Windows 7 still isn’t officially released to the general public yet, but I’m willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that it will be a universal hit. Users making the jump from Windows XP have a lot of advances to look forward to, and for the most part we can thank Vista. The similarities between the two OS’s are shocking, so much so that many have simply dubbed Windows 7 as “Vista done right”.
Nobody will argue that Windows 7 isn’t a huge leap forward in terms of performance, but even a $600 PC purchased today has more than enough muscle to deliver an excellent experience in Vista. The simple fact that Windows 7 will be born into a mature world full of drivers written for it’s predecessor will almost singlehandedly ensure a successful rollout. Lack of drivers if you recall, was the single largest complaint against Vista’s at launch and Microsoft even alleges that it was a huge factor in reports of it’s early instability.
"I think people will look back on Vista after the Windows 7 release and realize that there were actually a bunch of good things there" said Steve Guggenheimer, vice president of the OEM division at Microsoft, in a ChannelWeb story. "So it'll actually be interesting to see in two years what the perception is of Vista."
So with the Windows 7 launch day less than three months away, are you ready to forgive Vista?
If you're like us, you've been patiently awaiting official word on when Microsoft will make available Windows 7 RTM (Release To Manufacturing). We're not the only ones pressuring Microsoft for an answer, and thanks to a blog post by Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows Communications Manager at Microsoft, we now have some concrete dates to play with.
According to LeBlanc, ISV (Independent software vendor) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) Partners will be able to download Windows 7 RTM from Microsoft Connect or MSDN starting on August 6th. Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members can snag the RTM in English through the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal a little later beginning August 16th (all remaining languages will be available on October 1st). If you're a Microsoft Action Pack Subscriber, you can grab your copy in English starting August 23rd, and again October 1st for all remaining languages. OEMs will receive Windows 7 RTM software images beginning about 2 days after Microsoft makes the RTM official.
Other availability dates include:
Volume License (VL) customers with an existing Software Assurance (SA) license: August 7th
IT Professionals with a TechNet Subscription: August 6th
Developers with a MSDN Subscription: August 6th
LeBlanc also went on to confirm the availability of a "Family Pack" for Windows 7, which will allow installation on up to 3 PCs, but did not say how much the package will cost.
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.
Less than a month after the release of Firefox 3.5, Mozilla has published a few design mockups for Firefox 3.7 on Mozilla Wiki. Mozilla made it amply clear that the designs “are only for brainstorming/exploration”. Mozilla is making a conscious effort to come up with a design that will let Firefox 3.7 melt seamlessly into the Windows7/Windows Vista environment. On the face of it, Firefox 3.7 is very likely to feature a toolbar that mimics glass in its appearance, with the buttons being translucent and having added gloss.
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.
This episode of the No BS Podcast features special guest Gary Whitta (former editor-in-chief of PC Gamer), who made minor ripples in the gaming community this past week by declaring that he was giving up on PC gaming. After we trot this traitor out for a verbal lashing, the gang talks about Microsoft's retail store announcement, their newest Laptop Hunters ads, and more Windows 7 upgrade controversy. News is analyzed, listener questions get answered, and a good time is had by all. Except for the console-loving scum. Enjoy!
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
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.
Along with the latest build of Windows 7 (build 7600), it would appear that the Technical Preview of Office 2010 has made its way to the public realm of the Internet as well.
Office 2010 is reported to come in 32 and 64-bit flavors (possibly with both on one DVD). Both of these can be found online, so you can snag the version that best suits your needs. The leaked version of Office 2010 comes with Access 2010, Excel 2010, InfoPath 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Project 2010, Publisher 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, SharePoint Workspace 2010, Visio 2010, and Word 2010.
Admittedly, the version of Office 2010 is a leak, so you’ll have to find a download all on your own. After all, we can’t in all good consciousness condone such activity.
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.