Windows Hardware Engineering Conference

The Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) is a series of technical conferences and workshops, where Microsoft elaborates on its hardware plans for Windows devices.

The WinHEC from 1992 to 2008, which stood for Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, was an annual software and hardware developer-oriented trade show and business conference, where Microsoft elaborated on its hardware plans for Microsoft Windows-compatible PCs. From 2008 to 2015, WinHEC was then replaced in Microsoft's schedule by the Professional Developers Conference, later merged into the Build conference.

On September 26, 2014, Microsoft announced that WinHEC will be returning in 2015 in the form of multiple conferences held throughout the year.[1] The first conference is going to be held in Shenzhen, China on March 18 to 19. The industry has changed quite a bit since Microsoft last held WinHEC event, with innovation happening at a much quicker pace and across more geographically diverse locations. Because of that, Microsoft is evolving WinHEC to be more than a single annual conference. Looking ahead, WinHEC will consist of technical conferences and smaller, more frequent, topic focused workshops that are local to the hardware ecosystem hubs. The WinHEC acronym has changed its meaning to the Windows Hardware Engineering Community.

On December 17, 2014, Microsoft announced that registration is open for the first of its re-launched WinHEC summit, taking place March 18–19, 2015 in Shenzhen, China. The company also announced that Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the Operating Systems Group will keynote the event. They will discuss advancements in the Windows platform that make it easier for companies to build devices powered by Windows as well as Microsoft’s growing investments in the Shenzhen and China ecosystem.

WinHEC Logo
Windows Hardware Engineering Community Logo


WinHEC will stay true to its strong technical roots. The agenda will be packed with executive keynotes, deep technical training sessions, hands-on labs, and opportunities for Q&A on topics across the spectrum of Windows-based hardware. For executives, engineering managers, engineers and technical product managers at OEMs, ODMs, IHVs, and IDHs who are working with or want to work with Windows technologies



  1. ^ "Announcing the return of WinHEC". Windows Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Bill Gates Announces the Availability of Microsoft Windows XP Beta 2". PressPass. Microsoft. 26 March 2001. Archived from the original on January 12, 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  3. ^ Richard Fisco (7 May 2003). "WinHEC 2003 Keynotes". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  4. ^ "WinHec 2003". John Peddie Research. May 2003. Archived from the original on October 31, 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  5. ^ Thurrott, Paul (7 May 2004). "WinHEC 2004 Show Report and Photo Gallery". SuperSite for Windows. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  6. ^ "Trusted Computing group past events". Archived from the original on October 3, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-02.
  7. ^ a b "WinHEC 2006: Windows Hardware Engineering Conference". Retrieved 2006-09-02.
  8. ^ Bruce Byfield (May 23, 2006). "FSF launches anti-DRM campaign outside WinHEC 2006". NewsForge. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2006-05-28.
  9. ^ "WinHEC 2008: Windows Hardware Engineering Conference". Retrieved 2008-09-06.
  10. ^ "WinHEC 2015". Retrieved 2014-12-18.

External links

Advanced Format

Advanced Format (AF) is any disk sector format used to store data on magnetic disks in hard disk drives (HDDs) that exceeds 512, 520, or 528 bytes per sector, such as the 4096, 4112, 4160, and 4224-byte (4 KB) sectors of an Advanced Format Drive (AFD). Larger sectors enable the integration of stronger error correction algorithms to maintain data integrity at higher storage densities.

Advanced Format is also considered a milestone technology in the history of HDD storage, where data has been generally processed in 512-byte segments since at least the introduction of consumer-grade HDDs in the early 1980s, and in similar or smaller chunks in the professional field since the invention of HDDs in 1956.

Compositing window manager

A compositing window manager, or compositor, is a window manager that provides applications with an off-screen buffer for each window. The window manager composites the window buffers into an image representing the screen and writes the result into the display memory.Compositing window managers may perform additional processing on buffered windows, applying 2D and 3D animated effects such as blending, fading, scaling, rotation, duplication, bending and contortion, shuffling, blurring, redirecting applications, and translating windows into one of a number of displays and virtual desktops. Computer graphics technology allows for visual effects to be rendered in real time such as drop shadows, live previews, and complex animation.

Since the screen is double buffered, it does not flicker during updates.

The most commonly used compositing window managers include:

Linux, FreeBSD and OpenSolaris—Compiz, KWin, Xfwm, Enlightenment and Mutter.

Windows—the Desktop Window Manager

macOS—the Quartz Compositor

List of features removed in Windows 7

Windows 7 contains many new features. However, similarly to the transition from Windows XP to Windows Vista, certain capabilities and programs that are present in Windows Vista are no longer present in Windows 7 or have changed. The following is a list of features that originated in earlier versions of Windows and included up to Windows Vista.

Next-Generation Secure Computing Base

The Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB; codenamed Palladium and also known as Trusted Windows) was a cancelled software architecture designed by Microsoft which aimed to provide users of the Windows operating system with better privacy, security, and system integrity. NGSCB was the result of years of research and development within Microsoft to create a secure computing solution that equaled the security of closed platforms such as set-top boxes while simultaneously preserving the backward compatibility, flexibility, and openness of the Windows operating system. The primary stated objective with NGSCB was to "protect software from software."Part of the Trustworthy Computing initiative when unveiled in 2002, NGSCB was expected to be integrated with the Windows Vista operating system, then known by its codename "Longhorn." NGSCB relied on hardware designed by members of the Trusted Computing Group to produce a parallel operation environment hosted by a new kernel called the "Nexus" that existed alongside Windows and provide new applications with features such as hardware-based process isolation, data encryption based on integrity measurements, authentication of a local or remote machine or software configuration, and encrypted paths for user authentication and graphics output. NGSCB would also facilitate the creation and distribution of digital rights management (DRM) policies pertaining the use of information.The technology was the subject of much controversy during its development, with critics contending that it could be used to impose restrictions on users, enforce vendor lock-in, and undermine fair use rights and open-source software. NGSCB was first demonstrated by Microsoft in 2003 at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference before undergoing a revision in 2004 that would enable applications written prior to its development to benefit from its functionality. In 2005, reports stated that Microsoft would scale back its plans so that the company could ship its Windows Vista operating system by its target date of 2006. Development of NGSCB spanned almost a decade before its cancellation, one of the lengthiest development periods of a feature intended for the operating system.

NGSCB differed from the technologies that Microsoft billed as pillars of Windows Vista during development of the operating system, including Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, and WinFS, in that it was not built upon and did not prioritize .NET Framework managed code. While the technology has not fully materialized, aspects of NGSCB have emerged in Microsoft's BitLocker full disk encryption feature, which can optionally use the Trusted Platform Module to validate the integrity of boot and system files prior to operating system startup; the Measured Boot feature in Windows 8; the certificate attestation features in Windows 8.1; and the Device Guard feature of Windows 10.

Professional Developers Conference

Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) was a series of conferences for software developers; the conference was held infrequently to coincide with beta releases of the Windows operating system, and showcased topics of interest to those developing hardware and software for the new version of Windows.

In 2011, PDC was merged with Microsoft's web development conference MIX to form the Build Conference.

Since 2011, it has been renamed BUILD.

San Jose Convention Center

The San Jose McEnery Convention Center (popularly known as the San Jose Convention Center) is a convention center in San Jose, California, United States. The 550,000-square-foot (51,000 m2) facility is the largest convention center in Silicon Valley. It is named after Tom McEnery, a former Mayor of San Jose.

The San Jose Convention Center opened in 1989, replacing a convention hall of the same name at San Jose Civic (then called the Civic Auditorium). The South Hall opened in 2005, and the main hall was renovated and expanded in 2013. Team San Jose manages the convention center along with several nearby event centers.

The main hall hosts numerous technology conferences and conventions, such as Facebook F8 and Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, while the South Hall has hosted auto shows and political campaign stops.

Smart Personal Objects Technology

The Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) is a discontinued initiative by Microsoft to create intelligent and personal home appliances, consumer electronics, and other objects through new hardware capabilities and software features.

Development of SPOT began as an incubation project initiated by the Microsoft Research division. SPOT was first announced by Bill Gates at the COMDEX computer exposition event in 2002, and additional details were revealed by Microsoft at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show where Gates demonstrated a set of prototype smart watches—the first type of device that would support the technology. Unlike more recent technologies, SPOT did not use more traditional forms of connectivity, such as 3G or Wi-Fi, but relied on FM broadcasting subcarrier transmission as a method of data distribution.While several types of electronics would eventually support the technology throughout its lifecycle, SPOT was considered a commercial failure. Reasons that have been cited for its failure include its subscription-based business model, support limited to North America, the emergence of more efficient and popular forms of data distribution, and mobile feature availability that surpasses the features that SPOT offered.

Twisted Metal (1995 video game)

Twisted Metal is a vehicular combat video game developed by SingleTrac, produced by Sony Interactive Studios America (now 989 Studios) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. The game was released in North America on November 5, 1995, in Europe on January 13, 1996 and in Japan on November 15, 1996. The North American version was rereleased for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up on March 3, 1997. It is the first installment in the Twisted Metal series. The game's plot is centered on the titular competition in which various drivers in modified vehicles must destroy the other vehicles in an attempt to be the last one alive. The winner meets the organizer of the competition, a mysterious man named Calypso, who will grant the winner a single wish, regardless of price, size or even reality.

Windows DVD Maker

Windows DVD Maker was a DVD authoring utility developed by Microsoft, first released in 2007 in Windows Vista. The utility allows users to create DVD slideshows and videos for playback on media devices such as a DVD player. It is comparable to Apple's iDVD, which was released in 2001.DVD Maker has been removed as of Windows 8.

Windows Easy Transfer

Windows Easy Transfer is a specialized file transfer program developed by Microsoft which allows users of the Windows operating system to transfer personal files and settings from a computer running an earlier version of Windows to a computer running a newer version.Windows Easy Transfer was introduced in Windows Vista and is included in the Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems. It replaces the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard included with Windows XP and offers limited migration services for computers running Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 and Windows XP Service Pack 2. It does not transfer applications, only files and most settings.Windows Easy Transfer was discontinued in Windows 10. Microsoft partnered with Laplink to provide a free version of PCmover Express as an alternative, for a limited time. End users also had the ability to upgrade to PCmover Professional (a paid version) which allows the transfer of applications as well.

Windows Meeting Space

Windows Meeting Space (codenamed Windows Shared View and also referred to as Windows Collaboration) was a peer-to-peer collaboration program developed by Microsoft for Windows Vista and is a replacement for the older Windows NetMeeting application; however, features such as microphone support and the ability to set up audio or video conferences are now removed.

Meeting Space enables application sharing, collaborative editing, desktop sharing, file sharing, projecting, and simple text-based or ink-based instant messaging across up to 10 users connected to the same network or across the Internet. Meeting Space has the ability to automatically set up an ad hoc wireless network if a connection to a network or the Internet are not available and also enables participants to invite other people to meeting sessions. It is one of the first applications for the new peer-to-peer infrastructure in Windows Vista and hence requires IPv6.Meeting Space is available in all editions of Windows Vista, but its functionality is unavailable in the Starter edition; in the Home Basic edition, it only allows users to join sessions. Meeting Space does not exist in any edition of Windows 7, for which Microsoft recommended Microsoft Office Live Meeting as a replacement.

Windows Mobility Center

Windows Mobility Center is a component of Microsoft Windows, introduced in Windows Vista, that centralizes information and settings most relevant to mobile computing.

Windows NT 6 startup process

The startup process of Windows NT 6 (Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008) and their successors differs from the startup process part of previous versions of Windows.

In this article, unless otherwise specified, what is said about "Windows Vista" also applies to all later NT operating systems. For Windows Vista, the boot sector or UEFI loads the Windows Boot Manager (a file named BOOTMGR on either the system or the boot partition), accesses the Boot Configuration Data store and uses the information to load the operating system. Then, the BCD invokes the boot loader and in turn proceeds to initiate the Windows kernel. Initialization at this point proceeds similarly to previous Windows NT versions.

Windows SideShow

Windows SideShow is a technology developed by Microsoft and introduced in the Windows Vista operating system that is designed to provide information such as the number of unread e-mail messages or RSS feeds on a secondary display of a Windows-based device; displays may be integrated as part of a device itself or included as part of a separate component connected to a personal computer. SideShow integrates with the Windows Gadgets feature of Windows Vista and Windows 7 and can also integrate with applications such as Windows Media Center.SideShow has been discontinued as of Windows 8.1.

Windows Speech Recognition

Windows Speech Recognition (WSR) is a speech recognition component developed by Microsoft for the Windows Vista operating system that enables the use of voice commands to control the desktop user interface; dictate text in electronic documents and email; navigate websites; perform keyboard shortcuts; and to operate the mouse cursor. It also supports the creation of custom macros to perform additional tasks.

WSR is a locally-processed speech recognition platform; it does not rely on cloud computing for accuracy, dictation, or recognition, but adapts based on a user context, grammar, input, speech samples, training sessions, and vocabulary. For dictation, it provides a personal dictionary that allows users to include or exclude words or expressions and to optionally record pronunciations to increase recognition accuracy. With Windows Search, WSR can also optionally analyze and collect text in documents, email, and handwritten input on a tablet PC to contextualize and disambiguate terms to further adapt and personalize the recognizer. Custom language models that adapt the recognizer to the specific context, phonetics, and terminology of users in particular occupational fields such as legal or medical are also supported.WSR was developed to be an integrated component of Windows Vista, as Windows previously only supported speech recognition limited to individual applications such as Windows Media Player. Microsoft Office XP introduced speech recognition, but this support was limited to Internet Explorer and Office. In Windows Vista, the majority of integrated applications can be controlled through speech, and Office 2007 and later versions of Office rely on WSR, replacing the separate Office speech recognition. It is present in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows RT, and Windows 10.

Windows System Assessment Tool

The Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT) is a module of Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 that is available in the Control Panel under Performance Information and Tools (except in Windows 8.1 & Windows 10). It measures various performance characteristics and capabilities of the hardware it is running on and reports them as a Windows Experience Index (WEI) score. The WEI includes five subscores: processor, memory, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, and disk; the basescore is equal to the lowest of the subscores and is not an average of the subscores. WinSAT reports WEI scores on a scale from 1.0 to 5.9 for Windows Vista, 7.9 for Windows 7, and 9.9 for Windows 8 and Windows 10.The WEI enables users to match their computer hardware performance with the performance requirements of software. For example, the Aero graphical user interface will not automatically be enabled unless the system has a WEI score of 3 or higher.The WEI can also be used to show which part of a system would be expected to provide the greatest increase in performance when upgraded. For example, a computer with the lowest subscore being its memory, would benefit more from a RAM upgrade than adding a faster hard drive (or any other component).Detailed raw performance information, like actual disk bandwidth, can be obtained by invoking winsat from the command line. This also allows only specific tests to be re-run. Obtaining the WEI score from the command line is done invoking winsat formal, which also updates the value stored in %systemroot%\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore. (The XML files stored there can be easily hacked to report fake performance values.) The WEI is also available to applications through an API, so they can configure themselves as a function of hardware performance, taking advantage of its capabilities without becoming unacceptably slow.The Windows Experience Index score is not displayed in Windows 8.1 and onwards because the graphical user interface for WinSAT was removed in these versions of Windows, although the command line winsat tool still exists and operates correctly along with a final score when launching the command "shell:games". According to an article in PC Pro, Microsoft removed the WinSAT GUI in order to promote the idea that all kinds of hardware run Windows 8 equally well.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista is an operating system that was produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs and media center PCs. Development was completed on November 8, 2006, and over the following three months, it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released worldwide and was made available for purchase and download from the Windows Marketplace; it is the first release of Windows to be made available through a digital distribution platform. The release of Windows Vista came more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows XP, the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems.

New features of Windows Vista include an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Aero, a new search component called Windows Search, redesigned networking, audio, print and display sub-systems, and new multimedia tools such as Windows DVD Maker. Vista aimed to increase the level of communication between machines on a home network, using peer-to-peer technology to simplify sharing files and media between computers and devices. Windows Vista included version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, allowing software developers to write applications without traditional Windows APIs.

Microsoft's primary stated objective with Windows Vista was to improve the state of security in the Windows operating system. One common criticism of Windows XP and its predecessors was their commonly exploited security vulnerabilities and overall susceptibility to malware, viruses and buffer overflows. In light of this, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced in early 2002 a company-wide "Trustworthy Computing initiative", which aimed to incorporate security into every aspect of software development at the company. Microsoft stated that it prioritized improving the security of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 above finishing Windows Vista, thus delaying its completion.While these new features and security improvements have garnered positive reviews, Vista has also been the target of much criticism and negative press. Criticism of Windows Vista has targeted its high system requirements, its more restrictive licensing terms, the inclusion of a number of then-new DRM technologies aimed at restricting the copying of protected digital media, lack of compatibility with some pre-Vista hardware and software, longer boot time, and the number of authorization prompts for User Account Control. As a result of these and other issues, Windows Vista had seen initial adoption and satisfaction rates lower than Windows XP. However, with an estimated 330 million Internet users as of January 2009, it had been announced that Vista usage had surpassed Microsoft's pre-launch two-year-out expectations of achieving 200 million users.

At the release of Windows 7 (October 2009), Windows Vista (with approximately 400 million Internet users) was the second most widely used operating system on the Internet with an approximately 19% market share, the most widely used being Windows XP with an approximately 63% market share. In May 2010, Windows Vista's market share had an estimated range from 15% to 26%. On October 22, 2010, Microsoft ceased sales of retail copies of Windows Vista, and the OEM sales for Vista ceased a year later. Since April 2019, Vista's market share has declined to under 0.5% of Windows' total market share.

Windows Vista editions

Windows Vista—a major release of the Microsoft Windows operating system—was available in six different product editions: Starter; Home Basic; Home Premium; Business; Enterprise; and Ultimate. On September 5, 2006, Microsoft announced the USD pricing for editions available through retail channels; the operating system was later made available to retail on January 30, 2007. Microsoft also made Windows Vista available for purchase and download from Windows Marketplace; it is the first version of Windows to be distributed through a digital distribution platform. Editions sold at retail were available in both Full and Upgrade versions and later included Service Pack 1 (SP1).Microsoft characterized the retail packaging for Windows Vista as "designed to be user-friendly, […] a small, hard, plastic container designed to protect the software inside for life-long use." The packaging opens sideways to reveal the Windows Vista DVD suspended in a clear plastic case. The Windows Vista disc itself uses a holographic design similar to the discs that Microsoft has produced since Windows 98.

With the exception of Windows Vista Starter, all editions support both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) processor architectures. Microsoft ceased retail copies of Windows Vista in October 2010. OEM distribution of Windows Vista ended in 2011

Windows Vista networking technologies

In computing, Microsoft's Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 introduced in 2007/2008 a new networking stack named Next Generation TCP/IP stack,

to improve on the previous stack in several ways.

The stack includes native implementation of IPv6, as well as a complete overhaul of IPv4. The new TCP/IP stack uses a new method to store configuration settings that enables more dynamic control and does not require a computer restart after a change in settings. The new stack, implemented as a dual-stack model, depends on a strong host-model and features an infrastructure to enable more modular components that one can dynamically insert and remove.


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