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Windows 7 launch events are being held across the country.

Retail deals from chains like Staples also abound.  (Source: Model D Media)
The future of Windows is here

Today is a great day for Microsoft.  After enduring three years of criticism under the Vista era, the company is finally prepared to turn over a new leaf and bask in the critical praise of its new operating system, Windows 7.  Faster, with a richer graphical interface, and with a smaller footprint, Windows 7 is an evolution that improves on Vista in nearly every way.

To kick off the launch, many events and sales are going on across the country today.  Last night CompUSA (now owned by Systemax Inc) held launch events at 10 of its stores.  The first 77 customers at the door received $77 gift cards.  One of the 77 will receive a Windows 7 dual-core PC.  For those who missed the midnight madness, CompUSA will continue to randomly give away copies of Windows 7 throughout the day.

Office Depot is also offering lots of free software, including AVG's Internet Security Suite (regularly $70) to Greeting Card Factory Deluxe (regularly $50).  In total 19 titles are offered on a pay up-front, mail-in-rebate basis.  Get a full list of titles here.

Staples also has some hot offers.  Grab this coupon and a Staples associate will install Windows 7 for you, for free.  You'll also earn $75 off your computer purchase and snag a $500 coupon book.  Get the coupon here.

Microsoft is also a series of events dubbed "the NEW efficiency" across the country.  Some of these events already took place, but some, like and Orange County event on October 26, may still be open.  Check here for more details.

Students can also get an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Home Edition or Professional edition for a mere $30, until January 2010.

Also, those looking to upgrade more than one PC in a single home can look towards the Family Pack which will upgrade three machines to Windows 7 Home Premium.


For those looking to take advantage of Windows 7's new multitouch functionality, you might want to check out the TouchSmart 600xt multitouch PC, one of the first Windows 7 multitouch machines.  Powered by Intel processors and sporting a 23-inch screen at a  $1,049 price tag the device looks like a good value.  It offers support for gesture and multitouch based moves, scrolls, and zooms.

Even if you don't get any special launch deals, Windows 7 should be a deal in itself.  Cheaper than Vista, the OS uses less memory, so it can fit on many netbooks.  The OS also brings DirectX 11 graphics, which AMD/ATI already includes hardware support.

Another of the most promising features of Windows 7 for fans of 2D-retro games or programming professionals is XP Mode.  Available with the Professional and Ultimate editions, this mode offers virtualized versions of Window XP that your programs can operate seamlessly within alongside normal Windows 7 programs. 

Windows 7 looks like a fresh start for Microsoft, but the competition will be tough.  Microsoft will face stronger pressure from the smartphone and netbook markets, albeit not necessarily direct competition.  And they also must compete with a invigorated Apple, which just debuted Snow Leopard and new Macs.

The true test will not be the glowing reviews, the colorful launch events, or the innovative features.  Windows Vista in many respects had all of those.  No, the true test will be the public reception.  The public will make or break the new OS.  And the public will be able to make up their mind, starting today.



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Pirks on 10/22/2009 12:35:24 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
is it advisable to wait until SP1 before acquiring?
I'll be waiting for SP1 because of the Win7 RTM bug where start menu randomly refuses to open submenus when you hover the mouse over the submenu item (like control panel etc), sometimes you have to left click mouse in addition to hovering, sometimes you don't. This is nuts and very moronic bug... where were 8 gazillion testers looking??!

Besides that I hope that Win7 media center will have more Canadaian Internet TV by the time SP1 is out, right now the amount of such content is precisely zero.

So I personally didn't find a LOT of SIGNIFICANT changes from my Vista Ultimate x64. A few minor GUI tweaks are not enough for me to warrant an upgrade. I'll put my freshly bought Win7 Pro box on a shelf for display for now. Dunno when I upgrade, maybe not till SP2. I believe most of Vista x64 users probably won't upgrade for looong, especially given that DX11 is on Vista too.


By Akrovah on 10/22/2009 6:56:20 PM , Rating: 1
While I agree that that is an odd bug, I think it may not have been noticed, or at least not noticed by enough users to make MS worry about it right away, because the default setting for Start menu items, aside from the Programs item, is link, not submenu, and I don't know many people who change it. And really, if the link works by just giving one little click, is it really THAT bad?


By JPForums on 10/23/2009 8:07:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll be waiting for SP1 because of the Win7 RTM bug where start menu randomly refuses to open submenus when you hover the mouse over the submenu item ...


Not sure why he got rated down. While I don't share his opinions on the severity of the issue, he did point out a very real bug that may or may not be an issue for some people. This is much better than the imaginary problems and misleading comments from some Readers.

quote:
So I personally didn't find a LOT of SIGNIFICANT changes from my Vista Ultimate x64.


If is spent the money on a $400 (at launch) OS, I'd also be reluctant to lay down more money for a new one until I had a very good reason. Hard to get your money's worth if you get rid of it less than 3 years since launch (Jan 2007).

quote:
Should Win7 be treated the way as every other MS OS to date?


No! My opinion is that the Win7 RC is just slightly less solid than Vista SP2. This opinion is based on my experience with almost 30 different machine builds running Win7 Beta and RC. I haven't had a thorough look at the RTM yet, but I've installed it on a few system with no issues.

I've only encountered three major issues with all of these builds:
1) The built in ATI HD Audio driver consistently caused BSODs. The solution was simple, use the driver from ATI's site instead of the built in driver.
2) Creative's support software for their MP3 players was unstable for some builds. You should be able to use the XP virtual machine to work around this problem until a better solution is created.
3) Windows 7 Beta/RC wouldn't install to an SATA drive on any nVidia nForce 500 series based boards. It recognized the chipsets with the built in drivers, but neither the built in drivers, nor manufacturer supplied drivers would allow it to detect the HDD. This may be fixed in the RTM. If not, you'll need to wait for SP1 as manufacturer's aren't updating drivers on these chipsets anymore.

Some minor bugs like the one above are present in RC, but they don't really change the functionality of the OS. Most people I've talked to don't notice them. If you do notice them, they usually rank between insignificant and merely annoying in severity.

quote:
is it advisable to wait until SP1 before acquiring?


Depends on what you are upgrading from, how much you payed for it, and whether or not you are currently satisfied with it.


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