A few months prior to the launch of Windows 7 Microsoft tried to entice early adopters with a killer deal on a three pack of Home Premium licenses, and as far as we can tell it was a huge success. Windows 7 was the most quickly adopted operating system in the company’s history, but like all good things it came it came to an unfortunate and abrupt end in early December 2009.
Anyone who waited too long was stuck paying nearly the same amount for a single copy, but if you missed the first offer we have good news for you, it’s back! Starting today you can order the Windows 7 Family pack which includes three copies of Home Premium for a mere $149.99. Anyone interested can pick up a copy at the Microsoft Online Store, or from what we can tell just about every common retailer that normally carries the SKU.
If you haven’t jumped over to Windows 7 yet, there has never been a better time to hop on the bandwagon. Still not convinced? I’m guessing that’s because you haven’t checked out our comprehensive review & benchmark comparison. Maybe you’re worried about the obstacles you might face while upgrading? We have a Guide for that too.
The family pack deal is just for US citizens at the moment but dozens of other countries will see the offer go live on October 22nd. Want to see if your homeland made the cut? Hit the jump to check out the list.
A YouTube user who goes by the name "x313xkillax" posted what may end up being the first hands-on look at HP's upcoming Windows 7-based Slate in prototype form.
Naturally there's some chatter that the video could be fake, and we can't say that it isn't. But if it is a ruse, it's a convincing one. The 4-minute video starts off with a tour of the external features, which shows a textured backing, built-in camera, SD card on the side, a keyboard button to bring up the virtual keyboard, volume buttons, USB port, and a few other accoutrement. There's even a CTRL-ALT-DEL key and a home key.
The second half of the video shows the device booting up and browsing the Web, as well as a brief look at the virtual keyboard.
Check it out below and then tell us what you think.
Microsoft says it's overwhelmed and humbled by the initial response to Internet Explorer 9 Beta. It has released some figures to quantify the “early customer enthusiasm.” According to the Redmond-based company, IE9 Beta had been downloaded over two million times by the end of the second day. Internet Explorer 8 Beta, which was launched in August, 2008, pales in comparison as it could only garner 1.3 million downloads in the first five days.
Microsoft's Roger Capriotti cited other encouraging statistics while writing on the Windows Team Blog: “We’ve seen 9 million visits and over 26 million page views to the Beauty of the Web site since its release last week, and our developer-focused IE Test Drive Site has had 4 million page views since last Wednesday.”
“All in all, we are encouraged about the very early response to the IE9 release this past week, namely because it signals that the emphasis on making websites shine through Windows is resonating. We are looking forward to more and more partners building great experiences through Internet Explorer 9 to deliver a more beautiful web,” Capriotti wrote in a blog post.
Conventional wisdom says the future of ultra mobile computing will run an Apple iOS, Google OS or even an Intel Meego OS but QCosmos is out to prove that wrong.
The company showed off a PSP-sized device running a full version of Microsoft’s desktop Windows 7 OS. The OCS1 features a 4.8-inch display running at 1024x600, the OMOS sports a capacitive touch screen, GPS, 32GB of storage, and a full-slide out QWERTY keyboard. A USB 2.0 port is onboard as well as a 3 megapixel and front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera. For a CPU, the OCS1 uses Intel’s new Oak Trail Atom derivative chip for tablets and smart phones.
QCosmos says the device is currently limited to Wi-Fi only but there is a roadmap for a version with a cellular device.
The protype that we viewed did appear to be running to the full Windows 7 OS. Although it was not running games, QCosmos says it is capable of running many PC games including Starcraft II.
Officials say the device is aimed more at the gaming crowd and entertainment crowd so it would likely compete with Apple’s iTouch devices and Sony’s PSP. Pricing wasn’t announced. The device is expected to available for sale in 2011.
PC vendors appear very keen on experimenting with new form factors nowadays. Launched last month, Toshiba's libretto W100 dual-touchscreen laptop is one such experiment. The limited-edition libretto W100, launched to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Toshiba laptops, is likely to be joined by a similar offering from Acer.
The tablet market continues to inch closer to a competitive field instead of just a one-man show dominated by Apple. ExoPC, for example, is now taking preorders for its upcoming Windows 7-based slate.
Preorders were originally limited to 1,200, but now it's open to everyone. The 32GB version will run you CAD $649 (about $625) while the 64GB is being sold for CAD $749 (about $720). Both models come with up to 160MB/s SanDisk P4 mini-SSDs and a rated battery life of up to four hours.
One change since the last time we heard about these tablets is that GPS has been pulled from the 64GB version. ExoPC said it wasn't able to get it to work right on the prototype and doesn't have enough time to track down another provider, so they're dumping GPS altogether, at least for now.
Microsoft will once again begin selling Windows 7 Family Packs, which ship with three upgrade licenses for Windows 7 Home Premium for $150.
This is the same promotion Microsoft ran when Windows 7 launched in October of last year and it didn't take long for copies to sell out. Like before, Microsoft is only allocating so many Family Packs, though the sultan of software didn't say exactly how many it will make available.
"So, don't delay," Microsoft said in a blog post. "The Windows 7 Family Pack will be available soon while supplies last."
U.S. residents will be able to purchase the Family Pack starting October 3rd at the Microsoft Store. Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, "and many other markets" will have access starting October 22nd.
Over the last year, Windows 7 has slowly, but steadily been gaining market share. Now perhaps we can all just get together and call it a huge success. According to some Google analytics data, Windows 7 has blown by Vista, and should surpass Windows XP by year's end. What we're talking about here are usage statistics for various websites, but this is indicative of what regular consumers are running.
In July, Microsoft announced that they had sold 175 million Windows 7 licenses. That amounts to 30 million per month. Still, when Microsoft talks about this, there's no joy, no self-congratulations. It wouldn't be prudent to talk up the platform too much, but consumers seem pleased with Windows 7. Microsoft has avoided reliving the PR nightmare that the Vista launch turned into.
All the data shows that Vista users are upgrading at an astounding rate. This in and of itself is odd. In the past, most users have just waited until they bought a new computer to get the new version of Windows. It could be a symptom of widespread dissatisfaction with Vista, but the quality of Windows 7 is also getting XP users to take the plunge. Did you step up to Windows 7 from XP? Tell us about your experience.
We're starting to see a resurgence in planned Windows 7-based tablets, with the latest entry belonging to MSI. After putting on display its WindPad 100 tablet at Computex, the company has gone and released a bunch of press images into the wild, indicating that it's moved past the prototype stage.
In addition to Windows 7, the WindPad 100 struts into the tablet scene with a 10.1-inch display, Intel Atom Z530 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB SSD. According to the press images, a dock will add two USB 2.0 ports, audio jacks, LAN, VGA, and an HDMI port.
Initially, MSI was talking up a $500 price point, but that was months ago and nothing has yet been made official.
Best Buy’s CTO and Geek Squad founder, Robert Stephens has just piqued our interest today after tweeting some pics of a Rocketfish tablet. In case you haven't spent any time in the big box electronics chain, Rocketfish is Best Buy's in-house brand for various accessories. But a Best Buy tablet? There are a few things this might be, some of them pretty exciting.
There are a fair number of similarities to the HP Slate, at least superficially. The ports seem to be the same, and the design is similar. So it's possible this tablet is being manufactured by HP. It would be a cunning way for HP to test the markets. They said the HP Slate would be a business only product, but they didn't say anything about a Rocketfish-branded, HP-built tablet. If this device fails, consumers will chalk it up to Best Buy, not HP.
But what OS is this tablet running? The obvious answer is Windows 7, just like the Slate. But HP did acquire Palm for webOS. But would they really debut a webOS tablet under someone else's brand? While webOS is a long shot, Stephens did let it slip a while back the company was working on an Android 2.2 tablet. What's your take on this?