Ever since the Windows 7 public beta went live yesterday, Microsoft servers have been buckling under the demand. The much coveted ISO files and CD keys have had somewhat sporadic availability, but as always can be had if you know where to look. Luckily for you, we’ve kicked over every stone to bring you everything you’ll need to get started.
I recommend when surfing through the links that you fire up Internet Explorer, as you will likely run into the same problems I did using Firefox or Chrome. If you manage to use the official beta site in fact, you will require an IE specific ActiveX control to be installed. So if you’re looking for a copy of Windows 7, and are ready to begin, follow along below.
Step #1 – Get Yourself a Beta Key
- The steps were detailed in a blog entry which allows you to access key’s via http://technet.microsoft.com . Simply follow the link and log in using the sign in option in the top right corner. It will ask you for your tech net user name and password, but I was successfully able to do this using my Windows Live ID.
- Next simply copy and paste the following link into your active window
Windows 7 32-Bit Key: https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/scripts/gcs.aspx?Product=tn-win7-32-ww&LCID=1033
Windows 7 64-Bit Key: https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/scripts/gcs.aspx?Product=tn-win7-64-ww&LCID=1033
- Finally, just copy down the CD key for use during installation.
Step #2 – Download The Beta
- The official download site seems to come and go, but here are some deep links to the file which seem to be working even through the disruption.
Remember to back up your data before giving this a try and it’s probably not best to run this on your primary machine. The beta key’s are supposedly valid until August 2009 and should give you a good preview of what is to come.
Hit the jump and leave your impressions of Windows 7.
G2 Microsystems has pioneered a new technology that will allow devices like headphones, speakers and other WiFi devices to directly communicate with notebooks Intel Centrino 2 chips. The company’s WiFi networking module can be planted inside consumer devices to allow them to connect to Intel My WiFi-enabled computers without the use of access points.
The technology promises to make tasks “such as wireless printing and synchronization between a digital photo frame and your photo archives” less onerous, according to the company’s founder and CEO Geoff Smith.
With the advent of Intel My WiFi Personal Area Networks, made possible by G2 Microsystems, WiFi has sneaked into Bluetooth’s territory.
PC gaming’s anti-piracy measures seem to be proceeding along a path not unlike the one the games they’re sworn to protect once traveled. First, games (and anti-piracy) were merciless and cruel – prone to punishing players whether they succeeded or tattooed the underside of a tire with their pixilated frog’s surprisingly red guts. But now, times are a changin’. Today’s games are nice and gentle, giving players a gentle pat on the shoulder if they fail, and a big ol’ lie cake if they finish the fight.
Ok, enough with the overwrought metaphor.
See, with companies like Valve – and now Relic – in the picture, anti-piracy measures no longer have to punish gamers. As explained by Dawn of War II lead designer Jonny Ebbert:
“We want to give out steady doses of free downloadable content because we believe in rewarding people who buy the game and the reason we don’t like DRM solutions is because they punish the innocent and they have to jump through all these hoops.”
“We don’t want to do that so we’re going with the approach that Valve pioneered to just reward the people who actually bought the game with cool stuff,” he added. “Free downloadable, regularly accessible stuff that enhances the game and then that’s an incentive for the people who didn’t buy the game to buy it. So we’ve got a really bold, robust strategy for that and we’re going to be revealing more details in about a month, but I think players are going to like it.”
A robust open beta? No DRM? Free goodies on a regular basis? We're only nine days into 2009, and Relic may already have snatched the "Best Developer of 2009" award right out of our hearts. Bravo, guys and gals.
A bit of good news for those forced into a Twilight Zone-esque loop of reliving the Fallout 3 main quest’s final, anticlimactic seconds ad nauseam: the game’s upcoming “Broken Steel” DLC pack will remove its game-halting point-of-no-return.
And, as if the opportunity to spend eternity wandering an irradiated hell weren’t enough, Bethesda also intends to sow some growing room into your character’s jammies. Ten levels of growing room, to be exact.
"We plan on raising [the level cap] to level 30 - but it will be a long, hard climb to get there," Bethesda lead DLC producer Jeff Gardiner told Eurogamer.
The apparent increased leveling time should have many players sighing with relief, as ascending mountains of fallen foes to an absolute peak of level 20 wasn’t exactly difficult in a game of Fallout 3’s scale.
However, we have to ask: Why release the Broken Steel content pack – or at least a few of its features -- in March, after the other two content packs, titled “Operation: Anchorage” and “The Pitt,” have already come and gone? After all, many players have characters mired in save points near the game’s currently inescapable ending, while others hit the level cap long ago. Will they now be forced to resist the DLC’s allure until March if they wish to enjoy it to its fullest?
Palm is trying its best to revive its glory days of yore. To this end, the company is planning to launch the multitouch Palm Pre smartphone. It offered the first glimpse of the Palm Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone features an entirely new operating system called Web OS. It has a 3.1-inch, 480 by 320 pixel display that conceals a keyboard.
The Web OS has been designed to literally keep a low profile while a user is at work. For instance, new alerts don’t impede any ongoing activity. Furthermore, there is a separate gesture area below the screen for you to navigate between applications
It lists all your contact, including email and Facebook contacts, in a single list and, more importantly, ensures that there is no redundancy in the list – a person’s name is listed along with all his available contact details.
The phone offers all the generic connectivity features, including 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. It has in-built GPS as well. The phone will debut during the first half of 2009 on the Sprint Network. The exact release date and its price are still unknown.
Google’s Chrome has made an impressive showing on the web browser market, and has even been named the “Speed King.” And it wouldn’t be like Google to leave it alone, either. With the announcement of their beta for Chrome 2, they’re looking to add some simple things that they hope will make a big difference.
First up, is form autocomplete. Something that Google considers “one of the most obvious missing features from the initial release,” will finally make a debut. Also added will be a full-page zoom, autoscroll, and profiles. Profiles will be “a great way to separate Chrome’s settings in different categories: you could create a work profile with its own homepage, boomarks and browsing history and a profile for your personal projects.”
While the first few features will be nice, the profiles sound like a great addition. Being able to manage a few different sets of information easily will be mighty substantial.
Internet shenanigans are keeping abreast with the latest developments around the world and using it to their advantage. An email doing the rounds around the internet hoodwinks the recipient into believing that it is from CNN. The clandestine email ostensibly contains a link to a “graphic” video of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. However, it leads to a fake website that contains a Trojan that betrays the user’s sensitive data, according to the RSA.
The author of the phishing attack has tried to make the website as plausible as possible. Upon visiting the link, the user is greeted with a message asking him to update his Adobe Flash Player. If the user lends his countenance to the download, a Trojan is downloaded instead of the latest version of Flash
It may be 2009, but the GeForce 9M series, just introduced last summer, is already last year's news: yesterday, Nvidia announced the new GeForce 100M series at CES.
Engadgetreports that the GeForce 100M series' first three members exceed the performance of comparable GeForce 9M series GPUs by 17 to 35 percent. To learn more about the GeForce 100M family, join us after the jump.
We came, we saw, we set up a meeting via twitter (true story!) and we met with AMD's Ian McNaughton and Steve Howard at CES to check out the new "ultra thin" HP DV2, featuring AMD's new 64-bit Athlon Neo mobile processor, which we've heard so much about.
Initial impressions: it's surprisingly cool! Boasting the 1.6GHz Athlon Neo processor, 4GB of RAM, a 13" screen, and the comfortable keyboard that HP's getting increasingly good at (see the HP Mini 1001xx review in our February issue), the DV2 stakes out a spot somewhere just north of the netbook range. The DV2 carries a netbook-worthy price tag ($599), but comes with a whole host of things that netbooks don't: an HDMI port, slimline external Blu-ray drive, and optional discrete Radeon 3000 Mobility-series graphics. AMD says it'll get about 4 hours of battery life, thanks to a CPU and chipset that only draw 25W of power total.
AMD thinks the "ultra thin" notebook genre they're trying to create passes the "mom test," citing a 30% return rate on netbooks last year. They hope to snag some market share from people who like the portability and price of netbooks but are frustrated by their cramped quarters and lack of power.
We look forward to putting the DV2 and another, as yet unannounced Athlon Neo-based notebook through their paces when we can get our hands on them.
AMD, still in heavy competition with Nvidia, has been looking for ways to gain ground on the graphics giant for some time. Now, it looks like they’re taking the fight to the mobile front with the announcement of their Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series.
The Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series is based off of the RV770 architecture. It will feature up to 800 stream processors, support for GDDR5 and GDDR3 memory, a 256-bit memory interface and CrossFire support (with the choice of switching back and forth between discrete and integrated GPUs without restarting).
Notebooks from Asus and MSI will reportedly be offering the chipset as soon as March.