Ramblings of a Home Server User

February 17, 2009

Review: Windows 7 Beta – Part 3 – Device Stage

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 12:00 am

Welcome to Part 3 of my Windows 7 Beta review. Today I’ll be talking about Device Stage.

Device Stage is a new feature designed to allow device manufacturers to create a “launchpad” for their devices. Using existing protocols and some XML, device manufacturers will be able to use the Device Stage to help enrich users experiences. Device Stage works much like AutoPlay. You plug your device into your computer, or pair the device over Bluetooth, and Windows will look for the most recent Device Stage definitions for your device, and then will display the Device Stage for your device. See the below screenshot for a sample Device Stage experience.

windows7-device-stage-1

As you can see in the screenshot above, the Fabrikam mPhone 1000 is attached to this Windows 7 PC, and in this case Fabrikam as used APIs to display information about the phone, an image of the device, as well as the company logos. Fabrikam has also defined a list of tasks that a user can perform from this screen. With this Device Stage, the user can setup syncing for their phone, change their ringtone, copy pictures and music from the phone to the PC, browse the device and change settings for the device.

Device Stage opens endless possibilities. There can be tasks such as downloading the latest software that comes with a digital camera or printer, viewing the Quick Start guide or User’s Manual, update firmware, or whatever else a user can do with a device can be listed right within the Device Stage.

Currently there is a limited number of devices taking advantage of Device Stage, but as the ecosystem grows, and more device manufacturers take advantage of this feature, there will be many devices able to use Device Stage. Look for this to be a feature that will take some time to grow, but once it’s grown it will provide lots of great value add to the overall Windows 7 experience. So far, this is one of my favorite features, and I personally am looking forward to seeing Device Stage blossom.

Stay tuned for Part 4, where I’ll show off the applications and gadgets that come with Windows 7.

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