Raj Jhanwar: Windows Vista Component Management Interface (CMI)

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Ever wonder how we make Windows skus (not why necessarily, though we do cover that briefly, but how, exactly)? How do OEMs like Dell or HP or Whoever get Windows skus onto the millions of PCs they make? Closer to home, how does Microsoft build Windows skus, anyway? How do we build Windows for that matter? 

Did you know that Windows Vista introduces a completely new model that effectively componentizes the build and installation process of Windows? Did you know that that Windows Vista contains information about every component dependency that ships with the OS? Did you know that Windows Update will no longer be enabled to install components that break things because of unforseen dependencies? This is HUGE.

Meet Raj Jhanwar, a Program Manager in Windows. He and team have been working on CMI since XP shipped. What is CMI? Tune in. Learn. There are some nuggets of information in this interview that most of you have never heard about before...

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      dahat

      ... There’d been hints here and there about this kind of modularity... but I had no idea about the depth or the ease... after it was all built and configured that is.

      Wow.

    • User profile image
      Charles
      dahat wrote:
      

      ... There’d been hints here and there about this kind of modularity... but I had no idea about the depth or the ease... after it was all built and configured that is.

      Wow.



      Agreed. This interview blew my mind. Hats off to the CMI team.

      Wow,
      C
    • User profile image
      earnshaw

      So, anyway, what is a "skew?"  Actually, it is a SKU or Stock Keeping Unit number.  You see, items that are mass produced are assigned SKU numbers so that retail sellers can order and inventory by models which are distinguished by their different SKU numbers. 

    • User profile image
      RamblingGeek​UK

      Still watching only 7 mins in. I have to say so far this video has restored my faith in C9, thank you.

      I've used Windows XPe a couple of years a go and it was just awesome, can't wait to see the changes........

    • User profile image
      j0217995
      Wow, what a great video.... Very interesting and enjoyable. So much for a marketing site. That really blew my mind as well. THanks for such a great job on this Charles... You rock Smiley
    • User profile image
      dahat

      Say Charles... while I didn’t hear it in the video... did the topic of compliance with governmental mandates come up between you and Raj?

      As nifty as this will be for OEMs and select others to easily be able to make new SKUs... it unfortunately makes it a lot easier for various governments demand that Microsoft provide a version of Vista just for them.

    • User profile image
      Charles
      dahat wrote:
      

      Say Charles... while I didn’t hear it in the video... did the topic of compliance with governmental mandates come up between you and Raj?

      As nifty as this will be for OEMs and select others to easily be able to make new SKUs... it unfortunately makes it a lot easier for various governments demand that Microsoft provide a version of Vista just for them.



      Let's be very, very clear here. This is about componentizing the way we build Windows skus, making it very easy for OEM deployment of skus, speeding up the shipping of system fixes (security fixes for example), and increasing the number of language builds (Vista shipped in the most languages ever because of this work and Raj explains exactly why). This is about how WE manufacture various OS flavors. It enables us to make more skus, faster, and in more languages. CMI is possible because of our complete understanding of system component dependencies. Before Vista, we had no such knowledge.
    • User profile image
      Minh
      dahat wrote:
      it unfortunately makes it a lot easier for various governments demand ...
      Why is it unfortunate?
    • User profile image
      ZippyV
      Can we see those xml files that describe the dependencies?
    • User profile image
      Raj_Jhanwar
      Yes, you can see the component manifests.  They are located in %windir%\winsxs\Manifests.

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