Windows 7 RC Change List and Yes, They Are Listening

windows-7-logoMicrosoft is offering a list of 36 changes you’ll see in the Release Candidate of Windows 7. Some folks think that Redmond isn’t effectively accepting or listening to feedback, but I’ll share some proof of that in minute. Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt of the list with some changes I felt worth pointing out:

  • Windows Flip (Alt+Tab) is combined with Aero Peek
  • Better Taskbar scaling that fits more icons
  • Jumplist suggestions are limited to 10
  • Multi-touch support for the on-screen keyboard (The Shift keys say “huzzah!”)
  • Windows Media Player gains .MOV support
  • Resuming media playback when waking from sleep

You can catch the full list of changes on the Engineering Windows 7 blog. Now about that feedback bit…

I was a little frustrated myself when submitting Windows 7 feedback through the proper channels. My reported bugs went through the system at Microsoft. I know they did because I received e-mail status updates each time the bugs progressed through a status change. One of my bugs was recently closed because the function was “working as designed.” I beg to differ, but that’s not the point.

I suppose I have a little sympathy for Microsoft because my old career was centered around these types of testing activities. I used to manage a handful of software testing teams for a Fortune 100 company: bug tracking, quality assurance metrics, pre-implementation testing, automated testing frameworks, you name it. We struggled to capture and record bugs on such a smaller scale that I can’t fathom the effort it takes for an operating system that’s used worldwide.

Recently, I wrote about how Windows 7 will have native support for mobile broadband. My 3G modem didn’t seem to work without the vendor software for some reason, and I mentioned that as well. The point of the post was to share the mobile broadband support news, not to to point fingers at another potential issue with Windows 7. However, someone at Microsoft must have read the post or it was sent to them. I received an e-mail from someone at Microsoft stating that they had read the post and wanted additional information so that the situation could be looked into. I have to send back tidbits of info: build numbers, hardware specs and such, but I’m impressed that someone found the time to circle back to me.

Now, one could say “yeah, but you’re a blog” and that we get some special focus as a result. I’ll grant you that’s possible. However, the fact is: we’re a relative speck in the Blogosphere Ocean and to be honest, nobody at Microsoft had to go the extra mile to reach out to me. I’m glad they did, and I’ll be providing the info in hopes of many other people gaining a better experience with Windows 7. Sometimes people do listen.

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