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Microsoft To Kill Windows 7 Beta Februrary 10th

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the corking-the-genie dept.

Windows 216

mamaphoenix writes "Paul McDougall of InformationWeek reports Computer enthusiasts who want to get their hands on the trial version of Microsoft's next operating system have just two more weeks to do so. The company says it will end availability of Windows 7 Beta on Feb. 10. There are a couple of loopholes, however. Users who started to download the OS before that date will have until Feb. 12 to complete the process. Also, Microsoft will continue to distribute product keys beyond Feb. 12 to users who have previously downloaded Windows 7 Beta but have yet to obtain a key. 'We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs, so we are beginning to plan the end of general availability for Windows 7 Beta,' said Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post Friday. Microsoft will post warnings on its Web site that the download program for Windows 7 is about to end starting Tuesday. A final version of Windows 7, Microsoft's follow-up to Windows Vista, is expected to be available in late 2009 or early 2010."

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216 comments

Oops (5, Funny)

bwintx (813768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606591)

We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs...

Unfortunately, that's what they said about Vista, too.

Re:Oops (4, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606629)

Microsoft can never have enough beta testers as history has proven.

Re:Oops (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606673)

Or a long enough beta period.

Re:Oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606787)

I've submitted an invoice for my expenses & time as a beta-tester to sballmer@microsoft.com

Re:Oops (4, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607159)

Look, it's hard work building botnets. After all these years Linux *still* can't get it right.

Re:Oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26608363)

Rich And Stupid is not so bad as Working For Rich And Stupid.

Try working for indebted and stupid.

Re:Oops (2, Funny)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607893)

Microsoft always gets lots of beta testers for its software. I mean, every pre-SP1 operating system has been great beta programs.

Re:Oops (1)

Manuel M (1308979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26608079)

I don't think their problem is not having enough beta testers. More probably it's a shortage of time and competent software engineers who can turn bug reports into fixes. And, of course, the always underestimated effect of Brooks' Law.

Re:Oops (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606755)

Oh, I see, you are thinking they want enough beta testers to find all the bugs!

But maybe they are talking about filling the work queues for their engineers, not finding all the bugs, in which case, they CAN have too many beta testers.

Re:Oops (2, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606781)

Unfortunately, that's what they said about Vista, too.

No, what's unfortunate is not that Microsoft feels this way, but that KDE feels this way. Microsoft has a beta product that people are generally happy with (Windows 7). KDE has a released product that many people hate (KDE 4.x). I don't need to say that KDE is open source, and that things were reversed just one year ago, and all the other obvious trolls. I do however want to remind us that KDE doesn't really need users at all [kdedevelopers.org] . I have been using KDE for years and I've stuck with the 3.x branch while the 4.x branch is developing, but more and more often I feel pushed away. If it is simple usability reports that they are not interested in [kde.org] or other little things that add up in the KDE community. I think that they are really forgetting what is KDE [what-is-what.com] .

I repeat that I am a KDE user, but as KDE 3.x is being made obsolete I am looking for a new place to go. it's a shame because I love Kate, Konqueror, and Kontact especially. KDE 4.2 betas are beautiful and work like they should (Aaron Siego is a genius, what he has done with Plasma). But the developer community is scaring me away.

Re:Oops (-1, Offtopic)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606905)

A bit OT, but I would suggest you install the KDE apps you like, and then install XFCE, and run those apps out of XFCE, if you are really looking to upgrade to something that has a good 'current' branch, while keeping those old apps you like.

Or you could go Gnome, while keeping your preferred KDE apps.

Re:Oops (0, Offtopic)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606957)

Thats true. KDE has many useful applications which work perfectly under Gnome. You have to install some basic KDE libraries, but you don't have to rely on 4.x for everything.

Re:Oops (1)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607631)

Actually I tried that but one of the apps that I can't live without - Krusader doesn't work that well without the whole KDE ecosystem being started...

Re:Oops (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607093)

KDE has a released product that many people hate (KDE 4.x)

KDE4.0 and 4.1 were not great, but KDE 4.2 is an attractive and very usable desktop.

That's the great thing about choice though - all you need to do is switch to enlightenment/KDE or any other desktop and keep using the same apps you're happy with.

Re:Oops (2, Informative)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607097)

Try out the latest KDE 4.2 RC1 builds on any major distro of your choice. I'm running Kubuntu which has historically had many people complaining about breaking KDE, and even in Kubuntu 4.2 is a REALLY nice environment to work in. Major issues people have complained about are gone (you can hide or shrink the size of the taskbar, there is a quicklanuch applet that brings quicklaunch back to the taskbar, and if you hate the new KDE launch menu system there is a popular alternative called Lancelot you can use instead). Finally, if you don't like the new system for dealing with desktop icons (I personally think the new system is brilliant since I can represent multiple folders on my desktop at once) you can turn your entire desktop into a folder view with file icons anywhere. There are some VERY cool features in 4.2 as well, like plasmoids that actually work correctly, a compositing system that is better than compiz IMHO (less bling, more actual functionality), and most of the apps you love in KDE 3 are ported over at this point, but you can still run KDE3 apps in the KDE4 environment just in case they aren't.
    I though KDE 4.1 was barely useable, but at this point, 4.2 is my preferred desktop over KDE 3.5 or Gnome or the (surprisingly slow) XFCE. I will say that the 4.0 release was handled poorly. The KDE developers did try to say that 4.0 was intended for developers to hack on, but unfortunately the big 4.0 number seemed to attract distros that should not have released 4.0 as a replacement for 3.5. The KDE developers did have a good reason though, because 4.0 was a signal to KDE application developers that it was time to get on the ball and start porting things to the new infrastructure. KDE does not have a huge developer base, and resources can't be wasted on trying to develop for 3.5 and 4.X series simultaneously. 4.0 was the milestone where the underlying infrastructure was ready for developers to begin making the improvements that are now becoming visible in 4.2 and will only get better in future releases.
   

Re:Oops (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607139)

Really?

> you can hide or shrink the size of the taskbar

Cool, hiding and enlarging the task bar is the biggest reason why I stick to 3.5 (I assume if you can shrink it, you can enlarge it)

> there is a quicklanuch applet that brings quicklaunch back to the taskbar

#2 right there.

Maybe 4.0 should have been 4.-2, and 4.1 should have been 4.-1?

Re:Oops (0, Offtopic)

Vamman (1156411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607181)

Thank you SIR!

KDE4.x is the reason I switched back to Windows! It was just too much to bare. Inability to use older QT apps, difficulties with GTK apps. Whatever. The OpenSource solution is as bad or worse for someone with a day job. This is why desktop linux is no solution to average home users. Even with Compiz running I still couldn't take KDE4.x

Re:Oops (2, Insightful)

vyrus128 (747164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607269)

Wow. Has "KDE doesn't need users" been a Slashdot story yet? I know it's out of date, but really, that deserves some exposure...

Re:Oops (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607383)

I think it has.

Funnily enough, they're right too. They need contributors far more than they do users. It's a big shock to John Smith the user that he's not important and the centre of the world, I know. But that's just how it works, no contributors == no product, no matter how many people are using it.

Re:Oops (4, Informative)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607381)

First off, I'm not sure that you can take one blog post as representative of a community's position anymore than you can take a single response on slashdot to represent the community's position. For example, in this blog post, while I see what he's getting at, I think he's missing a bigger sociological issue: for many developers, it's the users that drive their contributions. If no one is using it, they may not contribute (as it may be working well enough for them). It's only when a user comes in and says, "hey, you know what? It'd be awesome if your product does X" that they may realise that, hey, it would be awesome. Maybe not for the blogger you linked to, but not only am I unconvinced that this is representative, but all we need to do is find a couple of developers who think the other way (as in my example) to show that KDE, like most OS projects, really does need users.

As for your "simple usability report" - I'd like to point out that KDE said there that they have UI guidelines that explicitly reject this layout. It's nice that they actually do have written usability requirements on their applications and that they enforce it. Now, we can all disagree as to whether the guidelines are appropriate or not, but it's a sign of a good organisation that they get these things down in writing so that their developers can concentrate on functionality rather than eye-candy. If the guidelines said that the toolbars were allowed next to the menubar, it would be just as good from the developer perspective - rather than debating whether to allow it or not, wasting a bunch of time on their own dev lists, they just know whether to allow it or not, and the problem is solved. Basically, what this means is that rather than having a conversation with individual developers, you need to have the conversation with the over-all KDE UI owners. This actually is good for you, too: if you convince them of its usefulness, you won't need to convince the owners of kmail, kate, konqueror, kontact, knode, ktorrent, etc. Most likely, they'll just make a change to kdelibs, and all of these will get the functionality for free. If you fail to convince them, you know better than to waste your time (or theirs) trying to convince individual devs.

Personally, having submitted many bugs to KDE, especially since I'm running the 4.2 snapshots as if it were production, I'm not finding the issues you have. My biggest issue is really turn-around time on serious bugs... I'm sure if I found the right developer in the project and handed him/her sufficient cash, that'd change. Or if I found the issue myself and submitted a patch, it might change.

Re:Oops (4, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607723)

Thanks, Tanktalus. You will see that a lot of KDE devs responded to Harris's post with "we _do_ need users!" posts of their own. And Aaron Seigo's refusal to remove the "cashew" turned out to be the right move after all. However, I feel that there are roadblocks _everywhere_ in KDE now, especially in the usability department. The HIG is being broken all the time, in fact, the HIG specifically forbids MDI but Dolphin, Konqueror, Kopete, and many other applications have tabbed interfaces. The person responsible for the HIG takes no outside suggestions and when people have asked how they can help contribute to the HIG, she either does not respond or she insists that users cannot be involved in the development of the HIG. She says that it is a "conflict of interest".

I also have filed hundreds of bugs for KDE in the past few years, and only lately have I felt that my input is not appreciated nor wanted. Of course there are exceptions, such as Aaron from Plasma, Peter from Dolphin, and the entire Digikam team. But Kontact is near abandonment, when the Bug Team tried to organize a Kontact Bug Day they were not interested. There are outstanding issues in moving events in Korganizer from years past, and they just keep adding up to the point where I am afraid to move appointments now. Kmail has certainly improved, though.

Little by little I am bleeding off KDE. I have moved from Knowit to Basket, found Basket terrible, and have settled on the terrific Zim. Digikam is being replaced by F-Spot next month. Thunderbird has already replaced Kmail, and to be honest I always used Opera or Firefox instead of Konqueror for browsing. With the exception of the KDE desktop, I still use Kate (VIM could easily replace it) and Kontact (which due to abandonment from the devs may need to be replaced anyway). So instead of the unified desktop that KDE was supposed to be, I am right back with a hodge-podge of unrelated applications and frankly, Window 7 is starting to look rather good. I have no problem paying for the software if it does what I need, and vendor lock in is not an issue in Windows any more than in KDE. I don't _want_ to leave the secure environment that is Linux, but I want a complete package that does what I need. KDE seems to have no interest in providing that anymore.

Re:Oops (1)

ArIck (203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606859)

It was enough for them to turn a decent OS into the POS it turned out. So yea it was enough for the engineering team.

Re:Oops (1)

Dale512 (1073668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607629)

I'd say they have a beta tester group the size of about 90% of the total market. Oh, you weren't referring to their "release" version....sorry.

SO WHAT? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606615)

Hey malda, didn't you get the memo? It's the year of linux on the desktop. Nobody here cares about a Windows 7 beta. Right? Right?

Last Call = Renewed Interest (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606635)

I guess the free press was starting to wind down so they needed to do something big to get people talking again.

Re:Last Call = Renewed Interest (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606753)

Ballmer could have a Ultimate Fighting Championship cage fight with Richard Stallman. If that doesn't work, then a "leaked torrent" of their source code.

Re:Last Call = Obligatory Fifth Element (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606991)

(Futuristic Urban Accent)

Last Call for Windows Paradise

Haurry Aup ... Haurry Aup...

Month (5, Funny)

mvanvoorden (861050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606683)

Februrary is not on my calendar :(

Re:Month (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607555)

Lousy Smarch weather!

I'm looking forward to my copy. (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606695)

I went to a MDC and they are supposed to be mailing all of us copies of it. I went there as a Java developer, and was very pleasantly surprised with what I saw that they're doing with .NET (especially F#, which would never fly with any of the groups that I know doing Java EE type work).

Linux users and developers should wish them well. Hope that they do the very best that they can and make an outstanding product. If Linux ends up overtaking much of their marketshare by default because it's another Vista-style dud, then it'll only be a matter of time before Linux undeniably becomes the next Windows.

Re:I'm looking forward to my copy. (4, Informative)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606807)

If Linux ends up overtaking [...] then it'll only be a matter of time before Linux undeniably becomes the next Windows.

Really? Why would that be?

Also, in which sense would Linux become the next Windows? Which salient properties of Windows would Linux acquire?

I think much of "what Linux is" is determined by two factors: POSIX standards and unix flavor, plus which distribution you use.

I don't think anyone would stray too far from the general POSIX-ness of Linux; what would be the point?

The distributions are more free to vary along other axes; mostly about how many and which choices they make for you.

[For example: I've heard that on Ubuntu, firefox talks to NetworkManager to find out whether the computer it's running on is on-line. Gee, that's nice except I don't use NetworkManager because it doesn't do automagic bonding.]

Since the distributions are free to be very different as long as they interoperate well, I don't think you can say that Linux will become anything specific; any particular distribution might, but the users will always be able to choose another distribution.

Unless of course your scenario is that most distributions die and one particular distributions gains most of the market share.

Re:I'm looking forward to my copy. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26608247)

I think "crushing vendor lock-in by monopoly" is the key defining trait of Windows, and it's hard to imagine Linux inheriting that.

bad headline (4, Funny)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606713)

Headline is a bit sensationalist...

They are removing the ability to join the beta, not killing the OS. I am pretty sure the programmers did a fine job killing the OS already.

Re:bad headline (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606795)

Headline is a bit sensationalist..

Mod Parent Up!

Re:bad headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606823)

"I am pretty sure the programmers did a fine job killing the OS already."

In which case the headline is not sensational, it is late news!

Re:bad headline (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607005)

Having a Beta, I would say it is better then Vista. It actually looks and feels more Linux a Linux KDE system. I can't really judge how much faster it is as I am only running it on a Virtual Machine, although it runs much better then Vista.

I would really suggest that as many people who hates windows to beta test Windows 7. And report the bugs or issues to Microsoft.

As 3 results will come out.
1. Delay the program for a decade again creating more hatred towards Microsoft for not having a good version. Thus creating more interests in Linux and Macs.

2. They will fix the problems and actually make it a really good OS. Thus we have a good OS to use that is PHB Friendly. As well enough to scare the Linux and Mac community a bit to get more innovation out of them, as both sides have been slacking off for a few years.

3. They will ignore our anwsers and nothing will happen in this case you can say I've told you so.

obligatory xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26608171)

http://xkcd.com/528/ ...better than Vista.

Re:bad headline (1)

winphreak (915766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26608177)

It actually looks and feels more Linux a Linux KDE system.

Freudian slip or subliminal propaganda?

Re:bad headline (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607051)

... the programmers did a fine job killing the OS already.

Unfortunately, the programmers didn't kill the OS, but turned it into a zombie. If you come into contact with this OS you become a zombie too. And the cycle continues.

Re:bad headline (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607653)

Yeah, I have to admit I was a bit miffed when I read the headline, thinking "Dammit, I just installed the thing. I haven't have time to really test much of anything yet." This makes much more sense.

Re:bad headline (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607707)

Well, at least this time they announce it. I went to one of their Server 2008 forums last year, and the promotional package contained a Vista Ultimate disc. When I finally got to build a new machine after Xmas, they had disabled the key dispensing website (the disc came with a key you needed to convert into a true install key online).

Desktop Readiness (4, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606715)

It's quite clever having this hugely open beta; they get masses of free testing, but under the guise of "Well it's beta...of course [prod_name] doesn't work!".
It's users that whine the loudest when software breaks; so letting every-day users test their hardware/software with W7 is as much about getting the Joe Sixpacks' to whine at their software vendors early on...rather than just Microsoft applying pressure alone.

Rather clever I think; it should make for a stable RTM all round.

The world is their test site (5, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606735)

Why have Beta when you can charge people for the first two or three test versions?

Re:The world is their test site (3, Interesting)

Zwergin (572487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606969)

Why have Beta when you can charge people for the first two or three test versions?

True. Oh wait... they already did that with Windows Vista, didn't they? I believe this is just a "refined" version of Vista with some more bells ,whistles and yet another new skin/look. ~Zwergin

Re:The world is their test site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606979)

Why have Beta when you can charge people for the first two or three test versions?

They already did this with Vista, and people were willing to pay MS twice to use XP instead. I think the latter is a slicker idea. A friend at work actually paid 3x for Windows when he got a new Linux machine. 1) XP ("downgrade/upgrade" option from Dell) 2) Vista 3) Site license for XP.

And to think that MS makes their money off of Office. Mind boggling.

Kill the download, not the OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606737)

It will continue to work after February 10.

Windows 7? (0, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606739)

All I need is KDE 4.2 on a stable distro but not Windows incarnations. The good thing is that it will happen tomorrow.

Re:Windows 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606987)

I dunno, man. I was really excited about KDE4 at least a year before its release. 4.0 was shockingly terrible. 4.1 is barely usable. It doesn't help that Amarok 2 is pretty crap as well. Or that the KDE4 port of K3b is thus far nonexistent.

Re:Windows 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26608311)

As somebody who has used both KDE 4.1 and Windows 7, I have to say that KDE 4.1 is terribad and Windows 7 is actually pretty decent. I still haven't found a truly compelling reason to upgrade a computer that's already running XP, but I won't object to buying a new computer with it like I did with Vista.

On the other hand, I rolled back to KDE 3.5 a week after installing 4.1. I tried to give it a chance, thinking that maybe I just needed to get used to it, but no, it just sucked.

Ninnle Labs responds... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606891)

All versions of Ninnle Linux and Ninnle BSD, beta or not, are available at anytime, a Ninnle Labs spokeperson said today. The current beta version is expected to be able to mimic Win7 very closely, thanks to settings available in NinWM. Ninnle Office, meanwhile, will be able to handle documents from any version of MS Office seamlessly, just as it always has done.

Re:Ninnle Labs responds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607647)

this is beyond old...

It means Windows 7 and Vista are the same... (0, Flamebait)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606903)

There are enough Vista Beta testers already and they've paid billions for the privilege. Windows 7 is just Vista with a new label.... why make the beta available when sheeple can be milked for billions for a more polished junk?

Re:It means Windows 7 and Vista are the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606939)

The fact you think this might make you part of a well established slashdot "groupthink" and maybe even a sheeple. I suspect the irony is lost on you.

Re:It means Windows 7 and Vista are the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607895)

Yeah. Slashdot groupthink has got less bad over the years though ... I suppose it helps that the quality of MS' wares has undeniably improved.

Good thing or bad thing (2, Funny)

taliesinangelus (655700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606919)

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that this story has not been tagged "andnothingofvaluewaslost?" Or am I just impatient?

Horrible headline (5, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607059)

Microsoft will "kill" the beta in August 1, that is, this is the date of expiration / time bomb.

Microsoft will stop distributing the beta in February though, a date that was extended from the previous due to the high demand.

What? (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607211)

'We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs

When can one have enough beta-testers? I mean, they're not doing this to satisfy their engineers, are they?

Re:What? (2, Informative)

warsql (878659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26608013)

I wouldn't want to manage 1,000,000,000 beta testers reports. After the 1,000th report of feature x breaking, the point is taken.

Re:What? (0, Troll)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 5 years ago | (#26608185)

I wouldn't want to manage 1,000,000,000 beta testers reports. After the 1,000th report of feature x breaking, the point is taken.

Lol.... but this is MICROSOFT. It's like the old question "how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop" ...except in this case it's 'How many times does a bug report need to be filed before Microsoft thinks it needs to be fixed?'.

Re:What? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26608107)

When you're getting more feedback (good or bad) than you can ever possibly trawl through, or when you're getting 50,000 reports about the same few items over and over.

Just long enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607277)

All they wanted was for critics to get a nice build of it to build interest and good PR. The artificial deadlines are just to speed up the critics and get them publishing their review. Getting the general public liking it was just a side effect.

Torrent versions should still work through July (5, Informative)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607283)

So the torrent sites have a bunch open activation keys... downside is that they expire a bit earlier than the ones you get from MS... I think July instead of August.

Anyway, I screwed around with trying to get Windows 7 working through official channels, but lost the trail shortly after validating my Windows Live! account, so I ended up throwing on a torrent'd copy instead.

My old WinXP laptop that we use for Netflix streaming suddenly caught the VirtualMonde trojan, and I haven't had a lot of luck with various removal programs. So I actually had a reason to try out the Win7 Beta on a spare partition.

I've never actually touched Vista, so I don't have firsthand experience with all of the annoyances that everyone complained about. So far I sorta like the Win7 Beta (the default background is actually a Betta fish, which is cute). Even on my older laptop (Dell Inspiron 8500) it would let me install the old WinXP drivers from the Dell site, and it only failed to recognize a few pieces of hardware out of the box (the NVidia card and the wifi modem).

I'm still trying to figure out how to make the taskbar smaller... I have all the icons down to 32x32 except for the "Start" menu icon which is still stuck at 64x64

The main problem is that the system freezes completely when I try to play a movie or open a picture. I suspect it's twiddling with the video card wrong, but I have yet to find the old menu to disable overlays in Windows Media Player. So I have failed to get it to serve its original purpose as a Netflix viewer, and we still have to boot back to the infected WinXP for that. I can keep the VirtualMonde popup ads under control if I run Spybot S&D for an hour or two after each reboot before opening up a browser. But haven't found any tool that can remove VirtualMonde completely, and it seems to have disabled Windows Update and the firewall.

Anyway, I'll probably toy around with it for a little while longer, and then install ubuntu again and see if I can get Netflix streaming working under that using wine or maybe WinXP under VirtualBox (so I can reset it from a snapshot when viruses hit).

Thought the /. crowd would enjoy this anecdote :P To be fair, this is the first virus I've found on my Windows box in several years, and probably the longest I've gone without having to reinstall to make it usable (I used to reinstall Windows every 6 months or so, and this image is between 1-2 years old).

In contrast, I've reinstalled my main Debian box 2-3 times over the past decade as I upgraded hardware and RAID configurations. But I've still held on to my original home directory and certain /etc files (some of my dotfiles date back to 1999) and of course with dpkg/aptitude it doesn't take forever to rebuild+reinstall the rest of the application environment around it like it does on Windows.

Windows 7, codenamed `Funky Monk' (1)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607297)

We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs...

Indeed, a Microsoft engineer was recently overheard singing:

Every engineer has certain needs

Talkin' 'bout them dirty deeds

To these needs I must concede

Livin' by my lowly creed

[paraphrased from Red Hot Chili Peppers]

obligatory commercial reference (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607311)

You McDougalls might know a lot about the Windows 7 beta program, but you have a lot to learn about women!

artificial scarcity (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607339)

In economics, it's generally known that reduced supply creates more demand, simply by the fact that we are "wired" to believe that rare equals valuable. It's also generally known that you can artifically create scarcity, to boost demand. That's the theory behind all the "just this week" or "sale ends on 31st" or even "only as long as supply lasts" sales labels.

Just saying, you know.

Re:artificial scarcity (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607711)

by the fact that we are "wired" to believe that rare equals valuable

This is pretty funny but true in a lot of ways. While The GIMP is open source and free to download for every major platform, I know lots of people who have a cracked Photoshop. I'd ask them: why bother with Photoshop, since you're not a professional and The GIMP is free? You typically get something like 'Photoshop can do more' while (for them) that's probably not the case.

Incidentally, a friend of mine breaks off dates early in the evening with the message "I've got another appointment", which he claims gives off a good signal. Same principle?

Why? (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607347)

Given that Microsoft has had a massive PR success with Windows 7 beta, why not just let anyone and everyone download it?

A bigger BETA test is better for Microsoft. More people using the Windows 7 beta means that more more bugs will be reported, it will lead to more positive press about the product and that will probably translate to more sales.

So I'll ask the question: Why kill downloads of the beta?

What purpose does it serve other than disenfranchising people who are hearing about Windows 7 through their geek friends?

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607481)

Microsoft is going to leverage that PR success by creating the illusion that windows 7 is a scarce resource and thus raising the price for it. This, of course, will result in a massive retail failure for the company. If MS just charged $80 for the full OS which can be deployed any number of ways, they could once again own the remainder of the market share.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607971)

- more bandwidth cost to microsoft,
- more bug reports have to be ignored because there are too many,
- more people will end up running the free Beta instead of buying the real thing if cracking the timebomb becomes trivial.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26608029)

It is called product awareness, or "the lollipop theory".
If you don't give a lollipop to a baby, he won't cry when you take it from him.
So, M$ gave us the Windows 7 experience, an experience so superior to any we could have from any of the amateur Linux flavors, or even the hippest Mac OS.
Windows 7 IS the best OS ever, that is a fact.
So, as we feeling all giggling and tingling inside, they take that beauty from us. And this will make us go sleep at the store lines 3 days before the launch of the official Windows 7.
And M$ wins once more...

ni6gA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607449)

at death's ddor OpenBSD guys. They

isn't too bad. (1)

eXFeLoN (954179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607687)

well, i know i'll not be popular for saying this. i don't mind vista. somethings are better than xp, some are worse. i don't have much choice in operating systems do to my gaming addiction. i've gotten 10 different 7 keys. just for the jollies, i threw in a harddrive and loaded it up. it installed on my modern system in about 25 minutes (i didn't watch it) finding all necessary drivers. a couple had to be updated to versions i preferred. it boots faster than vista (mine isn't that slow to begin with), from off to fully started in about 50 secs. i don't care if your's boots slower or faster, i'm happy with 50 secs. 7 seems (to me) to nothing than a repackaged vista, i'm guessing in a hope to get people over the fear/hatred of vista.

Free Windows 7 (1)

DaFilthee (1185687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607709)

Microsoft gave out free copies of Vista Ultimate to those who submitted bugs in the Vista beta testing program. So submit a bug, even if it's something small, and there's a possibility of getting a free copy of Win7.

more marketing stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607743)

Is MS being run by 1980s MBA grads?

This is NOT the way to use a public beta to market your product and does NOT help create user 'buy in'.

I wouldn't be surprised if they thought removing the download would make it more desirable.

Idiots.

Anyone else read 'Microsoft To Kill Windows'? (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26607829)

My brain shutdown at that point in the sentence in a state of orgiastic ecstasy.

I only tested the downloading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26608195)

I downloaded it 2.5 million times, and can confirm that downloading windows 7 works fine. Is there anything else that needs testing?

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