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. jason

    All the bloat?

    I just want to know for the love of God does it come with a Custom Install Option so I can remove 75% of the crap I dont need and will never use?

    I just dont understand why MS seem to think we want all this stuff. As a home user I can usually find better, more efficient free versions elsewhere. As a corporate user I have to have most of the 'extras' removed as they are considered a security risk or a productivity time sink. My company just wants me to run the applications they need me to use to make it money, nothing more. Thats fair enough.

    Microsoft just isnt talking to its real users, its just listening to the kids at TechNet. You know the type, the ones that rave about all the lastest development tech and hardware but never actually apply themselves to anything long enough to deliver something.

    We just want a clean, efficient and secure platform to run the apps WE WANT to run.

  2. Mick F


    "Now, if only all games developers would code for linux" - there would be no games on a crap OS!

  3. Big Bear

    @Steen Hive

    "FOSS is pervasive all around you ... the "market" (phht!) decided to hinder progress by years or even decades by locking into an inferior desktop solution..."

    Which one is it? Is FOSS all around us or has the market locked us into MS? I'm sorry to say that I think MS has the monopoly on this as every big blue chip firm I've been at has deployed tens of thousands of MS desktops and servers, as well as a multitude of nix servers, though I would barely class these under the FOSS label seeing the costs of the support paid for them!

    I'm afraid the penguin has had very little impact in the big bad world in the main, and I do find myself agreeing with Shuttleworth when he calls for tighter integration of the community... people are arguing about distros so much I see average Joe's eyes glazing over when he hears the words "Ubuntu, Suse, Debian? Gnome, KDE, X?" Until we get some serious streamlining and a much more common platform to sell to the world it will be a big struggle...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    For a supposed technical news site these comments show that most readers wouldn’t know a decent OS if it painted itself purple, slapped you around the face and danced around singing “Look at me I’m a decent OS”.

    OS/X better than XP? For what exactly? Making pretty movies on your own after work while the rest of us are in the pub?! Ever tried OS/X in an enterprise environment… don’t make me laugh.

    Sure Vista ran like a dog on standard hardware but the true geeks among us should have relished the excuse to upgrade your hardware… or even better build a shiny new box! Now SP1 has been with us for a good while it’s even made it into my management standard build and I’m happy to say that it’s working well so far. Of course I’ve got the 2008 infrastructure to back it up as well which helps.

    Having actually used Win7 beta I can say that it’s a vast improvement on Vista. Sure it’s got the new vista-based architecture, but so has Server 2008 and I can happily say that Server 2008 (with UAC turned off – wtf is it on as default for btw) is by far the best Server OS I have ever used.

    Of course fanboys are entitled to their opinions, and from reading these articles it seems that many of you are happily jumping on the ill-informed bandwagon and giving us some entertaining comments. Innovation (OK I’ll hold my hands up… and ‘borrowing ideas’) is always tricky and MS have taken a big hit pushing out Vista before it was ready (btw MS we still want to see WinFS) but fair’s fair they’ve sorted out most issues with SP1. For sure if MS want to build bridges they could offer Win7 as a free upgrade, especially to those that actually went out and bought it… but of course they aren’t going to do that and I can’t really blame them – they’ve pretty much sorted out Vista and Win7 IS a new OS.

    Note to the OS/X lads – Put down your coloured pencils and come join us at the pub… we might even buy you a pint!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cotswold gnomes

    Cut to the important stuff folks - excellent music track selection.

  6. Matt Bradley
    Jobs Horns

    @Adrian Waterworth

    Of course, your decision to switch your audio production work to an Apple platform would have been made so much easier had Apple not removed firewire from the entry level MacBook range, and then whacked up the price by £250.

    Feeling your pain. I suspect this is a product of Microsotf's investment in Apple Corp: "stay alive, but don't *actually* threaten our market share".

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Big joke

    "This is Windows Vista with a new face, not a major new version of Windows"

    Sounds like Mojave II

    Ha, ha, ha, ha

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @New Becuase...

    Paul notes:

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

    The Pinto was such an improvement in terms of fitness for purpose compared to the Edsel, the Corvair, and Vista, I'd like prefer ignore it here, except to note it's tendency to go "FOOM" was a truly Bad Thing. But the Corvair and the Edsel have a lot more in common with Vista than does the Pinto.

    Ford's Edsel marketers completely misread their target market (in fact the entire state of the US automobile market had morphed into by 1958), by deciding what the customer base really wanted was a "middle managers" car, for existing Ford owners to "step up" to, in order to let their neighbours know that they had "arrived". To Ford, this meant a restyled Ford with more chrome, bigger tail fins, and more gee-whiz bell's and whistles. But what the middle class wanted to by in 1958-60 was smaller second cars, primarily for commuter duty. So what they in bought instead of Edsels in '58 and '59 was VW's and Rambler Americans. That the US economy tipped into a recession in late 1957 didn't help Edsel either.

    The Corvair is even more similar to Vista in that GM managed to both misread the target market the car would appeal to, and mess up the engineering by putting a swing-axle under the back end of the '61-'64 models. Like M$, GM fixed the engineering issue after the product had been out for several years, eventually putting a proper fully independent rear suspension under the car for the '65 an later model years, but by then the damage to the model's image was done. The Corvair was killed due to slow sales at the end of the '67 model year.

    GM's marketing mistake was in trying to build an "economy car" by building a 1.5x scale-up of the VW beetle. To make it appealing to the perceived early 1960's market, they made it larger, lower, wider, and twice as powerful as the Beetle, yet this was still a "small" car by US standards of the time. GM hoped to attract the middle class types of the time who were buying VW Beetles as second cars. Like Vista, the Corvair's end users had very different ideas about what the product should be good for - ideas it's manufacturer never thought of. What GM got into by accident was a segment of the market they didn't even know existed - people who looked at the Corvair and saw it as a poor man's 2+2 version of a Porsche 356. These were the folks who took it out on the twisty back roads and managed to overload the swing axle with side loading, causing the outside rear wheel to tuck under. This resulted in sudden massive oversteer, which tended to send the car off the road tail first.

    In Vista's case, M$ also completely misread what it's end users wanted. The user base expected an OS with a simpler and easier to use UI, better performance on the user's existing hardware, a better security model, and stability of a level equal or better than the current XP SP2.

    However, M$ thought the user base wanted more chrome, more bells and whistles, better security, and a raft of M$ requirements the users's couldn't have cared less about (or flat out didn't want), such as Silverlight, DRM, and anti-piracy nannies. As near as I can tell, M$ then botched the engineering on the Security and DRM, and overall managed to turn Vista into a memory hog, requiring at minimum twice the memory of an XP installation. (XP will run in 512mb, Vista home needs 1gb.)

    So after three years, Windows 7 is now the equivalent of a '65 Corvair. Better than the original, but that still doesn't say very much for it. The one stock '65 'Vair I once drove was a stone, due to a truly evil two-speed automatic transaxle, and it never made any heat in the winter due to the air cooled engine. I expect that like the Covair, Vista has some design "features" which can never be fixed.

    Historical footnote. GM repeated the exact same mistakes it made with the Corvair. with the Pontiac Fiero during the 1980s, with very much the same result. M$ has already bettered that record by almost 1.5 decades with ME and Vista.

  9. Steen Hive

    @Big Bear

    "Which one is it? Is FOSS all around us or has the market locked us into MS?"

    Well both, doh. The market and stupid corporate inertia has locked us into MS on the desktop - every other piece of infrastructure is loaded to a greater or lesser degree with FOSS (and also proprietary non-windows stuff). Sure I'd further wager that there's still Berkeley licenced code in Windows 7.

  10. Brett Weaver


    Obviously you have a version of Vista loaded which does not exist in my english speaking country.

    The reason I said .net development files is that it creates a huge number of individual files compared with a database which has 1 entry for each db regardless of size and number of tables. Also I did not want to be accused of comparing some foreign configuration of file.

    With indexing disabled on a brand new Vista machine around here it takes sometimes over 15 minutes to gain access to a DVD with over 4.5K files on it.

    There is no logical reason why Vista should be slower at anything. Its got more memory, more processor speed, I run it on Quads.

    As far as writing crap programs are concerned because I cannot understand the OS, when you are old enough and skillful enough to gain the respect of your peers you will probably reflect on the saying that "A wise man can learn from a fool"...

  11. b166er

    Head > Wall

    But it's not a crap OS Mick.

    This is obviously more about GUI these days than anything else.

    People knock MAC OX S because of it's coloured-pencil using UI

    Others knock Vista 'cos of it's 'lipstick'

    Meanwhile the linux camp are torn between KDE and Gnome (and others)

    The only thing that will lift linux out of the geekbin, is shiny GUI wizards and gadgets, so that windows refugees can cope with the change. I'm all for that.

    I personally prefer linux to NT, but that's a world away from saying NT is crap.

    And while we're asking game devs to code for linux, how about Autodesk, Adobe etc.

  12. Kanhef

    re: taskbar/dock

    The similarities to the Mac Dock are striking. With the right selection of apps my Dock would look very similar to the one in the screenshot. Representing apps with just their icon, and only one no matter how many windows are open. Programs can animate and otherwise make arbitrary changes to their icon. Pinning apps. Difficulty in distinguishing between running and not-running-but-pinned programs (that little arrow can be hard to spot sometimes). Right-clicking brings up a contextual menu with customized options for that app, including the ability to select individual windows.

    I'm not saying this is a bad thing – they're nice features to have – but some of us have been using it for eight years or so. The previews are a nice touch, though, that I don't think Apple has implemented yet.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    If I can find Linux based PVR software to rival Media Center (which i happen to like) and get it to play my currently recorded telly, I see no reason for me to remain with MS when they drop support for XP.

    Or maybe I'll just by a PVR and nuke the PC with Linux anyhoo; Shitstar 7 (or whatever it is called) will not be going near it.

  14. Tone

    @Brett Weaver

    Brett its just a normal copy of vista it does have indexing etc disabled and is running nod32 but its nothing special..

    The crap apps was a swipe "So where's the button "I'm a developer"... " who cannot seem to write a script to confgure the OS how they want it, which to me is very worrying..

  15. Peter Kay

    Gaming on Linux

    The reason gaming on linux is so poor is because the sales are poor. Serious gamers will buy the game on the day it's released and run it on their PC or console. More technical users will use WINE to kludge the game into working to various degrees. Linux users usually won't play more than Windows users for their game, and sales have been poor in the past.

    There's no big conspiracy - if the sales are there, the companies will port it (provided they don't also have to reveal their source code)

  16. Paul


    The point of the "I'm a developer" button is that it shouldn't be necessary to have one at all with a sensibly set up OS, let alone have to write a config script to do it.

    I'm a developer (enterprise class bespoke business systems based on Oracle). At work I have two XP systems. In previous jobs I've worked with everything from DOS through various versions of Windows to multiple flavours of Unix, through to VMS. At home I have two XP systems and a macbook. As I type this I'm using the macbook (running Leopard) which is currently running XP SP3 in a Parallels VM, which is running the Windows version of Citrix client tunnelling two RDP sessions into the office.

    None of this kit has EVER needed an 'I'm a developer' button. That's the point. XP, MacOSX, most previous versions of Windows, etc etc. They all came with sensible default settings which allowed one to get on and work without having to spend time tweaking other than e.g. installing the apps necessary to do productive work. If you want to, all these systems are highly configurable, but you don't NEED to fiddle with them at the outset. Vista and its descendants are different - all the configuration options are there and then some, but they all default to stupid settings which nobody in their right mind would ever want to use.

    And that's why Vista (and possibly W7) manages to magically p*ss off anyone who actually knows what they're doing (and a lot of people who don't). It doesn't have to be this way - there are a lot of developers and software companies out there who understand user experience and setting sensible defaults (Apple are one good example) but the Ballmers of this world have caused Microsoft to make some seriously poor decisions for initial defaults on installation, probably because making the default sensible (all the crap turned off) would leave them with something which apparently offers no improvement on what went before, and that would make marketing it to a change-averse customer base very difficult.

  17. Glyn


    Where is unattended.xml hiding?

    I've run the search and it just goes round and round (and round and round) not finding it

    15. Let me open a search window and do an advanced search straight away without having to put "fgdfgdfgdfgdfgdfgdfgdfgdg" so it instantly fails the search and shows the option

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Peter Kay

    'Developer button'

    What, you mean the same sort of visual crap and menus as you have in XP, until you reset it to the Windows 2000 look?

    Gadgets are actually useful *if* you get the decent ones. The clock is pretty useful if your display is high resolution, as the start bar isn't scaled (now that *is* a dumb design decision, and the 120dpi option makes it unusable).

    An indexing feature is pretty damn useful for searching source code if you let it complete (plus, with SP1 it no longer does crap like indexing removable drives by default).

    The only reason you should have to disable UAC is if you're a shit developer. Hint : on Unix you don't run as root. You don't, and shouldn't, be writing in the same directory as your application or the windows system directories either. If you need an administrator level command line : open one.

    If you want to cricticise Microsoft for real dumb movies, criticise them for enabling the tablet service on machines without a tablet : now *that's* dumb.

  20. Tony Rogers

    Polishing Skills

    The chaps at MS are to be congratulated for their efforts.

    The world has been long awaiting the ability to "Polish a Turd".

    Previously thought to be the Holy Grail of R&D

    The dedication to the task will no doubt be rewarded by a

    faultless system which will be revered in years to come.

    Maybe !

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The progenitor of the Dock is NeXT and Openstep

    Fwiw, let's not forget that the Dock in OS X was not novel - it was just an evolution of the same feature in NeXT which formed the majority of the code base for OS X. Incidentally, this is also what Microsoft stole - and completely butchered - for their taskbar in Win 95... and now they are coming full circle and doing it again for Windows 7. Sigh.

    @ Matt Ashworth:

    "Ever tried OS/X in an enterprise environment… don’t make me laugh."

    Let me correct that statement for you... "Ever tried OS X in an enterprise environment where the competition has to navigate the quagmire of Microsoft's proprietary, closed code to be able to compete… don’t make me laugh."

    Have you ever tried OS X in a non-Windows shop? Where it just works™? Evidently not.

    "...are happily jumping on the ill-informed bandwagon and giving us some entertaining comments."

    Welcome to that club, Matt.

  22. Glyn

    @Peter Kay

    "What, you mean the same sort of visual crap and menus as you have in XP, until you reset it to the Windows 2000 look?"

    Those are the ones

  23. Liam Pennington

    I am a rare case

    I really like Vista, does that make me some kind of rare spieces round here?

    W7 looks alright too...! Sorry for being honest!

  24. Vincent
    Jobs Horns

    Windows 7 Page down

    The page from which you will be able to download the Windows 7 Beta ( has presumably fallen victim to traffic rape - it's been getting slower and slower throughout the day and at the time of me typing this message it's completely down.

    I want to give it a go to see if it's actually an improvement over Vista so far, plus it doesn't cost me any money and gives me something to do!

  25. Beard

    Blah, blah, blah

    When was the last time Joe User really had any comprehension of the underlying upgrades to a core OS? I'll tell you when - between ME and XP. That's the only time a normal everyday user could point out something that was fundamentally different, other than the GUI and applications.

    So, bearing that in mind, the problems that people have had with Vista have _mostly_ been related to UI decisions and app decisions, not the architecture of Vista.

    Now, it is perfectly possible to retain many of the bits you liked about XP/2000, on a Vista system, although it demands a lot of effort. That is the main problem - MS simply couldn't give a crap about its long-established users. Where the market for desktop OSs has really taken off is in the world of non-geeks. They've never really had to get that used to XP's interface.

    Personally, I like XP's interface. It is less cluttered, more uniform and less 'swirly' than Vista's. I also vastly (and I mean vaaaaaaaastly) prefer the XP Explorer. Yeah, the networking dialogues were crap too, but none of that really impacts on the stability or usability of the core OS.

    I downgraded from Vista to XP on a machine that came with Vista, because I didn't like the interface. That's it. All my other problems came from hardware that I'm too skint to upgrade, but which have actually been obsolete for several years anyway. Tough shit for me.

    The way to get around this is to use a heavily modified Windows Server platform and coerce it into doing whatever you want. Server's interface hasn't changed that radically from XP, and you can definitely mod it quite a bit.

    Microsoft's main failing is in not understanding that by having such an inflexible attitude to the Windows UI, it creates a vast opposition propaganda machine. That is very important not in home desktop territory (where most users are clueless / want the latest thing), but in conservative businessland, where customers want stability and continuity.

    Really, the main benefits for most OS users have always been the trimmings. We don't understand enough about OS architecture to know any better. The MS problem is that most people have all the trimmings they want, particularly when it costs SUCH A SODDING HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY.

    Anyways... more when I get the beta.

  26. Peter Kay

    Visual crap and '30% of features'

    So what's your point? It's exactly the same in Vista as it is in XP. In XP you need to alter it to reset to the Windows 2000 look. You can do exactly the same in Vista (select the 'Windows classic' look).

    It's also worth remembering this is exactly the same as the complaints about Word : we all use a different 30% of the features. Yes, there *should* be an initial configuration where it asks what type of user you are and then say activates/deactivates tablet functionality, accessibility, NFS client and Unix subsystem, web server etc etc, but this is actually no different to XP.

    I'll download the beta and see if this is improved, but I bet it's not. I expect the thinking here is for people to be able to expect a common set of features.

    The other reason that Microsoft puts in the visual crap is that, to some extent, it's what (some) users want. New OS, new bling. Same with OS X (argue amongst yourselves over which is more/less tasteful). When OS/2 vs Windows was still a realistic fight, OS/2 lost on visual appearance. Never mind that serious research had gone in to creating colour schemes (actually, mostly grey) comfortably readadable for long periods of time, users want eyeball searing backgrounds. Same with OS X - a media OS? Don't make me laugh - if it really was designed for proper colour matching by default, they wouldn't be using inbuilt monitors with a limited colour gamut and bright colourful backgrounds - which are fine for running wordprocessors, but crap for getting a reference colour.

    New APIs (the important bit) don't sell operating systems. Bling and bundled apps do.

  27. JasonW
    Paris Hilton

    "Vista with bells on"

    Didn't they used to put bells on lepers?


    Young Paris knows all about bells - well certain parts of them.

  28. Chris

    Vista for DAW work with Cubase

    Since a couple of people have mentioned Vista in relation to Cubase...

    In fact, if you read the Cubase forums (, you'll find that a great many are now successfully running Cubase on Vista. Especially those running 64 bit Vista which opens up the possibility of loading very large sample sets into memory.

    Works like a charm. Less drop-outs etc. on my hardware than with XP.

    Only one thing not 100% there for me is: TC Powercore drivers. They need some work.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    If the world was run... the majority of those posting here, we'd still be speaking English like Chaucer did and riding around on horseback.


    The IT community used to get excited by new developments in OS/Software/Hardware, trouble is that non-technically minded people got into IT (these people would normally have gone into surveying or accounting but the money in IT was perceived to be better). From then on innovation and design has been lambasted and derided and an unhealthy Fear of Change (TM) has been the overriding preference. Yes, Vista was a massive PR fuck up. I personally still HATE using it, even after the noticeable improvements post SP1, but then I have always hated using Windows, IMHO it's has always been playing catch-up and NEVER innovated. Microsoft, though, have every right to update their products look and feel as well as the functionality and changes to the kernel, as do Apple et al. If you don't like it, use something else, there are after-all plenty of options and alternatives, if you think differently. STOP WITH THE WHINING ACCOUNTANT BOYS!!!

    As for the article, W7 looks like a step in the right direction, however so did Vista. Try having less versions (like perhaps, and I know this is waaaaay out there, ONE), and charging a SENSIBLE upgrade fee, £50 - £90 IMHO is reasonable for starters.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Ubuntu Versioning

    Specifically @ Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 8th January 2009 16:16 GMT

    It is not VERSION 8.1, it's RELEASE 8.10. It's not that hard! 8 (2008) . 10 (October). the next release will be 9 (2009) . 04 (April). The previous release was 8 (2008) . 04 (April).

    "(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.)" ... It was a Compiz/Metacity crash - nothing to do with X or Gnome, you would have found this out using the Ubuntu Forums. Admittedly, my Mum wouldn't know what to do either.

    NeXT actually still used the underlying X WIndow manager to some degree. See GnuSTEP for a current version.

  31. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Have they fixed the startup clusterf**k yet?

    One of the problems with Windows -- and I don't think it's limited to Windows, but that's where I've seen it most -- is that at startup it runs everything at once. Do you want a few utilities waiting for you when you boot? Put e-mail, calendar, IM chat, Weatherbug, Getright, Office Quickstart or whatever it's called, maybe a few others into the startup directory or check their "start with Windows" box. Add to that the "we'll slow Windows down to start me faster (TM);" instant startup feature of Acrobat Reader, Mozilla Seamonkey, Realmedia player, Open Office, and many others. (Not to mention HP's love of having a startup utility that forces its printer to be default.) It's bad enough that these bloat the system and chew up resources when they're not doing anything useful. But at boot time Windows tries to run them all at once. No "start one and wait until disc activity slows" or "start one and wait n seconds" before starting the next. That would be intelligent; each one would start, do its disc access, and then go idle. Instead it starts them as quickly as possible. The result is mondo disc thrashing as the OS then tries to load and then run 10, 15, 20 different programs simultaneously from different parts of your hard drive (and is probably swapping memory out as they all allocate RAM space).

    You could probably knock off a significant part of the startup time for many people by doing this even semi-intelligently. It won't help anybody who keeps their system clean and starts everything by hand, it won't affect anybody with a solid-state boot drive. But that's not the majority, is it? A colleague of mine had a brand new Vista laptop that took a good 10 minutes to boot, almost right out of the box. Our local Windows expert sat down and cleaned the garbage out of his boot sequence, and now it takes 2. Most if not all of that crap was loaded in by the manufacturer, thanks very much.

    With all the crap that gets loaded at boot time on the average system, this simple fix will go a long way to making Windows look better, even though it won't affect actual run-time performance. Has Microsoft come up with a solution yet? It's only been with us for a decade or two.

  32. jake Silver badge

    Turd polising

    "The world has been long awaiting the ability to "Polish a Turd"."

    Mythbusters managed to do that very thing.

    Not that Microsoft will even come close, of course.

  33. Dylan Fahey

    Hmm, let's review, ahh yes, NO ONE CARES

    Come on, who cares about this crapola.

  34. Clive Smith

    Windows not realtime?

    Pre-emptive multi-tasking

    By Andy Watt Posted Thursday 8th January 2009 14:33 GMT

    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

    Not sure what planet youve been on but audio has woked fine in realtime since XP. I have an RME soundcard and can get latency down to 1.5ms - perhaps you have a cheap soundcard card and rubbish drivers

  35. Ken Hagan Gold badge

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

    What has "I'm a developer" got to do with it? In my experience, the users who are most pissed of every time MS completely reinvent the UI are the *normal* users. You know, the folks who actually have a day job and want to get some work done? The *developers*, by contrast, can spend several weeks familiarising themselves with the new rules of the game and (perhaps legitimately) claim that this is an essential part of their job.

    One of the big reasons that Vista has flopped is that the new game is so clearly not worth playing that the masses have refused to invest the time learning the rules. If Vista had just been crap, but with the same old familiar UI, Microsoft might have got away with it.

  36. b166er

    Peter Kay

    I'm not sure if what you said made sense. Of course sales will be poor to the linux market if the game doesn't support it ?!

    See, the thing is, most hardcore gamers are performance junkies and therefore set the trend for more pedestrian gamers. Were the hardcore players able to play their games on a presumably very optimized and therefore fast linux version, this would filter down to the more occasional gamer. Swings and roundabouts I know, but I bet most hardcore gamers would rather be buying their games for linux if they supported that platform. I know that ID at least, wrote native code for linux, and I salute them for continuing to pioneer! I bought Quake4 in part because they supported linux natively and I wanted to support that.

    I also know a lot of architects who would be happy to see Autodesk write cross-platform. (mainly for MAC OS X)

    Guess for really open computing, I'll have to wait for 'cloud gaming'

  37. aL

    new od?

    compared to what apple calls a "new os" 7 definetly is.. (apple listed the ability to have dvd

    windows be always on top as a new os feature)

    there is a new thread scheduler in 7 and several kernel tewaks to make it more scalable..

    its not a massive release like vista but imo it definitly qualifies as a "OS release" especially considering what other thing passes for such a title

  38. Peter Kay

    Linux games - spelling it out

    Linux games don't sell. Therefore new game ports aren't commissioned.

    Even when there is a Linux version, it's often a labour of love by the developers. Nowadays it's reasonably easy to gather actual platform usage numbers; if it was selling more support would be provided.

    The current situation seems to be that there are a number of free games of varying quality (average to very impressive). There are precious few commercial developers, and people like Linux Game Publishing are porting old games at an inflated price. Where are the well known commercial indie games?

    History shows that a) Linux users don't like to pay for software and b) users of a minority platform expect to pay the same, or less, than majority platforms and receive the same level of functionality. The way round this is to create unique games for the minority platform. Mac OS managed this and OS X now has (a limited number of ) games on parity with PC. Even OS/2 had - for a while - a number of decent commercial games.

    Perhaps 2009 will be a year when Tux Racer still isn't one of the most notable Linux games..

  39. Paul


    I'm sticking with XP X64, most stable windows I've ever had,

    Runs great with Quad Phenom, 8GB ram and virtual memory turned off.

    (Just don't try playing 9 different HD movies, COD4 and running utorrent with -/+30gb of downloads all at once, or at least more than once, I had to try :-P)

  40. b166er

    Other platforms

    OK, but seeing as how most games are written for 4 platforms; PC, XBOX360, PS3 and Wii, it just seems that to crap out some linux code while they're at it would help kick off a revolution.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Not a new OS

    More like Windows Vista SP2

  42. Sarah Davis

    Windows 7 beta 2003 - now available

    wow, Windows 7 has almost caught up with Linux in terms of desktop visuals and gestures, almost, but not quite. Certainly an improvement on Vista, and maybe something XP users might even consider,... but why now and not 5 years ago. Microsoft, still way behind the times.

    (mines the one with 20 Epsom in the pocket)

  43. Snert Lee


    So Microsoft is aiming for Windows 7 to be that one third of Longhorn which Windows Vista was supposed to be?

    If they'd rip out the DRM/cycles-wasted-trying-to-make-bits-uncopyable-in-the-name-of-"Premium-Content" stuff, they might have something usable, possibly even successful.

    But if they really want to make some money, they'd take the interface eye candy, along with some of the new multi-media gimmicks and layer it over Windows XP pro, while closing some of the more egregious backwards compatibility loopholes. Call it XP, the Next Generation Experience, or some such. Then you'd have the newest toy on top of the most thoroughly tested operating system in history. What's not to like?

  44. Rick Brasche
    Thumb Down

    so how much "optimization" is there?

    or, does it still use 30% of my resources at idle, no matter what, with widgets and stuff turned off?

    Which sucks because when I put it on a more powerful system, it grabbed 30% of that too.

    I fear this build will use even more.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So many whiners that are afraid of change. Which is probably the reason they haven't even tried Vista properly. Have most of you tried it since SP1?

    I still like XP, we have it on two machines in our house, and Vista SP1 on my M1530. I don't have problems with any of them. What MS need to do to make Windows better is cut out a lot of the crap, and make it so that when you install it you have complete control over what is included and what isn't.

    If you have ever used anything like nLite to make a Win XP disc you will know what I mean about removing components that aren't required. One really stupid thing about MS is for Vista they have three E-mail programs they try to get you to use (I don't use any of them) but they have:

    Windows Mail

    Windows Live Mail

    Outlook 2007 (If you have Office installed)

    Another example is they have the default image viewer, but then also try and make you download 'Windows Live Image Gallery'. If you install Windows Live Mail and Live Image Gallery you can't delete the others. Just a basic example of how they overload you with rubbish software you don't want or need.

    I don't think Vista is perfect but you are going to have to think about letting go of XP eventually. XP in itself is not perfect.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've tried it.

    Well, I've tried it. The TV card and graphics card that worked with Vista don't work now. My modem does not work. XP works a treat, and does all I need. Why should I buy new gear? This is progress?

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Many Problems - Few Fixes

    I use both XP and Vista and find little functional difference between them - except that Vista is annoying and tends to run some programs more slowly. I have a much bigger problem with Office 2007 - that's a real mess.

    Fixing all of the basic problems is what I want from a new Windows, not a new "fresh" interface. Make the copying of a large number of files work instead of the XP and even worse Vista behavior of calculating copy time for 20 minutes and then failing. Make the search function work for file content search. Take the cripple code out of the IP stack.

    My Linux box does everything Windows does and most things much better. I the case of a large number of files being copied Linux simply copies a large number of files. If a single file copy fails Linux offers to skip it and continue. In this same situation Windows fails the entire process and then arbitrarily removes all of the already copied files. The basic functionality of Windows' basic tools is a joke.

    My next home system may well be running Apple's OSX. It definitely will be if Apple licenses OSX and allows HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, and others to sell competing PCs running OSX. That's what MS should be scared of, not Linux.


    One more thing Microsoft: Please put the UP button back into the command bar of the Vista explorer file browser.

  48. N Silver badge

    Windows 7

    Having installed and poked around with it for the last few days, its the usual Microsoft offal, dressed up to suit, the emperors new clothes, packed with annoyances & spouts just as much garbage as Vista.

    Setting up Internet Explorer asks you mindless questions I cant remember but just ticked through the bilge & went straight to for my own sanity. Even the faith of the most holiest of holy of Microsoft zealots must be swayed by the tripe they push under the auspices of a web browser.

    Search seems better, but then it had to be, currently its going to be fast because theres not much to find other than its own files which it hopefully knows about, only time will tell.

    Im fed up with new ways to do familiar tasks attitude, I just want Microsoft to stop fucking about with established practises & attempting to re-invent the wheel to come up with a square thing, the simplest of straightest of paths becomes, crooked & distorted.

    It should be 'Familiar ways to do new tasks' for Gods sake.

    Why they cant have a feature that replicates past versions of windows instead of changing the user interface all the time, I dont know. In places it tries to replicate a Mac but only visually, after the that the similarity ends.

    I can imagine on anything but the most powerful PC you can buy it may still run like a dog.

    Thankfully I will never have to use it to do anything in a productive environment.

  49. Uisge Dorch
    Thumb Up

    Goodbye XP goodbye ubuntu !

    Hated Vista with a vengance. Love XP, love Windows 7 even more. Goodbye to XP and ubuntu dual-boot - hello and welcome to XP and Windows 7 dual-boot.

  50. James Pickett


    "feels faster than Windows Vista "

    So would a milk-float.


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