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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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I know a lot of people will not like this comment...
By Oralen on 10/14/2008 12:39:33 PM , Rating: 4
But I'm sorry, I REALLY hope Microsoft turns away from their "ribbon" ideas for Windows 7.

Even if a lot of people like Office 2007, I hate it. And it's my job to teach new users to use Office apps. So I know them quite well. And all of my colleagues hate 2007 too.

Every time some critic admires the new ribbon in a review, it's always a beginner saying that. Someone who doesn't really WORK with it.

Sure, the ribbon system presents basic functions at a glance... But as soon as you want something a little more advanced... Now you have to hunt down deeper to regain the type of control you had with the 2003 menus.

On top of it, when you reach beyond the ribbon, what do you find: the exact same boxes that existed in 2003.

And nothing new, except better drawings, quickshapes effects, shadows, and so on.

To me, Office 2007 feels like a dumbed down version of 2003.

Office for dummies.

What, the concept of "menu" was too complicated ? It was one of the strengths of the Windows platform: one menu to rule them all. The same basic entries, everywhere, and then you add more menus as you need them for your app.

If they do that to Windows 7, it will feel like "Ugly Mac OS 7" : not as nice looking as Mac Os (because let's face it, Microsoft has always sucked at that), and on top of that, you will lose all the control you had over Windows.

They will not make it simpler.
They will make it simple-looking.

And god help you when you need to do something that is not simple.

By mikefarinha on 10/14/2008 12:49:58 PM , Rating: 4
Poor Oralen,

The fact of the matter is that newbs are more productive in Office 2007 than they were in any prior version of Office. If you can't handle change then you shouldn't be in the IT field.

I'm submitting a letter to have your Geek Card revoked!

By Oralen on 10/14/2008 1:59:25 PM , Rating: 3
More productive newbies ?

You know, the firms who actually PRODUCE a lot of documents do not hire or care about newbies.

I'm not talking about newbies. I am talking about people who NEED to be productive, and precise, or they get fired.

And as far as resisting changes... I like change. But not when it's just a useless facelift. And, in order to be ready for that change, I've had 2007 installed on my machine since the beta was released...

But... Right now... I am not allowed to teach it.

Because my employers, in a very logical move, are waiting for enterprises that asks for employees proficient in 2007 before asking me to teach it.

And right now... They are still asking for people who know how to use Office 2003. I am serious.

And... The Geek Card... Keep it. I don't need it. I'm only allowed to be a geek OUTSIDE of my working hours. During the daytime, I'm supposed to listen to what paying customers are asking for.

What I REALLY meant to say in my post, is this:

If Windows 7 comes out with another nice interface, but removes your ability to tinker with the registry, because it's not "pretty", or "safe", will the geek that you are like it? I won't. (Even if I don't have the card anymore ;-).

They are talking about scaling back UAC for Windows 7, because it's pissing off people.

But what will they remove? Just the UAC warning? Or the ABILITY to DO what was prompting that warning in the first place?

That is what is scaring me.

I respect those who use a Mac, but Windows has it's own strong points. Control is one of them. The ability to tinker with everything is one of them.

But when I look at Office 2007, I am afraid they will remove that in the next version of Windows.

By inighthawki on 10/14/2008 1:19:59 PM , Rating: 5
For someone who knows where everything is and was, I can see you becoming frustrated that some of it is out of place or in some cases harder to get to...

But for those people who do NOT know where everything is, which represents like 90% of the people using office, it becomes a very intuitive and ingenious ui approach to categorize the features in ways for most people to get what they need in the easiest possible way.

When i upgraded to the new office 07 interface, i was quite simply amazed because the most commonly used features i needed and used were right there, and if i wanted anything, it took only a matter of seconds to scan through the tabs rather than 20 minutes and online searching to find something that was hidden away in dialogue boxes through the old menu system. Be as it may, you may not like it, and it may be less productive for you...but it helps far more people

By Oralen on 10/14/2008 2:20:43 PM , Rating: 3
"...90% of the people who use Office..."

Are using it once a month, in their home, to whip out a letter to their grand'ma.

Those who are ACTUALLY working with it, everyday, in... their office, (in companies who have paid for it a great chunk of money in volume licenses)...

They are using more than "the most commonly used features" .

They are using the advanced features that made Office the most indispensable business software in the world.

Mind you, they are not using ALL of the advanced features of Office. Nobody does. They are using what is pertinent to their own job.

But the ribbon does not allow an easy access to ANY advanced function the way the menu did.

I am not saying that your own feelings, when you switched to 2007, are invalid.

But people who are using it to earn their wages think differently.

By inighthawki on 10/14/2008 3:16:55 PM , Rating: 3
I completely respect your opinion as well, I'm just saying that I feel that it is nicer and benefits more people than those who work in their office. Not to mention i think your idea of 90% of the people using office is a little skewed. Many students, for example like myself, use word 07 to type reports and essays all the time. Granted i rarely use some of the more "advanced" features of word, it's still used commonly by many people very often.

Of course, it is necessary to also find other opinions. I've heard people who use word quite often say they don't like it, but the reasoning is usually that they can't find stuff. So your opinion is great, my opinion counts, but we really would need a large number of people from both sides to prove any kind of point here.

By Nik00117 on 10/15/2008 3:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, I use word a lot. I'm not in school and my job doesn't relove around it. I do have run a small business and use excel for accounting. Fact of the matter is I like this new system. Ribbion is great and at first I thought "ah this is gay!" then ig ot to used to it and was like "O nvm"

By SunAngel on 10/14/2008 3:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
why is it that you think all americans are stupid, lazy, and boring? my guess is many use office more than to just send a letter to granny. it's easier to just hand write it. while i will agree with you that a major of americans are unimaginative, but dumb, lazy, and lathargic...i see your point but can't totally agree. if anything i would call them dopeheads.

By feraltoad on 10/14/2008 6:02:15 PM , Rating: 4
Sounds like the solution is to offer a "Classic View" a la Control Panel to keep both groups happy.

By zshift on 10/15/2008 10:54:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yes. A "classic view" option is exactly what office 2007 needed. I'm guessing, however, that the only reason microsoft didn't add this in is because they either wanted to start a total shift in GIU in preparation for their new os, or they didn't add anything really "new" (aside from new styles and matching color schemes for charts, etc.) so they didn't want people to realize <sarcasm>"hey! microsoft just charged me for the same product as the previous version but with preselected color schemes! boy, that $199 upgrade charge was well worth it!" </sarcasm>

seems like microsoft marketing didn't work so well for vista/office 2007 (with no help from apple, of course ;^) )

By inighthawki on 10/15/2008 11:15:30 AM , Rating: 1
Although vista didnt get quite the kick it should have, from what i've seen, office 07 has been very widely popular among almost everyone. Its rare i see anyone open up office on their computers without seeing 2007 these days.

Personally, i'm really looking forward to windows 7 and the new interface, and i REALLY want to see if they alter anything else to make it more intuitive and such.

By Howard on 10/14/2008 11:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
Why would anybody buy Office to use once a month?

OK, so why would Microsoft cater to pirates?

By AnnihilatorX on 10/15/2008 1:16:49 PM , Rating: 1
I have no problem in finding stuff I need from ribbon

True geeks use hotkey shortcuts
Geeks or experienced would be able to learn and remember where an obscure feature is. They would customize the ribbon to include those. And perhaps write AutoHotkey script to pick them up.

By d0gb0y on 10/14/2008 1:35:40 PM , Rating: 3
Office for dummies.

Isn't that the point?

By kelmon on 10/14/2008 1:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I can appreciate that the Ribbon may be better for new users but I don't know any experienced users who like it for the simple reason that they can't find anything. It was a laudable goal but one that alienated the current user base. The Ribbon in Windows would likely do the same so I can only suggest to Microsoft that they take baby steps and not do some sort of giant leap. Vista really didn't do the company many favours and annoying users with a new interface in Windows 7 won't help them much either. By all means evolved to deliver something better but it needs to be better for all, particularly when you have such a large and diverse user base as Windows.

By Flunk on 10/14/2008 3:38:46 PM , Rating: 1
I like the ribbon, there you are. It takes a bit of time to get used to it, get over it.

By mars777 on 10/14/2008 10:20:41 PM , Rating: 3
the Ribbon may be better for new users but I don't know any experienced users who like it

Microsoft cares about increasing sales (->new users). Old users can whine all they want but they are bound to Office and they cannot do anything to change that... that means MS doesnt lose customers, they just make new ones (the dumb ones) :)

By Motoman on 10/14/2008 3:23:32 PM , Rating: 1
I have to agree about the ribbon crap. OMG. I gave Office 2007 an honest year - wasn't going to get rid of it before I really, really tried to get along with it.

Once a year passed, it was uninstalled, and 2003 went back on.

Not to date myself, but I got a computer science degree in 1994 and have been in IT ever since. Truth be told, I don't honestly do *much* with Office...pretty basic Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoints. Nothing fancy at all. Don't ever even use things like mail merge or anything.

I ***HATED*** that stupid ribbon interface. I could not find anything I wanted...god it was stupid. Mind-blowingly obvious things, like saving or printing, became a huge pain in the ass.

The ribbon interface is a massive, steaming pile of shite. If Windows 7 comes out with the ribbon throughout, I guess I'll be on XP for another few years...

Vista provides absolutely nothing valuable...and has all the downsides as a bonus. If Windows 7 also provides nothing valuable, but adds more downsides (like the ribbon), it'll tank even faster than Vista.

By Zshazz on 10/14/2008 5:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
I personally don't understand why you found it so difficult to get use to. I found the interface to be far more intuitive and more memorable. Saving & printing are done from the office button (which use to be the file menu) or the customizable quick access toolbar, if you use them without the usual "ctrl+s" and "ctrl+p" shortcuts. Most of your stuff is under the Home tab. If you want to change how the document is being viewed, you go under the view tab (zoom and such is under here, as well as if you want to view 2 pages at once). If you want to change how the page is laid out (such as indentation, columns, margins, etc) then it's the Page Layout tab.

I could go on, but it just goes to show you how everything is laid out. Sure, if you're use to the old interface, it should be difficult to switch over (and they really should have offered to support the old layout for this reason alone), but new users will find the new interface easier to use and more effective for the most part.

By Motoman on 10/14/2008 9:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Saving & printing are done from the office button (which use to be the file menu) or the customizable quick access toolbar, if you use them without the usual "ctrl+s" and "ctrl+p" shortcuts.

...that's kind of my point right there. The only shortcuts I ever use are for copy & paste...have never used them for printing/saving, and I think that's pretty consistent with the vast majority of basic users who don't do anything but click on icons.

I think it's safe to say that the 2 most-used functions in Word (or Excel for that matter) are Print and Save. What kind of a blithering idiot would hide those 2 functions under a menu by default - not having any way to Print or Save on the effing ribbon, and instead "oh, well you can customize this one little toolbar with the unique functions that you personally use a lot." Like Print and Save!? That's like somebody selling a laptop without an optical drive and expecting people to like it. Oh wait...

By noirsoft on 10/14/2008 10:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hidden? Save is on the quick toolbar by default, and how is "print" more connected to the word "file" than the office mennu, which is the main menu for the program?

Both are less hidden than before once you take ten seconds to stop foaming at the mouth and use the program.

By therealnickdanger on 10/14/2008 3:35:51 PM , Rating: 1
The only thing I don't like about Office 2007 is the removal of DBF export. It's the bread'n'butter of my daily work... At least the newest version of ArcGIS supports Excel files natively.

By Flunk on 10/14/2008 3:37:28 PM , Rating: 3
I use Office a lot and although it took a little while I think I am just as productive in 2007 as I was in 2003. What simplifying the interface really has done is make it easier for novice users and I think that is a good thing (unless you train people to use Office that is).

All computer programs change with time and it's impossible to keep everyone happy. In my line of work (computer programming) I have to deal with change a lot. Some things you just have to deal with, even you admit that it's not really any worse, just different looking.

By enlil242 on 10/14/2008 5:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
Even if a lot of people like Office 2007, I hate it. And it's my job to teach new users to use Office apps. So I know them quite well. And all of my colleagues hate 2007 too.

I don't know why they just couldn't give users the option to switch between UI's. That would ahve solved that issue right then and there...

By mforce on 10/15/2008 4:16:50 AM , Rating: 2
Actually MS will probably try to make something "cool" again forgetting that they're not Apple. Maybe they should stick to making a quality OS that works.
It's my hope that MS will concentrate more on the inner working of the OS and not redo the menus and stuff, add bling ...
As for the new Office 2007 ribbon , I only took a look at it once , thought it was gay and returned to using Open Office. Sure , I agree , MS Office is more advanced and stuff but for my basic needs OO works just fine.

By johnadams on 10/15/2008 8:04:16 AM , Rating: 2
I hate Office 2007's ribbon crap. The ribbon thing is for newbies. At least give us an option to revert back to the Office 2003 menu-based system. But no, Microsoft considers all its users to be retards who don't know how to use menus.

Classic Menu for Office 2007 v3.93

By FITCamaro on 10/15/2008 9:48:52 AM , Rating: 2
$30? Screw that. I'll learn to use the new ribbon. I didn't pay $30 for Office 2007 ($20 through work).

By johnadams on 10/15/2008 3:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. Some users are willing to pay $30 bucks to make the ribbon go away.

I'm sticking with Office 2003 + Compatibility Pack. Say NO to M$ marketing bullcrap.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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