LOS ANGELES--One of the biggest problems with Windows Vista had nothing to do with the software Microsoft shipped.
It was all of the things Microsoft didn't ship. In the years leading up to Vista's release in November 2006, Microsoft changed course several times, leading to wasted time and energy for hardware and software makers that had made bets on features or timing that later were changed.
In a speech to hardware makers attending the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), Microsoft's Jon DeVaan said that the company is aiming to rebuild trust that Microsoft will deliver products with the promised features and at the promised time.
And Microsoft is also hoping that most partners won't have a lot of work to get ready for Windows 7. "We have the tenet that if something works in Vista it really should work in Windows 7," said DeVaan, senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows core operating system division.
The company is hoping to improve some things from Vista, particularly start-up times as well as performance when managing a lot of open windows.
Battery life is another area where Microsoft hopes software improvements will make a meaningful difference. The company said that in some cases it is getting up to an extra hour of DVD playback and at a minimum, the same PC should get 20 more minutes of time in 7 than the same system would get in Vista.
That's the difference between a cliffhanger and getting to finish your movie, one of the Microsoft workers said during a demo onstage.