Windows 7 brings to the table a new feature designed to enhance user experiences for the integration of third-party devices with the operating system. Device Stage is set up to make it as easy as possible for Windows 7 customers to deal with printers, cameras, phones, music players and other devices and gadgets right from the platform, as a central hub for all the hardware connected to a machine. A new resource developed by the Redmond company and offered as a free download makes it as easy as possible for Microsoft partners to build advanced Device Stage experiences for their products.

“We’re excited to announce that the Device Stage Visual Editor Tool is now available for our partners. This new new tool and accompanying user’s guide make it extremely easy for our partners (device manufacturers) to develop and build custom Device Stage metadata packages for their products that include realistic device icons, eye-catching branding, and tasks tailored to the needs of their customers,” noted Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team.

Essentially, what Microsoft is doing with the release of Device Stage Visual Editor Tool, is to smooth the process of tailoring third-party hardware to Windows 7, especially in the context of Device Stage. While this feature can indeed enhance UX, it needs to be taken advantage of, rather than ignored in favor of third-party software applications to match the hardware.

The Device Stage Visual Editor Tool is “a more intuitive process for partners to create their own Device Stage experience” and that it “enables faster experience prototyping, with an instant preview of the device experience that awaits the user on Windows 7,” commented Glenn Ward, Principal Group Program Manager on the Windows Planning Ecosystem Team.

Of course, Microsoft is delivering not only the Device Stage Visual Editor Tool, but also the Device Stage Visual Editor User’s Guide, both available for download free of charge. “Device Stage in Windows 7 is a new way for consumers to interact with their “Compatible with Windows 7” logo’d devices. Device Stage connects users to the status information, tasks, and settings they most care about – things like memory and battery status, uploading pictures, synching media, and accessing support resources. This Windows 7 feature enables device manufacturers to brand and customize the experience to help their customers get the most from their device,” LeBlanc added.

Windows 7 Device Stage Visual Editor Tool is available for download here.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta are available for download here.

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