Report: StrongBox, Component Delivery Platform to debut in Windows 7

Report: StrongBox, Component Delivery Platform to debut in Windows 7

Summary: There's a new (and unconfirmed) Windows 7 feature list that's appeared on the Web this week. While none of the elements on it is earth-shattering, there are a couple of new features to put on your Windows-watching radar screens: StrongBox and Component Delivery Platform.

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Microsoft is known to be well on its way in planning Windows 7, the next version of Windows client slated to ship in 2010. Up until now, however, there has been next-to-no leakage on features or functionality planned for that release.

Report: StrongBox, Component Delivery Platform to debut in Windows 7On November 6, blogger Stephen Chapman helped break the silence. Chapman posted a list of some of the planned investment areas that will allegedly be part of Windows 7. While none of the elements on the list is earth-shattering -- most are just evolutions of the "pillars" that Microsoft delivered with Windows Vista -- there are a couple of new features to put on your Windows-watching radar screens: StrongBox and Component Delivery Platform.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft won't confirm or deny whether the Windows 7 list on Chapman's site is correct. A corporate spokeswoman sent the following response via email:

"As a company, we're always exploring new ways to innovate Windows, using customer feedback as a guide. We have no new information to share on future versions of the operating system at this time."

But given Chapman's past track record when it comes to unearthing all kinds of confidential Microsoft info, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say what he has posted is most likely based on real Microsoft information/documentation.

Here's what stood out for me on the list:

"Component Delivery Platform: Also known as CBS, this is the core infrastructure utilized for defining Windows SKUs, optional components and for the setup and servicing of Windows. The current plan of the CBS team for Windows 7 is to provide aggregation, installation, and servicing constructs for Windows elements (components, drivers, etc.), including a set of interfaces that can be used by internal and external customers for a wide variety of operations ranging from SKU construction to install, uninstall and servicing of Windows features. This infrastructure will be leveraged by Windows partners to build their features and optional components for Windows 7.

"StrongBox: One of the biggest challenges is the impact of all the different kinds of applications on each other and the Windows platform itself. The results are growing frustration with desktop applications, higher cost of ownership, and customers’ apathy to try new applications. Microsoft has assembled a small team in the Core of the Windows Division whose primary task is to gain control of this problem and, over a series of releases, begin to alleviate it. The evolution of the application platform - deployment, configuration, state management, and servicing - all fall under this team’s focus. (Internal Only Link: http://team/sites/StrongBox/default.aspx)"

I asked Chapman whether he thought the Component Delivery Platform might be the same as MinWin, the componentized Windows core upon which Windows 7 is expected to be built. He said the component platform is not MinWin.

"The component delivery platform is something complete different. From the end-user's perspective, it's basically when you enter a key and that key tells (Windows) which version (or SKU) to install. From an OEM perspective, they leverage the CDP to add their components into an install, such as Dell adding in drivers onto an install of Vista that you get on a Dell DVD if you buy one of their computers."

And what about StrongBox? Is it just BitLocker on steroids? Chapman said it could be BitLocker 2, but also could include more encryption/security functionality outside of what BitLocker delivers in Vista.

Given how early it is in the Windows 7 development process, I'm expecting there will be lots more new features (maybe as many as 300!) to come before the release goes gold. If there isn't, this list sure makes Windows 7 seem like a very minor upgrade to Vista.

(Windows Future Investment Areas. Image from January 2007 from UXEvangelist.)

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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6 comments
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  • "... a series of releases..."

    Quoting a quote:

    "Microsoft has assembled a small team in the Core of the Windows Division whose primary task is to gain control of this problem and, over a series of releases, begin to alleviate it."


    Neither Vista nor its successor will be the last of its kind.

    Oh, and the problem will be alleviated as time - and each new release - goes by.
    Anton Philidor
  • Please stop speaking about Windows 7 and start using Windows Vista!

    Please stop speaking about Windows 7 and start using Windows Vista!
    I love Windows Vista.
    qmlscycrajg
  • Strongbox sounds like ...

    ... Altiris software virtualisation.
    http://www.altiris.com/Products/SoftwareVirtualizationSolution.aspx
    jacksonjohn
  • Please stop speaking about VISTA and STOP using Windows Vista...

    ...And start developing XP x64 edition like the industry was POISED to do, ONE YEAR AGO.

    Vista = SHIT

    Mictosoft kicked us all in the ASS with its premature ejacurelease.

    So, please stop talking about it, and start kicking microsoft in the nuts by insisting on XP

    ...NOTHING wrong with XP... ALL KINDS of things wrong with Vistshit
    XweAponX
    • You must have bad luck

      I have Vista Ultimate x64 installed on my box and have had VERY little in the way of problems (much to my surprise). Vista is just hardware instensive and if you dont have the right specs, it WILL suck. I prefer Vista's installer much more than XP's, I could never get XP x64 to load past the detection of my HD's (which is in a RAID 0)...Vista loaded without a problem.

      As for your accusations, judging by the spelling and general "tone" they simply do not hold water. Everyone is afraid of change, hell even I HATED Vista for the first 8 months or so (until those 2 "hotfixes" that came out) then Vista seemed pretty decent, again I have newer hardware so...

      In the beginning Vista was sorta half-baked, but its slowly coming around, just like every release of MS products do...does XP SP2 ring a bell? Thats when I finally made the jump (willingly) to XP.

      In conclusion, If you dont want to hear about MS Vista...go troll somewhere else!
      JT82
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