Posted tagged ‘Charlotte Jones’

Windows 7 Beta Now Available

January 9, 2009

Yesterday at CES, Microsoft announced that its upcoming Windows 7 OS will allow users to link their PCs to their other devices, as well as to others, in just three steps using a feature called Home Group.

From Ars Technica:

As Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer promised at CES 2009 during his preshow keynote, the Windows 7 beta is now available to the public for download. It is only available to the first 2.5 million people who download it, so make sure to get your hands on it as soon as you can!

The beta is available in English (32-bit and 64-bit), German (32-bit and 64-bit), Japanese (32-bit and 64-bit), Arabic (32-bit and 64-bit), and Hindi (32-bit). Once you have the .iso image downloaded, I recommend you use IMGBurn to burn it to a DVD. The beta supports clean installs and Windows Vista SP1 to Windows 7 upgrades. You can only install the Ultimate edition. You should receive a beta key by e-mail sometime after you download the build. Microsoft gives the following minimum hardware recommendations for the Windows 7 Beta (and notes that they can change before the final):

  • Processor: 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
  • Memory: 1 GB of system memory
  • Hard drive: 16 GB of available disk space
  • Video card: Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128MB memory (in order to enable Aero theme)
  • Drive: DVD-R/W drive
  • Internet connection (to download the Beta and get updates)

Two days ago, Microsoft gave the beta to its testers on Microsoft Connect, as well as to its MSDN and TechNet subscribers, although there was some trouble with beta keys.

From BusinessWeek:

If Microsoft has one message they want people to take away from the annual Consumer Electronics Show, it’s “we’re listening.” While the software giant didn’t reveal any major surprises during the opening keynote last night with CEO Steve Ballmer, the company’s announcement that Windows 7 would be released to 2.5 million or so beta users beginning tomorrow has been billed as a watershed moment for the company.

After its disastrous Windows Vista operating system was panned near-universally, the company has spent many months and hours talking to businesses and consumers about what they’d like in the new operating system. There certainly are a lot of nifty new features, including the ability to perform touch-based tasks. And the new OS will be a kindler, gentler force to your PC, taking up less resources after Microsoft engineers jettisoned legacy code and rebuilt the OS as a much cleaner piece of software.

Now it will spend several months getting feedback for Windows 7 from the beta users. What does it all mean? PC users will finally get an OS that works quite well late this year. Meantime, Apple is likely to continue to sign up a bunch of new converts to the Mac platform. The real comparisons will come when Apple announces new additionals for its update in coming months.

From InformationWeek:

“For most consumers, setting up a home network is way too complicated,” said product manager Charlotte Jones, during Microsoft’s CES keynote presentation. “But, in Windows 7, there’s a feature called Home Group, and it sets up a home network very easily.”

Windows 7 automatically networks with Internet-connected devices added to a user’s Home Group, Jones said. In a live demonstration at CES, Jones added her husband’s PC to her network so she could access his music files.

“My husband has the best music on his PC, so I can navigate to his PC just like it’s my own hard drive and pick some music,” said Jones. After tapping the files, users could play the music on their own computer or export it to a third-party device, such as an Xbox. “It’s way cool,” she said.

“I set up a home network, and it didn’t take me a whole Saturday to do it. In three steps and two minutes I was accessing my other PCs and devices,” Jones said.

Earlier, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used his opening keynote address to pitch some of Windows 7’s other benefits, which Microsoft hopes will erase memories of the widely maligned Vista.

“We are on track to deliver the best version of Windows ever. We’re putting in all the right ingredients — simplicity, reliability, and speed, and working hard to get it right, and to get it ready,” said Ballmer.

Advertisements