back to article First Windows 7 beta puts fresh face on Vista

Microsoft has officially released the first Windows 7 beta. While it's been one of the web's worst kept secrets, Microsoft was still keeping quiet about the details and timing of the final release at the time of writing. Everyone expects release later this year. A leaked briefing paper for OEM vendors suggests that the date …


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  1. Peter Kay

    The problem is, pretty much everyone doesn't *want* a new OS

    You got a 'new OS' in Vista, and you didn't like it. Leave aside the driver issues (generally solved for all but the most shit hardware), the file copying issues (fixed for most people after far too long) and the RAM requirements (cheap these days) Vista *is* a new version of Windows.

    What are the real complaints about? Being slow? Due to not enough memory most of the time or really crappy graphics chipsets (we already know about Intel arm twisting Microsoft on that one).

    Driver problems - you can argue about whether the architecture is better (it is in several areas, perhaps worse in others) but the manufacturers had a *very* long time to create drivers and simply didn't get off their arses. Perhaps you're thinking about the (annoying) loss of accelerated DirectSound? Well - like the Direct3D 10/10.1 support bitching by Nvidia, that's about having a consistent set of capabilities supported by *all* hardware. Which is what people want, instead of finding that something only properly works on an NVidia(or ATI) card, or only sounds ok on a Creative Labs card.

    App compatibility - personally I've had very few apps fail. The ones that do fail generally do so because they're badly written and insist on admin privilege. Is it Vista's fault for attempting to enforce a configuration everyone should have been running XP/2000 in anyway? I will however grant that a) Microsoft's own apps were also sloppily written *cough*Visual Studio 2005*cough* and b) Whilst UAC isn't intrusive once you run decent apps, the Vista admin tools should not use UAC to view system settings, only to change them - shoddy move MS.

    It was exactly the same with the 98/XP transition many people went through. Direct3D wasn't initially as fast, drivers didn't exist, *really* crappily written (ie. trying to write almost anywhere in memory) apps broke. Not to mention the interface whinges.

    All most of the userbase is saying is that they really don't like change, which is one reason why Microsoft won't/can't make even bigger changes. They don't feel strongly enough about it to run OS X or non Apple Unixes either, otherwise you'd be buying Apple kit or a *nix box with some form of Windows virtulisation to run all your old apps. They can do that today, so this is all about not wanting to learn *any* new OS.

    At some point the world does need to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into a more modern 64 bit, large memory and disk supporting, fully SATA capable, more secure and IPV6 capable by default OS. If not Vista, OS X, *BSD, Linux, Solaris etc. Otherwise things stagnate and x86 technology in particular has to carry on using horribly ancient hacks.

  2. David Hicks
    Thumb Down

    New start bar sounds irritating

    "the Quick Launch toolbar has been retired. The Start menu still exists, but if you pin an application to the taskbar it appears there whether or not it is running. It makes sense, because from the user's perspective launching or switching to an application is not much different, though the two states look confusingly similar in the beta."

    1. Quick launch was a good feature, when you gutted it of the MS apps in there.

    2. There's a world of difference between switching to an app that's running now and starting one up. Unless you have a machine with infinite RAM. I (and others) absolutely do want to know whether MS Word is not started or if it's running and hogging half the machine's resources.


    /wanders off, muttering, to his debian machine

  3. Dave

    Is this pessimist corner?

    Why dont you wait .... ooooh .... a whole day and download the bloody thing and try it. Go on, give it a go.

    I have with OS X, which I consider to be a useless turd of a shell, and I use it daily. As for "Its just Vista SP2" and they are making us pay for it again ..... what about Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Monkey flinging its own shit through the bars at the Zoo then? Why, its the same OS with a few tweaks and maybe a new application here and there, but you all get down on your knees in front of Mr Jobs to thank him in that special way everytime one comes out.

    As for the OS X dock comparisons, you mean a bar which you can drag applications to to start without having to go through a menu? Am I the only person on the planet who ever used quick launch? And which version of Windows was that available from?

    I had no need for vista when it came out and im still using XP at home. I have tried Vista and without all the bloatware that comes from the vendors it runs fairly well even on systems at the bottom of its range (even on my old Thinkpad T21 with 512MB ram .... sans Aero :D)

    I will be downloading it and installing on an under-specced system again to see how it works on it. Then I will give an opinion

  4. N Silver badge

    @James - remember?

    Windows 95, and then Windows 98...

    Shortly followed by ME or was it Mainly Errors?


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps it is just the screenshot...

    ...but for the life of me, it looks really difficult to know which of those taskbar icons is associated with the thumbnail previews. After a bit more study I can see it is IE, but due to the gratuitous use of the transparency effect, the three icons on the far right also look as though they have the same 'active' state as IE's does.

    Anyway, there is a very obvious reason why they have to call this a new version even if it is just a bit of lipstick on Vista - because it is unlikely to run on all those "Vista-capable" machines and MS would face another massive class action suit that they are doomed to lose if they released it as an SP to Vista. By calling it something different to Vista and a new version, they sidestep the lawsuit-crater they made for themselves with that idiotic marketing stunt.

  6. Goat Jam

    @Peter Kay

    "You might as well say, with a fair degree of justification, that XP was just a facelifted Windows 2000 and most people (eventually) loved XP."

    The difference, of course, is that most people didn't hate 2000 to start with.

    In fact the prevailing feeling at the time was that 2000 was pretty damn good and that XP merely provided a superfluous facelift to an already acceptable OS while offering very little actual extra value.

    If it wasn't for MS outright refusal to include USB2 support to 2k then XP acceptance may have taken substantially longer.

  7. Tone

    So where's the button "I'm a developer"...


  8. Eddie Johnson


    >>what's touted as "the future of Windows" is just a hastily slapped together patch better befitting a home entertainment system than a personal computer

    Uhm, no. A media player should not require daily, or even *any* patching. It should not need a fan, and it should certainly not cost money for the "firmware." MS is not going to penetrate my life to the point of being on my media player, stove or washing machine. And that kind of deep penetration *IS* Microsoft's goal. First your media player, then your phone, then your battleship. All your appliances are belong to us.

    "Microsoft has detected an unauthorized copy of Windows, your house is being shut down. If you wish to reenter your house please contact Microsoft to purchase a valid license."

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    any of the people here posting...

    .. actually tried the beta ,or even use windows or is this just currently a bunch of linux users seeing the some info about a new product from there hated company and foaming at the mouth?

    i have used it , resource wise it seems nice, running it on a vm i gave 512 ram and it runs ok, taking time to startup at the moment but not sure if its thats the vm or the fact that its a vm on vista with only 1 gig of actual ram :P

    @ David Hicks, its a yes and no thing , the new bar basically doesn't make a new icon if you load something you have pinned to it, new programs = new icon. Something that is pinned will open the window if its loaded load program if not,if you mouse over the icon it will show the instances that are running.

    and @ everyone saying its like the OSX dock, as soon as i saw it i though "Oh god, rabbid Mac fans will love this, because they have removed the words from the task bar it looks similar now" (as you can say the the xp taskbar is like the dock, jsut with words!!)

  10. snafu


    That they have gotten to make it run decently on netbooks suggests that it could be a nice one, actually.

    (I saw some interview to some Microsoft engineer explaining what the inner tweaks were, and I was left with the impression that this is going to be quite parallel to the initial release of OS X vs. OS X Panther, from stinkish to quite fine)

  11. Doug Glass


    I didn't know I needed task bar thumbnails in order to look at the task bar and be able to tell what programs or files I opened that I wanted to open. Hmmm, I need to know more about this wonderful new feature of telling what I already know. I know, being a retiree I need this kind of mental exercise. I know that's true because so often now I have to open the frig door and close it in order to know it's closed. Same with the lamps in my house: gotta turn them on so I can turn them off and know they're off. Getting old is the pits.

    Build 7000 is still Vista, and it still stinks. But if they keep making it "new" pretty soon they'll reinvent Windows XP SP3.

  12. Chika
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft fibbing? Nah... can't be!

    > > Windows 95, and then Windows 98...

    > Shortly followed by ME or was it Mainly Errors?

    > shudder!

    The problem I have here is that I do remember the above systems. Of all of those mentioned, only the last-but-one W98, that is W98SE (given that WMe was just a rebranding of the turd... er, third edition of 98) was any good.

    What is really puzzling is that they have said that W7 was supposed to be a slimmed down, faster OS that could replace XP on such beasts as the low cost netbooks and so forth that can't touch Vista with a ten foot Slovak. Have they fibbed to us after all?

  13. Duncan Hothersall

    @ Dave

    A truly bizarre position you have adopted there. Essentially "Apple is just as bad as Microsoft, therefore you should just live with it." It's perfectly possible to think that Apple's fleecing of its customers is just as bad, if not worse, than MS's fleecing of its customers. I do. Having another company doing the same thing is not a justification.

    Are you an American by any chance? The two-party system has a lot to answer for. :-)

  14. David Whitney

    Lack of scientific analysis here...

    Reading the reg comments page is always a particularly nasty form of self torture.

    I cannot believe how many under-informed armchair critics are posting in this thread with the most stereotypical responses without actually trying the product.

    A lot of the cited issues, quite frankly, were side effects of poor hardware or early support of a new platform. There were some big mistakes in the early Vista UI, but they slowly got corrected. The performance issues have been widely misreported in both positive and negative directions and most people simply never even tried the OS.

    Vista circa SP1has a rock solid architecture and performs very well (especially in it's 64bit incarnation in a machine with 2-4Gb RAM, which is about £40 today) and from the sounds of it Win7 is an improvement on that. Perhaps it's a little service-pack-ish, but find me an operating system update that isn't.

    If the "major" competitors could produce something lightyears better with any kind of cross platform compatability (or transparent virtualisation without the need for tools like VMWare Fusion) perhaps Microsofts market share might suffer, until then? Apples luxary hardware is only going to get them so far. Keep banging those underdog drums. Softwares only as good as the developers who write it.

    Slightly terrified at the ignorance and lack of scientific evaluation based on the predicatable FUD.

    Me? I'll withhold any judgement on the beta until I've tested it, and on the retail product until it's on a (virtual) shelf.

  15. Peter Kay

    @Goat Jam and Chris Matchett

    Goat : The prevailing feeling, as I remember it, around 2000 was indeed that it was damn good *amongst NT users*. No surprise that people moving from NT4 were pleased they finally got properly supported DirectX, USB1, the Windows 9x derived interface and a load of networking stuff.

    There was no big push for the 9x users to move - that only happened when XP was released and Microsoft began encouraging the average user to move. At that point the whinges (from the 9x crowd) increased somewhat.

    Chris : Multiple monitors (beyond 2, or monitor and TV etc). CUDA/Physx/ATI equivalent type physics/scientific processing stuff. Theoretically being able to run both older and newer generation Nvidia cards (bet it won't work due to DLL conflicts anyway) as they use different drivers for newer generation (260/280 etc, 9x, 8x series) and older (7x, 6x, ancient) cards.

  16. Andy Watt

    Pre-emptive multi-tasking

    Does anybody know if Windows 7 can finally work out how to time-slice properly? Or is realtime performance still a bloody joke for audio processing?

    That's it. I'm OSXing from now on. I've had enough of this piecemeal windows bollocks.

  17. Tim

    Corporate use of Linux?

    Out of curiosity, is anyone aware of a company which has actually moved away from MS to Linux for it's main corporate network? Not that I know much about Linux at all, I should add.

    I wonder if this is now increasingly likely; say MS drops support for XP (and requires around £300/user for new W7000 licences). Businesses will have to do something, not least because auditors will require management to not have an "obsolete" OS in place. It would certainly be essential to explore all the options for replacing XP, after all any upgrade project from XP to W7000 will not be simple anyway, and would almost certainly require widespread hardware replacement.

    p.s. what's the options instead of Exchange- Lotus Notes, Novell, er...


  18. Steve
    Gates Horns

    Vista Anoynance

    SAdly i bought a cheap Advent 5301 and have no choice but to run sodding vista :( Linux will not run on teh dam thing somethign to do with a gfx driver!! (Any help greatfull)

    Also funny thought for you all. All the windows service packs put together are bigger then the install CD for XP.

    So in theory does that mean my orignal XP has been replaced hehehehe

  19. Steven Knox


    "I was impressed when WMP successfully discovered and could play audio in a Mediatomb library running on Linux. Mediatomb is an open source UPnP server, and I was especially impressed since the files are stored as FLAC and transcoded (by Mediatomb) on the fly."

    So you were impressed by Mediatomb's transcoding abilities? Or are you saying that interoperability with standards-based systems is impressive? Isn't that setting the bar rather low? If Mediatomb is transcoding the files, then WMP is doing nothing to be impressed about.

    @Peter Kay: XP was a facelift to Windows 2000. That's why XP is Windows 5.1, not Windows 6.0. "Windows 7" is clearly the same type of thing in relation to Vista, yet MS is pushing it as a major, not a minor, version upgrade.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Becomes less like the windows we know and love

    We love the old windows 95 look, why did they have to destroy it !!

  21. Dave


    What exactly was the flame icon for? Your poor interpretation of my post or the fact you think im American.

    As for the former, hard to be bothered when you failed to understand my post. The latter? Im a tight fisted Yorkshire man.

    The Brother marrying Sister system has a lot to answer for :D

  22. Matt Bradley

    OS-X Doc

    "The Start menu still exists, but if you pin an application to the taskbar it appears there whether or not it is running."

    Ahem. The OS-X Dock menu?

    Innovative to the last.

  23. Martin Owens
    Dead Vulture

    Is it

    Free and Open Source software? no? oh well better luck next time.

    It's about time Microsoft joined the real computer science world, instead of this fancy looking alchemy.

    To be honest I have no real problems with Windows technically, it's a typical proprietary release from a vendor that has lots of money to throw at a problem. Unfortunately the features a want are features they'll never want to give me, control over my own computer.

  24. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Quick comments re Amiga and multi-vendor video


    Please, dear $_DEITY never, EVER, say shit like that again in relation to Windows! Ignoring the sacrilege, remember that MagicWB was not released by Commodore-Amiga, but was an add-on or replacement to the original Workbench much like MUI (Magic User Interface) was a replacement for the original AmigaOS UI classes.

    @Chris Matchett

    I have been in several environments where we have video cards from multiple vendors. In most cases this is due to adding a monitor (or two) to a system with an on-board video, like on-board ATI, nVidia, or Intel in a workstation, or a laptop with on-board video and one of those huge Dell docking stations with PCI.

    Though, I believe that many of the card drivers from ATI and nVidia can more easily support multiple model cards without driver conflicts. TBH, I have not tried such a set up.

    Paris, TBH, I have not tried this setup, either, but she could use a little MUI, if you know what I mean, eh eh? Wink wink, nudge nudge!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ac,@David Whitney

    "Which windowing system? Gnome for the "This is not Windows" in your face reminder, of KDE for "This is almost Windows" ease of conversion? Both are highly configurable to either end of that spectrum and other windowing systems are available."

    Lets be honest though, they're not (realistically) are they? You're pretty much stuck with the god awful X, which I personally think is one of the 2 main roadblocks for wider spread adoption of linux. (The other being a decent, unified way of packaging/installing apps.)

    At least Next had the sense to realise that X was a badly designed piece of crap and replace it with something a lot more advanced.

    Hopefully, one day, a linux vendor will be brave enough to take this bold step, especially as one of the saving graces of X (it's client/server arch) would mean you could probably fairly seamlessly support existing X11 based apps whilst having a better, more unified windowing system that actually had the bollock to draw it's own furniture. (I mean recently, when messing around with Ubuntu 8.1 on my laptop I managed to end up with no window furniture at all, I mean WTF!, seriously, I may understand gnome crashed, but my mum sure as hell won't.)

    "If the "major" competitors could produce something lightyears better with any kind of cross platform compatability (or transparent virtualisation without the need for tools like VMWare Fusion) perhaps Microsofts market share might suffer, "

    It's not quite as simple as that, if things like that were decided on purely technical superiority, we'd all be using something else entirely.

    Remember though, Apples market share has risen quite significantly over the last few years, despite the company as a whole shifting it's focus to a more consumer electronics oriented one.

    Also, interoperability /is/ increasing, Most people (although not most people who read this site probably) just want to be able to use their computers to do things, like write a letter or look at videos on Youtube, you can realistically do that with any of the main OSs out there these days.

    "until then? Apples luxary hardware is only going to get them so far. Keep banging those underdog drums. Softwares only as good as the developers who write it."

    And only as popular as the people who use it. From a developers point of view OS X does look really interesting, it's certanly got a more well thought out and well designed API than Win32, but then again, it probably predates win32 by a fair bit, so that's not really a suprise.

  26. Steve Cooper

    Give it a go!

    I definitely recommend actually trying it out before saying a single word on it. I've put it on my trusty old HP nc6000 P-M1.6Ghz, 512MB laptop and it runs better than XP did and looks a lot nicer too. After crowbar-ing in some chipset drivers (to be fair this machine is probably 5 years old) to get the AGP working it's nice! I have no reason to get rid of it really.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    Depends on whether the gfx is not supported at all, or simply blacklisted (as in, "too old to be supported"). I run a blacklisted Radeon Mobile 9000 (or something like that) without any bother (Compiz, the lot).

    I just did a quick google for "Advent 5301 ubuntu" and others seem to have gfx card issues - but there are some working systems is seems (if people get far enough to moan about their WiFi card, you can be sure the gfx card is operational!)

    Compaqs (HP) are known to be proprietary P.I.T.A.s though.

    At a guess you are using the "SIS Mirage3 integrated graphics card", this thread may help

    Other than that, try a Live CD, check the SIS site for drivers and try the relevant forums.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Martin Owens

    They're not interested in computing science. They're a business that creates software. They've as much to do with actual computing science as Ford do for automotive engineering. Nothing hugely innovative, but they release small changes that lots of amateurs have done before into the mass market.

    As soon as you can point me towards a major "real world" (i.e. not Google) company that's run entirely on FOSS (or all-FOSS except the OS) I'll... well, I'll be surprised. And until then FOSS will never be part of the "real world". Just part of the computing science world.

    Like you say, it's a proprietary release from a vendor that has lots of money. They made that money by selling software (So the Free is out) and they maintain (to a point) the security of their source code by not showing it to anyone else. Where in that business model is there space for FOSS, and how can you be surprised that such a company doesn't immerse themselves in that culture?

  29. Steven Raith

    Where's my classic start menu damn it? :-(

    Well, aside from that, an afternoon of tossing about with Win7 shows it to be....actually, allright really.

    A lot of the utterly utterly annoying parts of the Fista interface seem to have been cleaned up and straightened out a bit, making it more intuitive that Vista was [first impressions *do* count...] and it seems to be sucking a hell of a lot less resources.

    I'm currently throwing it on a DX9 capable workstation [as opposed to a VM, as I have been doing so far - it runs well in Virtualbox 2.1 with VT turned on] to see how resource hungry it is with all the bells and whistles on.... we'll see.

    I certainly don't hate it like a passion as I did with my first few hours with Vista, that's an improvement.

    But I do want my classic start menu back. Maybe it's down the back of the sofa...

    Steven R [sitting in front of an XP tower, an Ubuntu tower and a 24" bias here...]

    PS: I concur with a few of the opinions above - if you haven't tried it, how about you stop spewing the verbal diarrhoea and have a poke about with it in VMware/Virtualbox.

  30. Doug Glass
    Paris Hilton

    @David Whitney

    No scientific analysis involved because it's neither needed nor applicable. The market place determines success, viability, and validity in these types of cases. And Vista failed miserably.

    Paris because even she knows a wet dog when she smells one.

  31. Slackness


    I'm undecided... do i install a my spare 1TB drive into my NIX box to try it ? I have corp access to MSDN and so assume it will download in about an hour.

    Then i get to thinking about the poor souls that enjoy self-harming, I speak to the Mrs and she says 'do you really need any more stress?' and she has a point.

    She hated the Vista on her laptop and prefers the XP after i reinstalled, I prefer XP with !NoMachine SSH GUI to my NIX box for Label / Tin / Does.

    I was thinking on giving it to the kid to try as an experiment to get an impartial 12 year old view on it (*actually i think thats the analytical route to follow).

    Will post his conclusion after the weekend!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    MacTurd Alert!!!!

    Wow - they are out in numbers today. I suppose after being shafted by Apple yet again they need to turn on someone.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @By George

    The difference is Windows 7 will be affordable on a PC or laptop or any other piece of PC hardware (and clones - i.e. Mac's) unlike the iBling Apple churns out at stupid prices.

    It will play the very latest games (in the same year they are released) and you will be able to upgrade the hardware with the latest graphic, sound and Physix cards which will never be seen an Apple because 1) they don't want to write the drivers and 2) there is nothing on the Mac that could use them.

    I almost forgot, it will be on more than half the Mac's within a year of release because as much as you girls whine, most Mac's have boot camp & windows installed.

    Mac's - for people who can't install drivers without making a support call.

  34. Lewis Mettler

    it is all about the trademark

    When you sell a lousy OS you ruin the trademark.

    Windows 7 is focused upon changing the trademark from Vista (bad) to Windows 7 (no body knows if it is good or bad).

    And the opportunity to charge all customes another couple of hundred bucks too.

    Switching to Linux years ago sure sounds like the right idea. Sounded good then. Sounds even better now. At least with Linux they do not charge you large sums of money for their mistakes.

  35. pctechxp


    Vista with bells on, I wont be stung again

  36. Brett Weaver

    To the Vista / MS Apologists...

    I have a simple answer to all of the "Vista is really good now.." comments.

    Take a backup of files onto DVD. One with lots of .Net software development folders, documents and just normal Microsoft data. Fill a DVD with this backup.

    Take said DVD to a Vista machine (any size or configuration).

    Switch off indexing on the Vista machine first if you like.

    Try to access any data on the DVD.

    Repeat on XP.

    Repeat on Linux.

    MS through their Vista product must have cost billions of hours of lost productivity globally.

    Their whole development team should be neutered so they cannot breed.

  37. Paul

    New because...

    "Since under the covers it is so similar to Windows Vista, how does Microsoft justify calling it a full new version?"

    For the same reason that Ford killed the Edsel and Pinto nameplates, and Chevrolet *should* have called the Corvair something else after they fixed the errant handling.

    "Vista", just like "Edsel", "Pinto" and "Corvair", has forever been associated with epic fail and/or total disregard for the purchasers.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Best Comments section read ever

    I was going to outline my main reasons for being suspect of W7 but you lot have beaten me to it :-). Now once I get some space cleared up on the old linux box I might toss a copy into a VM or maybe section off a place on my gaming rig to try it out. However given what I've read in this article as well as a couple other preliminary reviews I can honestly say I wont be beating down any doors to pick this up. Sounds and looks like re-worked vista which really just puts me off since vista was/is largely a steaming pile of shit. My hope is that M$ has made enough back end tweaks to at least lessen the major annoyances, but given their history I'm not holding my breath.

    However as I've said before I'll give this one a try as I did vista, but I'm not expecting to be going off of XP on my gaming rig anytime soon. Nor do I expect anything with W7 that will cause me to recommend it to any of my clients.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@So where's the button "I'm a developer"...

    ... and I'll third it.

    I'm obviously not the only one that goes through that entire list and switches off all that new crap just to get a usable machine that I'm familiar with.

  40. steve

    I like the sound of this..

    If W7 adds in Powershell and Direct Access I'll be a very happy support techy, even if they keep the annoying stuff in - spend ten minutes learning how things like the new explorer bar *really* work and it starts to make sense, sort of :)

    Vista's performance issues (aside from the file and network copy) are as much down to builders putting machines together for a set price - £299 or whatever. Half the 'Epic Fail' belongs to the guys who've been selling VP machines with 1gb RAM. Get a half decent machine with 4gb RAM and the 64bit version runs brilliantly.

    4GB is a lot compared to the min recommended spec but I don't see many people running XP with 128mb - why would anyone expect Vista to fly on it's minimum spec?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A suitable replacement for Windows XP is ...

    Anybody who voluntarily buys any Presario needs their head examining.

    On the other hand, the HP/Compaq *business* range often actually come certified as Linux-ready and simply work. My last two (currently a 6715 and iirc a 6125 (or similar) before that) were both Linux certified and fine with SuSe, and before that, the Armada (I had an E500) was mostly OK too, whether or not it was "certified". Not hip/trendy, but who cares. And if you wait till they're obsolete and "the channel" want to get shot of them, the prices can be quite interesting.

    That being said: afaict the Windows 7 writeups to date show nothing which would persuade Joe Public or even Joanne IT Director to fork out extra money for an OS upgrade (and the hardware upgrades to match, which are often going to be a *lot* more than £40 for some memory).

    MS have already said on the record that there's years more life in XP for the netbook (tm: Psion) and similar PCs (and they've also said it about XP as an "embedded" OS), so there's no reason for punters at home or at work to believe the pieces of MS that say "XP is obsolete".

    In places where people do fall for the lie that XP is obsolete, in many cases its replacement will come without a Microsoft CoA, it'll come either from Apple (in places where fashion is more important than costeffectiveness), or where sense outweighs trendiness, there's whichever Linux suits the local setup.

  42. Tone

    Brett Weaver..

    It takes a couple of seconds to access and drill down - and why would my .net backups take any longer to access than any other file? I imagine it would be slightly quicker on XP\Linux but who cares we are talking an immeasurable difference.

    Reading the comment there are a lot of developers that cannot do the most basic things with an OS - bet its fun running their crappy applications..

  43. Adrian Waterworth

    @AC 17:38 GMT

    I'm assuming that by "sound cards" you're referring to standard consumer/gamer sound cards. Most pro audio (studio) kit works pretty well on Macs and, indeed, a large percentage of professional studios tend to run on Macs with Logic and/or Pro Tools. Probably as many as (if not more than) use PCs.

    In general, that kind of audio kit will also work well enough on PCs (running Pro Tools, Sonar, Cubase, et al) - so long as the PC is still running XP. Vista's processor scheduling and driver handling has had a tendency to screw things up when it comes to serious audio, so it has largely been avoided by anyone who wanted to get on with useful work without having to contend with latency and drop-out problems. Not that Vista can't be made to work (in fact, from what I hear, it's much better now that it used to be), just that XP still tends to be a much more reliable and workable option.

    As for me, I've been hoping that Windows 7 would address some of those timing and performance issues 'cos it's going to get harder and harder to find new XP boxes and I'm probably going to need to replace my music PC sometime in the next year or two. I'll check it out for myself when the time does come, but unless there have been some improvements on the Vista/Win7 front, that'll probably be when I end up switching to a high-spec Mac Pro for audio work. Which I don't really mind doing, but it'll probably mean crossgrading some of my existing software so I'll have to budget for that too. Ho hum. And to think I actually used to like computers once - crazy, eh? Must have been the foolishness of youth and all that...

  44. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    @AC 16:45

    "As soon as you can point me towards a major "real world" (i.e. not Google) company that's run entirely on FOSS (or all-FOSS except the OS) I'll... well, I'll be surprised. And until then FOSS will never be part of the "real world". Just part of the computing science world."

    You are seriously delusional. FOSS is pervasive all around you, major company or not. Just because the "market" (phht!) decided to hinder progress by years or even decades by locking into an inferior desktop solution ( see equivalent tragedy in hardware - 8086 vs 68000 in years passim) doesn't mean that everything that doesn't have a retarded fuckwitt in a suit gawking at a spreadsheet isn't full to the gunwhales with FOSS.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'll try it...

    It sounds good so far... I kind of like the "library" concept. Sounds handy for displaying all my media when it's sorted into folders by album, among other uses. The "linking to an online account" for giving permission to individual users sort of sounds like a baby version of Active Directory.

    Anyway, I'll give it a try, though I won't be retiring my XP or Linux machines any day soon, me thinks.

  46. Pierre Silver badge

    As usual...

    As always, a new toy for those with truckloads of money to spend and no need to do anything that they couldn't do (faster) with a typewriter. Bah.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @is it

    "It's about time Microsoft joined the real computer science world"

    Yeah, because that's the way to make money ...

    They're probably happy in the real err ... *real* world for now though.

  48. Dan Paul
    Gates Horns

    Is that all there is?????

    Honestly, there has to be more new to Win7 than what the article says or is this a teaser article giving us the dribs and drabs over the course of the show?

    Last year when I installed Vista Ultimate (version 0 on my Intel P35 Core 2 Duo 2.66 with 4 gigs of ram), it performed so badly that I would gladly have committed a capital offense on any nearby person who let on they were from Microshaft.

    From the first day, the damn thing would not let me have "authority" to change my printer settings. Two weeks part time nights trying to get help from MS (Astonishingly, they did respond and work with me diligently via email to resolve my problems to no avail) and I finally had to give up.

    That same machine is running XP Pro SP3 now and has never crashed or locked in a year. I feel much better now, but the fact remains that I paid too damn much money for a product that did not work as promoted.

    If SOMEONE ELSE proves that Win7 will work properly then Microsoft owes me a free upgrade ON DISC, not a download or an update.

  49. Neil
    Thumb Down

    Just an exuse to stop downgrades....

    This biggest benefit of making version 7 instead of Vista SP2 for MS is that it will include downgrade rights xp. Our hand will be forced.

  50. b166er


    How many of those who are saying "lipstick on a pig" etc, have even tried this beta, or the rather good Windows 2008? You fucking plums ;-p (or Mac-loving trolls mebe)

    Lewis Mettler, bang on.

    Now, if only all games developers would code for linux.


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