Select Vista owners may be getting a free ride to Windows 7, according to a draft document TechArp claims to have obtained. The document, which TechArp says was handed out to OEM partners on December 10 with a one month deadline to provide feedback, outlines Microsoft's tentatively named "Windows 7 Upgrade Program."
The point of the program is to alleviate the concern from potential PC buyers who may be postponing a purchase in anticipation of Windows 7. As it's being reported, it's a consumer-oriented upgrade program aimed at both individual consumers and small businesses who purchase a Vista-based PC during the unspecified 'Program Eligibility Period.'
To qualify, end users must buy a new PC with Vista pre-installed, and the system must come with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached. The upgrade only apples to Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate flavors, which can then be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate respectively. And finally, Microsoft says the program does not support multiple upgrades for medium, large, or enterprise customers, according to the document.
Keep in mind the above is based on a draft document, and should it become finalized, eligibility requirements and other details could very well change. Stay tuned!
Procrastinators take note, your window of opportunity to beta test Microsoft's next operating system is closing fast. You have until 11:59 PM PST today to begin downloading Windows 7 (from Microsoft, anyway), and will have until 9 AM PST Thursday to finish the download, Microsoft said.
It is finally happening! Microsoft is now changing over to a 64-bit operating system by default instead of 32 bit. Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the first operating system to feature 32 bit optional. This means that all the applications included with Windows Server 2008 R2 will be native 64 bit. It appears Microsoft is now ready to embrace the 21st century and begin shipping their new server operating systems as 64 bit only.
Microsoft’s Windows Vista Ultimate was supposed to be a fun-filled version packed full of extras, but as anyone with the OS knows, this is a promise that Microsoft didn’t exactly make good on. So, on that note, Microsoft has decided to announce that Windows 7 Ultimate will feature absolutely no extras whatsoever.
“Our new approach to planning and building Windows doesn't have the capacity to continue to deliver features outside the regular release cycle. While our core development team is focused on building the next release, our sustained engineering team is focused on updates to existing features. As a result we don't plan to create Ultimate Extras,” Microsoft stated in a recent bit of Windows 7 SKU news.
Windows 7 Ultimate won’t be available on a retail level, but instead will be offered during promotional periods. It has been speculated that it will be $80 cheaper than Vista’s Ultimate, making it $320.
We have all had those stubborn problems that refuse to go away no matter how long you try to fix it. As a power user, you know that Microsoft has a gigantic library of fixes. The hard part is finding the particular fix for the problem you are having. Once you get to the KB article, you are given a list of steps to perform. Most likely the steps are easy to perform and do not take much time. However, what if you manage a huge network of computers and each one of them has the particular problem? Microsoft has announced they are going to start being proactive and help people fix their computers.
Hit the jump for more information on this feature.
It may only be a side note here in North America, but over in the U.K HP is shaking up its netbook lineup. Normally this isn’t something that would make headline news, but it underscores an interesting new trend. HP is dropping the Mini 2133, the only Linux netbook still in its fleet. Customers will still be able to purchase Microsoft versions of the Mini 1000’s and install Linux on their own, but will now be forced to pay the Microsoft tax.
Tech journalists and enthusiasts alike have been fascinated by Linux’s rise in popularity thanks to low cost PCs, but clearly the mainstream consumer still favors the familiar blue and green of Windows XP. Another unknown is what impact Windows 7 will have on Linux netbooks sales in the future. If the price of the starter edition is the same, or less than XP, we can’t help but wonder if the free OS will have what it takes to compete. Clearly Microsoft is taking the netbook threat seriously, but only time will tell who will win the war.
Will Linux survive in the netbook and low cost PC market? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
In case you missed the earlier stories, MaximumPC readers and many others have been concerned about how easy it was for malware to change UAC levels and subvert the new and allegedly improved User Account Control in Windows 7.
To find out what's changing - and who deserves the credit - join us after the jump.
The Registerreports that there's good news and bad news for the many Windows XP users who took a pass on Windows Vista and decided to wait for Windows 7.
The good news? Windows XP users will be eligible for Windows 7 upgrade pricing.
The bad news? Windows XP users will need to do a clean install of Windows 7.
El Reg quotes a Microsoft rep thus:
I can confirm that customers will be able to purchase upgrade media and an upgrade license to move from Windows XP to Windows 7 - however, they will need to do a clean installation of Windows 7.
This requires the user to back up their data, install Windows 7, re-install the programs and restore their data. For PCs running Windows Vista customers have the option of an in-place upgrade of Windows 7 keeping their data and programs intact or to perform a clean install of Windows 7.
For those of you in the XP to Windows 7 camp, does the need to do a clean install bother you, or were you planning a clean install anyway? Join us after the jump for your chance to be heard.
Microsoft's Windows platforms need to be more like Linux if the software giant ever hopes to compete against open-source software, including operating systems. That's the claim being made by InformationWeek's Charles Babcock, who's taken a look at Microsoft's declining revenues for Windows clients and concluded that it's time to toss the operating system--which allegedly nets Microsoft $34 per Windows XP installation--to the open-source wolves.
According to Babcock, sales and licenses for applications like Microsoft Office are the real cash cow for Microsoft. But how might a free Microsoft Windows operating system ease the bloodletting--defections of customers to open-source solutions for all their computer interactions? Read on to find out!
So, what is it about Windows 7's UAC that makes it vulnerable? As Zhen puts it:
Windows is a platform that welcomes third-party code with open arms. A handful of these Microsoft-signed applications can also execute third-party code for various legitimate purposes. Since there is an inherent trust on everything Microsoft-signed, by design, the chain of trust inadvertently flows onto other third-party code as well. A phenomenon I’ve started calling “piggybacking”.
To demonstrate, one of the many Microsoft-signed applications that can be taken advantage of is “RUNDLL32.exe”. With a simple “proxy” executable that does nothing more than launch an elevated instance of "RUNDLL32 pointing to a malicious payload DLL, the code inside that DLL now inherits the administrative privileges from its parent process "RUNDLL32" without ever prompting for UAC or turning it off.
It sounds serious, but before you jump to conclusions, join us after the jump for Microsoft's response and a workaround.