This posting is provided “as is” with no warranties, and confers no rights. All of the information herein could easily be right, wrong, up, down, in, out, backwards, forwards, heavily dated, or totally false. You can interpret it as you wish, or not interpret it at all. Also, in case you haven’t figured it out, all of this is non-static and heavily subject to change.
The third pillar in my series focused on how Windows 7 would personalize computing online, at work, and at home. The home computing additions coming to Windows 7 also include a number of home media and entertainment ideas in the fourth pillar for Windows 7, though this particular pillar focuses less on personalization and more on delivering your media to you quickly, efficiently, and vibrantly.
Most of the material in this pillar is likely covered by the eHome labs, which means most of the material covered here will be fairly vague. As with the rest of the pillars, you’ll find out more throughout the development of the operating system, though if the eHome team has control over most of this pillar, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an overwhelming amount of definition come to the scenarios in this pillar once the Beta 1 milestone is reached.
Comments? Insight? Post! Click the Read More link for the fourth pillar.
Pillar Four: Optimized for Entertainment
Content pervades everything. High Definition content can now be delivered over the internet while user created media is becoming as popular as ever. Will Microsoft finally break into the home entertainment environment with Windows 7?
- HiFi Graphics: with things like text and photo rendering will let Windows present a visually appealing experience as a media hub, even with high DPI displays. In other words, the failure that was Windows Vista’s high DPI modes should hopefully be corrected in Windows 7. More fluid transitions in the UI can also be expected.
- Home Media Streaming will take advantage of new wireless connectivity mediums to provide all devices and computers within a home access to all media content in the home. Since Microsoft already has Windows Media Center Extenders as well as Windows Media Player sharing, this will likely be a more transparent implementation of these two technologies (plus others, such as the possibility of mobile media streaming like with what Monsoon does with the HAVA.)
- Optimized Playback will give Windows 7 playback which is quick to start coupled with the support for common media and the consistent user experience needed to provide the user with a seamless home entertainment experience. This will compliment the experience which Windows already provides with the user interface, as well as helping to increase a general feel of consistency while using Windows 7.
Windows Media Player’s library mode sports a slightly altered and more explorer-like user interface in M1, though this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise (left). Edit: The real surprise is the lack of a navbar when launching media player when opening a video; Windows Media Player comes with two windowed playmodes (library mode and player mode) in Milestone 1*, which can be chosen via the button-menu in the extreme lower right hand corner (right). This could be what the product team means with “optimized playback,” though we’ll see this clarified in the near future.
- TV on Windows will give the user access to TV, be it analog or digital, cable, satellite, or over-the-air broadcasting no matter where the user is on the planet. Premium channels are not excluded!
Is this the IPTV which a few people think will be coming to Windows 7? I’ve got nothing to tell you; my contacts are unsurprisingly silent.
- SOUND will be tweaked and improved, using Windows Vista’s sound stack as a foundation. The auditory experience will be highly adjustable and just as amazing. Hopefully, this will get Creative back on the ball (I’ve already switched to ASUS; Creative lost me with their driver fiasco).
Out of all of the pillars I’ve taken a look at so far, the Optimized for Entertainment pillar may become Windows 7’s strong suite thanks to competition posed by various companies and devices in the home media field, though that doesn’t mean the rest of them don’t have a chance to be just as outstanding.
The final pillar will focus less on the consumer orientation of Windows 7 and more on what Windows 7 will do to make life easier for both consumers and businesses.
* I originally stated that the player mode might actually be a bug, though a Microsoft employee pointed out the player menu after this article went live. Sorry about that!