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Windows 7 To Skip Straight To a Release Candidate 856

Posted by Soulskill
from the iteration-is-for-wimps dept.
b8fait writes "The head of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows development confirmed that Windows 7 will take the unusual path of moving straight from a single beta, which was launched earlier this month, to a release candidate. Sinofsky fleshed out the plan today and hinted that just as there would be no Beta 2, the company would also not provide a RC2 build. In other words, there may be only one released build of Windows 7 before it ships, possibly much sooner than even some of the most aggressive rumors about Windows 7. How much different can Windows 7 really be with such a shortened beta cycle?"
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Windows 7 To Skip Straight To a Release Candidate

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  • This seems abrupt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rbanzai (596355) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @12:59PM (#26677913)

    For what is touted as a major OS release I really can't believe that a single beta can get the job done. Either they are rushing it, or it's really just a minor change to Vista.

    • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:08PM (#26678005) Homepage
      How many betas does a service pack need?
      • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:45PM (#26678299)

        How many betas does a service pack need?

        "Regression testing"? What's that? If it compiles, it is good, if it boots up it is perfect." - Linus Torvalds

        • by binarylarry (1338699) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:57PM (#26678393)

          There's a difference with the Linux kernel developers though. The kernel itself isn't released to "end users" in the same way Windows is released to their "end users."

          Distributions take a specific kernel they want to release... test it, package it and release it to actual end users. If there's a problem with some functionality beyond the kernel level, its the job of THOSE developers to make sure its working with the new kernel and notify the kernel developers if work needs to be done.

          This is what most people don't understand about linux. No one installs and uses "Linux," they install an operating system that happens to use the Linux kernel's functionality. "Using Linux" is a misnomer when its used in the same context as "uses Windows."

          • Re:This seems abrupt (Score:4, Informative)

            by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:31PM (#26678685) Homepage Journal

            Indeed, Fedora releases multiple candidates of the OS before sounding the all-clear. The kernel in question is vetted by the distro, not by the user (in general).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jurily (900488)

            The kernel itself isn't released to "end users" in the same way Windows is released to their "end users."

            Relax, it was a joke.

            Also, there was a time, when the most important feature of the Linux kernel was that it actually booted. (Compared to, say, HURD.)

          • by bigtallmofo (695287) * on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:12PM (#26678983)
            No one installs and uses "Linux," they install an operating system that happens to use the Linux kernel's functionality

            You have officially won the "semantics of the year" award!!
          • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:18PM (#26679037)

            First of all, I'm pretty sure the post you're replying to was tongue-in-cheek.

            Secondly, I'm guessing that the Windows 7 kernel has also been solidly finished for quite some time; few, if any, of the new features added to Windows 7 require kernel support.

            Thirdly, Linux needs to get the goddamned semantics down already! Someone comes in, "I tried Linux and my printer didn't work" then the reply is, "Linux is a kernel!!! It doesn't do printers!" Well, ok, then CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE. (Actually, I half-think the current confusing naming is on purpose, so there's always an 'out' to people who complain about Linux GUI problems.)

            • by ushering05401 (1086795) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:18PM (#26679441) Journal

              ...Thirdly, Linux needs to get the goddamned semantics down already! Someone comes in, "I tried Linux and my printer didn't work" then the reply is, "Linux is a kernel!!! It doesn't do printers!" Well, ok, then CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE. (Actually, I half-think the current confusing naming is on purpose, so there's always an 'out' to people who complain about Linux GUI problems.)

              I think the semantic confusion is due entirely to a populace unwilling to reject mass media branding.

              The media treats 'Linux' like a Windows alternative, and this is simply not the case. Linux is a kernel.

              Notice that you end your post with a remark about 'Linux' gui problems. Even you still do not get the point.

      • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:48PM (#26678317) Homepage Journal

        How many service packs will this beta need?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dotancohen (1015143)

        How many betas does a service pack need?

        If anyone has any doubt that Windows 7 is just Vista rebranded, read here:
        http://dotancohen.com/eng/windows_7_vista.html [dotancohen.com]

        • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:09PM (#26678477) Homepage Journal
          Is it supposed to be surprising that they didn't rewrite their entire codebase for every new OS release?!? Obviously Windows 7 is going to be built on top of the Vista codebase, that's how almost every software release works. Usually if a company decides to rewrite a program from the ground up (see: Adobe from time to time), the rewritten version is less featureful, less stable, and takes much longer to come out than the previous version.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:24PM (#26678627)
            Yet Vista wasn't a rewritten version.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:53PM (#26678837)

            The problem isn't that Windows 7 is based on Vista, of course it is. The point is that all Windows 7 seems to be is Vista 1.1. Coming up with an entirely new OS name is disingenuous. It would be the same if Apple came out with yet another X.something release and called it "OS XI". If they are not releasing a new OS then they shouldn't be pretending that they are.

            Sure, this is just nit-picking. It's not as if MS product names have ever really said much about what the product actually is. It is still annoying though.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by dimeglio (456244)

              Coming up with an entirely new OS name is disingenuous.

              To me there was a significant step in going from Windows 95 to Windows 2000. Then another big step from 2000 to XP and another big step from XP to Vista. I consider going to Windows 7 the same as upgrading Windows 98 to Windows Millennium Edition, catchy but insignificant except maybe for marketing. Corporations with very limited IT budgets are not going to move to Windows 7 any time soon.

              Yet I think they should have done better.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Firethorn (177587)

                I'd say there was a big difference between win95 and win2k. Different codebases, win2k came from the NT line.

                95->98->ME->Dead

                NT->2K->XP->Vista(bad)->Win7

                2K was a massive upgrade, regardless. XP eventually added a number of new capabilities, vista, well, tried.

                Win7? I have the 64bit version installed on my laptop, not incredibly impressed with it, but it works. I'm planning to try it on my main computer as a dual boot to give it more of a stress test.

            • by clang_jangle (975789) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:34PM (#26679545) Journal

              The problem isn't that Windows 7 is based on Vista, of course it is. The point is that all Windows 7 seems to be is Vista 1.1.

              NEW WINDOWS 7!!! Using the ALL-NEW, cutting edge NT kernel version 6.1!

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by Anonymous Coward

                Yeah, it annoys me when people are all "Windows N+1 is really just Windows N!".

                Win 7 is based on Vista, which is based on 2003, which shares a lot with XP, both of which come from Win2k, which comes from NT4 (along with some eye candy and features from the Win9x line -- which is really Win 3.x with 32 bit thunking, which itself was little more than a GUI for DOS, which itself was much of a CP/M clone), which comes from older NT 3.x series, which inherited part of it's design from VMS (itself being based on

            • Apple makes a big deal (and charges more than $100) of each of their dot releases. OS 10.0, 10.1, etc. have been built on the same code base and have had minor (and some more-than minor) enhancements and tweaks. A couple of the OS X releases were really just service packs (or bug fixes) that shouldn't be called a new release or OS.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by RocketRabbit (830691)

                Which ones? Even if there weren't a lot of new, user visible features added between some of the releases, there has been a constant supply of new APIs, bug fixes, and many many speedups added with each release of OS X. with 10.3 they added Altivec support to as much of the OS as they could, and all of a sudden the system ran faster than the previous rev. In fact, I have used all the OS X versions as my main desktop OS since 10.0, and it has gotten faster and more stable with each version. Who can claim

          • by dotancohen (1015143) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:18PM (#26679033) Homepage

            Usually if a company decides to rewrite a program from the ground up (see: Adobe from time to time), the rewritten version is less featureful, less stable, and takes much longer to come out than the previous version.

            Please mention that to the folks who are dropping KDE 4.

          • by timeOday (582209) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:00PM (#26679299)
            Whether it's "surprising" is subjective. But since "new versions" normally cost $$$ while service packs do not, this move would make me angry if I were a Vista user. They sell me Vista, then finally get it working 2 years later but change the name so I have to pay again!?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Machtyn (759119)
            Vista was written on top of XP on top of 2000 on top of NT. The problem with Windows 7 is that it appears to be a Vista rebranding. Microsoft took a huge hit on Vista and every geeks cousin's mother won't touch Vista, so much that Dell is highly recommended as that is one of the few places that sells pre-loaded XP boxes.
        • by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:16PM (#26678535)

          That screenshot comes from documentation, which is often one of the last things to be updated. I don't really think that's all that surprising.

          In a related example, the "Create New Shortcut" (or something) screen in Windows 98 still showed a miniature screenshot of the Windows 95 Start menu (including the words "Windows 95") on the side. Does that mean Windows 98 was just Windows 95 rebranded? No, but it's hardly surprising that they are based on the same code.

        • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <<robert> <at> <chromablue.net>> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:24PM (#26678619)

          If anyone has any doubt that Windows 7 is just Vista rebranded, read here:

          Why, cause YOUR blog found that the documentation had yet to be updated? Look through the rest of the product's documentation. Building on Vista isn't a crime - we don't ask Red Hat to rewrite, clean room, every release of Enterprise Linux, nor do we scream and whine "OMG, does anyone have any doubt that FC10 is just a rebrand of FC9 with some updates?!?"

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Kozz (7764)

          I hear that the developers for Windows 7SP1 will include a natively-built grep-like utility.
          [/snarky]

        • Re:This seems abrupt (Score:4, Informative)

          by HiVizDiver (640486) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:05PM (#26678925)
          I still can't believe that we're even debating if it's just a Vista rebrand/service pack. It looks, feel, and operates almost exactly LIKE Vista, in nearly every way. Yes, there are some changes, some of them even approach fundamental, but even those only affect one specific bit of OS behavior. By and large, it feels EXACTLY like a service pack for Vista.
        • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:28PM (#26679103)

          Yeah, and a human is 97% genetically indistinguishable from a pig.

          Viva la Difference!

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:10PM (#26678021) Homepage

      I guess it depends on what constitutes a "release". They could spend another year and a couple hundred builds and still call it "Beta 1".

      But yeah, I kind of get the feeling that they think the problem with Vista is just PR. They've managed to build some hype around Windows 7 and have gotten people to say some positive things, so they're going to kick it out the door and hope to get the sales that Vista has been missing.

      I think they might be missing the point, though.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:10PM (#26678493)

        I think they might be missing the point, though.

        In my opinion they are right.

        The problem with Vista -now- really is primarily PR.

        The launch kinks have mostly been worked out.
        The driver situation has significantly improved.
        And the price of 'suitable hardware' has continued its downward trend.

        The only major obstacle in the face of Microsoft really is public perception that "Vista sucks"; and most of the people who think it sucks haven't even tried it, and won't.

        • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:33PM (#26678709) Homepage

          I think that beyond the PR problem of "Vista sucks," there's yet another problem of "why should I want Vista?"

          Maybe that can be solved with PR too, but it's not entirely a PR problem.

        • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:35PM (#26678723)
          I think the main thing that makes people hate Vista is the pathetic slowness of it. Compare that to Windows 7 where multiple reviewers have stated that it runs decently on even low-end netbooks. If MS could have gotten Vista to where it ran at a halfway decent speed, it wouldn't have gotten all the negative press, and don't use the piece of crap excuse that Vista was built for next-generation hardware, the OS is supposed to have a tiny, tiny, footprint on the actual programs. To put it one way, Ubuntu can run quickly and comfortably on an early Pentium 4 with 512 MB of RAM, on the other hand you will be waiting for ages for the thing to run Vista.

          If Windows 7 can maintain its "light and fast" reputation and Apple doesn't make any moves to upset it such as releasing a *real* low-cost Mac (less than $350), netbook, or start embracing OS X on non-Apple hardware, I can see MS not losing any major marketshare like they have been with Vista.
          • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:34PM (#26679137)

            I've never had any problems with Vista's speed. I think the reporting on how slow it is is based on:

            1) A couple bad benchmarks during its beta (the infamous "file copy" one, for example, which was quickly fixed in the release version)
            2) Massive amounts of exaggeration from people who haven't even tried Vista.

            There's also a possibility of:

            3) Shitty driver support from OEMs.

        • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:36PM (#26679149)
          One minor point that they haven't 'fixed'. The economy still sucks. I doubt seriously people are going to drop for new hardware or another $300 bucks for an OS that offers nothing substantial that isn't already do-able in XP.

          The only thing Vista/Win7 offers is a more secure environment and if someone is currently using a firewalled and v-scanned version of XP, they will see little value in the new offering for that price.

          You can bet once Win7 releases, XP will die because MS forces it to. They will kill it by expiring product support faster than you can blink an eye.
        • Re:This seems abrupt (Score:5, Informative)

          by IceDiver (321368) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:08PM (#26679365)

          In my opinion they are right.

          The problem with Vista -now- really is primarily PR.

          The launch kinks have mostly been worked out.

          I've heard that one before.

          The driver situation has significantly improved.

          Which is why, last time I did a Vista install, both the printer and network drivers mysteriously disappeared a week later, only to mysteriously reappear the next day. New equipment, with Vista certified drivers, btw.

          And the price of 'suitable hardware' has continued its downward trend.

          Okay, I'll give you that one.

          The only major obstacle in the face of Microsoft really is public perception that "Vista sucks"

          and this perception exists, perhaps, because Vista really DOES suck?

          I keep hearing that the problems with Vista have been solved, but every time (yes, EVERY time) I have tried Vista, or set it up for someone, I have had problems. I simply no longer believe any claims that Vista has been fixed.

        • by ogdenk (712300) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:39PM (#26679581)

          Now think how much more useful that "suitable hardware" is with a real operating system that doesn't require 2GB of RAM to run Notepad without swapping.

          Hell FreeBSD will run quite happily run on a 512MB machine with Compiz. W/o the snazzy OpenGL-accelerated wm (like using windowmaker instead), it'll run on an 64MB machine fairly well. It FLIES on a 2Ghz machine w/ 2GB of RAM and beats the disk much less than Vista will.

          OS X Tiger ran great on a 450mhz G4 w/ 512MB RAM. It was even usable on a 500mhz G3 iBook w/ 384MB. OS X 10.4 has all the features Vista was touting and then some.

          Just because Win7 "sucks less" doesn't mean MS deserves another chance.

          And yes, I've used Vista. The 35 Vista machines we've been saddled with at work have been the biggest pains in our ass since they were purchased.

          And anyone that willingly has DRM of that magnitude shoved down their throat on their own personal machine deserves what they get.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shaitand (626655)

          'The problem with Vista -now- really is primarily PR.'

          That and the buggy security model, incompatible major software issues, numerous issues with network printing, and the fact that even on 'suitable hardware' it is outperformed by its predecessor in almost all areas. And lets not forget the marketing screwup of releasing it in 200 flavors when two confused the userbase.

          Vista still remains a downgrade from XP with no clear advantages (except video previews on the taskbar... ooo... ahhh...) and plenty of sho

    • by Daimanta (1140543) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:20PM (#26678111) Journal

      "Either they are rushing it, or it's really just a minor change to Vista."

      Yes

    • Re:This seems abrupt (Score:4, Informative)

      by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:31PM (#26678199) Homepage

      For what is touted as a major OS release I really can't believe that a single beta can get the job done. Either they are rushing it, or it's really just a minor change to Vista.

      Having run the beta since its release, I can say it's more the latter than the former. Windows 7 is prettier and feels faster than Vista ever did on the same hardware. Underneath, Win7 kernel feels like it's about 90% the same as Vista. WinXP SP2 was arguably as big a change (or bigger) than Win7 is to Vista. I think it's ridiculous that MS is making customers pay for this as an upgrade when it's really a very pretty service pack.

      That said, there are a couple of very rough areas still present in Win7. The ones I've found thus far are:

      - It breaks quite a few AV packages, but then again what major system change (SP, upgrade, etc.) doesn't?

      - The Windows Mobile Device Center is unusable with most phones. It just crashes when I plug in my AT&T Fuze (aka HTC Touch Pro).

      - IE 8 is something of a disaster right now. All kinds of rendering issues. It shows a lot of promise but is probably the most "beta" thing in Win7.

      - Windows Media Player is seriously buggy. There was an announced bug that adding MP3's to the library would irreversibly trim a few seconds from every file. Eek! Glad I don't use it.

      There is one thing I find comfortably similar between Vista and Win7: stability. My Vista setup had not one single BSOD in over a year of operation. Never. Not once. It would routinely go any length of time between reboots that I cared to go, although I typically rebooted for patches once a month. Win7 has been rock solid stable, much more so than any previous MS beta OS I've ever used and way more stable than the Vista betas. Honestly, since I don't use IE or WMP, they could release Win7 today and I'd have no problem using it as my production OS. The WMDC is kind of a pain, but I sync OTA so I really only use it to add/remove files from my phone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jrothwell97 (968062)
      However, MS has been more conservative with betas this time round. It's more like betas were in ye olden days—the beta is stable with only a few bugs to be squished. The Release Candidate will, I suspect, be what it says on the tin: ready to go, unless a major bug is found. Considering that Vista's betas were alpha-quality, and its RC was like a rushed beta (i.e. alpha quality too), I wouldn't be surprised if the RC was identical to the RTM in all but the branding.
    • Re:This seems abrupt (Score:5, Informative)

      by AlphaZeta (1356887) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:55PM (#26678377) Homepage
      From the version number [kerrywong.com] it looks like Windows 7 is just a minor update to Windows Vista (6.1 versus 6.0).
      • Re:This seems abrupt (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LO0G (606364) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:25PM (#26678631)

        MSFT claims [windowsteamblog.com] that the reason it's 6.1 is because applications broke:

        We learned a lot about using 5.1 for XP and how that helped developers with version checking for API compatibility. We also had the lesson reinforced when we applied the version number in the Windows Vista code as Windows 6.0-- that changing basic version numbers can cause application compatibility issues.

  • by Bredero (1154131) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:00PM (#26677919)
    ... because vista is actually fine
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:01PM (#26677941)

    Vista was shoved out the door too early without enough time to season. So for their second whack at it, which they've conveniently renamed to disguise the fact that it's a second whack, they're shoving it out the door too early without enough time to season. Consistency is a good thing but not when you're doing it wrong.

  • Marketing play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by homb (82455) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:03PM (#26677967)

    Windows 7 is mostly a marketing play. It should have been Vista SP2 with the usual bunch of very useful cleanups, accelerations and simplifications (i.e. what Vista should have been).
    However, the name Vista is now such a disaster that they had to change the name.

  • Release Candidate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karljohan (807381) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:05PM (#26677979) Homepage
    I always thought that "Release Candidate" was english, meaning that it is a candidate for release? How can they then know how many such candidates that will fail to be release quality before hand?
  • by scsirob (246572) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:06PM (#26677991)

    If Microsoft skips a decent beta then either they don't put much value on beta testing anymore, or they are so eager to leave the Vista debacle behind that they are willing to put a RTM (Release To Manufacturing) sticker on beta-quality code.

    This will make all Microsoft users beta testers, and Win7 SP1 will be the real release version

  • Not very (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:06PM (#26677995) Homepage

    Not very different. Face it, Windows 7 is simply Windows Vista SP3. Microsoft just can't call it that because of the bad reputation Vista gained thanks to MS's mishandling and misapprehension of what users actually want. What we're seeing isn't a shortened beta cycle for Windows 7, it's a longer-than-usual testing/beta cycle for a service pack.

  • by Pathway (2111) <pathway@google.com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:07PM (#26677999)

    I'm using the Windows 7 Beta right now, and previously I've been using Windows Vista.

    Is it really that much better? Here are the points I can think of it being better than Vista:

    * Faster on Less Hardware - They did make it work better on older slower hardware with less memory.
    * Less Annoying User Account Control - It doesn't freak out every time I want to run a program from the desktop. This should be included into Vista with a service pack, imho.
    * New Starbar - I like it. Good Job Microsoft. But is it worth the upgrade?

    Other than these things... why would anybody upgrade?

    Oh... yeah, that's right... Everybody says it's "So much better." Right.

    --Pathway

    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:23PM (#26678141) Journal

      * Faster on Less Hardware - They did make it work better on older slower hardware with less memory.

      But still slower than XP on the same hardware. Faster than Vista is not saying much.

      This should be included into Vista with a service pack

      The whole thing strikes me as Vista SP3.

    • by Caboosian (1096069) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:45PM (#26678295)

      I'm using the Windows 7 Beta right now, and previously I've been using Windows Vista.

      Is it really that much better? Here are the points I can think of it being better than Vista:

      * Faster on Less Hardware - They did make it work better on older slower hardware with less memory. * Less Annoying User Account Control - It doesn't freak out every time I want to run a program from the desktop. This should be included into Vista with a service pack, imho. * New Starbar - I like it. Good Job Microsoft. But is it worth the upgrade?

      Other than these things... why would anybody upgrade?

      Oh... yeah, that's right... Everybody says it's "So much better." Right.

      --Pathway

      What has every new edition of Windows been other than a slightly better UI coupled with more support for more hardware? I mean, 2 out of 3 of your points are about UI, and from what I've been able to tell (also currently running the beta) it makes a fairly large difference. Finding windows/using more windows at once isn't a problem with the new taskbar, and as you said, it is slightly leaner than Vista was.

      So why would anybody upgrade? Because the only real reason people ever upgraded their (Windows) OS was security (adjustable UAC helps with that tremendously) and UI. So, yeah, it really is "So much better" to those who don't realize how minimal of a change this is. In fact, its still "So much better" for those who do know how minimal the change is. Hell, I was an XP holdout til the beta. I even have an XP partition on my drive, which I've used all of three times. The UI in 7 just keeps driving me back towards it, and I feel that's the same reason people will upgrade.

      That's not to say that Vista couldn't be essentially 7 - in fact, with a simple service pack, it really would be just a slightly beefier version - but since that won't happen, expect people to flock to 7.

      The UI is the frontend to the entire OS. Even minimal changes, especially good, solid minimal changes (e.g., the taskbar), make a huge difference in the overall "feel" of the OS. Furthermore, they help increase the usability of the OS - and coupled with running faster, these two seemingly small changes can really help increase productivity on the OS.

      So, sure, aside from all these things... why would anybody upgrade? Because only an idiot would discount these things.

  • In beta for years. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Metasquares (555685) <slashdot@metasquar[ ]com ['ed.' in gap]> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:14PM (#26678057) Homepage
    Vista was the beta.
  • Snow Leopard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:14PM (#26678059) Homepage Journal

    Of course they're trying to rush the release of Windows 7, Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" is right around the corner.

    I guess that Apple ad about Microsoft putting all their money into marketing instead of R&D was closer to truth than some people would like to believe.

  • staffing reasons (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:17PM (#26678081)

    There's been a speculation on the Mini-Microsoft blog [blogspot.com] about layoffs hitting the Windows team after 7 ships. This could partly explain why only 1400 of the 5000 announced layoffs were said to have been notified immediately.

    Someone posted a comment to the effect that, being self-interested, people the Windows dev team should react by dragging out the process as long as possible, hopefully not shipping until the economy starts recovering.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:17PM (#26678085)
    If the testing cycle is foreshortened, will the professional buyers steer clear, until the quality of the release is proven?

    or is this O/S only meant for "ordinary people" who have neither the ability to discern quality product, nor the option of choosing anything else (linux aside, but that's a different topic)

  • by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:22PM (#26678135) Journal

    Windows 7 is likely more aimed at XP users and people considering the unreasonably expensive switch to Mac.

    I don't think it's really aiming to be the next big upgrade for Vista users, although I believe it will be anyway.

    If you want to consider Windows 7 a SP, that's not a bad call, since it's built on Vista's backend directly. It's really an overhauled and re-imagined userland which really does warrant a version change. It doesn't act like prior Windows so it is fair to call it a new system, for user's sake.

    I've been using the Beta for a while and it isn't a beta like say... an Ubuntu beta. This is a beta of a quality the open source world cannot obtain. We call this a release in linuxland. For this reason, I don't think there's anything strange about them aiming for a single RC.

    Alternatively, this could easily be a case of an upgraded installer/software update tool rendering it unnecessary to separate RC releases. They might just upgrade the RC if they need another one.

    I think the marketing angle on this is that Windows 7 is correct by design. Besides, Apple releases new versions of OS X that are basically service packs at full price all the time, and they don't even have large public betas. Consider that Microsoft has a far larger and more effective QA system internally than Apple. They CAN release like this-- they've got an army of internal testers aside from the millions of beta testers out there.

  • by ternarybit (1363339) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:29PM (#26678185)
    Vista is the "New Coke [wikipedia.org]" to XP's Coca-Cola, and 7 is "Coca-Cola Classic."

    Maybe I'm just jaded/cynical, but isn't this a bit too convenient? MS goes from taking 6+ years developing a bloated, buggy, annoying OS to releasing a suspiciously stable, fast and well-supported OS in less than 2?
  • by slaker (53818) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:30PM (#26678189)

    I've been using Windows 7 on my Thinkpad for the last three weeks or so, and I've got a laundry list of bugs, issues and comments, and ironically one of the things that's broken in the beta release is the fucking "send feedback" feature.

    I signed up for Microsoft Connect, and I still don't see any obvious way to submit bug reports. Maybe I have to be using IE or something.

    And it's not like I haven't gotten Windows Updates in those three weeks. I think they don't really want any actual feedback. They're getting positive notes from the media, and Windows 7 will undoubtedly be far less reviled than Vista deservedly is, but the public beta has been out for a while; it's not like they could escape the fact that no one can send them bug reports.

    I really think the fact that the "Send Feedback" button that's on every single open window in Windows 7 beta does not actually allow feedback to be sent is a deliberate move on the part of Microsoft.

  • Strange Vibes... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Neptunes_Trident (1452997) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:35PM (#26678221)
    Call me paranoid, though I am concerned, a feeling like I/We are walking or rushing into fog. I cannot shake the feeling that there is something not right with this Windows 7 hype and a rush to release. Has anyone done thorough security tests on Windows 7? I mean yeah Vista is rough around the edges, and enough hater history to keep it in check, but does releasing Windows 7 really put M$ back on track? I have my doubts about all this Windows 7 hype. Like maybe some nasty surprise comes up after everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Something very strange is being built up here. Or maybe its just I'll never leave my WinXP, except for my Linux. Seriously though.
  • by owlnation (858981) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:36PM (#26678237)
    The timing of Windows 7's release being sped up may not help it.

    Look at the economy in most countries right now. Many people have either lost their jobs or are fearful for their security. Most firms need maximum productivity with minimum overheads to survive the storm.

    Could there be a worse time to launch a new product? Especially when said product is a dubious, at best, improvement on XP. As a home user, and not a gamer, I see no reason whatsoever to switch from XP. For business users, I'm thinking it must be corporate suicide to introduce a new operating system that adds little extra features, and yet has such a different interface that it will require some extra training, and a noticeable decrease in productivity. Never mind the additional cost of licensing and installation.

    I simply do not understand how they can possibly think Windows 7 will be successful.
  • Vista-- (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EddyPearson (901263) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:29PM (#26678673) Homepage

    Thats because Windows 7 == Vista with some bloat removed.

    UAT's a breeze when your codebase is shrinking.

  • by Yaddoshi (997885) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:44PM (#26678783)
    Windows 7 is to Windows Vista as Windows 98 SE is to Windows 98.

    Microsoft is good at selling a repaired version of the original software at full price. I don't know any other business that can successfully release a broken product and then charge their customers full price for what essentially amounts to a product upgrade. Only lawyers get more money for less.

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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