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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Release date is in line with previous reports, holiday-season ready

Windows 7 will indeed be hitting in time for the holiday season.  The much-buzzed about operating system is set to inherit the operating system throne from the much-maligned Windows Vista, with general commercial availability starting on October 22 according to a Microsoft press release aired today.

Previous reports had come quite close to pegging the release date, with October 23 being the cited date in many reports.  Bill Veghte, senior vice president for Microsoft's Windows, helped announced the true date, stating, "We feel confident that we will deliver Windows 7 with our partners on Oct. 22."

Microsoft faces tremendous pressure with the release.  The company has been hounded by its investors in recent months for revenue drops related to the recession.  These investors are quick to note that Windows Vista, while a solid seller, failed to surpass Windows XP.

Despite these problems, Vista and other Windows operating systems accounted for roughly 30 percent of the company's $60B USD in sales in 2008.  Windows-based operating systems are currently installed on approximately 90 percent of the world's personal computers. 

For Microsoft, the finalized release date represents both good news and bad.  The good news is it will make the lucrative holiday shopping season, a frequent time for people to buy new systems.  The bad news is that it will miss the equally lucrative back-to-school shopping season, where parents and college students typically purchase systems.

Microsoft does face some pressure, too -- Apple will be releasing its Snow Leopard OS sometime this summer or fall, and Google recently announced that its Android OS was coming to netbooks, courtesy of Acer.  The challenges, for now, though are limited -- Windows 7 will almost certainly lead these next generation operating systems in sales.

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RE: Yeah.
By Luticus on 6/2/2009 6:57:40 PM , Rating: 5
That's another thing that irritates me, the misconception that there's nothing better about Vista than XP.

Here’s a short list:

Interface Changes


Added little check boxes on your icons so you can select more than one without using a quick command.

Improved start menu with instant searching/built in “run” field. With this you can type the name of the program you’re looking for and it will instantly search for it on the fly (based on your search index) and you can also enter commands directly as though it’s a run prompt.

Tree view start menu programs instead of popup menu style start menu items.

Dynamic live preview of content via ‘alt + tab’, or via mouse over the task bar items.

Improved control panel
In Vista, Microsoft has paired the configuration tool categorization efforts it began in XP with integrated search, which makes finding the tool you know exists a lot faster than scanning through a big list or spelunking down through Control Panel categories.

New Windows Explorer with drop down folder selection. It’s missing the directory up button but, meh.

Network map view

MUCH improved voice recognition capabilities!!!!!! This is WORLDS better in Vista than it ever was in XP. (If you’re wondering I’m referring to the speech recognition options in the control panel).


UAC – annoying but more secure.

Windows Service Hardening technology limits the privileges of services and restricts the resources services can directly affect.

the data redirection feature facilitates application compatibility. Data redirection, also known as data virtualization, provides a driver for the file system and registry that will redirect writes targeted at certain protected locations

Crypto NextGen (CNG) is the next version of the Crypto API (CAPI) that provides a much more flexible and agile cryptographic development platform in Windows.

Vista also ships with built-in spyware detection software, Windows Defender and a new firewall that filters outgoing traffic in addition to the incoming traffic that the XP SP2 firewall filtered.

Bitlocker encryption (only certain versions)


Overhauled Event Viewer

New Reliability and Performance Monitor

Taskmanager changes include a services tab and more information in the processes tab.

Reliability Monitor tool that displays a graph over time of all the software installs and uninstalls; system restore points; and hardware, application, Windows and miscellaneous error events that have occurred.

Vista also includes a new image-based deployment system.

Other improvements

64 bit with real support.

The ability to get windows media center on a “pro” version. XP MCE lacked the pro features such as domain joins.

IIS7, is included in nicer editions of Vista.

Subsystem for Unix based applications (control panel -> programs and features -> turn windows features on or off)

Better support for multilingualism – In vista you can have multilingual setups that are account based where as in XP it was system wide.

Direct X 10.1

This is just to name a FEW! Vista brings some decent to the table, it’s sad that Microsoft doesn’t advertise this and instead wants to get into a sniping war with Apple, not that the common use would know what half of this even says anyway.

Aloonatic, I'm not trying to say anything bad about you or anything. This is not directly directed at you in any way so please don't take it as such; your post simply sparked me into writing this when you said:
"what does Vista do better than XP?" and the answer was.... It's more secure and..... that's about it.

I just think there are a lot of people who don’t really know what the benefits of Vista truly are. I hope this helps people understand that there’s more to vista than eye candy and security.

Oh and here’s a couple of sources:

RE: Yeah.
By Aloonatic on 6/3/2009 2:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, I agree, there are a lot of things that are improved, but all most all of those things that you have mentioned will soon turn into white noise in the ears of the average user if you try to explain them to them.

They'll just ask you if they can still bid on eBay and send photos of their grand-kids to everyone, even though they really don't care about seeing 60 ever so slightly different photos of them.... Again. Then they'll think, I can do that in XP and think that they know everything they need to know, so why bother changing?

In saying all that, I've got my parents onto Vista and after a lot of phone calls about where this and that is, they seem fairly happy. Their new machine came with a much bigger screen with plenty of room for icon shortcuts without covering the photo of the grand kids wallpaper, which helped a lot, but never underestimate the confusion that simple changes to layout and organisation, even the small change to the start menu, can have to people who are not all that computer confident.

Many "computer experts" who deal with people (as I assume many of us end up being for family and friends) recommend they stick with XP and avoid the "rubbish" Vista simply because they don't want to have to teach them how to use their computer again from scratch, there were many times when I had wished that I'd recommended my parents stuck with XP over the last year or so.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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