Microsoft has seen some pretty insane demand for its Windows 7 beta, so much so it couldn’t even keep it’s servers up. Once things finally leveled off Microsoft took the unusual step of removing its download cap of 2.5 million copies, and now they intend to extend the download period from January 24th to February 10th. Microsoft claims that it already has more than enough beta testers to meet its engineering needs, and they intend to prolong the availability of the beta merely to make sure everyone who wants to give it a try gets a chance.
Despite the fact that Microsoft intends to cease downloads on February 10th, those who already began the process will have until the 12th to grab the file off the official servers.For those of you hoping to activate copies of Windows 7 past this date, make sure you save your installation disk. Product keys will continue to be available well past the cutoff date, and activation servers will remain active.
MSDN and TechNet subscribers are unaffected by this announcement and will continue to have unfiltered access to the beta likely until the cut off date in August (though this has not yet been confirmed).
As noted by Gizmodo, Windows 7 has made quite a few tweaks to the Windows Experience Index (WEI) first introduced by Windows Vista. For those of you tuning in late, the WEI tests hardware performance of five subsystems (processor, memory, desktop graphics, 3D gaming graphics, and hard disk), calculates a score for each one, and uses the lowest subsystem score as your WEI base score.
Since just after Windows Vista shipped, users of high-performance components, especially graphics cards, have been complaining loudly about Vista's WEI top score being capped at 5.9. While the Minpaso database of Vista WEI scores calculates a "presumption score" to try to make allowances for today's faster hardware, there hasn't been an official move from Microsoft until now. The code jockeys in Redmond heard you, and the top WEI subsystem and base score in Windows 7 is 7.9.
Wondering why the top score changed, and what else is different? Join us after the jump for details.
The gang gathers for a special live (read: unedited) recording of the No BS Podcast. Unfetterd by the vise-like grip of censorship, we dish out more Windows 7 impressions and tips, discuss our recent antivirus roundup, and answer unscreened listener call-in questions. Gordon rants about shopping bags and wonders why anyone would ever be afraid of Mothra. This and more in this week's nearly-zombie-free episode!
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Steve Ballmer’s luncheon meeting with Yahoo’s chairman Roy Bostock is being seen as a straw in the wind of a possible deal between the companies they serve. The possibility of such a deal has been ostensibly revived with last week’s meeting and the appointment of a new CEO over at Yahoo. But it might not be a great thing for Microsoft, after all.
Microsoft should concentrate on its core business of software, rather then treading Google’s domain – online search advertising, according to Slate’s Farhad Manjoo. In fact, he goes as far as saying that Microsoft should not even be in online advertising being a software company.
He points out that Microsoft’s core business has been ignored for a while and cites Vista and Windows Mobile as emblems of that ignorance. Manjoo finally has some M&A advice for Microsoft: buy Palm for just $1 billion or $2 billion instead of Yahoo - and its plethora of problems - for tens of billions.
Palm’s upcoming Pre is being tipped as the iPhone killer - that everyone is so desperately dying to encounter. Its interface does not appear to be a mere reinvention of the iPhone wheel, and may just be at the vanguard of mobile phone technology. On the other hand, Windows Mobile is a touch quaint compared to other mobile operating systems. So you can see why Microsoft’s unofficial M&A advisor believes that Palm may prove to be a better buy than Yahoo.
It’s unfortunate to see Microsoft so clearly working backwards in a progressive music market. In a world run by DRM-free services like Amazon, Lala and Apple, its confusing to see a giant like Microsoft moving towards DRM when it comes to loading music on mobile phones.
According to Hugh Griffiths, Microsoft’s Head of Mobile at Microsoft UK, “It's a first step. We're doing this in conjunction with a third-party provider. We'll be looking to enhance the service if we get some interest from consumers. They certainly tell us that they like listening to music while they are out and about, on their mobile phones.”
On top of that, there’s currently no announced way for customers to move music between their mobile phone and their computer. And, to further dig the grave of the service, the tracks will be selling for nearly $2 (American) per song, compared to Apple and Amazon’s 79 – 99 cents.
Lets just hope that either Microsoft takes their stake out of the DRM-fueled music game before some unsuspecting people get swindled into buying crippled music, or they drastically change their tactics.
Along with Sony, it looks like Microsoft is going to be heavily cutting jobs. The Redmond based software-maker is looking to cut nearly 5,000 jobs (or 5 percent of their workforce) over the next 18 months. Nearly 1,400 of these layoffs happened immediately.
“Economic activity and IT spend slowed beyond our expectations in the quarter, and we acted quickly to reduce our cost structure and mitigate its impact,” said Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell in a statement. “We are planning for economic uncertainty to continue through the remainder of the fiscal year, almost certainly leading to lower revenue and earnings for the second half, relative to the previous year. In this environment, we will focus on outperforming our competitors and addressing our cost structure.”
Reportedly, they’ll be delaying raises and lessening their vendor and contractor workforce as well. Microsoft projects that moves like these will cut its annual operating costs by $1.5 billion and reduce fiscal-year 2009 expenditures by $700 million.
It's been over a week since the Windows 7 Beta was released to the public. You've read our initial impressions and even followed our guide to installing the OS using a USB key. So what now? Microsoft's post-Vista Windows experience is more than the obvious Taskbar and user interface updates; there are plenty of hidden features and shortcuts that haven't been advertised. But fear not: we've compiled a list of every known Windows 7 tweak and secret. Follow these 20 tricks to make the most out of this beta and become a Windows 7 power user.
Back in November, Microsoft announced plans to discontinue its fee-based Live OneCare subscription service by June 30, 2009 and replace it with free security software the company claims "will provide comprehensive protection from malware including virusus, spyware, rootkits, and trojans." Microsoft's plans could spell bad news for security vendors who sell comprehensive security suites, but at least three companies are already looking forward.
It remains to be seen how Microsoft's Morro will compete will full fledged third-party applications, but according to Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc, competition won't stand in the way of ensuring everyone's security apps work with Windows 7.
"Microsoft has been actively working with security partners to help them get their applications ready for Windows 7," LeBlanc said. "Three security developers have taken the build we released to developers in October and have developed solutions available today that work with Windows 7 Beta."
Hit the jump and tell us what effect you think Morro will have third party security software.
Doogie Houser may have been performing surgery at 14, the age the fictional sitcom character became the youngest licensed doctor in the country, but we bet he couldn't build a PC. But little Marko Calasan can, a real 8-year-old boy who has become the youngest Microsoft-certified IT computer system administrator. Calasan, who is being called the Mozart of Computers, edges out 9-year-old M Lavinashree of India as the youngest certified IT Pro.
"The Microsoft officials gave me computer games and DVDs with cartoons when I passed the exams because I am a child. That was nice, but I’m not really interested in those things," Calasan toldThe Times.
What young Marko is interested in is becoming a computer scientist when he grows up and has aspirations of creating a new operating system.
Every year around late December or early January the internet is bombarded with the top “whatever and such and such” of 2008. Here at Maximum PC we stopped to reflect on our favorite gaming moments, and even cracked the lid on the best of open source; but we never took the time to focus on the hilarious technological flops of the year now past. Luckily however, Tom’s Hardware has put together a fairly comprehensive list. Some of which we can agree with, others perhaps worthy of debate. The list includes:
1.) HD DVD 2.) Nvidia’s Mobile GeForce 8400M and 8600M 3.) iPhone Killers 4.) Windows Vista 5.) Mobile Television 6.) OLED Displays 7.) Phenom X3 8.) The Microsoft Yahoo Proposed Merger 9.) GPGPU 10.) Sony Ericsson XPeria X1 11.) HybridPower: Pseudo-Green 12.) Sony Batteries 13.) Fiber Optics 14.) Non-HD DTT 15.) GTA IV For PC
I’m sure we have more then a few readers that will jump to the defense of some of these items such as Windows Vista and perhaps OLED or Fiber, but it’s hard to argue with the bulk of it.
What do you think should be added or subtracted from the list?