(Source: Microsoft)
Someone let the cat out of the bag

When Microsoft recently aired exclusive details of the upcoming Windows Vista successor, Windows 7, with the release of its pre-beta to a select developer crowd at the Professional Developer Crowd, Microsoft wanted public attention for the new OS. 

However, the pre-beta has found its way into the torrent community and is burning up the download queues as everyone wants to be the first to preview the new OS.  The OS was available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions on The Pirate Bay and Mininova as of Friday night.

Many of the copies had over a thousand downloaders.  One particularly active 32-bit copy had more than a thousand uploaders and about 7,000 downloaders.  Apparently some of the copies also weren't the ones that the developers received, according to claims.  While these copies were indeed Windows 7, they were an earlier build that did not include the taskbar updates. 

One problem plaguing downloaders was the lack of people seeding the file and the accompanying slowness of the downloads.

Some people who downloaded the build were also unimpressed by it, despite the glowing media reception.  One user stated, "There is nothing (sic) new in it.  I wouldn't recommend this to download. Waste of time. Happy with Vista."

Others cautioned downloaders to be more reserved in judging the pre-beta.  One commented, "Seriously people. This was just a PRE-beta release that was given out at a trade show so writers would write about the new version. This SHOULD NOT be downloaded with the intent of using it as an everyday system. It is just so writers could get a feel for what was to come."

Some are saying the best is yet to come, though, for Windows 7.  Many users, like Peter Menadue, who holds the role of global director of solutions and technology, Microsoft solutions business within systems integrator Dimension Data, are most excited about the upcoming business-specific bits of Windows 7.  These include revamped application security, data security, and application deployment, according to rumors.

Mr. Menadue states, "I was in Redmond three weeks ago and had a sneak peek.  I think they've done a stellar job. Sinofsky's a genius," referring to Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group.

According to Menadue, another key perk is Microsoft's increased commitment to virtualization.  He is also happy with Microsoft's promise to maintain driver compatibility with Vista.

Jo Sweeney, adviser at analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services, says the full featured nature of Vista will appeal to consumers during this troubled economy.  He states, "What tends to happen (in times like these) is that IT professionals get much more focused on proving and not improving.  People will (move to) Windows 7 because if they can put greater management features into it, it will solve some of the problems of desktop computing."

Appealing features like the network id management should help to cut day-to-day costs, which account for 80-percent of the standard IT budget.  Windows 7 will allow the separation of user profiles and applications from the base operating system, so that you can see someone user profile anywhere on the network.  The key question, according to Mr. Sweeney, is how the IT administrators who have already implemented these features react to the new OS.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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