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Pre-beta Windows 7 OS will be given to developers at coming conferences

Microsoft Windows Vista is still considered relatively new on the market and some users have not yet upgraded from Windows XP to Vista for a variety of reasons. Microsoft is continuing to allow certain types of computers to run Windows XP thanks to its lower cost and overhead.

Despite being released less than two years ago to the general public, Microsoft is hard at work on the replacement for Vista. DailyTech reported that the next Microsoft PC operating system -- codenamed Windows 7 -- had its first setback in September.  Microsoft had planned to offer the first Windows 7 Beta in October of 2008, that date slipped to December 2008.

Microsoft's Mike Nash wrote in a blog post that Microsoft would be providing a pre-beta version of Windows 7 exclusively to developers to attendees at the PDC and WinHEC developers conferences.

Nash also wrote in the blog post that Microsoft has decided on the final name for the next Windows operating system, and it's one we are familiar with. Microsoft has decided to call the operating system Windows 7. This is the first time a Windows operating system has kept its codename as the official name.

Nash wrote, "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."

Details on Windows 7 are still scant, but Nash says that Microsoft will be sharing more in the coming weeks. To this point, feature wise it is known that the OS will support multi-touch and use the same driver system as Windows Vista.

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Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By mikefarinha on 10/14/2008 11:39:27 AM , Rating: 2
The thing that people don't realize is that Vista was a huge change from XP. Most of the changes in Vista were 'under the hood' which makes it hard for most people to appreciate it.

Although the underlying tech of Vista was fantastic, secure, modern, and rock solid; its usability was mearly 'better' than XP. People, however, were expecting revolutionary.

Windows 7 is going to be built off of the awesome tech of Vista and vastly improve upon the usability.

We already know from the Win7 Engineering blog that they are working hard on improving usability, and we know from leaked screen shots that they are making the Office 2007 Ribbon a key cornerstone of Windows 7.

Other things we know are that they are removing some of the consumer apps like Movie Maker and Photo Gallery and making them apart of the Windows Live suite which is a free download... I imagine this will be Microsoft's competitor to iLife.

All in all things are looking really really good for Win7.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By BansheeX on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By mikefarinha on 10/14/2008 12:26:33 PM , Rating: 3
Although I haven't checked you are probably right that sys-requirements between XP and Vista are the highest... but Vista was also the longest delayed release of Windows so I don't think that really matters that much. Any hardware setup within the last 3 years will run Vista with all it's bells and whistles enabled.

My sister-in-law recently got a $400 Compaq laptop that runs Vista as well as my desktop, sikly smooth with Aero enabled.

Also most organizations don't make an effort to upgrade OSes. They only update their OS when it conicides with a hardware refresh.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By kelmon on 10/14/2008 1:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
From the perspective of my corporation, we upgrade the OS when support for the current one expires. Usually the hardware is replaced before this time but not always.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By mikefarinha on 10/14/2008 4:24:57 PM , Rating: 1
I find it hard to believe that a corporation will actually, company wide, run a Windows install or upgrade on hardware currently in use.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By Garreye on 10/14/2008 12:31:58 PM , Rating: 4
unfortunately they bulked up the system requirements with unnecessary visual fluff

If you don't like aero, turn it off, but for everyone who owns a GPU that can handle aero (which is pretty much every GPU made in the last few years) why not take advantage of its processing power to run the graphical interface of the OS. To me this is much better than wasting CPU cycles with the interface when the CPU could be doing more useful things.

I think it was the largest sysreq jump between any Windows version ever

It was also the longest time between windows releases, so the largest sysreq jump makes sense.

When you have businesses and schools with pentium 4 512mb computers using your product, you can't be making demanding moves like that.

It seems to me that every business/school should be doing some research before upgrading the OS on their PCs. At which point it would be obvious that it is better to stick with XP unless they are upgrading their hardware first. Even if they think Vista might work they should be doing trials on a few PCs before doing a full upgrade to every PC, during which time they would figure out the hardware is insufficient. But for those people who have sufficient hardware the security advantages alone from Vista are worth upgrading for imho.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By lifeblood on 10/14/2008 12:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
It seems to me that every business/school should be doing some research before upgrading the OS on their PCs.

You'd think, and you would be wrong. I worked at one university, and taught part time at another. At the University where I worked, the CIO wants everyone on Vista for bragging rights about how "modern" and "high tech" the university is. At the college where I taught, the IT folks tested and certified all the College supplied apps. The specialized apps the departments used were ignored. Luckily the science department tested their apps, found most didn't work, and told the IT shop they would not be touching their PC's.

I think that is Vista's failing. It made a bunch of older apps quit working, but didn't provide any new "killer" feature people wanted. All it's improvements were, for the most part, under the hood.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By StraightPipe on 10/14/2008 1:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
It really shoudl be quite good OS. The big problems with Vista on release were due to new API's for sounds, graphics, and more.

Most companies dug in their heals and didnt want to develop new drivers, so there were lots of problems with Vista initially.

This new OS will be more evolutionary than revolutionary, so it will be built on the back of Vista SP1, allowing M$ to smooth out any problems they have remaining.

One big complaint that Win7 will not fix, is ridiculous overhead. There's no going back to trim bloat at this point. They've attempted to address this by making Windows7 Modular, but we wont know how effective this is until we get our hands on the betas.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By BansheeX on 10/14/2008 9:09:18 PM , Rating: 4
If you don't like aero, turn it off, but for everyone who owns a GPU that can handle aero (which is pretty much every GPU made in the last few years) why not take advantage of its processing power to run the graphical interface of the OS.

You don't understand, are you aware of what kind of onboard crap Intel has been pumping out on laptops and desktops? They are the #1 graphics supplier on the market. That is the market. To release a 2d interface that is 3d intensive in this market is asinine. It makes no difference to "offload" things to the GPU when the GPU's suck and the functionality benefit of doing so is completely outweighed by the costs. Look at the emerging netbook market,for god's sake. Vista on them sucks balls. Why? To whose benefit? There are all kinds of ways that MS can REDUCE resource intensiveness... by making code more efficient. By removing existing bloat. By disabling pointless background services by default that no one uses. But they don't, they just keep piling on.

It was also the longest time between windows releases, so the largest sysreq jump makes sense.

And yet, the functionality increase barely budged. Sysreqs go up 6x, functionality barely budges. Open a word document and surf the web on XP with 512mb, same experience and more responsive on XP. What is wrong with that picture? We're not talking about complex 3d games that will continue to demand greater computer resources in its quest towards virtual reality. We're talking about 2d windows, 2d documents, 2d icons, and a 32-bit 2d background image, just like XP but 3x as demanding. We have reached diminishing returns in aesthetics and functionality for this environment with well coded applications. You can't keep justifying 1.5gb RAM increases just to keep doing these exact same things as quickly as their predecessor. You can't keep adding animation after animation to justify it either. That stupid dog in the XP search bar was not progress even though it ate up more resources, believe it or not.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By noirsoft on 10/14/2008 10:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
You really don't understand a thing about computer graphics, do you?

The Aero interface uses 3d hardware to make the UI more responsive and to offload drawing form the CPU to the GPU. All the animations are just a free bonus due to the new compositing model.

And, to counter you, my laptop with 2 gigs of RAM is more responsive with Vista than it was with XP, and certainly more responsive than an XP machine with 512 megs of RAM. And a WIn98 machine with 128 megs of RAM is more responsive than an XP machine with 128 megs of RAM. Your point?

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By MamiyaOtaru on 10/15/2008 12:01:06 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently [i]you[/i] don't understand. Offloading to a [i]crappy[/i] GPU (which is most of them; thanks Intel) is no improvement at all.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By rudolphna on 10/15/2008 9:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
while they arent good for gaming.. Intel's graphics run vista fine. I have an older machine with a 3Ghz P4 and a gig of ram, with an Intel GMA950 graphics running Aero just fine. Intel graphics can handle Aero fine. Just dont try running Crysis on them and youll be fine.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By akugami on 10/14/2008 1:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'd disagree, the original reason Mac's sell is because they were the original place for powerful desktop publishing and productivity apps. To a large degree Mac's and PC's are essentially on equal footing in those areas. Legacy use of Mac's still dictate their use in a lot of areas.

Mac's used to be faster than PC's even if only by a small degree, and then the AMD vs Intel wars happened and the CPU's used in PC's took off and left the PowerPC chips in the dust. Which is why we need AMD. In today's world, Mac's are no faster than PC's. The only limiting factor is that Apple does not use the latest chips but to be honest, Joe Computer doesn't need a 3+ ghz quad core anyways. Something along the lines of a 2ghz dual core is good enough for what 95% of the general computing public needs.

Your comments also make it seem like Mac OSX didn't modernize the underpinnings of what makes it run. This is not true and it can be said that Apple modernized it's OS before Microsoft did. Especially with the lateness of Vista and it's scaled back promises.

Believe it or not Joe Computer likes things to be idiot proof. One can argue that the Mac OS is powerful enough for 95% of computer uses while keeping things easy enough to use so the new users don't feel too overwhelmed. These 3D window gimmicks also may or may not detract from the user experience but this is up to individual users. Much like the 3D window gimmicks in Vista, it's all a matter of personal taste.

I've been using Vista x64 for a year now. I have not owned a Mac in over 10 years though I plan to get a Macbook Pro this year or next to complement my desktop.

As for the Windows 7 name, I'm ok with it. They seem to be aiming for utilitarian and that points to shooting it towards corporate users more than home users though. Hopefully they will optimize the OS for speed and functionality. There are some OS changes from XP to Vista that annoy me though I can live with it.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By mikefarinha on 10/14/2008 4:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
I understand Apple's target market and I think they are doing a fantastic job at marketing towards them.

As for the Windows 7 name, I'm ok with it. They seem to be aiming for utilitarian and that points to shooting it towards corporate users more than home users though.

You bring up Mac and then say Windows 7 sounds utilitarian? I dunno, OSX sounds a lot more utilitarian than Windows 7 IMHO.

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By Ammohunt on 10/14/2008 2:05:20 PM , Rating: 3
I run Mojave it suits my needs perfectly. Vista is jsut another Windows Me

RE: Windows 7 Will be Awesome!
By KashGarinn on 10/15/2008 4:51:15 AM , Rating: 2
The thing I'd like to see is them making the OS be able to run on low end hardware.

Got an old 2ghz pc with 512mb ram? Or something even older? Then I definitely feel that a breakthrough OS should support it. why? Because the future is in virtual machines, and being able to run the OS on minimal hardware means minimal virtual machine hardware costs, and less overhead.

If you can run it efficiently and well on very low resources, then there's less chance of the OS interfering with the programs you want to run, and Vista interferes ALOT with programs with all its background tasks and services.

That's why I'm hoping that they base windows 7 on being as efficient a virtual machine OS as possible, because virtual machines are the future.

No one runs an OS just to run the OS.. you want the programs and systems which run on top of the OS, that's why the OS should be as invisible as possible.

I'm pretty sure they'll screw things up, yet again.. to me what they seem to be doing is taking vista and putting the Office ribbon on top.. that's not change, it's "the change you deserve" type mentality instead of "the change you need"

Expect the windows 7 hype bubble to burst.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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