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Microsoft To Kill Windows 7 Beta Februrary 10th 216

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the corking-the-genie dept.
mamaphoenix writes "Paul McDougall of InformationWeek reports Computer enthusiasts who want to get their hands on the trial version of Microsoft's next operating system have just two more weeks to do so. The company says it will end availability of Windows 7 Beta on Feb. 10. There are a couple of loopholes, however. Users who started to download the OS before that date will have until Feb. 12 to complete the process. Also, Microsoft will continue to distribute product keys beyond Feb. 12 to users who have previously downloaded Windows 7 Beta but have yet to obtain a key. 'We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs, so we are beginning to plan the end of general availability for Windows 7 Beta,' said Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post Friday. Microsoft will post warnings on its Web site that the download program for Windows 7 is about to end starting Tuesday. A final version of Windows 7, Microsoft's follow-up to Windows Vista, is expected to be available in late 2009 or early 2010."
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Microsoft To Kill Windows 7 Beta Februrary 10th

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  • Oops (Score:5, Funny)

    by bwintx (813768) on Monday January 26, 2009 @09:50AM (#26606591)

    We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs...

    Unfortunately, that's what they said about Vista, too.

    • Re:Oops (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CrackedButter (646746) on Monday January 26, 2009 @09:54AM (#26606629) Homepage Journal
      Microsoft can never have enough beta testers as history has proven.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Oh, I see, you are thinking they want enough beta testers to find all the bugs!

      But maybe they are talking about filling the work queues for their engineers, not finding all the bugs, in which case, they CAN have too many beta testers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dotancohen (1015143)

      Unfortunately, that's what they said about Vista, too.

      No, what's unfortunate is not that Microsoft feels this way, but that KDE feels this way. Microsoft has a beta product that people are generally happy with (Windows 7). KDE has a released product that many people hate (KDE 4.x). I don't need to say that KDE is open source, and that things were reversed just one year ago, and all the other obvious trolls. I do however want to remind us that KDE doesn't really need users at all [kdedevelopers.org]. I have been using KDE for years and I've stuck with the 3.x branch while the 4.x

      • KDE has a released product that many people hate (KDE 4.x)

        KDE4.0 and 4.1 were not great, but KDE 4.2 is an attractive and very usable desktop.

        That's the great thing about choice though - all you need to do is switch to enlightenment/KDE or any other desktop and keep using the same apps you're happy with.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by CajunArson (465943)

        Try out the latest KDE 4.2 RC1 builds on any major distro of your choice. I'm running Kubuntu which has historically had many people complaining about breaking KDE, and even in Kubuntu 4.2 is a REALLY nice environment to work in. Major issues people have complained about are gone (you can hide or shrink the size of the taskbar, there is a quicklanuch applet that brings quicklaunch back to the taskbar, and if you hate the new KDE launch menu system there is a popular alternative called Lancelot you can use

        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          Really?

          > you can hide or shrink the size of the taskbar

          Cool, hiding and enlarging the task bar is the biggest reason why I stick to 3.5 (I assume if you can shrink it, you can enlarge it)

          > there is a quicklanuch applet that brings quicklaunch back to the taskbar

          #2 right there.

          Maybe 4.0 should have been 4.-2, and 4.1 should have been 4.-1?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vyrus128 (747164)

        Wow. Has "KDE doesn't need users" been a Slashdot story yet? I know it's out of date, but really, that deserves some exposure...

      • Re:Oops (Score:5, Informative)

        by Tanktalus (794810) on Monday January 26, 2009 @11:14AM (#26607381) Journal

        First off, I'm not sure that you can take one blog post as representative of a community's position anymore than you can take a single response on slashdot to represent the community's position. For example, in this blog post, while I see what he's getting at, I think he's missing a bigger sociological issue: for many developers, it's the users that drive their contributions. If no one is using it, they may not contribute (as it may be working well enough for them). It's only when a user comes in and says, "hey, you know what? It'd be awesome if your product does X" that they may realise that, hey, it would be awesome. Maybe not for the blogger you linked to, but not only am I unconvinced that this is representative, but all we need to do is find a couple of developers who think the other way (as in my example) to show that KDE, like most OS projects, really does need users.

        As for your "simple usability report" - I'd like to point out that KDE said there that they have UI guidelines that explicitly reject this layout. It's nice that they actually do have written usability requirements on their applications and that they enforce it. Now, we can all disagree as to whether the guidelines are appropriate or not, but it's a sign of a good organisation that they get these things down in writing so that their developers can concentrate on functionality rather than eye-candy. If the guidelines said that the toolbars were allowed next to the menubar, it would be just as good from the developer perspective - rather than debating whether to allow it or not, wasting a bunch of time on their own dev lists, they just know whether to allow it or not, and the problem is solved. Basically, what this means is that rather than having a conversation with individual developers, you need to have the conversation with the over-all KDE UI owners. This actually is good for you, too: if you convince them of its usefulness, you won't need to convince the owners of kmail, kate, konqueror, kontact, knode, ktorrent, etc. Most likely, they'll just make a change to kdelibs, and all of these will get the functionality for free. If you fail to convince them, you know better than to waste your time (or theirs) trying to convince individual devs.

        Personally, having submitted many bugs to KDE, especially since I'm running the 4.2 snapshots as if it were production, I'm not finding the issues you have. My biggest issue is really turn-around time on serious bugs... I'm sure if I found the right developer in the project and handed him/her sufficient cash, that'd change. Or if I found the issue myself and submitted a patch, it might change.

        • Re:Oops (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dotancohen (1015143) on Monday January 26, 2009 @11:44AM (#26607723) Homepage

          Thanks, Tanktalus. You will see that a lot of KDE devs responded to Harris's post with "we _do_ need users!" posts of their own. And Aaron Seigo's refusal to remove the "cashew" turned out to be the right move after all. However, I feel that there are roadblocks _everywhere_ in KDE now, especially in the usability department. The HIG is being broken all the time, in fact, the HIG specifically forbids MDI but Dolphin, Konqueror, Kopete, and many other applications have tabbed interfaces. The person responsible for the HIG takes no outside suggestions and when people have asked how they can help contribute to the HIG, she either does not respond or she insists that users cannot be involved in the development of the HIG. She says that it is a "conflict of interest".

          I also have filed hundreds of bugs for KDE in the past few years, and only lately have I felt that my input is not appreciated nor wanted. Of course there are exceptions, such as Aaron from Plasma, Peter from Dolphin, and the entire Digikam team. But Kontact is near abandonment, when the Bug Team tried to organize a Kontact Bug Day they were not interested. There are outstanding issues in moving events in Korganizer from years past, and they just keep adding up to the point where I am afraid to move appointments now. Kmail has certainly improved, though.

          Little by little I am bleeding off KDE. I have moved from Knowit to Basket, found Basket terrible, and have settled on the terrific Zim. Digikam is being replaced by F-Spot next month. Thunderbird has already replaced Kmail, and to be honest I always used Opera or Firefox instead of Konqueror for browsing. With the exception of the KDE desktop, I still use Kate (VIM could easily replace it) and Kontact (which due to abandonment from the devs may need to be replaced anyway). So instead of the unified desktop that KDE was supposed to be, I am right back with a hodge-podge of unrelated applications and frankly, Window 7 is starting to look rather good. I have no problem paying for the software if it does what I need, and vendor lock in is not an issue in Windows any more than in KDE. I don't _want_ to leave the secure environment that is Linux, but I want a complete package that does what I need. KDE seems to have no interest in providing that anymore.

          • I have no problem paying for the software if it does what I need, and vendor lock in is not an issue in Windows any more than in KDE. I don't _want_ to leave the secure environment that is Linux, but I want a complete package that does what I need. KDE seems to have no interest in providing that anymore.

            Um, why not move to Gnome on the same Linux distro you're using, rather than jumping ship entirely?

            • I have no problem paying for the software if it does what I need, and vendor lock in is not an issue in Windows any more than in KDE. I don't _want_ to leave the secure environment that is Linux, but I want a complete package that does what I need. KDE seems to have no interest in providing that anymore.

              Um, why not move to Gnome on the same Linux distro you're using, rather than jumping ship entirely?

              Because from what I've seen of Windows 7, it looks like it does the job better than Gnome. In both Windows and Gnome I feel very restricted in that I must work how someone else decided I should work, but more so in Gnome nowadays. I will give them both a fair shot, and KDE 4.2 as well. I know that no matter how bad the KDE dev community gets, they could never get as bad as the MS dev community!

          • by vadim_t (324782)

            Tabbed interfaces aren't really what's traditionally understood by MDI.

            MDI is when you have windows inside a window, such as Photoshop, Opera, and various IDEs. If you can move the child windows only within the boundaries of the root window, then it's MDI.

            IMO, MDI is a neutral thing in itself. Sometimes it fits well, like in IDEs, though most people tend to look at just one document at a time and have various sidebars on the sides. Sometimes it's very inconvenient, like when it prevents using more than one

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Risen888 (306092)

        KDE has a released product that many people hate (KDE 4.x).

        Give it a rest. KDE has released a product that many people absolutely love, but as is typical in the free software echo chamber, the haters get way more airtime. Feel free to hang out in the late 90s as long as you want (really, it's cool, I've got a closet full of red flannels too), but the rest of us are moving on.

      • I completely agree about the attitude of KDE developers, who have basically abandoned their KDE 3 users, as I mentioned in a previous posting [slashdot.org]. Like you, I am seriously considering moving away from KDE, although since I have a ton of dcop-based scripting calls, it's not going to be just a matter of getting used to a new "Look & Feel". I'll probably try for as long as I can to stick with the latest available KDE3 setup from Ubuntu (v8.04 not-Long-Term-Support) while GNOME advances, and then make the jum

      • by Tarlus (1000874)
        Yeah, after spending nearly three months trying to give KDE4 the benefit of the doubt, I gave up with it. Ignoring the performance hit my system took, the whole experience was just tedious and frustrating. I had to re-learn where to find things, lost the ability to customize other things, couldn't read the clock (since it was clipping its edges), and completely deleted my task bar with one accidental click (nice). The whole "primarily-widgets" thing is an interesting idea but just ain't what I want to see a
    • by ArIck (203)

      It was enough for them to turn a decent OS into the POS it turned out. So yea it was enough for the engineering team.

  • Month (Score:5, Funny)

    by mvanvoorden (861050) <mvanvoorden@gmai3.14159l.com minus pi> on Monday January 26, 2009 @09:59AM (#26606683)
    Februrary is not on my calendar :(
  • I went to a MDC and they are supposed to be mailing all of us copies of it. I went there as a Java developer, and was very pleasantly surprised with what I saw that they're doing with .NET (especially F#, which would never fly with any of the groups that I know doing Java EE type work).

    Linux users and developers should wish them well. Hope that they do the very best that they can and make an outstanding product. If Linux ends up overtaking much of their marketshare by default because it's another Vista-styl

    • If Linux ends up overtaking [...] then it'll only be a matter of time before Linux undeniably becomes the next Windows.

      Really? Why would that be?

      Also, in which sense would Linux become the next Windows? Which salient properties of Windows would Linux acquire?

      I think much of "what Linux is" is determined by two factors: POSIX standards and unix flavor, plus which distribution you use.

      I don't think anyone would stray too far from the general POSIX-ness of Linux; what would be the point?

      The distributions are more free to vary along other axes; mostly about how many and which choices they make for you.

      [For example: I've heard that on Ubuntu, firefox talks to NetworkManager to find out whether the computer it's running on is on-line. Gee, that's nice except I don't use NetworkManager because it doesn't do automagic bonding.]

      Since the distributions are free to be very different as long as they interoperate well, I don't think you can say that Linux will become anything specific; any particular distribution might, but the users will always be able to choose another distribution.

      Unless of course your scenario is that most distributions die and one particular distributions gains most of the market share.

      • by Sockatume (732728)
        I think "crushing vendor lock-in by monopoly" is the key defining trait of Windows, and it's hard to imagine Linux inheriting that.
  • by socsoc (1116769) on Monday January 26, 2009 @10:03AM (#26606713)

    Headline is a bit sensationalist...

    They are removing the ability to join the beta, not killing the OS. I am pretty sure the programmers did a fine job killing the OS already.

    • Re:bad headline (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Monday January 26, 2009 @10:31AM (#26607005)

      Having a Beta, I would say it is better then Vista. It actually looks and feels more Linux a Linux KDE system. I can't really judge how much faster it is as I am only running it on a Virtual Machine, although it runs much better then Vista.

      I would really suggest that as many people who hates windows to beta test Windows 7. And report the bugs or issues to Microsoft.

      As 3 results will come out.
      1. Delay the program for a decade again creating more hatred towards Microsoft for not having a good version. Thus creating more interests in Linux and Macs.

      2. They will fix the problems and actually make it a really good OS. Thus we have a good OS to use that is PHB Friendly. As well enough to scare the Linux and Mac community a bit to get more innovation out of them, as both sides have been slacking off for a few years.

      3. They will ignore our anwsers and nothing will happen in this case you can say I've told you so.

      • I wonder if they'll respond to my "activation" bug report.

        Submitter: nine-times

        Date: 01/26/2009

        Topic: Windows Product Activation

        Symptoms: It exists.

        Work-around: Use Linux if possible. Otherwise uninstall Windows 7; continue to use Windows XP corporate addition.

        • I doubt it, childish freetard quasi-satire doesn't tend to score many points when sent to Microsoft as a bug report.

          • Call names all you want, but I'm not buying an OS that requires activation and/or will stop working properly *on purpose* if I make some kinds of changes to my system. Until they change that, no dice.

            The original poster was saying, "submit bug reports and maybe Microsoft will fix them!" My point was to say that, for some of the problems that I have with Windows 7, there isn't a chance that Microsoft is going to fix it, because they've created the bug on purpose.

            • by gparent (1242548)
              I've never had a Windows installation disable itself or "stop working on purpose". Ever. And I've replaced my entire computer, reinstalled Windows on it (many times), and it activated flawlessly every time.

              And on the extremely rare (never happened in 5 years) occasion where it does happen, a 5 minute phone call and you're done.

              Your bug report will be ignored because it's not an issue.
        • "use Windows XP corporate edition" pretty much nails you as a pirate anyway (there is no "corporate edition"), I'm sure Microsoft has your IP address now and will contact your ISP. Have a nice day.

          brb putting my tinfoil hat on

          • Well whatever you call it. I have a volume license. (Yeah, I actually do. No joke, I'm not a pirate.)

            I've just had enough problems with activation causing my computer to cease functioning on various products that I won't buy any more software that requires it.

            Hell, I even bought Photoshop for my own computer with my own money. If I were going to pirate anything, that would have been the first thing.

        • by Yunzil (181064)

          If that's really what you submitted, then no.

          Maybe you could try not being a tool the next time.

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        The problem is that Windows 7 still doesn't get rid of DRM, which means if you install it you're telling Microsoft that you're ok with them having more control over your computer than you do. And since I'm not OK with that, the best Windows will ever do on my machine is run in a nice little sandboxed virtual machine.
        • Its funny about 10 years ago the reasons for getting off Windows was actually cRaZy reasons like stability, security, speed, performance. But with modern Linux distributions becoming worse and more unstable... (I think it happened from the switch from X11 to x.org) With WM that make your system run just as slow, security updates once a day... The only thing left is to bitch and moan about DRM and Activation.

          • by PitaBred (632671)
            Linux still runs faster, but systems are so fast that OS overhead is negligible (unless you count Vista), and 2000 and XP really did make large strides in Windows stability. I still wouldn't use them on a server since they require a reboot to update, but they're decent for desktops as long as you don't mind IE, viruses and DRM.

            But then again, you're probably just a Windows shill, or a troll. Or both.
    • by von_rick (944421)

      ... the programmers did a fine job killing the OS already.

      Unfortunately, the programmers didn't kill the OS, but turned it into a zombie. If you come into contact with this OS you become a zombie too. And the cycle continues.

    • Yeah, I have to admit I was a bit miffed when I read the headline, thinking "Dammit, I just installed the thing. I haven't have time to really test much of anything yet." This makes much more sense.

    • Well, at least this time they announce it. I went to one of their Server 2008 forums last year, and the promotional package contained a Vista Ultimate disc. When I finally got to build a new machine after Xmas, they had disabled the key dispensing website (the disc came with a key you needed to convert into a true install key online).
    • For the curious, the beta actually expires in August of this year.
      • This is what I'm more interested in. Will there be a public RC in August? Will I have to crack the beta to keep using it until the official Windows 7 launch? Will I have to format the partition and go back to XP?

        I'd be willing to test it, and even submit bug reports like a good beta tester, but I don't want to format in August. Give me a clear upgrade path to the full Windows 7, and I'd even consider (gasp) buying a legal copy.

  • Desktop Readiness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday January 26, 2009 @10:04AM (#26606715) Journal

    It's quite clever having this hugely open beta; they get masses of free testing, but under the guise of "Well it's beta...of course [prod_name] doesn't work!".
    It's users that whine the loudest when software breaks; so letting every-day users test their hardware/software with W7 is as much about getting the Joe Sixpacks' to whine at their software vendors early on...rather than just Microsoft applying pressure alone.

    Rather clever I think; it should make for a stable RTM all round.

    • It's quite clever having this hugely open beta; they get masses of free testing, but under the guise of "Well it's beta...of course [prod_name] doesn't work!".

      I'm not sure it's all that clever, given that it's pretty much the purpose of having a beta release.

    • I'm about to install it myself today and find out if the reports are true, but many people who have tested it claim it is quite stable, and greatly improved from Vista. Given that I like playing PC games, and most games require DirectX, Windows 7 is likely in my future whether I want it to be or not.

      There are reports that this beta is the most stable and polished beta Microsoft has ever released.

    • by MikeURL (890801)
      I haven't paid close attention in the past but is this the first open beta that MS has done of a major OS release? I don't recall there being an open XP or Vista beta program (certainly not THIS open).

      If indeed this is a first then I agree it is brilliant. You get the loudest and most irritating users in there first so that they can write blogs and articles etc. Then you have a division of MS collect the most common themes of complaints and "fix" it. Then you compile the millions of automated bug rep
  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday January 26, 2009 @10:06AM (#26606735) Homepage Journal

    Why have Beta when you can charge people for the first two or three test versions?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zwergin (572487)

      Why have Beta when you can charge people for the first two or three test versions?

      True. Oh wait... they already did that with Windows Vista, didn't they? I believe this is just a "refined" version of Vista with some more bells ,whistles and yet another new skin/look. ~Zwergin

  • Is it a good thing or a bad thing that this story has not been tagged "andnothingofvaluewaslost?" Or am I just impatient?
  • by shoptroll (544006) on Monday January 26, 2009 @10:31AM (#26607009)

    Shouldn't the word "distribution" be somewhere in there?

  • Horrible headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Monday January 26, 2009 @10:39AM (#26607059) Journal

    Microsoft will "kill" the beta in August 1, that is, this is the date of expiration / time bomb.

    Microsoft will stop distributing the beta in February though, a date that was extended from the previous due to the high demand.

  • feb 10 (Score:5, Funny)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Monday January 26, 2009 @10:49AM (#26607123)

    an extension beyond feb 10 was announced by torrentors and pirates

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Monday January 26, 2009 @11:05AM (#26607283) Homepage Journal

    So the torrent sites have a bunch open activation keys... downside is that they expire a bit earlier than the ones you get from MS... I think July instead of August.

    Anyway, I screwed around with trying to get Windows 7 working through official channels, but lost the trail shortly after validating my Windows Live! account, so I ended up throwing on a torrent'd copy instead.

    My old WinXP laptop that we use for Netflix streaming suddenly caught the VirtualMonde trojan, and I haven't had a lot of luck with various removal programs. So I actually had a reason to try out the Win7 Beta on a spare partition.

    I've never actually touched Vista, so I don't have firsthand experience with all of the annoyances that everyone complained about. So far I sorta like the Win7 Beta (the default background is actually a Betta fish, which is cute). Even on my older laptop (Dell Inspiron 8500) it would let me install the old WinXP drivers from the Dell site, and it only failed to recognize a few pieces of hardware out of the box (the NVidia card and the wifi modem).

    I'm still trying to figure out how to make the taskbar smaller... I have all the icons down to 32x32 except for the "Start" menu icon which is still stuck at 64x64

    The main problem is that the system freezes completely when I try to play a movie or open a picture. I suspect it's twiddling with the video card wrong, but I have yet to find the old menu to disable overlays in Windows Media Player. So I have failed to get it to serve its original purpose as a Netflix viewer, and we still have to boot back to the infected WinXP for that. I can keep the VirtualMonde popup ads under control if I run Spybot S&D for an hour or two after each reboot before opening up a browser. But haven't found any tool that can remove VirtualMonde completely, and it seems to have disabled Windows Update and the firewall.

    Anyway, I'll probably toy around with it for a little while longer, and then install ubuntu again and see if I can get Netflix streaming working under that using wine or maybe WinXP under VirtualBox (so I can reset it from a snapshot when viruses hit).

    Thought the /. crowd would enjoy this anecdote :P To be fair, this is the first virus I've found on my Windows box in several years, and probably the longest I've gone without having to reinstall to make it usable (I used to reinstall Windows every 6 months or so, and this image is between 1-2 years old).

    In contrast, I've reinstalled my main Debian box 2-3 times over the past decade as I upgraded hardware and RAID configurations. But I've still held on to my original home directory and certain /etc files (some of my dotfiles date back to 1999) and of course with dpkg/aptitude it doesn't take forever to rebuild+reinstall the rest of the application environment around it like it does on Windows.

    • by NSIM (953498)
      The freeze issue with video playback is a known problem if you are using old XP video drivers with W7.
  • You McDougalls might know a lot about the Windows 7 beta program, but you have a lot to learn about women!
  • by Tom (822) on Monday January 26, 2009 @11:09AM (#26607339) Homepage Journal

    In economics, it's generally known that reduced supply creates more demand, simply by the fact that we are "wired" to believe that rare equals valuable. It's also generally known that you can artifically create scarcity, to boost demand. That's the theory behind all the "just this week" or "sale ends on 31st" or even "only as long as supply lasts" sales labels.

    Just saying, you know.

    • by the fact that we are "wired" to believe that rare equals valuable

      This is pretty funny but true in a lot of ways. While The GIMP is open source and free to download for every major platform, I know lots of people who have a cracked Photoshop. I'd ask them: why bother with Photoshop, since you're not a professional and The GIMP is free? You typically get something like 'Photoshop can do more' while (for them) that's probably not the case.

      Incidentally, a friend of mine breaks off dates early in the evening with the message "I've got another appointment", which he claims giv

    • I realise there's a certain autopilot-like quality to the human mind but surely the conscious "hang on, do I actually want this?" question would sit on the top of the pile? It's not like people are going to subconsciously hoard it.
      • by Tom (822)

        Errr... no? There are entire economies built around the fact that you are wrong. The garbage bins near the checkout counter in pretty much every large store are the most visible stuff. They're called "impulse goods" in the industry (though I'm not sure if that's the actual english term, I only know the german one that would translate as such). This is the crap that people buy while waiting, on the "looks nice" impulse, without considering whether or not they really need it.

        • Filling out a form, downloading a 4gb ISO, burning that ISO to a DVD/flash drive and then installing a beta version of an OS on a fresh partition isn't all that comparable to grabbing some chewing gum while waiting for the checkout drone to do his thing. ;)
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ckwop (707653) <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Monday January 26, 2009 @11:10AM (#26607347) Homepage

    Given that Microsoft has had a massive PR success with Windows 7 beta, why not just let anyone and everyone download it?

    A bigger BETA test is better for Microsoft. More people using the Windows 7 beta means that more more bugs will be reported, it will lead to more positive press about the product and that will probably translate to more sales.

    So I'll ask the question: Why kill downloads of the beta?

    What purpose does it serve other than disenfranchising people who are hearing about Windows 7 through their geek friends?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DragonTHC (208439)

      Microsoft is going to leverage that PR success by creating the illusion that windows 7 is a scarce resource and thus raising the price for it. This, of course, will result in a massive retail failure for the company. If MS just charged $80 for the full OS which can be deployed any number of ways, they could once again own the remainder of the market share.

  • My brain shutdown at that point in the sentence in a state of orgiastic ecstasy.

  • So if I have Vista, and I upgrade to Windows 7 Beta...what happens at the end of beta testing? Does my computer still run Windows 7 (presumably I am now forced to either reformat or purchase Windows 7 or does it downgrade to Vista or does it just lock up or do I basically get Windows 7 for free?)?

    When installing windows 7, does the software uninstall any defunct Vista components? If it doesn't, can I reformat my computer and use the the Windows 7 install (once I burn it to DVD) as a fresh install? I wou
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335)

      So if I have Vista, and I upgrade to Windows 7 Beta...what happens at the end of beta testing? Does my computer still run Windows 7 (presumably I am now forced to either reformat or purchase Windows 7 or does it downgrade to Vista or does it just lock up or do I basically get Windows 7 for free?)?

      When installing windows 7, does the software uninstall any defunct Vista components? If it doesn't, can I reformat my computer and use the the Windows 7 install (once I burn it to DVD) as a fresh install? I would l

    • by Burnhard (1031106)
      Don't upgrade it (you'll be left with a non-functioning OS in August). Make a new partition or get another hard drive or something and install it fresh onto that, keeping your existing installation. If you don't mind wiping your laptop, you can format the partition when you boot the CD.
  • by duckInferno (1275100) on Monday January 26, 2009 @06:30PM (#26614179) Journal
    I just recently built a new PC. I was initially going to stick with just XP, but after hearing that Vista wasn't quite so shit anymore, and that my hardware had some issues with XP, I briefly considered Vista. A friend suggested Windows 7 and I thought what the hell, let's go for it.

    My system's quite chunky -- Core 2 Quad, DS3R mobo, 4 gigs ram, GTX 295, X-Fi titanium, velociraptor -- and a Lian Li case :D /casesex! Err, ahem. I used Vista drivers for most things with the exception of the sound card, which uses some drivers tweaked to work on Win7. I'm using the 64 bit version with a mix of 64bit and 32bit applications installed.

    I've had the odd hiccup -- the sound card messed up and I had to reinstall drivers for eg, though I think that was my fault when I was installing them the first time -- but zero crashes thus far. All applications and games run liquid smooth with no hitches (interestingly, WoW has an issue with movement in major cities, but I'm putting that down to drivers) but I'm too afraid to try crysis ;).

    The OS itself is beautiful to work with. The task bar is a definite improvement. The network set itself up upon installation, though I needed to manually set up my shares of course. It's a fast PC, so this is probably not a surprise, but everything is incredibly quick. From post-to-start-button takes 35 seconds. After a cold boot, Firefox opens less than a second after the taskbar click. I've had some issues with WMP playing mp3's, I use WMC and WinAmp so it's not an issue for me. I'm a virgin to Aero so I don't know if it's changed at all for Win7 but the prettiness is nice and doesn't interfere with anything -- it gives the impression of a quick and polished OS.

    Idle resources are a bit on the high side -- the basic processes uses 1gb of my RAM for eg. I've been informed that Win7 utilises extra ram/cpu when it's not in use and frees it up when things start getting scarce. I can't really comment on that as nothing I have gets me close to 4gb of ram use, but its idle use is consistent with this. I've also heard anecdotal evidence of Win7 running fine on 256mb of RAM and being usable on 128mb. Regardless, 4gb of memory is rather standard these days (being purchasable for $90 NZ) and with this amount, even the A-list games run liquid smooth and don't get anywhere near chewing up all four gigs, despite the OS's use (perhaps it cuts down on mem when the games start requesting resources).

    That familiar Office-style set of tiny formatting bars is gone for most windows apps, as are the File/Edit/View/etc menus at the top. Replacing them is a single large thick bar that vertically groups similar functions together, a vast improvement in my humble opinion, and this change is consistent across all stock windows apps I've messed with thus far. There's a new app called Snip that can be used to select any part of the visible screen, and then copy it, scribble on it, or save it as popular formats (gif, jpg, png), kind of like an express combination of print screen and mspaint -- previously the realm of 3rd party apps. My mac pro has a similar widget but it just doesn't stand up to this.

    The whole OS is very quick and stable, which is quite incredible when you consider not only is a MS product, it's also a beta product, and not due for release for another year. That's my experience though -- I've heard of a lot of people getting constant crashes and hardware incompatibilities. I haven't bought a MS product since windows 95 OEM but this may just change my stance... a consideration I never thought I'd ever make.

    I also invite the wrath of macbois by saying this, but I own and use a Mac Pro next to my PC on a regular basis and so far I much prefer win7 to leopard. don't hurt me!

    Note that I haven't used Vista, and as such the above anecdotal experience is a direct comparison between XP and Win7.
    • I've been informed that Win7 utilises extra ram/cpu when it's not in use and frees it up when things start getting scarce.

      It does that, quite similar to most Unix systems out there. On my 8Gb RAM machine, I've seen Win7 use up to 5Gb for system cache. Of course that gets discared once memory becomes scarce.

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