The folks at WinSuperSite have discovered an Aero based feature of Windows 7 called Aero Shake which many of you Windows 7 beta users out there may not know about as it hasn't yet been talked about in the open by Microsoft, nor does it appear in the official Win7 beta reviewers guide.
The feature is called Aero Shake and it allows you to quickly minimize all other open windows in the background of your primary focused window (when not maximized) by simply clicking and holding onto the grabbable area of the window and shaking your hand left and right quickly. When you repeat the process, the other windows resort back to their original open position.
To better understand how it works, WinSuperSite has uploaded a short video of it that you can stream here. If you think the feature would be useful to you but don't want to move over to Windows 7 just yet, you'll be glad to know a free utility is is available which adds Aero Shake to Vista as well as XP.
It had to happen sooner or later. Someone has had...*gasp* a BSOD in the new Windows 7 Beta!
The unfortunate people to receive this life changing screen were the gang over at Gizmodo. They seem to feel that MS should revamp the BSOD and make it a little more informative.
However the issue they show in the screen is easily found; a quick search on Google and a load of information pops up everything from Logitech Keyboard issues to ATi drivers.
A funny thing though, it looks like they had at least an iPod plugged in perhaps it is not 7 to blame but iTunes...;)
Read more at Gizmodo.
It's good to see that Microsoft hasn't bothered to change the old Windows blue screen; and by good, we mean bad. Isn't it about time to fail a little bit more gracefully? Or at the very least, in a way that actually makes sense to end-users? The error throws up the driver that caused it (way at the bottom of the error) before automatically rebooting, but actually identifying it via which type of component it is-sound, video, USB, hard drive-would be useful for people who just want to know what they did to cause it.
With the new Windows 7 Public Beta now being freely distributed to millions of people until Jan 24 when they pull the plug, Ars Technica has provided a full insight which talks about its features, progress and overall characteristics which should help many of you determine whether or not you'd like to grab a copy yourselves and give it a whirl.
The full review can be located here.
Last week's CES saw the announcement of the much anticipated public beta of Windows 7, with 2.5 million license keys promised to beta testers on Friday. Friday arrived, and as is now well-known, Microsoft's servers melted under the load. The key generation is now more or less working, and the 2.5 million limit has been scrapped, so it's time to take a look at what's on offer.
The first public sightings of Windows 7 were at Microsoft's PDC developer conference in October last year. The lead-up to PDC was unusually secretive, with Redmond giving little away about what Windows 7 would actually contain when it shipped, in contrast to the extremely public lead-up to Windows Vista's release. The covers came off at PDC, with the star of the show being Windows 7's new taskbar. Unfortunately, the build that was given out to PDC attendees lacked the new taskbar, so the one feature we all wanted to play with wasn't actually available. The public beta, build number 7000, finally gives us the new shiny taskbar. If all goes well, this will be the only beta Windows 7 gets; a Release Candidate should land some time around April, going RTM in July, and hitting retail two to three months later.
Despite Microsoft originally stating they'd only be handing out 2.5 million product keys for a copy of the latest Windows 7 beta, due to some file hosting woes under the immense load when the beta became available and the frustration/delays to go with it, Microsoft has decided to lift the 2.5mill limit and allow it as a free-for-all until January 24.
Thanks to CNET for the heads up.
Many of you will have missed out on downloading a copy of the new Windows 7 Beta that was set for public release today; this due to Microsoft's download servers being overloaded to the point where they've had to pull it while they sort out some more/better servers.
But for those of you fortunate enough to have registered/nabbed a copy before the servers went down would have received free product keys for unrestricted installs. However, there was said to be 2.5 million keys lined up for distribution to downloaders and lifehacker reports that you may still be able to score one. It's certainly worth a shot.
Looks like the demand for Windows 7 has caused the download servers to become overloaded; at least according to a blog entry at the windowsteamblog.
This has forced Microsoft to delay the full release of Windows 7 while they put additional servers in place to handle the load.
Read the blog entry here.
As we reported yesterday Windows 7 Public Beta 1 has gone live today.
Well sort of live; as with many eagerly anticipated things there have been some difficulties. Many are reporting that they servers are slow, or not responding at all. Others can get the page to load but do not see the Download links.
But speaking as someone that grabbed it from a Technet account (last night) I can see hang in there it will be worth it.
Read more here.
Grab it from the CPP directly here.
Windows 7 is
the next release of the Windows client operating system, built on the secure foundation of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Performance, reliability, security, and compatibility are core tenets of this release as we collect your feedback to meet our engineering goals of making Windows 7 the best-performing and most stable Windows operating system to date. New innovations in the product are designed to augment your ability as an IT professional to better provision and manage increasingly mobile PCs, protect data, and improve both end-user and personal productivity.
See Windows 7 for yourself
We are inviting IT professionals around the world to work with the Windows 7 Beta in their lab environments and secondary PCs to help ensure smooth adoption when the final product is available and to gather feedback from real-world settings.
Windows 7 will officially make its Beta debut tomorrow. Although the new Beta has been available online from many download sites MS will push it out the door to the rest of the world in its CPP (Consumer Preview Program) One thing that has been noted with the leaked version is a lack of a 64 bit version of this new Beta (Build 7000). The Official MS download will have both X86 and x64 versions.
Microsoft has been quietly pushing Windows 7 as the next big thing. While many online sites seem to have shifted from hating Vista to loving Windows 7 despite their being built on almost the exact same code base.
I have played with the new Beta and while it offers a few new items there are many issues and is far from ready. So tomorrow head over and grab a copy but once you have it make sure you let MS know what you like and dislike (instead of just complaining on the web) so MS can make the needed changes to mold Windows 7 into a better product.
Windows Seven Developers Blog here.
Tonight we are specifically announcing that Windows 7 has reached a very important milestone in its development cycle: the beta milestone. And starting this week, the Windows 7 Beta will be made available to Windows enthusiasts interested in beta testing - giving people a chance to check out Windows 7 for themselves.
As of tonight, MSDN and TechNet Subscribers will have access to the Windows 7 Beta. Starting January 9th - everyone else will be able to go to the Windows 7 page on Windows.com and download the Windows 7 Beta. The Windows 7 Beta will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. The Windows 7 Beta will be download-only - we will not be sending physical media out.
Windows 7 Beta 1 was leaked to the torrent net this weekend, with the usual suspects hosting the files.
Windows 7 has caused quite a stir and has received more positive press than just about any other OS in MS history at this stage. Personally I find it very funny as 7 is nothing more than a Vista Kernel with a new GUI and a few basic improvements. Which makes me wonder where all of the anti-DRM fanatics are? This crowd lambasted Vista for its DRM and HDCP inclusions which are still present (and even more locked down) in 7 yet they are silent or praising 7.
To me it sounds like some hypocrisy is going on.
Theo Valich has more info on his blog here.
Colleagues at ZDnet also didnft stay astray; they downloaded the latest version (6.1.7000.0.081212-1400) as well, and posted a very detailed preview. Judging by their feedback, this beta is so stable that Microsoft does not need to work on W7 anymore. Given by sour taste left by Vista, I could not agree more. Cfmon Microsoft, release this baby as soon as possible.
When it comes to release date, it seems that my sources were dead right and that this operating system is on track with release in August 2009, in time for Back to School. Will we see 22 and 24 touch screens from Dell, HP and others in tandem with W7? That remains to be seen.
A chap over at ZDnet has been playing with the latest Beta 1 build of Windows 7 (yet to be made available to actual beta testers) and has kindly shared his experiences and views with us on how it's all shaping up.
As he has also used previous builds during the development phase, he has been able to see where Microsoft have focused much of their attention up until this point. Overall it would appear Microsoft are really onto a good thing this time around, doing away with excess bloat and making things much more streamlined, easier to use and faster to boot.
You can read the full review along with stacks of screenshots here.
Emil Protalinski over at Ars Technica managed to record what is believed to be the first look at the upcoming Microsoft Windows 7 boot screen.
It moves away from what we've seen in the past, such as a scroll load indication, to what could be described as something like a rhythmical heartbeat of Windows-like colors.
Look for yourself below.
Read more over at Ars Technica, right here.
With all the complaints and FUD flying about Vista many have seen the announcement of Windows 7 as the saving grace for MS. Despite being based on the Vista SP1 kernel and driver framework many still want to believe this is "Vista Done Right".
But, as with Vista, as the date of launch draws near we hear rumors of features possibly being dropped, the latest seems to be DX 11.
The gang over at PCGamesHardware.com have gotten an interview with Ben Basaric, Product Marketing Manager Windows Germany and have asked him some questions about the pending new OS from Redmond including if DX 11 will ship with Windows 7.
Read the full interview here.
PCGH: Will Windows 7 be delivered with DirectX 11?
Ben Basaric: That is to be determined yet. I could speculate, but that wouldn't help you. But I can give a tendency: unlikely.
PCGH: Will Vista drivers work on Windows 7?
Ben Basaric: Our aim is to make any program and driver that worked on Vista compatible to Windows 7. Therefore I can answer this question with Yes. There will always be the one or the other exception, but because of this we had switched the driver model with Vista.
There is nothing like having your Anti Virus decide that a Windows system file is a virus as certain XP users of AVG8 found out on Tuesday.
It seems that when coupled with the Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish language versions of Windows XP AVG 8 would tell the user that they had a Trojan and recommend removal of the offending bug.
Unfortunately this left most system completely unusable either in a reboot loop or unable to boot at all.
AVG did release a fix quickly to correct this
Read more over at CNET
On Tuesday an update for AVG 8 suggested that a Windows system file is a Trojan horse, and users who delete the file form the system could leave their Windows XP systems endlessly rebooting or unable to reboot at all. The problem only affects users of AVG 8 products running the Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish language versions of Windows XP. AVG immediately sent out a corrected update to its customers, including those using the free editions of AVG.
A representative for AVG said, "AVG is actively working to remedy the problem some users are experiencing related to the most recent update to commercial and free versions of AVG 7.5 and AVG 8.0 in some languages. A number of users who installed the update mistakenly received a warning that the Windows system file user32.dll product version 5.1.2600.3099 was infected with a Trojan virus and were prompted to delete a file essential to the operation of Windows XP."
During the Professional Developers Conference (PDC2008) this week Microsoft has given much more of an insight to their upcoming mainstream operating system; Windows 7.
It wasn't that long ago we saw the launch of Vista and Microsoft usually tends to allow their OSs to mature for a number of years before releasing a superseeding version. However, while hitting shelves this time next year, Windows 7 isn't so much an entirely new design; rather, it builds on the foundation of Vista.
With that said, Microsoft are making sure there is plenty of substance in the upcoming OS to persuade many to upgrade. Microsoft are more about user friendliness this time around with a lot of work being done to the user interface to make things a bit more logical and just generally cleaner, especially in the case of the taskbar which has been fully reworked with some neat little tricks.
Another nice aspect of the OS is it's said to be much more efficient than Vista (wouldn't be hard), requiring less power and RAM to operate smoothly at all times which should be a welcomed change for notebooks and their battery life.
Ars Technica has published a full preview of Windows 7 here, which gives a good idea as to how it's all coming together. You can also find a stack of screenshots and info about the OSs updated Media Center at Charlie Owens blog, who is responsible for its development.
At PDC today, Microsoft gave the first public demonstration of Windows 7. Until now, the company has been uncharacteristically secretive about its new OS; over the past few months, Microsoft has let on that the taskbar will undergo a number of changes, and that many bundled applications would be unbundled and shipped with Windows Live instead. There have also been occasional screenshots of some of the new applets like Calculator and Paint. Now that the covers are finally off, the scale of the new OS becomes clear. The user interface has undergone the most radical overhaul and update since the introduction of Windows 95 thirteen years ago.
Mike Nash over at the official Windows Vista blog has announced that the next version of Windows codenamed Windows 7 operating system has been given an official name, "Windows 7".
Microsoft intends on showcasing a pre-beta "developer only release" with attendees in the next month or so at PDC and WinHEC.
Supposedly Microsoft gave its upcoming operating system the name "Windows 7" for simplicity reasons and for it will be the seventh operating system from the company.
The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows. We've used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or "aspirational" monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista. And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, coming up with an all-new "aspirational" name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows.
You can read more over here at the blog.
No doubt for the majority of you who moved over to Vista, the words "User Account Control" (or UAC for short) was quick to raise its ugly head and give you a sour experience; until you found out the pesky and overly domineering 'security' feature could be turned OFF, that is.
Well, you'll be glad to know Microsoft are now acknowledging that UAC was certainly way too restrictive and has learned from its mistake. The giant software mob hopes to put things right with Windows 7; UAC will still be there, but the company will first and foremost tone it down so it's not so 'in your face'.
You can read about the on-going development of UAC and how MS plan to improve it at this blog page on MSDN.
Now that we have the data and feedback, we can look ahead at how UAC will evolve-we continue to feel the goal we have for UAC is a good one and so it is our job to find a solution that does not abandon this goal. UAC was created with the intention of putting you in control of your system, reducing cost of ownership over time, and improving the software ecosystem. What we've learned is that we only got part of the way there in Vista and some folks think we accomplished the opposite.
Based on what we've learned from our data and feedback we need to address several key issues in Windows 7:
- Reduce unnecessary or duplicated prompts in Windows and the ecosystem, such that critical prompts can be more easily identified.
- Enable our customers to be more confident that they are in control of their systems.
- Make prompts informative such that people can make more confident choices.
- Provide better and more obvious control over the mechanism.
A pre-beta version of Windows 7 will launch on October 27th, according to this story from Fudzilla.
With glamorous Los Angeles, CA hosting Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, between October 27th and October 30th, it seems that the Windows Vista successor will feature heavily in the line-up.
Apparently, Microsoft has promised to give away a 160 GB drive, containing a lot of beta and pre-beta software, with the most interesting inclusion being Windows 7.
The company's next OS, rumoured to be available in 2009, is set to debut support for some interesting technologies and we will keep you updated as more Windows 7 news emerges.
A fresh batch of Windows 7 screenshots have just appeared online over at this website.
The screenshots are of Windows 7 build 6780 and at this stage, besides the fancy multi-touch technology, it seems visually very similar to Windows Vista. Paint and Wordpad get some GUI tweaks and they do look much better.
Besides that though and maybe just a few tweaks to control panel options, at this point Windows 7 doesn't seem like anything to get super excited about.
As a quick heads up for those of you who make use of PhysX on your NVIDIA 8/9/GT200 series graphics card(s), there is a new build of the PhysX System Software available; Version 8.09.04, weighing in at 49.3MB.
This version supports both 32 and 64-bit variants of Windows XP and Vista. The release highlights include :-
- Supports for NVIDIA PhysX acceleration on all GeForce 8-series, 9-series and 200-series GPUs with a minimum of 256MB dedicated graphics memory.
- Experience GPU PhysX acceleration in several full games and demos today by downloading the GeForce Power Pack.
- Supports AGEIA PhysX processors and software runtimes (no change to PPU driver support).
- Includes the latest PhysX runtimes used in the latest game titles.
- Supports the following NVIDIA PhysX runtime engines: 2.8.1, 2.8.0, 2.7.4, 2.7.3, 2.7.2, 2.7.1, 2.7.0, 2.6.x, 2.5.x, 2.4.x and 2.3.x
- Supports NVIDIA PhysX acceleration on GeForce via CUDA 2.0 for SDK versions 2.7.3, 2.7.2, 2.8.0 and 2.8.1 (requires graphics driver v177.81 or later).
- The PhysX control panel can be found in the Windows Start Menu under NVIDIA Corporation.
Late last week, we covered reports claiming that the first Windows 7 beta release was heading for a December outing.
Now, however, if this article from InternetNews.com is to be believed, the Windows Vista successor has a planned release date for June 2009 - June 3rd, to be precise.
This information has apparently been sourced from an internal Microsoft calendar and, with Windows 7 being touted as an evolutionary step-up from Vista, it is suggested that a public beta will actually release on October 27th instead.
Whatever transpires, it certainly does appear that Microsoft is eager to put Vista out to pasture and, as the company steers Windows 7 towards general release, this is definitely one to watch.
The successor to Windows Vista may hit Beta status before the turn of the year, according to this report from ZDNet.
Whilst privileged few have worked with Microsoft on two milestone builds, namely M1 and M2, M3 will precede an actual Beta version of the OS which Microsoft hopes will repair Vista's poor image.
It isn't to say that there won't be some form of pre-beta build, such as a Community Technology Preview and, indeed, attendees of WinHEC in November will undoubtedly be hoping that Microsoft delivers some goods.
Yet, having said this, December does appear to be the month for the Beta process to commence according to unnamed sources.
Such a turn of events could theoretically put general availability of Windows 7, as it is currently known, in the late 2009 or early 2010 time frame.