To the surprise of few, Microsoft is gearing up to dominate the airwaves with Windows 7 ads in preparation for their October 22nd launch. And, while there hasn’t been a lot of time to shoot the concepts for said adverts, the bar has been set quite high.
Those who plan to purchase (or have already pre-ordered) Windows 7 can take a sigh of relief - the reported zero-day flaw in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 doesn't affect the final version of the upcoming OS, Microsoft confirmed.
"Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a possible vulnerability in Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) implementation," Microsoft said in the advisory. "We are not aware of attacks that try to use the reported vulnerabilities or of customer impact at this time."
While that's good news for anyone waiting on Windows 7 to ship next month, those of you running the RC version aren't so lucky. According to Microsoft, the vulnerability does affect the release candidate, but not the final version that was completed in July, Cnet reports.
Microsoft’s insecurity has forced it to mount an anti-Linux indoctrination campaign. It is now trying to becharm Best Buy employees with the carrot of dirt cheap Windows 7 copies for those that answer some simple question, which are part of its highly biased “Comparing Windows 7 to Linux-based PCs” training module.
According to an anonymous forum poster, who posted screenshots of the training module on Overclock.net, Best Buy employees are being offered a Windows 7 retail copy for only $10, if they can suppress their conscience to subserviently toe Microsoft’s line. The training material mocks Linux’s supposed incompatibly with popular games, gadgets and software. Windows 7 for just $10 is quite a steal, though the most fervid of Linux supporters might find their end of the bargain to be worth more than a Windows 7 copy, howsoever cheap.
Windows XP usage plunged 1.1 percent in August, equaling its previous worst showing in November 2008. XP still has a viselike grip on the OS market, with a 71.8 percent market share. According to Net Applications’ data, Vista usage reached an all-time high of 18.8 percent in the month of August, during which it rose by 0.9 percent. Windows 7 also gained 0.3 percent to finish the month with a 1.2 percent market share.
Throwing a Windows 7 party probably isn't going to reach the same level as the toga-wearing, beer bong-toting get togethers from your college days, but rather than wake up with a hangover the next morning, you could instead cash in on a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition.
Such is the incentive Microsoft is offering thousands of employees, partners, and enthusiasts in exchange for hosting a Windows 7 party in their homes and communities to help spread the word about its new OS and demonstrate some of the new features.
"Apply online to host a Launch Party. Choose a day from October 22-29 and if you're selected, you'll not only receive a special Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate but your very own Windows 7 Party Pack," Microsoft wrote on a special webpage advertising the promotion.
Details remain somewhat sparse, other than potential hosts will choose from one of four themes: PhotoPalooza, Media Mania, Setting up with Ease, Family Friendly Fun.
Consumers aren't the only ones anxiously awaiting the release of Windows 7; OEMs are planning ahead as well. Anticipating a sharp rise in demand, HP has an ordered about 3.3 million notebooks from Taiwan's top-four ODMs last month, representing an increase of 15 percent on month. In September, that number number is expected to climb even higher and settle on 3.5 million units, industry sources say.
Meanwhile, Acer also anticipates a flurry of sales once Windows 7 is made available starting October 22, 2009. Those same sources indicate Acer has a real shot at becoming the leader in the notebook market this fall, with shipments possibly topping 3.6 million units. This also includes ultra-thin notebooks and netbooks, two areas Acer has been particularly popular in.
If Acer manages to ship nine million notebooks in the third quarter, it will have closed the gap with HP to only 200,000 units.
They demonstrated Windows 7’s frugal power management by running a DVD on two identically configured ThinkPad T400s. The T400 running Windows 7 only consumed 15.4 watts, while its Vista-toting twin hogged 20.2 watts. The executives claimed that this translates into an additional battery life of 1.4 hours.
Thanks to a prominently featured 24-inch touchscreen, the Medion X9613 HTPC promises to be a welcome addition to anyone’s home theater.
The X9613, which has currently only been announced for Europe, will come with Windows 7, a Core 2 Quad Q9000 processor, Nvidia GT240M graphics, 4GB of RAM, a Blu-ray drive and a second Slideshow monitor (speculated to be the small screen in the middle of the sensor bar). All in all, pretty generous stats for an all-in-one.
The expected price is anywhere from $2,100 to $2,700 – but that’s after conversion. No idea if/when it’ll be made available to us here in the states. If you’re interested in seeing more though, check out a video if it in action here.
While anticipation continues to build for Windows 7, not everyone is stoked about Microsoft's upcoming OS, or Windows in general. Enter the Free Software Foundation, which plans to stage a demonstration today in Boston where it will encourage businesses to look the other way come October 22nd and consider free alternatives instead.
"There's kind of this attitude of 'Well, it's better than Vista,'" so we are kind of working against the grain," Peter Brown, Executive Director of Free Software Foundation, said in an interview with Cnet.
The demonstration will focus mainly on Windows 7, but according to Brown, his Foundation's beef is with Microsoft's approach in general and not necessarily with any specifics of the upcoming OS.
And it's not just Microsoft that has the foundation in a tizzy. The group is also concerned with Apple's Snow Leopard OS, which will be available later this week.
As the upgrade version of Windows 7 is unavailable in Europe, Microsoft is offering the full version for the price one expects to pay for the upgrade version. The price at which the full version is currently available in Europe has had everyone wondering how long it will last. Last week, an Amazon spokesperson told Cnet.co.uk to “treat this pricing as indefinite.” But when it comes to Windows 7 pricing, what Amazon says is of very little import compared to official word from Microsoft.
Microsoft has also announced that the Windows 7 Family Pack will also be available in eight European countries – apart from US and Canada- for a limited span of time. The eight European countries to have been promised a family pack option are UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden.