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. James


    Windows 95, and then Windows 98...

    Need I say more?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    A turd by any other name...

    ... is still a great being steaming pile of poo

  3. Erik Aamot

    so then ..

    .. by WinMaths .. NT 6.1 = 6+1 = Windows 7 .. correct ?

  4. jake Silver badge


    Does it help me get my job done better and faster?

    If not, I'll stick to what I'm using.

    So will my clients.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ooooh, shiny...

    Actually, more like 'Ohhh no, more shiny things' .

    Why can't MS concentrate on actually doing the things we want an OS to do, like copying files properly or running well on existing hardware and peripherals instead of needing processors so fast that you could calculate the meaning of life on them?

    Of course, it makes the marketing slime work harder to sell what may appear superficially to be the same old OS but I'm not really seeing a downside to that..

    Strip the bloat and give us an OS we can rely on.

    Paris, streamlined, sleek, fast and definitely compatible with my old hardware...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    and I should get W7 because...?

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

    As Vista doesn't offer me anything that I couldn't do with XP (and yes, I have machines running both of them), I think I'll pass, unless they're giving it away.

  7. ChrisInBelgium

    Vista -> Windows 7

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Well this is the one folks

    Better start getting used to it. Windows 7 is going to be the one coming to a network near you soon.

  9. jonathan keith
    Gates Horns


    I've not been able to find any information on this anywhere, so maybe El Reg and its readers can help. Does Windows 7 have Vista's DRM system built in to it still?

  10. yellowperil
    Thumb Down

    Is it really a new OS

    One of the comments caught my eye is that there is no real justification this is a new OS, but just a more polished version of vista with an updated GUI.

    Calling extras like the wmp12, etc, in my eyes these are applications and not really anything to do with the OS, my opinion is they are adding these tools purely to justify the 'Its a new OS' when in fact its just a working version on Vista with extra tools thrown in to obscure this fact.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 7 Beta 1

    I have Build 7000 installed on my M1330, and I really like it. It builds on Vista, seems to run a bit faster (although I can't say I have any problems running Vista either, so it's hard to tell). The drivers for all my hardware was either preloaded, or Windows tells you exactly where to go to get them, it supports the fingerprint reader in my laptop natively (after installing the drivers Windows pointed me to), automatically installed the display drivers for my graphics card (this caused a problem with the GPU fan stuttering, but a BIOS update from Dell fixed this). All in all, I like it. Everything just works out of the box, much like Vista but 'even more so'.

    But then, I never had a problem with Vista - I think it's a great OS.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security update? compromise your Microsoft Windows-based system and gain control over it.

  13. Mark

    The question is

    Have they finally fixed the dire network problems that Vista suffered from?

    The only problem that I currently have with my vista box is copying large numbers of files across the network, 2000 small files take about 1 min to copy and 15 mins for vista to work out how long the copy is going to take, if they have fixed this i'm sold...

    Would be nice for them to put the fix into Vista if they have fixed it of course, but then there would be little point in upgrading again so I guess that's not going to happen.....

  14. Dex

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

    After trying the beta out from one of the widely avalible "versions" i got 7000 and tried it out (i had tried 6870 build before) and tbh apart from a few GUI changes i didn't think much of it, I'm hoping this is free "upgrade" for those that use Vista (not just from a set upgrade date but from it's [Vista's] release) as was stated at the end of the article: "This is Windows Vista with a new face, not a major new version of Windows."

    Flame icon? obvious isn't it? it's all smoke + mirrors...and where there's smoke......

  15. Darren Bell

    Features new?

    Well, I currently have Taskbar previews, DLNA, Flac playback etc. Explain why i should use Windows again?

  16. NB

    oh.... wow....

    it looks.. a lot like gnome + compiz except... well... fucking ugly. Even that music player screenshop looks a bit rhythmboxy.

    as usual MS are playing catchup with Linux and OS X.

  17. Harry

    "and less annoying."

    You mean they've actually fixed windows update so that when you tell it not to reboot, it doesn't keep nagging every couple of minutes? And, especially, doesn't take no answer as permission to do so, despite the fact that the machine is running something important that shouldn't be interrupted?

    If so, wonders will never cease. But pigs are more likely to fly.

  18. Michael Nielsen

    lol, ingenious

    So Microsoft sells a beta version, and get's millions of users to pay for the privilege of beta testing Microsoft's new operating system.

    They then patch it, add a few tidbits, and calls it Windows 7, and then wants to sell it to the same millions of users who paid for the privilege of beta testing vista. So they manage to sell the same product to the same user twice, lol..

    Ingenious marketing strategy :-). (should leave those who bought vista with a nice warm fuzzy feeling).

    If I had bought vista, I'd be fuming, lol. I wonder what it's going to cost, considering the high end vista costs about 499pounds in Denmark, so High end Windows 7 - another 499 pounds ?

    Seriously IMO, it should be a free upgrade, to be fair.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    I still think that the screen shot on the first page of the article looks like a KDE 3 desktop.

    So having put everyone through the pain of moving everything round in Vista and the concept of "Ribbons" in Office and so on, the egg heads at Microsoft have decided to change the UI yet again.

    When I got my new laptop it came with Vista and I made it dual boot into Linux. Now I can find my way round the Gnome desktop but I still find Vista so confusing after years of NT and XP.

    I can understand making minor tweaks to the UI because no-one gets it right first time but I assume its some doctrine chiselled in stone at Microsoft that the UI MUST be changed?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    So essentially, W7 = Vista SP2 = Windows ME2.2

    You'd have thought that after that miscarriage of design, the OS team would have hit themselves over the collective heads with a Clue-by-Four, salvaged the usable bits of Vista and built a proper OS out of it.

    But no, instead, 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, without adressing the major issues plaguing th system it's built from.

    I guess XP will have to soldier on until Windows8 ....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Windows 7 taskbar

    So it's an exact copy of the OS X dock then.

  22. Peter Kay

    It's a little bit more than a facelift

    To be fair (and bearing in mind I've not tried the beta yet), it's a bit more than just a facelifted Vista. There have been optimisations to the memory footprint and it now supports heterogenous graphic adapters (so you can have a card from Nvidia and one from ATI at the same time) to name but two features.

    Microsoft aren't about to change their architecture again, when Vista is designed to curb some of the worst excesses (admin level privilege, insecure API design) of pre Vista Windows.

    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.

    Whether even Windows 7 offers enough for the average person in the street is another matter.. It's still going to have the same driver issues, and the same incompatibility with poorly written Windows apps - particularly the large number that expect admin privilege.

    Given my own Vista experience (generally positive. couple of driver issues, some of the bundled software (backup, migration) is utter shit) I recommend a) 64 bit and b) 4GB.

  23. Adrian Waterworth


    ...if it's largely still Vista under all the flashing lights and whistles, it will presumably still be slightly hit and miss when it comes to certain specific applications such as audio processing (multi-track recording, mixing, mastering, etc.) Or indeed anything else that needs dedicated, high(ish) performance, real-time(ish) response from the processor, memory and disk subsystems? Or have they finally implemented a "turn off all the extraneous memory, processor and interrupt hogging crap that you don't really need" feature in this one, rather than leaving it up to you to find it all and disable it yourself. (Even XP was bad enough in that respect.)

    Still, at least I suppose it means that the manufacturers of audio interfaces, etc. don't have to start chasing yet another driver spec/architecture. Given that some of them still haven't come up with decent 64-bit or Vista drivers, there'd be no chance of them releasing Win7 ones before Win8 (or whatever) came along...

  24. Paul

    Downloads stuttering?

    I managed to get the 32-bit ISO from TechNet after a painful download that died numerous times on the way only to find that when you request a key it doesn't play nice and throws up an error. Anyone manage to get a key yet?

  25. Chris Matchett

    So why would I want this instead of XP?

    You can probably guess that I'm revising for my ITIL v3 Bridge but you/MS seem to have listed functions of Windows 7 but none of the Utility for me. Why does MS think that I want these new features? What am I going to do with them?

    So I can start and switch between applications in both XP and W7 fairly quickly.

    I can connect other devices but still have to use iTunes (or iTunes type software) for my iPod. W7 might let me control my TV using my WinMo phone. Why would I want to? I could do that using infra-red and some software on many phones already and that existing technology hasn't made any difference.

    I can connect to private networks without using a VPN in W7? Well I can connect to private networks using a VPN in XP. End result: connected to private network. Why would I give a toss that it was using VPN, VPL, a thong or commando?

  26. Marc Savage

    Why ?

    Why change things ?

    One of the things that most annoy people about Vista is the change to the way you do things. A generation have grown up with the same basic look and feel to Windows. Now they are obsessed with changing it.

    They should leave the option for legacy look and feel.

  27. Duncan Hothersall

    To be blunt

    this is a Vista Service Pack, and should be given free to those poor suckers who have shelled out for Vista already.

    What a tawdry history the Vista releases have. First they traded out all of the significant new features from Longhorn; then they completely fucked up the rollout of Vista with far too many drivers unavailable, far too many bugs, and a dodgy "Vista capable" PR campaign which resulted in millions of machines running an OS that they couldn't cope with; now they are adding a few bits of fluff and eye candy and having the gall to call it a new version.

    And the IT market responds by rolling over and taking what it is given, because MS has a monopoly grip and even when they are peddling utter shit, it's the only shit that's certified and supported by the MS-dependent ecosystem, so it's the shit they have to use.

  28. Rob

    Quick Launch?

    Dare I ask whether any useful parallel to Quick Launch remains? It's the most useful thing about any Windows taskbar - a couple of rows of small, regularly used app shortcuts!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "vista with a new face"

    That's all I needed to know.

    XP will continue with its strong user base for another few years yet then.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Converts the format to Windows Classic view/Show Files as details/Show status Bar/Set Background Coffee Bean/Makes all Menus appear, add UP button,

    2. Removes Indexing and that stupid combined search

    3. Makes OpenLinkinNewWindow open in a new window, somewhere else.

    4. Removes Gadgets, Clocks, and all the things that aren't running.

    5. Stops all indexing, and other crap.

    6. Removes UAC, gives you local admin permissions, allows you to see, straightaway and modify what IP card setting are, see invalid certificates without first going to the page etc.

    7. Lets you see possible display all settings of cards, to allow you to know which monitors you can buy without having to buy them first.

    8. Removes all tat, fancy ninky nonk icons, and stupid music, helpful dogs, and so on.

    9. Sets the close window to the same locations in the same place regardless of what type of file it is.

    10. Reverses out all those stupid "Great new interface" ideas that are only there to justify the incapable their reason for existing.

  31. Robert E A Harvey
    Gates Horns

    As predicted

    Vista with knobs on.

    It's like detroit. Same crap cars, more chrome.

  32. Steve

    Erm Right

    So its Windows Vista with a slight new GUI made to run a bit faster (Sure can do that by turning off the eye candy in vista) and a few extra programs thrown on top for good measure...

    And we get charged for it yay

    Reminds me of my old Amiga when MagicWB came out least they told u it was a nice new GUI.

  33. Steve
    Paris Hilton

    Erm Right

    So its Windows Vista with a slight new GUI made to run a bit faster (Sure can do that by turning off the eye candy in vista) and a few extra programs thrown on top for good measure...

    And we get charged for it yay

    Reminds me of my old Amiga when MagicWB came out least they told u it was a nice new GUI.

  34. Neil

    New Version

    Of course they are going to make it a new version. The reason being that Vista has such a bad rep (although personally I like it) that calling it Vista SE or whatever would be a disaster. Marketing it as a brand new version of Windows that fixes all of Vistas "issues" is far more likely to sell copies.

  35. Mark


    So they upgrade a couple of apps, re-skin the front end and make it not run like shite - that's MS innovation for you. Will there be about 15 versions of the damn thing or maybe just a desktop version and a server version?

    This is just Vista SP-whatever but they want to distance it from the stigma so someone might buy it.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    New taskbar

    Looks crap. It will make it much harder to keep track of multiple windows in the same application, having to rely on tiny thumbnails instead, when a lot of windows look similar/the same.

    I hope M$ has provided a way to disable it.

    Otherwise, improved performance and hopefully less annoying than vista = good.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Really, really, really innovative.

    "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..."

    Makes perfect sense, especially to OSX users. Come to think of it, I'm sure I was using an X window manager that did that 10 years ago (when Windows was still REALLY lame compared to every other OS)

    Never let it be said that M$ are years behind everyone else and desperately trying to add new features to their buggy, bloated snafu of an OS.

    Scientist icon because it must have taken hundreds of boffins to come up with M$ new ideas.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sounds promising


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


    Which, realistically, is probably for the best - an optimised, functioning and improved version of Vista has got to be better than another new buggy, bloated and unsupported (think drivers) OS.

    As OSs go I'm fairly neutral; it's about choosing the right tool for the job. FreeBSD for (web) servers and Windows for games machines - as examples. Maybe Mac for Multimedia and *nix for netbooks - whatever works best. So I'm not going to jump up and down and go "Oh noes! It's just Vista again", I'm just hopeful that this will (eventually) be the release that Vista _should_ have been; that it might offer something to tempt me to change my home OS (WinXP Pro) when I next do a major hardware upgrade.

  39. Anonymous Coward


    "Strip the bloat and give us an OS we can rely on."

    Sure - which distro would you prefer? Slackware for the dedicated masochist, Ubuntu for the neophyte; Fedora, OpenSUSE, etc for everyone else.

    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.

    WINE may even be able to cope with your legacy IT systems - or you could demand that your vendor supply a portable and standards compliant implementation. (Read: Java)

    Personally....I doubt I will touch Win7 (except in a virtual machine) if it is just Vista in new clothes and few more Compiz/Apple rip-offs. XP does everything I need from a Windows PC at home and at work, Ubuntu for everything else.

  40. Jon H

    Sounds like a bunch of updated apps to me, not a new OS

    So new features of this OS are things like WMP12? Surely you'd be able to run WMP12 on XP? I'm using a newer version of WMP than what installed along with my XP installation yet my OS is still called XP.

    And "features" like "Live Messenger will integrate with Facebook, so you can get friend updates in Messenger", that's hardly an OS feature. I use the IM app called Digsby, apart from being able to check all my email accounts, it works with MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo chat and so on, and guess what, it even integrates with Facebook and tells me of friends' updates (and far more). So what's the big deal Microsoft?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    fanboi comment of the day...

    So basically they're trying to make the taskbar more like the OS X Dock

  42. Tom Chiverton


    "Direct Access for network access without VPN"

    Well, that's impossible, so what did you actually mean ?

  43. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    Give it miss this time I think

    I usually jump on my local "site" ready for a copy of any new toy MS put out, but quite frankly given the rather poor showing of Vista, think I'll pass and stick with my genuine copy of XP. XP may not have proper support anymore but hell neither does Ubuntu really as such, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    As my late Granny used to say, "All mouth and no trousers!", that just about sums up M$ products of late.

  44. Goat Jam

    Re: Mark

    This my friends, is why Microsoft still, incredibly, has a customer base

    " Have they finally fixed the dire network problems that Vista suffered from?

    . . . . if they have fixed this i'm sold..."

    Followed by;

    " (It) would be nice for them to put the fix into Vista if they have fixed it of course, but then there would be little point in upgrading again so I guess that's not going to happen....."

    As long as Microsoft customers are prepared to fork over the dollars in the hope that the latest and greatest Windows OS will fix the gaping flaws in the only slightly older version of the Windows OS then MS will continue to dominate the industry.

    What people need to do is start standing up and say "Sorry MS, but Vista was a crappy, bloated, broken mess and I'm not going to fork out more money in the vain hope you might have fixed these issues"

    As long as people are prepared to keep buying their crap they have no incentive to actually fix anything.

  45. Tom


    also DLing from technet, also stuttering and can't get a key yet.

    prob just overloaded, you can install without a key anyway

  46. andy gibson

    Year of Linux

    So with this, Vista and the phasing out of XP surely 2009 really is the year of Linux!

    If this OS can run on my client machines of Celeron 2.4's with 512MB of RAM (we don't need any more so don't bother selling me new hardware we cannot afford) then I may show some interest.

  47. Ed


    I've been playing with the latest release for a few days now and from what I can see it's just Service Pack 2 for Vista. It's an improvement over Vista SP1, but nowhere near enough to pursuade me to actually pay money for it.

  48. Chris Matchett

    By Peter Kay 10:58 GMT

    "... it now supports heterogenous graphic adapters (so you can have a card from Nvidia and one from ATI at the same time) "

    Why would anyone want that? People don't want 2 graphics cards of differing origin any more than they would want 2 graphics cards of the same type. In fact people don't want graphics cards at all. They want nicer looking faster images on their screen.

  49. George

    OSX 7

    Taskbar works just like in OSX, should they call it OSX 7?

    And why bother with Microsoft and not get a real mac?

    Microsoft OS glory days are way in the past.

  50. Glyn

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

    I second that lot and add

    12. Make the folder column show the directory in English. Show it as "c:\windows\system32" not "system32 (c:\windows)"

    sense(It doesn't make)

    13. The option to remove the dropdown that lets you sort or group by as group by = sort with extra rows = pointless

    14. When I say "Apply to folders" I mean "Apply to folders" I don't mean "Apply to folders once" or "Apply to folders till you get bored" or even "Apply to folders until you move the mouse"

  51. 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.

  52. 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

  53. 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

  54. N

    @James - remember?

    Windows 95, and then Windows 98...

    Shortly followed by ME or was it Mainly Errors?


  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. Tone

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


  58. 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."

  59. 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!!)

  60. 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)

  61. 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.

  62. 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?

  63. 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. :-)

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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...


  68. 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

  69. 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.

  70. 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 !!

  71. 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

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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!

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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?

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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!

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. pctechxp


    Vista with bells on, I wont be stung again

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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?

  91. 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.

  92. 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..

  93. 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...

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. Pierre

    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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. Mick F


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

  103. 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...

  104. 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!

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cotswold gnomes

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

  106. 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".

  107. 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

  108. 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.

  109. 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.

  110. 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"...

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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..

  115. 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)

  116. 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.

  117. 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

  118. This post has been deleted by its author

  119. 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.

  120. 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 !

  121. 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.

  122. 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

  123. 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!

  124. 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!

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. Jeffrey Nonken

    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.

  132. 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.

  133. Dylan Fahey

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

    Come on, who cares about this crapola.

  134. 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

  135. 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.

  136. 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'

  137. 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

  138. 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..

  139. 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)

  140. 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.

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Not a new OS

    More like Windows Vista SP2

  142. 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)

  143. 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?

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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?

  147. 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.

  148. N

    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.

  149. 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.

  150. James Pickett


    "feels faster than Windows Vista "

    So would a milk-float.

  151. Anonymous Coward

    I Like it

    I have had windows 7 installed on an 'old' 3.0gig P4 with 2.5gig RAM for nearly a week now and on balance I like it. It does seem a lot quicker booting, loading programs and executing commands. It found my networked printer and installed the correct driver for it, and there was only a sound driver problem which I had to find and download as their version did not work with this machine.

    Once you get used to where everything is hidden it is OK. I did a 'clean' install - from XP, rather than an upgrade which removed all the old bits of registry and files - it stores the previous system files as windows .old which can then be removed with disk cleanup. With Office 2003 and a few other programs installed and before data files it takes a much reduced amount of disk space. I think when it is released I will probably go for 64bit for my main PC and get the other 2gig of RAM.

  152. Anonymous Coward

    Remember ... ?

    I think above comments show it is important to cater for dreadfully naive and super grokkers. The intermediate users can sort it out for themselves.

    Partly because super grokkers will bad press it as will dreadfully naive?

  153. Lionel Baden
    Thumb Up

    @ jason 22:32 GMT

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

    Ahh that would be heaven

    Just a OS

    Not an OS + 50000 useless apps

  154. George

    The question is.

    Since Windows 7 appears to be a version of Vista with less bugs and a few new features, will M$ offer a free upgrade to all poor customers who were forced to by Vista via OEM?

    or at the very least, release the necessary SP's to bring Vista to the exact same level as Windows7, GUI included.

  155. Fred

    A counter - Ubuntu tactic

    It appears that the folk that write articles like this are motivated by the Redmond bot client software!

    Wake up people - ignore the shiny buttons and flashing lights, this is insecure bloat ware rushed out in a feeble attempt to stem the complaints about vista.

    Myself, and those that i work with are not fooled, by this and ponder how the author can keep publishing such drivel and actualy go out in public.

    Its time to start ignoring such tat.

  156. Watashi

    Cool running OS

    Running W7 Beta 1 for three days on a 4 1/2 year old laptop (2.8Ghz P4, 1Gb RAM).

    1) It's more stable than either of the two new Linux releases I tried last year.

    2) It's better looking, faster and smoother than Vista.

    3) It's more intuitive to use than XP.

    4) Almost everything that runs on Vista runs on W7, except Messenger, which crashes the MS Vista VGA drivers I managed to extract from Vista and install on W7 (note: Messenger is the only thing that's led to a crash so far).

    5) It was really, really easy to install - it even connected to the internet through the wireless to download updates during the initial installation process!

    6) It has a seperate volume control bar for Windows sounds (but this doesn't work yet - it is still only Beta 1!!!).

    7) Nice check box list allows you to easily turn off unwanted process groups (eg Indexing).

    8) Uses noticably less RAM than Vista.

    9) Nice progress bar effect on the taskbar program group icons to show how far along a file copy process is.

    10) Having open program windows grouped 'behind' the icon used to launch the software on the Taskbar is much better than seperate Quicklaunch and window tabs combination. You can close open windows by hovering over the Taskbar icon and clicking the cross next to the entry in the list that appears just above the icon. Note: seperate IE tabs appear as seperate entries in the IE list, so you can close specific tabs from the Taskbar with a single point and click. Right-clicking IE, Explorer and other icons on the Taskbar gives a history list.

    11) Just transferred 250Mb of smallish files onto my flash drive at approx 4Mb/s

    12) It looks like it will work well with touch screens.

    I hated Vista - in fact, I sh4t all over it several times in El Reg posts - but I liked W7 the moment it started installing. It looks modern and feels snappy: you feel like you get more OS in a smaller package. Two weeks ago I was thinking of buying a laptop ASAP so that I could get one with XP on it, but now I'm going to wait until W7 comes out.

    Some people have compared W7 to Win98, but this not true. Win98 bolted a load of extra stuff onto Win95 and the price was a big loss of stability. In a direct reversal of this trend, I'd be surprised if this old laptop ran Vista as well as it runs W7 Beta 1. I know the Apple and Linux fanboys, and the general M$ haters, will not like to hear this, but M$ really does seem to have listened to consumers. Most of the issues I can think of have been addressed (within reason). Sure, its more bloated than Linux... but it does an awful lot more than Linux, and it's more stable even in Beta. Yes, it takes some of the good looks from MacOS or some Linux distro's... but then Linux and Apple stole most of the nicer bits of their GUI from M$ in the first place. Remember how bland Win95 made MacOS look? OK, a new PC running W7 will not be as quick as a new Mac, but it will likely be a genuine competitor in terms of usability, speed and stability, and will still cost a lot less.

    Assuming M$ doesn't mess this up, we will have an OS that can be installed and run with fair speed on single core computers with a single gig of RAM and that will be compatible with pretty much everything that runs on Vista, and a lot of stuff that runs on XP.

    The big question will be what M$ do next. XP to Vista to W7 is a clear demonstration that you can't tell consumers what they should want to buy. M$ seem to have learned the lesson, but this would imply that W8 should be a refinement and update of W7, which is itself merely a new version of W6. This is the MacOS model, where OS cost is built into the price of the hardware allowing new versions to progress along a clearer path of incremental improvement. Perhaps this is a sign that M$ has realised that in the new 'computer as comodity' marketplace, the OS can no longer be presented to the consumer as a huge money-spinning, high profit margin flagship product. Innovation on upgrade pricing and on hardware tie-ins is what's really needed. Linux has recently got the jump on M$ with its Netbook tie-ins, so M$ are now playing catch-up.

    Vista has been called the longest suicide note in software history. I think it will turn out to be the biggest wake-up call in software history.

  157. Mage Silver badge

    NT6.3 aka Windows 7?

    I'd be happy to go back to NT3.51 if they added USB and Firewire support.

    If they had released USB support few Corporates would have upgraded from NT4.0 to Win2K or XP.

    I tested a 3rd party USB stack on NT4.0

    Windows NT is now using 100 times the RAM and 20 times the CPU power most of the time to do the same things with the same productivity as it did in 1996.

    I ignored win95, used NT3.51 server with WFWG3.11 workstations and then upgraded all to NT4.0. Then skipped Win2K till XP SP1 was out.

    I'll wait and see what Win8 is like, Meanwhile two of my kids are quite happy with Linux based Laptops.

    OSX is an expensive version of UNIX where you pay x2 for the HW. No thanks.

  158. Andy Enderby

    "cool" new features ?

    You mean like were supposed to be a part of every Windows release since 2000 and got chopped from the finished product ? I think most would settle for something like current XP in terms of stability, speed and usability with a dash more security. How much higher will the hardware spec be than it is for Vista I wonder ?

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