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First Look At Windows 7 Beta 1

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the piece-by-piece dept.

Microsoft 898

The other A. N. Other writes "It seems that Microsoft couldn't keep the lid on Windows 7 beta 1 until the new year. By now, several news outlets have their hands on the beta 1 code and have posted screenshots and information about this build. ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 column says: 'This beta is of excellent quality. This is the kind of code that you could roll out and live with. Even the pre-betas were solid, but finally this beta feels like it's "done." This beta exceeds the quality of any other Microsoft OS beta that I've handled.' ITWire points out that this copy has landed on various torrent sites, and while it appears to be genuine, there are no guarantees. Neowin has a post confirming that it's the real thing, and saying Microsoft will be announcing the build's official availability at CES in January."

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898 comments

They're glowing! (4, Funny)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249665)

The sound of ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 writers blowing their loads over this is deafening.

Re:They're glowing! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249715)

But will I be able to?

Linux has a habit of pissing me off, so if this turns out to be good, I may decide to take the lesser of two annoyances.

Re:They're glowing! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250111)

Maybe you should consider a Macintosh. It's not for everyone, but a full Unix environment just a terminal away. If you like to program, the APIs (Cocoa, CoreAnimation, CoreGraphics, Display PDF, etc) are much cleaner and better designed than Windows or GTK (I haven't looked at Qt since the 90s so I won't comment on that). That's why I upgraded from Windows XP to OS X. (I still need to run a couple work-related programs under VirtualBox/Windows XP)

why aRe:They're glowing! (5, Interesting)

irtza (893217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249741)

There are no new features in this build. If Microsoft has any new stuff lined up for the RTM then we're going to have to wait to find out.

All this talk about stable beta's seems a bit pointless. If you change the name and theme on the product, you can't real muck it up too bad. What's the point of this other than to try to put the name "Vista" in the grave?

Anyone know what these people are so excited about? Couldn't get much real info from the article. They comment that its snappier than other betas. How about compared to XP? That would be the real comparison I would like to see.

I am a linux person myself - Ubuntu on the computer I am posting from, but I did use Windows on my laptop before wiping it. I am also not opposed to having windows installed if I gain any benefit. That is what I want to hear from people, what are its compelling features (I don't play games).

Re:why aRe:They're glowing! (5, Funny)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249841)

All I learned from their screenshots is that it looks like KDE and that there's a picture of a fish in the wallpaper. Wow. Revelation of the day.

Re:why aRe:They're glowing! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250025)

It's slow as hell. as one of those that have ran it, I'll tell you right now. the speedy feel of the XP days will never EVER come back, until your computer has way more processing speed and data channel speeds that exceed what the newer Microsoft OS's will use.

I have Vista and Windows 7 running nicely. sata 15,000 rpm drives and hardware that is fricking insane fast makes it feel like XP on modern hardware.

posting anon to avoid being kicked by the MSFT NDA

Re:why aRe:They're glowing! (4, Interesting)

irtza (893217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250045)

so here is then the next question, are the added features of Vista/win 7 worth it? What do you have available that you did not previously and does this make life more efficient?

Re:why aRe:They're glowing! (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250167)

It's slow as hell. as one of those that have ran it, I'll tell you right now. the speedy feel of the XP days will never EVER come back, until your computer has way more processing speed and data channel speeds that exceed what the newer Microsoft OS's will use.

Not true... It just won't come from Microsoft. Linux, Solaris, *BSD, and Apple all have that snappy feel. Maybe Microsoft should look at the code in Linux. It is open... ;)

Re:why aRe:They're glowing! (4, Insightful)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250073)

I'd guess that 'black hats' are glowing because this gives them a good jump on:

1) finding out which security holes still exist from prior MS work, and

2) a good look at the "new" OS structure to find out what other holes might be there, well before final release...

Re:why aRe:They're glowing! (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250177)

All this talk about stable beta's seems a bit pointless. If you change the name and theme on the product, you can't real muck it up too bad. What's the point of this other than to try to put the name "Vista" in the grave?

To release the final Windows Vista as it was supposed to be?

ZDNet Is Full Of Pro-MS (3, Interesting)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249749)

They delegate Wal-Mart's selling the IPhone to a side note and instead are more concerned with Mary Jo's "Windows Name Of The Day" stories. ZDNet is the Enquirer of IT news.

World domination 201 (5, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249685)

Bye bye Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249727)

2008 was linux's last year on the desktop (tm)

in 09/10, seven is sending linux to heven (aka hell)

Waporware (5, Interesting)

Mr Europe (657225) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249747)

And we can start quessing which of the mentioned fine features will actually be in the release version of Win7. This has happened so many times before.
Remember when during waiting of win95 many magazines were worried what will happen to McAfee and other virus-scanner companies when the new windows is fully virustolerant?

Re:Waporware (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249967)

Remember when during waiting of win95 many magazines were worried what will happen to McAfee and other virus-scanner companies when the new windows is fully virustolerant?

Well, whatever one might think about windows 95, "virus-tolerant" is certainly an apt description!

Re:Waporware (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249977)

I think most will be in this time around, unlike with Vista, part because Vista was a more significant release, and part because MS at least claims to have learnt from their mistakes with Longhorn/Vista. There's some info on this online, but in general, they're more careful with announcing features this time around.

Re:Waporware (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250007)

There are no new features in this build.

I personally hope MS keeps it this way. Their idea of a 'feature' is usually the opposite of what customers want. Or so has been my experience.

why is this surprising? (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249759)

I don't see why this is surprising. This is just Windows Vista service pack 3 after all. Naturally the beta is going to be more stable than the initial Vista beta.

Re:why is this surprising? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249779)

Except that this one is prettier. Those techie nerds will love it when we steal KDE 3.5's look at make it Windows-y, right?

Doesn't look finished to me (5, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249851)

The task bar needs quite a bit of work. I bet that is one part of the OS that will change quite a bit from Vista. Looks like it is still a work in progress because right now it looks boxy and ugly.

It also looks like Aero wasn't turned on for these screen shots. Probably a driver thing. Vista without the glass doesn't look nearly as good.

I think like Vista, this version will be a lot of little things that improve the OS not huge ones. Then you'll go back from Windows 7 to Vista and go "jeez... how did I live without this Windows 7 feature" just like when you go back to XP and get pissed how crappy the taskbar is, how "in your face" the windows were, how crappy the file dialogs were, how crappy taskman.exe was, or how generally insecure the default setup was. Vista is a huge improvement over XP but it is hard to describe what improved. Just a lot of little annoyances are gone or smoothed out. Windows 7 will probably be the same.

And can I rant for a second? Look, I know why the ZDnet guys are doing this, but we live in Web version 2.0 these days and they could easily have made it so their gallery [zdnet.com] didn't require a complete page-load between images. But like I said, I know why they do require a page-load.

Re:why is this surprising? (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249803)

Well, I'm hearing claims that it will run well on a netbook with 512MB on ram and an Atom processor, which is a huge improvement over Vista. However, despite the supposed lower requirements and multi-touch gestures, I'm not sure what the benefits of Windows 7 are.

Re:why is this surprising? (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250019)

I agree, but, well, lower requirements is a big one. I remember an article in /. that pontificated that "Vista runs fine on any processor 3 Ghz and above" which is a bar that none of my computers can reach. Some are limited by architecture to 2 Gbytes ram, another buzzkill. (And why should I buy bleeding edge hardware -- in this economy -- to run Vista when XP runs fine?) If Windows 7 (any version) can run on netbook-level hardware, it actually has a chance in hell of replacing some of my XP installations. [1]

And yet... and yet, when Vista was still in beta, we heard reports that it was faster than XP, and look how that turned out. So we really can't go by the beta, we have to wait for reports about the finished product. And then we find out if Microsoft really has made an effort to make the codebase more efficient, or if their real plan was to wait two more years for the hardware to catch up with Windows' gargantuan requirements.

Before someone brings it up, I'm aware that much of Vista's performance issue was the way DRM was implemented. But since DRM is part and parcel with the operating system, it counts. It's the total end to end performance that makes the user experience, so it's not legitimate to say "the new OS really is much faster than the previous release, all those pauses and long execution times you're seeing is because the OS has to check every bit to make sure you haven't stolen something".

Assuming, of course, there is some new feature I absolutely have to have. I didn't see any in Vista. Yes, it had a snazzy new interface. But since I turned off XP's snazzy new interface and all the irritating special effects when I installed it, why would I base a buying decision on yet another snazzy new interface I have to turn off?

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250053)

However, despite the supposed lower requirements and multi-touch gestures, I'm not sure what the benefits of Windows 7 are.

Win7 doesn't really need any new benefits. The greatest benefit is that it's an update from XP which is pretty much stone age software now. Personally, I think Windows would be much more attractive if they started taking features out and letting customers set it up to do what they want on their own. Average users may not have as much success with it, but it would be a little more tech savvy if that's what they did.

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250171)

XP runs fine for me. (I run XP Pro x64 actually). If there is no new benefit, then it isn't really an upgrade. And the performance on Windows 7 may be better than Vista, but is it better than the performance of XP?

The only reason I keep a Windows partition is for gaming, yet I keep seeing users who can't install mods for games in Vista due to UAC, or games breaking due to UAC, poorer performance in Vista, driver issues in Vista, etc.

I can't see one single benefit of moving to Vista (other than perhaps a native IPV6 stack which I get from Linux, and I don't really need since I'm behind a router) and there are tons of reasons to avoid it. I'm just hoping that Windows 7 isn't the same situation. I don't need to touch my monitor, nor do I own a touch screen. So right now, I'm not sure how Windows 7 will benefit me.

Re:why is this surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250217)

Personally, I think Windows would be much more attractive if they started taking features out and letting customers set it up to do what they want on their own.

You're looking for nlite or vlite [wikipedia.org].

Re:why is this surprising? (4, Informative)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250069)

1) It won't be named Vista.
2) Supposedly, UAC is much more configurable, especially from the group policy angle.
3) Not as much bloat is supposed to be bundled. If you want all the default MS software, you'll go to Windows Live to grab it. Bloat being: Media Player, the Movie Maker, Picture Gallery, etc. You'll get IE (cause you'll need something provided to go grab the stuff) and you'll get a pretty plain OS otherwise. I'm a huge fan of that.
Other than that, I'm not sure if anything else has changed... But I expect that they've also worked on handling "very large files" and other stability stuff.

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250185)

In theory, if Windows trained users from day 1 not to run with admin rights, then we wouldn't have UAC issues. Apps that need rights to write to certain folders can be given those specific rights, and that can be handled in the installer for that app.

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249921)

I don't see why this is surprising. This is just Windows Vista service pack 3 after all. Naturally the beta is going to be more stable than the initial Vista beta.

The changes and additions that Windows 7 brings are more significant than you think. It's hardly a service pack because, as the name suggests, it would only pack services that need fixes. Although Vista isn't what many expected it to be, it's still fully functional. Windows 7 looks similar because it takes the best ideas of Vista and makes the rest of it better.

Re:why is this surprising? (2, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250023)

I don't see why this is surprising. This is just Windows Vista service pack 3 after all.

Not really, the idea of a service pack is to add new features and plug a bunch of holes, like when XP SP2 added the security center. My hope is that Win7 guts most of the 'features' that were in Vista.

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250137)

Yes, but, do you really think that's what's going to happen? Do you think Microsoft is going to do the right thing and rearchitect major parts of Vista for Windows 7? Even if they wanted to replace significant parts of the code base, they simply don't have the time.

I expect somewhat more than "lipstick on a pig", but I don't expect much more than what we got with XP SP1 -- lots of bug fixes and a few new features. Keep in mind that "hope" and "expect" are two very different things. Many of us would like to see Windows 7 be a significant re-write. But realistically, I can't see how that could happen.

Parenthetically, why are we all crouched over our keyboards on a Sunday morning?

Re:why is this surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250105)

"Insightful"...? Only on Slashdot!

Do these get better just because of time? (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249773)

Everyone seems to have the opinion that Vista was a failure. My wife (a non-techie) hates Vista because her ancient accounting app periodically crashes ever since switching to Vista. I assume many other people had the same sorts of issues with many other apps.

But now three years have gone by, and many of those apps have been patched, become obsolete, or replaced with working alternatives. That means the remaining apps are now in an ideal position to work correctly in Windows 7. Is it possible that Windows 7 could be exactly the same crap as Vista, but because so much time has gone by it doesn't matter as much?

I think we saw the same thing with the transitions from Windows 98 to Windows ME to Windows XP.

Re:Do these get better just because of time? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249953)

There is one other possibility, of course - that Vista never was crap, and the MS excuses about driver and application incompatibilities (such as your wife's accounting app) unfairly being blamed on Vista were actually true. And, if anyone were to give Vista a fair fresh look (Mojave? Win7?) they might conclude it's actually a really solid OS.

Nah, on second thought, that doesn't fit well with my world view. MS Sucks! Linux roxors!

Re:Do these get better just because of time? (5, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250157)

Well done.

But - You could see Vista as MS finally paying the piper for the insecurity that was MS-DOS, Windows 3, 95, 98, ME... And then still not enforcing any sort of security in 2000 and XP.

It all depends on what your angle is I guess. Vista finally made people annoyed enough that software writers had to actually think about running software in a moderately secure context... In that regard, it was a good thing. I might not particularly love the way MS handled it (say, compared to Mac OS), but it was still a step in the right direction.

If the Windows user base can finally be trained to run in a standard user mode, with proper mechanisms to perform administrative tasks, we'll all be better for it... and I'll give a lot of credit to the *nix communities for really pushing this need for all those years. A lot of us might hate MS for various reasons, but if they really can put out a better product, good for them.

I don't want excuses... (5, Insightful)

Sparky McGruff (747313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250193)

Sure, MS may be right about driver and application incompatibilities. But, when I bought a brand new laptop, pre-loaded with Vista, that has the Vista logo on the box, I don't want to hear that it's the fault of the network chipset provider that the wireless network works marginally at best. MS and the hardware vendors need to get their shit together, so that they don't tell me that a computer is "Win 7 Compatible" or comes pre-loaded with Win 7 when it really isn't.

If you're trying to install a new OS on an old machine, that's one thing. You definitely need to do your homework to make sure that the off-brand network card you bought will work with the new OS. However, a new machine pre-loaded with the OS should run. If MS can't make sure that the OEMs have working machines before they slap a "Vista" or "Win 7" sticker on the damn thing, they should stop making software, period.

Re:Do these get better just because of time? (5, Informative)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250055)

Most of the problems of Vista wasn't with Vista itself, it was with applications that were written poorly. I work for a company with ~2500 computers. We have over 10,000 unique pieces of software installed company wide. Many of those pieces of software were designed for Win95/98 and were only tweaked to work with XP. For example, they insist on installing to the root of C:\, the don't play well with multi-user installs, or they write data to their program files folder. I personally believe that Microsoft should get a medal for what they did with Vista, it's still a bitch to deal with, but they went out on a limb and tried to make programs behave properly. It's funny, if they hadn't done anything, people would have complained about the lack of security. They try to make apps behave like they do in other OS versions, and they get chastised endlessly. Hopefully you are correct and most widely used apps will be compatible with Windows 7. I didn't have any big issues with Vista, but many of utilities (A lot of it FOSS) I need to do my job didn't work under Vista.

Shill me one more time!!! (5, Insightful)

mcnazar (1231382) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249785)

Are Magazines/Tech review sites/Editorials real anymore or are they just industry backed reviews (aka advertisements)? Is advertisement driven content real journalism?

I remember almost every tech journal I picked up a couple years ago reviewed Vista as the "New Coming". Yet, a year later these journals are bemoaning how Vista "sucks" (which it does btw).

Excuse me for being cynical but I will take this review with a pinch of salt as other reports show that, at least benchmark wise, there is absolutely no difference between Vista and Windows 7.

As for Windows 7 feeling "so much more responsive".. well, depends who is paying you to write that review innit?

Re:Shill me one more time!!! (2, Funny)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249821)

Hey, dont judge them. After all, in today's economic situation, they do need to get paid somehow.

Re:Shill me one more time!!! (5, Informative)

sdkit (708082) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250015)

Excuse me for being cynical but I will take this review with a pinch of salt as other reports show that, at least benchmark wise, there is absolutely no difference between Vista and Windows 7.

There was one set of benchmarks that showed no improvement: http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/11/10/46TC-windows-7_1.html/ [infoworld.com]. There was another set of benchmarks done on a later build that showed improvements: http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=3182&page=1/ [zdnet.com].

As for Windows 7 feeling "so much more responsive".. well, depends who is paying you to write that review innit?

Cynicism, conspiracy and an ad hominem attacks all in one. You're going all the way to +5 insightful!

Re:Shill me one more time!!! (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250021)

It was reported all over the net: under Windows 7 review program, bloggers and journalists received copy of Windows 7 - installed on new and quite good laptops. No precise date is set on when they have to return the lappies back to Redmond.

Re:Shill me one more time!!! (1)

mixmatch (957776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250175)

This is new to you? Reviewers have been receiving PC hardware, Game Consoles, Games, and software for years now.

Re:Shill me one more time!!! (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250211)

Compare previous PR "Vista Beta CD" with new PR "Windows 7 with free notebook." Using car analogy: to test new iPod dock, Apple started giving away BMWs.

P.S. Also notice that no single review ever complained by installation process of Windows 7. With Vista number of glitches due to missing drivers was big.

Re:Shill me one more time!!! (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250083)

These people download and install unofficial betas of Microsoft OSes, they have to be Windows enthusiasts

Re:Shill me one more time!!! (1)

kingcool1432 (993113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250119)

Are Magazines/Tech review sites/Editorials real anymore or are they just industry backed reviews (aka advertisements)? Is advertisement driven content real journalism?

I remember almost every tech journal I picked up a couple years ago reviewed Vista as the "New Coming". Yet, a year later these journals are bemoaning how Vista "sucks" (which it does btw).

Er. So? They're shills when they say it is awesome, but they speak the truth if they say it sucks later on. Because you know, Microsoft only pays them to gush about Betas.

As for Windows 7 feeling "so much more responsive".. well, depends who is paying you to write that review innit?

Check out http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/10/1522246&from=rss [slashdot.org] . Even though the article does look at the perceived increase in speed with one raised eyebrow, the comments in that article should be pretty insightful.

This beta exceeds the quality of any other Micro.. (3, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249799)

"This beta exceeds the quality of any other Microsoft OS beta that I've handled."

Is this person a politician because that is saying nothing.

Too bad 2009 is going to be another year of hearing Microsoft lies and exaggerations regarding yet another Microsoft OS release. BFD, is what I say after 20 something years of the same junk year after year after year. I gave up when Windows 2000 came out and they started shoveling more user level stuff into the kernel and they never fixed the security system. That was in 1999, over 8 years ago and they still are trying to build an operating system worth a hill of beans. Well, it's all about marketing at MS so what you see in print is not what you get and never has.

in 2009, I'll be wading through the MS marketing drivel for what's going on in the embedded, netbook, and MID areas with regards to the ARM Cortex chips and especially the A9 dual core versions. A8 is amazing on the performance front and power front. This should prove very interesting along with what Android, Ubuntu, and others do on these platforms.

So long MSFT, 2009 is probably going to be another tough year of marketing against real solutions. And though you may have smashed the OLPC and dashed their plans of helping millions of children, they kicked off a resurrection of the light weight small form-factor device you just can't compete on. IMO.

LoB

Re:This beta exceeds the quality of any other Micr (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249859)

Hell yeah! Keep raging against that machine!

No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (4, Interesting)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249823)

Rather than wasting our time with a new GUI, I'd like to see Microsoft get the ball rolling on full, proper migration to 64 bit. Perhaps I'm a "power user" but for a sound designer, this 2 gig limit per app/~3.5 max feels more and more like 640 kb all over again.

(Unfortunately, the existence/popularity of 32 bit windows precludes the vendors of software such as Cubase and the likes from actually doing a proper job of putting out 64 bit software).

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (5, Interesting)

talz13 (884474) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249909)

Yes, I was disappointed when I heard that vista was going to have a 32 bit version. If microsoft wants to push the transition to 64 bit, they really need to make a 64 bit only version.

Also, please drop the 6 editions and go back to home and pro. If you want windows in a developing country, either pay for it, download it, or make microsoft price it at what the local market will bear.

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250049)

Making a 64 bit only version wouldn't push people to switch, it would make many maintain the old OS instead of buying the new. You must realise that many people (myself included) still has CPUs which only support 32 bit.
Now, if they're only released a 64 bit for OEM (forcing new computers to have support), that could help the switch.

But I agree on the Home and Pro, but I doubt Microsoft will "return" to them.

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250133)

Now, if they're only released a 64 bit for OEM (forcing new computers to have support), that could help the switch.

Then we would have a headline on Slashdot shouting "MS forces 64bit down the throats of people" and stories about how poor grandmas are unable to run their 32bit drivers for knitting.

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (3, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250091)

There is simply no way for them to do that without alienating TONS of business customers.

Look at it this way, I work at a college, we have thousands of computers. Only maybe 100 of which replaced in the last year are able to support 64bit operating systems and those still only have 1 -2 gigs of ram. If they released 64bit only the chance that we would switch anytime in the next 7 years (which would be how long it is going to take on our 5 year amortization cycle) is zero. We would be forced to continue to use XP, or migrate to linux.

I suppose vista could be an option in that case. However, our plan was to skip vista in the hopes that by the time Win7 was released many of our software vendors would have upgraded their applications to run properly on vista and windows 7. If microsoft released a 64bit only win7 then many of those vendors would probably skip fixing their 32bit apps to run on vista and thus require us to move to 64bit windows 7. Faced with such a huge cost in hardware to do that, I'm not sure what we would do.

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (1)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249989)

but for a sound designer, this 2 gig limit per app/~3.5 max feels more and more like 640 kb all over again.

You are more than right. Imagine that I am actually working with 1080p 4:2:2 uncompressed video...

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (1)

maird (699535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250093)

Linux has an unfair advantage there (I for one am happy about it). Windows just isn't very portable - the original NT HAL portability notwithstanding. There are too many system calls - too much of the Windows SDK is in the kernel. I suspect the only way Microsoft can really have programmers migrate to 64 bit apps is to have parallel interfaces with different function names in the kernel (even more massive kernel and more maintenance); or parallel interface libraries with different names in user space (even more files and more maintenance) or shim libraries in user space. Only the last one is easy for developers but would run slower. Even then it's only easy if a developer can re-compile absolutely everything in their app or everything they can't compile is available as a 64 bit shim library. Given the amount of things that developers depend on (countless third party custom controls; ActiveX controls; libraries; etc) I see a migration of Windows apps to 64 bit happening tortuously slowly. I suppose .NET was always supposed to be the way out for Microsoft...

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250097)

It's not Microsofts fault that someone like steinberg doesn't update their software to run properly on 64-bit...64-bit Vista runs great in my own opinion...(I run Nuendo, and it looks like they are FINALLY about to release a 64-bit final version...

Eh? (2, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250135)

I'm no fan of MS, but what exactly do you propose they do? They offer 64-bit variants that can run 64-bit applications of their supported platforms. They provide the platform to allow this specific thing. They provide the tools to develop for this.

What you have is commercial application providers flat-out ignoring 64-bit capability, as it is easier to target the 32-bit subset that works both on Pentium 4 and such and new. You have to make the vendors release 64-bit enabled builds. Linux suffers from this as well, to a lesser extent. In the OSS world, they rebuilt 64-bit readily. However, Acrobat, Flash, Sun JRE all took a long time or are still taking time to completely support 64-bit. The commercial world just has a hard time justifying bothering where there is backwards compatibility and 99.9% of their usage won't exceed the limit per process restrictions.

MS could have not published any 32-bit platform to accelerate ubiquity. Imagine the backlash at not supporting Core and Pentium 4, requiring those users to go to Core2 or Athlon64. Even then, it wouldn't have alleviated the issue as these vendors would still want to sell to XP users. MS could have omitted 32-bit compatibility, completely shooting backwards compatibility in the foot.

So while I'm not crazy about Windows, their x86_64 bit strategy is not any worse than other platforms, it's the commercial third-parties that cause your grief.

Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (1)

Geekner (1080577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250187)

They are actually working towards 64bit. Many new computers with 4+ gb of RAM have Vista 64bit by default.

Microsoft made 64bit compatibility a requirement of the "Certified for Vista" logo. (Vista cert requirements, converted from .doc by google) [74.125.95.132]

Of course, that does not mean everyone offers 64bit software, but 64bit is quickly gaining marketshare. There's also the fact that most Linux distros have offered fully 64bit versions for years now, that's the benefit of open source.

Compare with XP (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249855)

Comparing Windows 7 to Vista is useless, at least to someone like me. I love XP, having never had any serious problems with it whatsoever. It's by far the most stable OS I have ever used. Tell (and prove to) me that Windows 7 is better than XP, and I will show great interest in switching. Tell me 7 is better than Vista, and you don't have a chance.

Re:Compare with XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249915)

good thing they dont care about your thoughts.

in fact, all they care about is public perception, and the perception of tech blogs isnt the public perception.
If it was, Apple would be dead in the water and Linux would rule on desktops.
Apple and Microsoft would be dead in the water on mobile phones and android would rule them like the one ring.
Apple would be dead on the PMP market and only fully open non drm music would sell.

funny thing about tech blogs.

they think they are way more important than they really are.

Re:Compare with XP (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250127)

I was just about to post it, thanks for beating me to it (read: Hey, I wanted that karma!).

It feels a little like the new coke deal. We wanna switch the formula to something cheaper and people would notice the change, so we introduce something crappy, wait 'til everyone hates it, then come back with the "old formula" and have people praise it how much better it is than the crap we shoveled out the door in between.

I don't care how Win7 compares to Vista. If it was worse, I'd lose any hope for MS, so it better be better than Vista! The key question is, how does it compare to XP? How does it compare to 2k? Those were decent, useable versions that performed pretty well. And I do expect Win7 to be better or offer me something I don't get from neither XP nor 2k, or, again, I see no reason to switch.

No, Compare with 2K (4, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250151)

Why not compare with 2K ? Also, 2K is better than XP by the same metrics you mentioned. Then why are you running XP?

There is nothing wrong with it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249861)

Just remember to wash your hands after you are done dear.

I wonder if there's a pre-attack on reputation (-1, Troll)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249873)

Vista took so long to get to "release" mode, and even then most people saw it as very expensive "beta" quality, and not great beta at that. I wonder if this is a planned attack to make sure that when people think "Windows 7" they think...."hey, the beta was brilliant, it can only get better". This plan (if successful) avoids the more honest label Vista got as an anchor around it's neck.

The problem we have with any Microsoft products and services, is that for the most part, they are shit....pimped by "independent" sources all spouting what Microsoft pay them to. The bullshit pipes are well oiled by now that you almost have to assume that any source of positive news for Microsoft is paid for by Microsoft. They are very rarely genuine independent reviews. They have not only made their own beds for this assumption, they made the bed factory and all the linen......and patented all the processes involved.....including "closing eyes for extended period to recharge". LOL

Who knows though, they may have it right......eventually. Even a stopped clock tells the correct time twice a day.

List of changes between it and Vista plz. (4, Interesting)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249887)

What are the improvements? Have they added in WinFS yet?

Re:List of changes between it and Vista plz. (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249957)

"What are the improvements? Have they added in WinFS yet?"

They tried to - they're in the process of copying the files now ... the dialog box says "Copying files" and to please wait another 10.459 years for the operation to complete ...

Re:List of changes between it and Vista plz. (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250017)

Heh, WinFS... It's such an easy troll target... ;)

The storage system (not its own file system) called "WinFS" was released as Beta 1, but later cancelled, with components of it ending up in SQL Server 2008. It was later assumed to be dead for good, but Ballmer said in late 2006 that it was still being worked on, although he was not clear on in which products it would end up in. For all we know, the team could be working with the SQL Server team now.

This is among the last pieces of good actual info on this project:
http://blogs.msdn.com/winfs/archive/2006/06/23/644706.aspx [msdn.com]

Windows 7 will not include WinFS, and it was never announced for it.

Re:List of changes between it and Vista plz. (1)

EXMSFT (935404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250115)

The WinFS team WAS the SQL team, from the beginning.

WinFS was a bad design from the get go, and no, it won't be in 7. The ideas behind WinFS were fundamentally flawed - you should be thankful that it isn't in there, and just hope for proper filesystem indexing and search.

Re:List of changes between it and Vista plz. (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250037)

WinFS was dropped from Vista like 4 years ago and the was was integrated into SQL Server. And it was never talked about again by MS. Where have you been?

All the fun of a recession (5, Insightful)

igb (28052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249901)

Axioms:
  1. Consumers don't put a new OS on Wintel platforms, they buy a new system.
  2. Businesses don't spend money without some sort of justification.
  3. Moore's Law is now adding more cores and threads, not more mippage on a single task.
  4. Disks, RAM and other drivers of new equipment purchase are pretty much ``as much as you want for as little as you want''.
  5. Netbooks and small laptops are the current hot items.
  6. XBoxes and the like are providing gamers with an alternative to PCs
  7. The economy has tanked since Vista shipped.

All that being the case, why on earth do we care about Windows 7? If Microsoft couldn't get people to migrate off XP with benign economic circumstance and ready availability of credit, why do we think it's going to happen this time?

ian

Re:All the fun of a recession (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249949)

RE:why (what) do we think it's going to happen this time?

more people will either keep eXPee, or grab a free Linux distro is what i think will happen, the tighter the budget the less people are willing to spend money on expensive luxury items like a new PC for personal use or retail copy of windows-7

What recession? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250009)

It sounds like the world will no longer exist tomorrow. The so called recession is mostly a psychological problem. The economy goes down by 1 or 2 percent, that is not much. All the other effects like doubling unemployment rates are only the product of exaggeration in the media and by the corporate managers.

Re:All the fun of a recession (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250027)

The new system will come with Windows 7. Adding more cores and threads will make Windows 7 seem faster than a slower system on XP. Same with cheap RAM and disks. Windows 7 is supposed to be running really well on netbooks.

Re:All the fun of a recession (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250041)

It seems like the best thing they could do in these circumstances is to make Windows easier to pirate. Didn't Gates himself say something about how Windows has a much wider adoption in areas where it's easier to pirate? I'm sure more than a few people looking at a linux distribution would reconsider if the new windows was "free."

Re:All the fun of a recession (2, Funny)

gargletheape (894880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250067)

The economy has tanked since Vista shipped.

You think Vista caused that? I don't see any evidence, but somehow it seems plausible.

Re:All the fun of a recession (2, Interesting)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250125)

With Vista as my only option, my plan was to stick with XP as long as humanly possible. I have my own volume-licensed copy of XP Pro, so it's a somewhat realistic plan. If Windows 7 proves to be as high-quality as the pundits claim, that might just be enough to make me leave XP.

As for the axioms, while they may be generally true, they're not universal:

  1. I've updated my desktop from Win2k to XP, my dad's desktop from Win98 to XP, and a friend's laptop from Win2k to XP. So it happens.
  2. Agreed. However, "XP going end-of-life" constitutes justification. Other possible justifications: "IE8 not supported on XP" or "Office 200x not supported on XP".
  3. Agreed. And Windows 7 provides better support for a high number of cores. So, if anything, the move towards parallelism is one reason to care about Windows 7.
  4. Agreed. On the other hand, I/O bandwidth is not "as much as you want", so the manner in which the OS manages that bottleneck is important. Also, since the new OS will undoubtedly be installed on some systems that are still constrained to 3GB "effective" RAM, memory footprint is still important. Furthermore, as the industry continues to move in the direction of SSD sinstead of HDDs, it may become desirable to use an OS that is optimized for solid state disks. XP and Vista are not. Windows 7 might be.
  5. Yes, they are. And one of the supposed benefits of Windows 7 over Vista is improved power efficiency, which would be a useful feature for Netbook users.
  6. So? If anything, this is a reason not to be excited about any PC operating system, not Windows 7 in particular.
  7. Same as #6.

To answer your final question, because:

  1. Vista is ass. Windows 7 is apparently "not ass". Presumably some people would have migrated off XP if there was a newer version that was "not ass". Now there will be one.
  2. When Windows 7 is finally released XP will be "even older" than it was when Vista was released, and hence even closer to end-of-life. That provides extra motivation for people to move off the old technology.
  3. In keeping with the previous bullet, Microsoft may start dropping support for XP in their other products. That will motivate a lot of people to upgrade.

Really, though, I don't care what everybody else does. I'm "mildly" looking forward to Windows 7 for the simple fact that it gives me a viable upgrade path from XP.

Re:All the fun of a recession (1)

igb (28052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250165)

I've updated my desktop from Win2k to XP, my dad's desktop from Win98 to XP, and a friend's laptop from Win2k to XP. So it happens.

Slashdot readers aren't representative of the market at large. I've moved the same laptop between two versions of Windows, two Linux distributions and two major releases of Solaris. This does not read across into the population at large.

Re:All the fun of a recession (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250183)

Slashdot readers aren't representative of the market at large. I've moved the same laptop between two versions of Windows, two Linux distributions and two major releases of Solaris. This does not read across into the population at large.

Which is why, in my post, I said:

As for the axioms, while they may be generally true, they're not universal:

Re:All the fun of a recession (1)

mixmatch (957776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250131)

Microsoft's interests are pretty clear here. Vista is a non-seller, and every day that its out on store shelves Microsoft is losing potential revenue to its bad street-cred. Regardless of how many people actually buy Windows 7, it's still crucial to release it as soon as possible. It might not be something the masses will clamor for right away, but its the idea is to hush the people screaming and moaning about Vista.

Where did I see that look? Humm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249941)

Nice article. Screenshots tells a lot from a OS.
*shrugs*

So congratulations, from that pictures I can tell that Microsoft R&D Lab had a great time installing KDE 4 and plasmoids while the core Microsoft team was busy masquerading Vista.

Give me a break!

Better than the rest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249951)

Apple has decided to ditch MacWorld because they havent got "$now Leopard" ready for release, and they are still dealing with bricked and mooing macbooks.

Meanwhile Ubuntu 10.4 "Manic Mouse" will not work with your graphics card and XP SP4 will be patched to not work with Core i8 and Atom 2 processors, So you WILL be using 7 whether you like it or not. Plus you will be driving a Bailed out "Big3" SUV powered by "Freedom Gas".

You voted for "Change", and now you have it.

Looks promising (1, Interesting)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249963)

Finally it looks like Microsoft are doing what they should have done with Vista. It's more stable, they've finally fixed the taskbar, got rid of the ridiculous sidebar and seem to have made it a lot quicker, according to the reports I've read. I've not used it myself yet, but after the disaster that was Vista, as they say, things can only get better.

Links to the torrent (for Google impaired folks) (5, Informative)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249969)

File name: Windows.7.Beta.1.Build_7000.0.081212-1400_client_en-us_Ultimate-GB1CULFRE_EN_DVD.iso [MSDN iSO]
Size: 2,618,793,984 bytes (2.44 GB)
http://www.mininova.org/tor/2123650 [mininova.org]

Links to the torrent (for Google impaired folks) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250209)

Click here [ubuntu.com] to download a real replacement to previous versions of Windows.

Where did I see that look? Humm... (0, Redundant)

miknix (1047580) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249979)

Nice article. Screen shots tells a lot from a OS.
*shrugs*

So congratulations, from that pictures I can tell that Microsoft R&D Lab had a great time installing KDE 4 and plasmoids while the core Microsoft team was busy masquerading Vista.

Give me a break!

Re:Where did I see that look? Humm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250071)

So congratulations, from that pictures I can tell that Microsoft R&D Lab had a great time installing KDE 4 and plasmoids while the core Microsoft team was busy masquerading Vista.

Give me a break!

Oh, so MS finally made KDE4 stable and usable?
About time.

I hope that isn't the final look and feel (1)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249991)

Looks like a step back in the eye candy department. Maybe the author of the screenshots had the aero stuff turned off? It looks awfully flat and plain.

Viruses and Trojans Still a Problem (4, Interesting)

shatfield (199969) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250011)

I just had to repair a friend's Vista PC which had 3 Trojan programs running that had taken control of her internet even though Kaspersky antivirus was installed. The Trojan had worked its way onto her computer via a P2P program that her daughter was using to get music, and that stopped Kaspersky from being able to update its definitions, which it was set to do every day. I couldn't even go out to Microsoft's Windows Update site to get Windows updates, and Windows Defender (which was also installed and running) was disabled by one of the Trojan programs. It took me over an hour to clean it all up and get her machine running properly again.

Not even 2 antivirus programs could stop this from happening on the latest Windows PC.

This is what is stopping me from being even the slightest bit excited about Windows 7.

Re:Viruses and Trojans Still a Problem (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250129)

anti virus programs won't stop trojans. What you need is a specific trojan killer. I use prevX myself.

My son just had his PC hit with a driveby download on a hacked WoW site, and it started the old familier popups and fake windows security centre icon thing. I installed prevx and ten minutes later the trojan, which got past his AV software, was history.

The only issue, if its an issue at all, is its subscription based, and you can't get it to work without paying, because it uses their online database to work out what the malicious software is.

I'm happy to pay though, its saved me from re-installing three machines now.

Windows Y Beta is better than Windows X release! (0, Troll)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250043)

Same story everytime. Journalists just go crazy for the Beta, and so do most fanboys. They'll claim the Beta is so stable, moreso than the previous release. We saw the same thing with Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, etc.. Then the release comes and it's like a cold shower as people without the rose painted glasses get their hands on it. I'm glad I'm not stuck running Windows anymore.

Re:Windows Y Beta is better than Windows X release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250169)

Same story everytime. Journalists just go crazy for the Beta, and so do most fanboys. They'll claim the Beta is so stable, moreso than the previous release. We saw the same thing with Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, etc..

No "we" didn't. You just made that up.

Tom Payne (0, Flamebait)

boredhacker (1103107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250063)

In 1984 mainstream users were choosing VMS over UNIX. Ten years later they are choosing Windows over UNIX. What part of that message aren't you getting?

How sweet of them! (4, Funny)

aGF2c2hleA (1370123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250087)

I think their plan is to mimic the look and feel of Gnome or KDE, you know, to ease the transition for mom and pop when they switch to linux

Re:How sweet of them! (1)

JTorres176 (842422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250141)

I was actually quite surprised by looking at the screenshots. It seems that with every new release of windows, it looks more and more like KDE.

My favorite saying was "if you want a very pretty operating system that doesn't work with all of your favorite old software, just install Kubuntu... er, I mean Vista!"

Same Desktop UI model we've had for the last 15yrs (2, Interesting)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250147)

Even with amazing projects coming out of the Microsoft labs like SeaDragon and Photosynth, we're offered up the latest generation of Windows with the same, exact model of desktop, start menu, icons, folders, etc. It just looks like next genetic descendent in the Windows line to me -- the only difference is smoother palettes and corners to mimic 'whats hot' in computer UI design these days.

One could say that the 'future' of desktop UIs was paved by Enlightenment which truely started branching away from the Windows and Macintosh genetic lines, but we need something more.

We need the equivalent of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Remote [wikipedia.org] Apple remote for desktop management, not the shape, size or number of buttons -- but the idea that less is more, context is key and that it's about providing the user with enough to get their work done, not providing so much that they get lost.

I don't want eye candy. I want functionality that makes sense because it couldn't be any easier.

Installed it already (1)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250213)

I installed Windows 7 yesterday and it seems that this is the OS
that Vista should have been. Much more responsive and boots a lot
faster. Haven't tried copying any large amount of files though...

I am going to try installing Steam and Crysis tonight and check gaming
performance (if the games work at all, that is).

Who would want the pirated version? (5, Funny)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250221)

I can understand somebody wanting the pirated version of a video game, or even a release-version of an OS, but who in their right mind would tie up their Internet connection for a day and risk the legal trouble and possibility of a virus/worm/backdoor to download a beta copy of an operating system that's built on the most reviled version of Windows since WinMe?
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