Of the conferences and trade shows we attend each year, WinHEC is one of the most enigmatic. While most fanboys would be very happy to attend E3, both for the demos and the booth babes, it might be a little more difficult to "get into" something like the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference. The focus of the conference can be very technical, which isn't a bad thing by any means (especially for nerds like us). We, of all people, can get excited about the low level architectural details of computer hardware. But the technical detail provided at WinHEC is generally very Microsoft OS focused rather than hardware centric.

While there is some good content on the direction and capabilities of next generation hardware, most of the real meat of the conference comes in discussions of Microsoft APIs, driver models, and that blurry line between software and hardware. Even for the hardcore programmers and hardware engineers among us, some of this stuff can get pretty hairy. The warriors who fight the driver battle must be savants; they must intimately know the hardware, the operating system, and the software that will make use of both.

So why are we interested in, even excited over, WinHEC? For our part, we will do our best to delve into the heart of the conference, absorb as much as possible from the highly technical very low level presentations, and distil out all the best information so you don't have to. And thus shall all the masses rejoice!

There are quite a few changes afoot in the Windows world, as has been widely discussed in the past. Vista, DX10, 64-bit, and many other advancements are either here or coming soon. In order to get the jump on what's going on, we are taking a peek under the hood. But before we get to the technical discussions, Bill Gates presented a keynote in which he espoused the advantages of the Windows ecosystem and announced the release of the Beta 2 versions of Longhorn server, Vista, and Office.

Advancing the Platform
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  • etriky - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    Are we going to see more coverage from WinHEC? Nice article, but short. Seems to be missing a follow up.
  • cornfedone - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    Ya just gotta laugh at the "mushrooms" that show up at WinJIVE to be fed manure from Bill -Yes I'm entitled to STEAL - Gates himself.

    Sheep like to be led down a primrose path.
  • miekedmr - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - link

    An ecological community together with its environment, functioning as a unit.

    1. The science of the relationships between organisms and their environments. Also called bionomics.
    2. The relationship between organisms and their environment.

    Notice that ecosystems have to do with living organisms. There is absolutely no such thing as a "hardware ecosystem." Idiot marketing people need to stop abusing the english language. There are plenty of ways to describe what they are attempting to describe. We don't need to destroy an otherwise good and purposeful word by putting it so out of context.
  • sprockkets - Friday, May 26, 2006 - link

    no mention of the lovely death to drm people hahaha
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, May 27, 2006 - link

    actually, I didn't see them :-(
  • Quiksel - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - link

    personally, I think it's about time. I'm glad Microsoft is stepping up (if only because they HAVE TO)

    Too bad those widgets are a direct copy of OS X 10.4's. The only original thing about them from the screenshots is the "window" (HA!) view of the weather.
  • raskren - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - link

    Golly, I wonder where Apple">got that great idea?!
  • Commodus - Thursday, May 25, 2006 - link

    True, Apple grabbed the basic idea from Konfabulator (though that in turn was loosely inspired by Apple's own little utilites from way back when). But it wasn't until after widgets were known to be a feature of Tiger that Microsoft 'mysteriously' changed its sidebar concept to behave much more like Dashboard or Konfabulator.

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