It's official - Windows 7 has been released to manufacturing (RTM), meaning the code is finished and ready to be pressed on CDs. After significant testing, build 7600 met all the validation checks required for RTM, which also includes having all languages of that build completed, says Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows Communication Manager at Microsoft.
"Today's release is the result of hard work and collaboration with our partners in the industry to make Windows 7 a success," LeBlanc wrote in a blog post. "We delivered Windows 7 with a predictable feature set on a predictable timetable that allowed OEMs to focus on value and differentiation for their customers."
LeBlanc went on to give credit to the "million of people who tested Windows 7," noting that over 10 million people chose to opt-in to the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).
According to LeBlanc's previous blog post, OEMs can expect to receive Windows 7 RTM software images in just a couple of days now that build 7600 has gone RTM. LeBlanc also listed a bunch of other dates detailing when specific segments can get their hands on a copy, which can be viewed here.
Thanks to a recent posting on the Windows 7 Team Blog, we finally have a confirmation on a family pack, and plenty of detailed information on just how everyone will get their copy of the new OS.
Those of us that are run of the mill consumers will be able to get our hands on Windows 7 starting October 22nd, for both retail and pre-order. And, if you beta tested it, let it be known that you “will not automatically receive a free copy of Windows 7. Many beta testers are already subscribers to TechNet; those of you who fit that description will be able to download Windows 7 RTM shortly after RTM happens for free as part of your subscription.”
And, giving in to the swirling rumors, solid information on the family pack is finally available. “I’m happy to confirm that we will indeed be offering a family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium (in select markets) which will allow installation on up to 3 PCs,” wrote Brandon LeBlanc on the blog.
If you’re looking for any additional information, be sure to check it out here.
Windows 7's display configuration settings have gone through some of the biggest transformations from previous editions, including Windows Vista. And, the changes are more than skin-deep. With improved support for portrait displays, better ways to detect and manage multiple monitors, easy projector connections, and better theme controls, Windows 7 makes it easier than ever before to make the visual components of Windows work the way you want them to. Join us after the jump for all the details.
T-Mobile G1 owners already have an idea what to expect from Google's Android operating system, but now anyone can give the OS a whirl, and they can do it on their PC. No convoluted hacks required - just download the Live CD image, burn it to disc, and reboot your PC.
The hacked OS comes courtesy of the Beijing-based LiveAndroid team, who released its first LiveAndroid alpha build in May. Now in version 0.2, the new release is based on Android Cupcake (version 1.5) and adds some useful functionality, like a mouse-controlled curser, keyboard support, and Ethernet. Still missing are WiFi, Bluetooth, and audio.
Although Windows has included the Program Compatibility Wizard and Compatibility tab to help older programs to run properly under the current version of Windows since Windows XP, these features are not always able to help older applications to run. While Windows 7 continues to offer these features, some editions can also use a better way to run older Windows applications: XP Mode.
Join us after the jump for an in-depth look at XP Mode: the FAQs, what it can do for you, who benefits most from XP Mode, and how to use its new features.
Despite what you might have read, Windows 7 has not yet hit RTM (Release to Manufacturing), although it is getting very close, Microsoft says.
"As we've said all along, we will RTM Windows 7 when it's ready," Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows Communications Manager at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. "As previously stated, we expect Windows 7 to RTM in the 2nd half of July."
LeBlanc's statement would seem to contradict the Windows 7 7600 build that has been running rampant on torrent sites, but LeBlanc insists that "just because a single build may have 'leaked' it does not signal the completion of a milestone such as RTM." Before Windows 7 reaches that stage, all languages must be completely finished and Microsoft needs to get to a point of "global readiness," LeBlanc added.
Once Windows 7 is complete, there are a few ways you can get your hands on a copy, depending on which category you fall into. MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 a few weeks after Microsoft announces RTM, Volume License (VL) customers can get a copy starting September 1st, and everyone else will have to either wait until October 22nd, or trust that the inevitable torrent downloads are legit.
Intel had earlier made it clear that it doesn’t perceive Chrome OS as a threat to its open source OS Moblin. Now, according to a report, it wants to give a thrust to Google’s Android platform as well. According to a Digitimes report, the world’s leading chip manufacturer wants mobile internet devices (MIDs) based on its chips to run on Google’s Android platform. The report quotes sources at Taiwanese MID manufacturers. The report goes on to add that Android-based MIDs can only be expected once Intel’s Moorestown platform is out.
In just a little over three months from now, Microsoft will release Windows 7 to an eager user base ready to put Vista in their rear view mirror. Or at least that's the general feeling among home consumers. In the business world, the reception for Windows 7 might be far cautiousmet with even more fanfare.
According to a survey conducted by ScriptLogic Corp., six in 10 companies aren't planning to purchase Windows 7, many of them citing a "lack of time and resources" as the reason. But it wasn't all about the money. The companies surveyed also voiced concern over compatibility of Windows 7 with existing applications a whopping 40 percent of companies plan to make the jump from XP or Vista to Windows 7 by the end of the year. If you're Microsoft, you have to be happy with those numbers, considering the economy has everyone scrambling to save money wherever they can, and software would be one place to do that.
As for the other 60 percent? They're taking the traditional route and will make sure the new OS doesn't break compatibility with an existing applications.
"The IT department must complete thorough testing to ensure that the applications we rely on each day, specifically radiology information systems and financial applications, will be compatible, before deploying any new platforms or software to our 1,500 desktops," noted Sean Angus, a senior PC technician at Middlesex Hospital.
News of a Google operating system sent shockwaves through the technology industry last week, but unfortunately the announcement left us with more questions than answers. In an attempt to stem the flow of emails on the subject, VP of Product Management Sundar Pichai posted a follow up FAQ on the Official Chrome Blog. The posting doesn’t say much, but it at least confirmed that Chrome OS, just like every other Google product, will be absolutely free. Pichai also detailed the industry partners working with Google, and it’s an impressive lineup, even though Intel was noticeably absent.
Intel’s only comment on the issue at the time was to defend its own operating system initiative, code named Moblin, and to insist that it wouldn’t compete directly with Chrome. What they neglected to mention at the time oddly enough, is that they have actually been working closely with Google on Chromes development, and are extremely pleased with its progress. According to an Intel spokesmen, "We have been privy to the project for some time and we have worked with Google on a variety of projects, including this one. We welcome Google's move here."
Do you think this will cool Intel’s warm relations with Apple and Microsoft?
July 11 crept up fast, and ignoring the "or while supplies last" clause, today is the last day you can preorder upgrade versions of Windows Home Premium and Professional at reduced rates. For those of you who have been without Internet and managed to avoid any computer savvy friends for the past week, pre-sale pricing runs $50 for Premium and $100 for Professional, down from $119 and $199, respectively. Get the full scoop on pricing here.
You can choose among several online retailers participating in the preorder program, which include:
For those of you not yet ready to jump on the Windows 7 bandwagon but fear the reduced rates may be too good to pass up, there's a chance Microsoft will release a Family Pack good for up to three PCs. Rumors of the Family Pack spread like wildfire when a handful of online retailers leaked the product SKU along with pricing information (most of those pages -- though not all -- have since been pulled, probably at the request of Microsoft). It looks like the Family Pack will run about $145, but bear in mind no official word has come out of Redmond. As Clint Eastwood would say, 'Are you feeling lucky?'
Plenty more Windows 7 coverage right here on Maximum PC: