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Microsoft released its first Service Pack 1 public betas for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 yesterday at its annual partner shindig. “We managed to get this puppy out the door a few weeks early, so take advantage and download the code to evaluate the new features and benefits that SP1 can provide for server and desktop …

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Pirate

Inflection point?

Is this the point (preserving support for XP indefinitely) at which MS reaches maximum altitude and begins to roll over into descent?

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Boffin

Can't resist, sorry

An inflection point corresponds to a change of curvature. You are describing a local (or global) maximum. Global in this case, I think.

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Heart

YES!!!!!!!!

That means when I have downtime I can connect to

the remote server and play age of empire II !!!!!!!

YAY!

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Anonymous Coward

Is KB971033 included in the beta?

Or is it still an option?

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Stop

Oh for goodness sake

In this day and age there is absolutely no need to pirate Windows - if you are using it for mail/web/office, just get a copy of a linux dist. If you *really* need that extra Windows compatibility bite the bullet, and pay for it - remembering the reason you're paying for it is because you *chose* to be tied to Microsoft when you pirated/bought Microsoft products in the past.

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Linux

Or...

You could just grab a linux dist and then give Wine/Cedega/Crossover a go. The former is free, the latter two is still cheaper than what a copy of Windows 7 costs. I've had adequate success in running games in Wine in the past (well, okay. Only a few old Macromedia-based titles and a title that didn't require DirectX. Everything else failed because they depended on DX. Hopefully once ReactX comes out, Wine's DX compatibility will increase).

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Bronze badge
Alert

Wine/Crossover reality check

My experience with Wine (and the Crossover fork on the Mac, which I paid for) is decidedly mixed. I don't play games with it (got a M$ box and a PS3 for that), but I have a few Windows programs that I care about.

Kedit, an editor that has a particular feature set that I am passionate about and PasswordSafe, a password manager. I doubt either push the envelope in terms of particularly tricky Windows integration.

Neither are very usable. They are not full screen apps and key bindings always seem to go awry. PasswordSafe always seem to start up really small, but not minimized, for some reason and tends to blow up a lot on Linux. Alt-tabbing through the program lists never seems pick either up, especially on the Mac.

Bottom line - Wine may or may not work for games, but it sure isn't much fun for the apps I care about.

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Silver badge
FAIL

No wonder their security record is so bad

"MS tries to prevent world+dog from downloading the betas by first getting them to confirm their techie status. If a customer ticks the “Tech enthusiast” box, for example, then access is blocked.

But that’s extremely easy to work around. A customer simply needs to tick “IT manager”, “IT worker” or “IT developer” to grab the code."

You are kidding, right?

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Anonymous Coward

@Mahatma Cost

I preseum that it just gives them an extra layer of ass-shielding in case a 'tech fan' downloads it and tries to complain about the results.

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it doesnt; really sound

like a service pack, more a bog standard couple of updates bundled together.

I thought the whole point of a service pack was, that it was a significant update.

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Silver badge

I think the last SP MS issued which significantly changed OS funtionality was

the one that turned on the firewalls. Other than that an SP normally means "we bundled up all of our patches into one executable so you only have to reboot once instead of 4 times to get up to this standardized point in the life cycle. And it is also easier to put on CD to carry around and install when you are securely building your new PC in the only environment where it actually safe: off of the Internet, except of course we won't publicly admit that."

I for one prefer saying SP to typing all that crap to explain what they mean.

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Only twice...

Only twice have Microsoft released significant user-land updates to already-released versions of Windows. The first time was with Internet Explorer 4, when they released the optional Windows Desktop Update for Windows 95 and NT 4.0. The second time was Windows XP Service Pack 2, which provided additional security features such as Security Center to XP and, as someone else stated, turned on the Windows Firewall by default. All other service packs (for the NT series only; no official service packs were ever released for 9x) were mostly just update roll-up packs with the occasional backend framework update that allowed developers to expect certain libraries to be available on end user devices.

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Untrusted connection

Seems that Firefox doesn't like Microsoft issuing certificates to itself:

"Certificate not trusted, because it hasn't been verified by a recognised authority."

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Silver badge
Happy

Reminds me..

of the IE/Windows dialog box: "Only install or run this software if you trust the publisher..."

When the publisher is Microsoft, it always gives me pause...

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Anonymous Coward

Huh??

What URL are you getting that error on?

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Clearly not a BOFH-created system

Obviously no BOFH was behind that website, or checking the 'IT Manager' box would certainly deny you access to the beta...

(actually, it'd probably make the site deny you access to the beta and *also* then root your system, hack into your home automation and start cycling the heating / ac to their highest temperature extremes, and randomly toggling all the lights. heh.)

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Troll

@untrusted connection

I take it you must be using an older version of Firefox.

There are a few well-known bugs in Firefoxes certificate verification (which made it unusable for a large number of intranet scenarios, hence low corporate take-up).

I'd assume they resolved that by now.

Let's not forget XP SP2 also completely re-vamped the terrible wifi components within XP, which was previously nigh unusable.

That might not seem like much to your average home user, but when you're managing 80+ laptops on one site, it was a god-send!

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Thumb Up

Blue is the colour

I also recall that XP SP2 had built-in Bluetooth which was much nicer than the 3rd part software/drivers I was using at the time which were a right nightmare!

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