Last month we reported a killer deal for Windows 7 whereby eligible students could preorder a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional for just $30.Talk about a steal! But what Digital River (the company responsible for the promotion) didn't tell you was that instead of a handy ISO image that you could burn to a DVD for safe keeping, you instead would receive a trio of files on you desktop.
Power users that we are, this just didn't sit well with us, so we went in search of a solution. Well guess what? We found one, courtesy of WindowsSevenForums.com forum member SIW2. We verified that his method works, and if you're one of the students who jumped on the promotional pricing, we're going to show you how to quickly convert your copy of Windows 7 into an ISO file.
Before getting started, be sure you've downloaded your copy and clicked the Run button in the download manager. This will extract all the Windows 7 files that we need to a folder on your desktop.
Once you have everything in order, hit the jump to get started!
As advertised, the very first Microsoft Store opened this morning in Scottsdale, Arizona, and unless you happened to be in the area, you weren't there to take part. But that's okay, because Microsoft has posted a handful of videos and pics documenting the occasion.
Consumers lined up overnight and stood for hours to be the first customers ever to set foot in a Microsoft Store, which they're sure to boast to their grandkids (or favorite message board). And hey, the first four campers would undoubtedly tell you it was totally worth the wait, as each of the four received a free Zune HD from Microsoft. Not a bad score.
As expected, there was plenty of hype leading up to the ribbon cutting, and the energy stayed high at least for the duration of the next video, which has the camera man panning around the room amid hoots and hollers and lots of hand clapping from the crowd.
Almost as a side note, HP today announced its new Compaq L2105tm touchscreen monitor, dedicating just a few lines to promoting the display in a press release which covered several items.
The 21.5-inch, 1080p display sports a multitouch panel with one finger scrolling and two finger mousing capabilities.. But if you prefer to roll with a stylus, you'll find one jammed conveniently into the side of the monitor. You can even use a gloved finger, says DisplayBlog.com, who points out that the two cameras, infrared light, sensor, and reflective film create a rugged light field capable of detecting just about any type of object.
There was a little bit of marketing glitz on HP's part. According to the OEM, this is the world's first Windows 7 certified monitor, which you means you can plug it in groove to your newly acquired copy of the just-released OS.
Surprise, surprise - Acer, the same company who not too long ago bemoaned Google's open-source Android platform as not being suitable to run netbooks, has gone ahead with just such a device anyway, even though most other vendors are content to wait for Pine Trail before releasing more netbook models.
Acer did, however, play it safe by pairing Android with Windows in a sort of dual-boot environment (Android has to be booted first and acts like a sort of instant-on SplashTop replacement), but that's more than the other top tier OEMs have done. According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, that's because other OEMs are taking a more conservative wait-and-see approach and will re-evaluate things once the final quarter of 2009 shakes out.
After seeing sequential growth to the of tune of 20 percent in the last two quarters, DigiTimes notes that netbook shipments from Taiwan notebook vendors is on target to backslide 8 percent in Q4. Part of the reason, analysts surmise, is waning demand as customers eagerly await the arrival of Windows 7, but vendors are also trying to keep inventory levels down on the verge of Intel's upcoming Pine Trail platform, due to arrive in early 2010.
It still remains to be seen how many OEMs will embrace Android on netbooks, whether as a standalone OS or in conjunction with Windows. So far, Acer's dual-booting Aspire One AOD250, which was only recently announced in the U.S., is the only one consumers have to choose from here in the States. Other markets will also see the AOD250, but not until after the launch of Windows 7, DigiTimes reports.
Harry Potter may have what it takes to defeat the evil wizard Lord Voldermort, but J.K. Rowling's character proved no match for Microsoft, who's upcoming Windows 7 took the Amazon UK preorder crown previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
"The launch of Windows 7 has superseded everyone's expectations, storming ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the biggest grossing preorder product of all-time at Amazon.co.uk, and demand is still going strong," says Brian McBride, Amazon UK MD.
Who cares, right? Not so fast. This serves as more proof that even after stripping away all the marketing hype and rave reviews, people are actually buying the OS rather than being scared off by past failures (Vista) and any fears that their hardware may not be up to snuff.
Or as Gizmodo puts it, "technology is more powerful than magic." To put it into perspective, Windows 7 was able to drum up more sales in the first 8 hours of preorder availability than Vista was able record altogether.
The little software company from Redmond plans to open its second Microsoft Store on October 29 in Mission Viejo, California. The store will open at 10AM and, just like before, will feature live entertainment, this time from the likes of Justin Bieber. Customers can snag free tickets for the 5PM show at the Microsoft Store, which will be given away on a first come, first serve basis.
Microsoft will kick off its retail debut one week prior in Scottsdale, Arizona on the same day that Windows 7 launches. According to an ad in the Arizona Republic newspaper, the first 1,000 visitors will receive gift bags and concert tickets. Ashley Tisdale will be on hand to provide the entertainment.
Microsoft didn't say what else would be in the gift bags, nor is it yet known the company will be also be giving away goodies at its Mission Viejo location.
The e-book reader market is fast becoming a crowded niche, so in order to stand out from the competition, some manufacturers are taking liberties with the basic design. Take Spring Design, for example, who on Monday announced a dual-screen e-book reader built around Google's Android platform.
"This is the start of a whole new experience of reading content on e-books, potentially igniting a whole new industry in multimedia e-book publishing for secondary authors to create supplementary content that is hyper linked to the text," said Dr. Priscilla Lu, CEO of Spring Design. "We are bringing life to books with audio, video, and annotations. This gives readers the ability to fully leverage the resources on the Web, and the tools available in search engines to augment the reading experience."
Called 'Alex,' the new e-book readers sport a 6-inch e-ink EPD display on the top portion and a 3.5-inch color LCD on the bottom. Spring Design says Android has been optimized to support integration between the two displays to prolong battery life. But what exactly is the point of the color display?
Apparently Alex owners are able to capture and cache Web content on the color display and toggle to view it on the EPD screen without taxing the battery. Users can also create their own images and notes to augment the original text.
Spring Design says it is still talking with "major content partners" and hopes to release Alex into the wild by the end of the year.
With Windows 7 right around the corner, let the marketing frenzy begin. Case in point: According to AMD spokesman Brent Barry, all those Athlon II chips that recently rolled off AMD's assembly line are "fully optimized" for the upcoming OS.
"It was important for AMD to get in front of the pack for the release of Windows 7," Barry told TGDaily. "We are well positioned for it, with acceleration and virtualization support. Our drivers are all ready to go. From a CPU and graphics standpoint, we have a better start than Intel does."
Oh snap! But not worry if you've already invested in a Core i7 or i5 platform, it's not as if Windows 7 will suddenly refuse to boot i if it detects Intel inside. The point Barry is trying to drive home is that AMD owns the value market. By Barry's numbers, the AMD Athlon II X2 240e, for example, performs "up to 70 percent better" then similarly priced Intel silicon. Or take the Athlon II X3 435 chip, which AMD says offers a 75 percent boost in media and entertainment apps when compared to Intel's Core 2 Duo E8500.
On a less controversial note, Barry also said Windows 7 will likely help drive PC sales growth, whereas that wasn't necessarily the case with Vista.
One could argue that this has been almost a banner year for Linux, what with Vista failing to attract the kind of fanfare that continues to follow XP. And the maturity of Linux distributions is undeniable, particularly Ubuntu, which has managed to attract mainstream users like never before. But is the Linux community not putting forth enough effort?
That's essentially the argument Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols makes, the self-proclaimed "Cyber Cynic" over at ComputerWorld. Vaughn-Nichols on Wednesday posted an article detailing five ways in which Linux for the desktop shoots itself in the foot.
Number one on his list is a lack of vendor support. He points out that, outside of of Novell, no other Linux vendor has made any real attempt to make a business out of its desktop distro, including Canonical, who he argues is focused on making profits in the cloud and in the server market.
Other ways in which Vaughan-Nichols says Linux comes up short in promoting itself on the desktop is in a lack of advertising and marketing, creating an unfriendly atmosphere for new users because of "too much bad techie attitude," too much infighting, and still not enough developer support.
Catch the full article here, then hit the jump and tell us if you agree with his assessment.
While you contemplate whether or not it's worth upgrading your work PC to Windows 7 or trashing the old hardware for something new, one thing's for sure - moving to Windows 7 will be "all but inevitable," according to a report from market research firm Gartner.
"The Windows 7 release will generate renewed interest in consumers and small businesses following its release, but corporate demand is not expected to gain momentum until the end of 2010," said Charles Smulders, managing VP at Gartner. "An overdue PC hardware upgrade cycle and the economic environment will be as equally important as Windows 7 in determining final demand in 2010."
Before taking the plunge, Gartner senior analyst Michael Silver said corporations will have to consider five factors, including moving off of XP by the end of 2010, starting their migration projects now instead of later, they should avoid skipping Windows 7 to avoid the kinds of problems that plagued "organizations that skipped Windows 2000 and waited for XP," larger organizations should budget carefully and take note of the migration costs (as much as $1,930 per user to move from XP to Windows 7, and up to $510 to move up from Vista), and avoid waiting for Windows 7 SP1 before making the jump.