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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.