With both netbooks and high-end desktop systems using the latest in graphics hardware, creating an application that can target all of these systems is getting harder every year. Join us as we explore the many options available in Windows 7 to facilitate graphics development across all kinds of hardware configurations, from low-end integrated GPUs to top of the line discrete GPUs. Learn about Direct3D 10 Level 9, which enables Direct3D 10 applications to run on pretty much every computer in the market today. Check out WARP, our new software rasterizer that lets your application use high-quality graphics even when there’s no graphics card. Finally, learn about Direct2D, DirectWrite, WIC, and the interoperability of Windows 7 technologies for making slick, high-quality graphics for your applications of the future.

The last session for today’s post, but most certainly not the least, is about the Windows API Code Pack for the Microsoft .NET framework. This is a framework that I have a personal interest in and I often blog about. With Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4, .NET developers have an easier life. Nonetheless, there are still a great number of valuable Windows APIs that are NOT in the framework. This Open Source library provides a good intermediate solution.

Developing with the Windows API Code Pack for .NET Framework

The Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework provides a source code library that you can use to access some new Windows 7 features (and some existing features of older versions of the Windows operating system) from managed code. These Windows features are not available to developers today in the .NET Framework. This session will show you how to access features like taskbar integration, JumpLists, libraries, the sensor platform, Direct2D, and more.


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