It all started with a phone call from my mom. While she’s not a regular Maximum PC reader, she read my Windows 7 review online, and called me because she was worried about the, umm, “colorful” comments. I told her not to sweat that feedback—that those folks are fanboys, people who suffer an excess of product-focused enthusiasm.
The conversation got me thinking, though. When I posted my positive review of Win7, I expected a strong response from the fanboy contingent. I expected people to accuse me of being a fanboy (that happened, check), and I expected my critics to attack my opinions (checkerino), expertise (Chekov), and moral turpitude (ditto).
I wasn’t surprised by the Windows XP fanboys, who let me know that their intractable world lacks a place for any new versions of Windows. Also not shocking? That the Apple fanboys are convinced that Snow Leopard is faster, better, and cheaper than Windows 7. And I would have been disappointed if the Linux fanboys didn’t tell me that I’m a dumbass for paying for an inferior, closed-source OS. What I didn’t expect? Well, what I couldn’t prepare myself for was the Windows Vista fanboy.
If you haven’t figured it out already, folks, its Windows 7 week. This week, we’re featuring downloads and web apps that will enhance the novelty of having a brand new operating system (it’s really a great thing, isn’t it?). We wanted to include a sleek looking, crystallized browser skin for our Firefox add-on of the week to match Windows 7, but we figured you’re already satisfied with Personas, so why not something a little more utilitarian? In comes Tab Mix Plus, which enhances Firefox’s tab browsing capabilities and gives you more options when you’re working with tabs.
The little software company from Redmond plans to open its second Microsoft Store on October 29 in Mission Viejo, California. The store will open at 10AM and, just like before, will feature live entertainment, this time from the likes of Justin Bieber. Customers can snag free tickets for the 5PM show at the Microsoft Store, which will be given away on a first come, first serve basis.
Microsoft will kick off its retail debut one week prior in Scottsdale, Arizona on the same day that Windows 7 launches. According to an ad in the Arizona Republic newspaper, the first 1,000 visitors will receive gift bags and concert tickets. Ashley Tisdale will be on hand to provide the entertainment.
Microsoft didn't say what else would be in the gift bags, nor is it yet known the company will be also be giving away goodies at its Mission Viejo location.
Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer is reporting that Steve Ballmer, in his keynote address to kick off Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference 2009 in Las Vegas, said the Office 2010 beta would be forthcoming, and that anyone will be eligible to give it a try. Up to now Office 2010 beta testing has been confined to a technical preview to a select few thousand.
Office 2010 is a bit of a hybridization, having computer, web browser (Office Web Apps), and smartphone (Office Mobile) components. Up to now only the Office Web Apps have been available for review, and only on Windows Live.
It’s odd to write those words, because most of the tech press has been using, commenting and reviewing Microsoft’s new progeny for months now. Maximum PC proclaimed it to be “unquestionably the best version of Windows that Microsoft has ever released, and is the true successor to Windows XP.” I’d certainly agree with Will Smith’s assessment.
Given all the hoopla, Windows 7 almost seems like old hat. (When’s Windows 8 coming out again?) But for normal humans who don’t travel at Internet speeds, Windows 7 arrives on October 22nd. And for Microsoft, Windows 7 is something of a missed opportunity.
To understand what I mean, we have to go back in time.
In just a few days, Microsoft at long last will officially release Windows 7 to an eager public ready to put the Vista saga behind them. It's a been a long wait, particularly for those who opted to stick with XP until something better came along, but no matter how you feel about Vista, it's been an even longer ride getting to this point.
With the release of Windows 1.0 way back in 1987, Microsoft set in motion a series of events that would ultimately change the way the entire world uses their computers. It's pretty amazing when you stop and think about just how many businesses around the globe rely on Windows.
Of course, Windows' storied history isn't without its many bumps and bruises along the way, from record setting fines for anti-competitive practices to controversies surrounding Microsoft's WGA scheme. As Microsoft gears up to release its greatest OS to date, we celebrate the occasion by taking a trip down memory lane to where it all began, and how we got to this point. We cover the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
With Windows 7 right around the corner, let the marketing frenzy begin. Case in point: According to AMD spokesman Brent Barry, all those Athlon II chips that recently rolled off AMD's assembly line are "fully optimized" for the upcoming OS.
"It was important for AMD to get in front of the pack for the release of Windows 7," Barry told TGDaily. "We are well positioned for it, with acceleration and virtualization support. Our drivers are all ready to go. From a CPU and graphics standpoint, we have a better start than Intel does."
Oh snap! But not worry if you've already invested in a Core i7 or i5 platform, it's not as if Windows 7 will suddenly refuse to boot i if it detects Intel inside. The point Barry is trying to drive home is that AMD owns the value market. By Barry's numbers, the AMD Athlon II X2 240e, for example, performs "up to 70 percent better" then similarly priced Intel silicon. Or take the Athlon II X3 435 chip, which AMD says offers a 75 percent boost in media and entertainment apps when compared to Intel's Core 2 Duo E8500.
On a less controversial note, Barry also said Windows 7 will likely help drive PC sales growth, whereas that wasn't necessarily the case with Vista.
Gateway has announced a new thin-and-light notebook lineup for the release of Windows 7 on the 22nd. The series is comprised of the EC58, EC54, and EC14. All will run Windows Home Premium, and will have multitouch trackpads. Gateway is also claiming that all the notebooks are capable of 8 hours of battery life.
The EC58 and EC54 are 15.6 inch laptops with high definition, LED-backlit screens. They run Pentium Dual Core SU4100 series CPUs, offering very low power consumption. They are, however, running an Intel integrated graphics solution. The units will have 4GB of DDR3 RAM loaded as well. The EC14 has a smaller 11.6 inch HD display, LED-backlit, and weighs in at a bit over 3 pounds. Otherwise, the specs are very similar. The EC58/54 will start at $649.99 and the EC14 will go for $549.99.
In a statement, Acer (who owns Gateway) Senior Manager of Product Marketing, Ray Sawall, said, “The new Gateway EC Series product lines were designed for the many PC users that have embraced the fun and productivity of being able to compute and stay in touch while away from their home or office.” We’ll have to wait and see if consumers agree, but at least this is yet another interesting product offering coinciding with the Windows 7 launch.
The Windows 7 launch is finally upon us, which means that a lot of people who skipped the beta and RC launches will be getting their first taste of Microsoft’s new operating system. This also means that a lot of people are going to have to make some decisions soon, like which version of Windows to buy, and whether to go with the 32- or 64-bit version of the operating system.
What’s that you say? “Shouldn’t everyone with a 64-bit capable CPU upgrade to 64-bit Windows?” Well, not quite. There are some major advantages to a 64-bit OS, but there are drawbacks to consider as well. In this article, we’ll describe the pros and cons of 64-bit Windows, so when the time comes to upgrade you’ll know which version is right for you.
For individual users the decision to upgrade to Windows 7 is straightforward--there’s only a PC or two to deal with, and our time is our time. For businesses, however, the decision is a bit more complex. It’s not just having to update multiple machines, it’s having to update the entire information technology infrastructure as well--which can be a costly proposition. And as their time is money it is not a decision to be lightly made.
Windows 7 won’t be officially released until October 22, but Dell is currently taking pre-orders for businesses on its Latitude laptops, OptiPlex desktops, and Precision workstations with Windows 7 installed.