Well, it will at least have location-based technology that will let future applications tell you where you and your computer are, anywhere in the world. And that information will be available for sharing with other applications running on your PC at the same time.

The system, unveiled in an early development version at this week’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Los Angeles, CA, is comprised of two Windows application programming interfaces (APIs). One gathers longitude and latitude data from GPS, Wi-Fi and cell tower triangulation sources and the other translates that data into location information that humans and other applications can understand and use. Users will also be able to simply key-in their location, if they know it.

Like Google’s Gears geolocation technology, the new MS system could automatically tell applications (and Web sites with which they communicate) where a user is at any given moment. Applications could include more accurate responses to location-dependent questions that users submit to Web sites. For instance, mapping or travel sites could suggest the nearest hotel or seafood restaurant to a user’s current location.

Also like Google Gears, the new Windows technology is raising some privacy concerns. Critics are especially concerned about the ease with which the location technology will be able to share data with other applications — perhaps without the user’s knowledge. However, users will be able to turn off the system that gathers location information if they choose to.

MS expects that the vast majority of applications (programs) which will use the location information available in Windows 7 will be created by third-party software developers. However, a MS ‘weather gadget’, which provides weather information and forecasts specific to a user’s location, will be built into Windows 7.

One Response to Windows 7 will track you

  1. Samantha Perrin
    Nov 08, 2008


    Just a note to outline a “typo” in this column.

    “the new MS system could Applications could include more accurate responses to location-dependent questions that users ”


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