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.
Hype is high for Windows 7, and deservedly so if we have anything to say about it (and we do). But while there's plenty to be excited about with Microsoft's upcoming OS, are there any compelling reasons why you should skip upgrading?
Other knocks against in the OS in the devil's advocate article include upgrade pricing, built-in support for hardware-based DRM, and one that's sure to please the Mac crowd, "Snow Leopard is almost here."
Do you plan on upgrading to Windows 7 or will you sit this one out? Hit the jump and sound off!
Just like with Vista, Windows 7 will offer users a 30-day grace period before requiring a product activation. And also like Vista, the grace period can be extended up to 120 days, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed yesterday. To do so, users will have to "reset" the countdown timer with the familiar -rearm trick.
"You can run the -rearm trick a total of three times," said Woody Leonard, a contributing editor to Windows Secrets. "If you perform a -rearm at the end of each 3-day period, you end up with 120 days of full, unfettered Windows 7 use, without having to supply an activation key."
The -rearm trick will work with any version of Windows 7, from Basic on up to Ultimate. To extend the trial to four months, here's what you need to do:
Click the Start menu and select All Programs, Accessories, and right-click the Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator.
Financial struggles tend to put a strain on any relationship, and that's certainly the case between OEM vendors and Microsoft. Worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2009 declined 5 percent from the second quarter of 2009, and whether fair or not, OEMs tend to put the blame on Microsoft.
"The word dysfunctional seems hardly adequate to this situation," says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. " Part of this is money-related in that the OEMs think that Microsoft is taking more than its fair share of the profits. But I think the root cause is a fundamental shift in these vendors' relationships. While initially PC vendors held the primary position, over time Microsoft has come to occupy the alpha position, and OEMs are passively/aggressively rebelling against this change."
OEMs complain about Microsoft's pricing, complexity, and the lack of funding to generate demand. Enderle says Microsoft treats OEMs as subordinates, not partners, by laying out the pricing terms and product retirement, but with Windows 7, the two sides are starting to come together. According to Enderle, Microsoft has made a better effort to treat OEMs like partners with the Windows 7 development and its retail operations, part of which includes outfitting its retail stores with PCs and laptops from partners.
"Microsoft is quietly moving to consolidate its control over the PC platform and, if they do it correctly, the result may be a set of products that blend the interoperability and compatibility of a Microsoft solution with the user experience of an Apple product.," Enderle said.