If you've been playing around with either the beta or RC of Windows 7, then you know what to expect from Microsoft's upcoming OS. And with the recent announcement, you even know when it will start shipping (October 22, 2009). Now you can add box art to the growing list of details for the new OS.
Various images have been floating around the web for some time now, some of which are now proven accurate. The software maker updated its Windows 7 page in the Microsoft Store to reflect the official box art, which looks like toned down versions of Vista's graphics. The same color scheme applies - green for Home Premium, blue for Professional, and black for Ultimate.
More importantly, pricing information and other details have yet to be announced, but are expected to surface later this month.
Engadget has gotten its hands on what it is calling “a leaked internal memo” which outlines Best Buys plans for the roll out of Windows 7. In addition to giving us the timelines for free upgrades, it also spells out pre-order plans, and a look at the new pricing model. The memo which describes Windows 7 as “Vista that works”, will first be made available for pre-order by customers on June 26th.
Home Premium upgrades will start at $49.99, while the professional edition will be sold at $99.99. These prices (if true) are significantly more reasonable than Vista upgrades which started at $129.95 for Home Premium, and $199.95 for Business. Pre-ordered copies won’t ship until the official October 22nd launch date, but at least this guarantees you the pricing shown above.
In addition to pre-order sales, Best Buy also outlined its “Technology Guarantee Program” which will allow people who obtain copies of Vista after June 26th to receive a free upgrade. According to the memo, this will apply to both new PC sales, and retail copies bought separately. If this is true, this might be a good way to upgrade your PC to Windows Vista for next to nothing in the months leading up to 7’s release.
The moral of the story here is that if you were planning on buying a new PC from Best Buy, you should probably hold off until June 26th. If the contents of the memo are legitimate, this will likely be a painful lesson for Best Buy who will probably find it much more difficult to sell new PC’s for the next couple of weeks.
As if Microsoft didn’t have enough on its plate in advance of the October 22 launch date for its latest operating system, Windows 7, an old, familiar friend is entering the fray. Like a second player that adds a quarter and interrupts your progression in an arcade fighting game, Google is bringing its open-source Android operating system out of the handheld market and into the PC world.
Acer netbooks are the target for Android’s first foray beyond the mobile market. The company has announced that it will begin offering both Microsoft-based operating systems and Google’s Android platform for a majority of its netbooks—or “mini-notebooks,” as Microsoft now prefers to call them. Acer’s latest Aspire One netbook will be the first of its kind to offer Android as an alternative platform, and you’ll be able to pick one up in the third quarter of this year.
The move is a boon for the open-source world… sort-of. For Android is as open as it is Linux, which is to say that it might be based on the Linux kernel, but it’s not a Linux operating system. Similarly, although Android comes close to fulfilling the philosophy and licensing requirements to deem it a full, open-source product, a few qualifiers exist that give cause for concern. Together, these two issues combine to create a troubled picture for Android’s future outside of the mobile market.
The wait is almost over for staunch XP users who have decided to skip Windows Vista altogether and wait for what's next. That would be Windows 7, and Microsoft this week announced plans to launch its upcoming OS on October 22, a little over five months from now.
"The feedback from the release candidate has been good," said Bill Veghte, Microsoft Senior Vice President, during an interview with CNet.
Windows 7, now in Release Candidate form, has generally been well received by the public who have had a chance to play with the beta versions and now the RC. Those looking to put off buying a copy of Windows 7 will still be able to rock the RC until March 1, 2010, at which point the PC will begin shutting down every two hours. On June 1, 2010, the RC will officially expire.
Getting back to the retail version, Microsoft confirmed it will offer a "technology guarantee," which will give those who buy a Vista-based machined near the launch date a free or discounted version of Windows 7. Microsoft was short on details, but did say that pricing will be up to the OEMs to decide, and that the upgrade program will apply to Vista Home Premium and up.
You've seen the demos of multitouch, and you might even have a PC that supports Windows 7's multitouch, but what can you do with it? If you're in the market for a PC that supports multi-touch, Microsoft is making a multitouch PC even more appealing by announcing its Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.
Microsoft Touch Pack is a product of the collaboration between the Windows and Surface development teams, and as a result, Microsoft Touch Pack includes three Microsoft Surface applications and three casual games. Here's what you get:
Microsoft Surface Globe enables you to navigate the Virtual Earth 3D version of the world by touch, and lets you get local information as you "fly" by particular places.
Microsoft Surface Collage brings one of the original Microsoft Surface "touch and move the photos" demos to life, adding the ability to convert a collage into a desktop background.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon is a multi-touch enabled screensaver - watch fish gather around your "submerged" finger.
Casual gamers can enjoy the Rube Goldbergesque Microsoft Blackboard, a mashup of death rays and air hockey in Microsoft Rebound, and float origami on the water in Microsoft Garden Pond.
To find out who gets their hands on Microsoft Touch Pack first, join us after the jump.
Rules, rules, rules. It's one of the few things the open-source world has in common with its closed alternative. There are rules for downloading open-source projects. Rules for using open-source projects. Rules for distributing open-source projects. Rules for modify... ok. You get the idea.
It's one thing for open-source developers to define the legal parameters associated with the tinkering of their pet projects. That's the pill you swallow when you agree to download these bits of community-driven software. But that's also where the control factor ends. You can run open-source software on any platform you like. Depending on the parameters of the license, you can even populate your favorite open-source software applications to a new platform of your choosing--like a little bee in a digital garden, if you will.
Flying over the friendly skies of the closed-source world tells a different tale. Microsoft makes the rules here. Or, at least, as many rules as it can get away with making in relation to which of its operating systems you can use and how you can go about using them. Want to run a ton of programs at once? That's a license issue. Want access to additional functionality? Buy a better license. The list goes on, but it doesn't just end at the software level. A recent report has revealed Microsoft's intentions for Windows 7 in the netbook space, but this isn't the first time Microsoft has demanded that hardware manufacturers bow to a certain specification in order to bundle its operating systems along for the ride.
Check out Microsoft's full restrictions after the jump!
For those of you that are rocking Windows Vista, don’t you know what the Windows 7 release candidate is out? Well, at any rate, Microsoft released Service Pack 2 for Vista to the public today.
SP2 will include Windows Search 4.0, the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack, the ability to record data on Blu-ray media natively, Windows Connect Now (to simplify Wi-Fi configuration), and other security and optimization-minded upgrades.
If you’re looking to download Vista SP2, you can get it here (for 32-bit users) and here (for 64-bit users).
As netbooks continue to grow in size, you might be left wondering where netbooks end and traditional notebooks begin. The answer is 10.2 inches, assuming news and rumor site DigiTimes has been fed accurate information. Citing un-named sources at Taiwan-based ODM notebook makers, DigiTimes says Microsoft and Intel agreed to decrease the screen-size ceiling for netbooks running Windows 7 from 12.1 inches to 10.2 inches.
Should the restriction be put in place, it would spell the end for 11.6-inch Atom Zxx-based netbooks once Windows 7 launches, the sources said. It could also hamper VIA, who doesn't put any restrictions on how vendors use its CPUs and chipsets. VIA-based netbooks larger than 10.2 inches wouldn't qualify for the lower Windows 7 licensing rates, thereby potentially taking away any advantage VIA might have had in the 11-inch and above market.
Fast, stable (so far), and nearing release, it seems everyone is looking forward to Windows 7, Microsoft's upcoming operating system that looks to be superior to Vista in almost every way. But there's one area in which Vista has the upper hand, and it could prove to be an important one, Dell says.
"If there's one thing that may influence adoption, make things slower, or cause customers to pause, it's that generally the ASPs (average selling price) of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP," Darrel Ward, director of product management for Dell's business client product group, said in a phone interview with CNet.
Ward was referring to the multiple flavors of Windows 7 that are sure to appear, and in light of the tough economic times, he said it's "naive" for Microsoft increase its prices on average and still see higher sales.
"I can tell you that the licensing tiers at retail are more expensive than they were for Vista," Ward added.
Ward did note that the momentum behind Windows 7 is noticeably bigger than it was with Vista, and save for a few hiccups, driver readiness looks "pretty healthy." But will it be enough to justify higher price points?
Windows 7 has the potential to be the most imaging-friendly version of Windows yet developed. Windows 7 makes viewing JPEG and other common file formats easy, displays exposure metadata, and supports more viewing options than Windows XP, while offering better performance than Windows Vista. However, to get the maximum benefit from Windows 7, digital photographers will want to make two additions:
Installing RAW image support for their DSLR
Installing a photo organizer and editor
Wondering how to get RAW support for 64-bit versions of Windows 7? Not sure which free program (Windows Live Photo Gallery or Picasa) is better at fixing common digital photo problems? Looking for the best solution for organizing your rapidly growing digital photo collection? Join us after the jump for the answers.