back to article Windows 7 public beta end date named

You've got just over two weeks to download the Windows 7 beta from Microsoft, as Redmond starts winding-down the public testing process. The Windows 7 team has blogged that you have until February 10 to start the process of downloading Windows 7. Testers who have started, but not completed, the download process on that date …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    If it is feature complete ...

    ... they have a lot of bug fixing to do.

    I've only gotten the desktop gadgets to actually do something when I click on it on one VM (out of 3, and a physical host). The rest of the time, it just ignores me. No feedback. No "this can't run because ..." - just, nothing.

    I assume the eye candy is what will lead hapless non-techies to their doom^H^H be a sought after feature by the public, I'm kind of surprised that it doesn't work ...

    Lots of interesting things in the beta - like the screen capture tool that I'm sure is getting the good people at SnagIt sharpening their lawyers.

    It is pretty peppy in a VM, though. The laptop experience wasn't so grand - this OS really, really needs a good video card to be happy.

    Paris - because she knows about eye candy.

  2. David Wilkinson

    MS should offer free upgrades.

    MS should offer free upgrades from Vista to Windows 7. That would be a good PR move and help promote a speedy update of this "new" OS.

  3. SkippyBing


    Have you got UAC turned off? There's a known bug where doing that disables the gadgets.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Been using it for a while - love it!

    So when is it going to be released for general consumption then? If I've got to reformat my lappy because the beta expires, I'd hate to have to go back to XP...

    Used it since it was released to MSDN subscribers, not had a single problem with it apart from the occasional strange screen flicker when a cursor is on-screen.

    Gadgets respond fine, too - I have two weather things and a currency thing on the desktop which are happy to be interacted with and dragged around.

    Lots of little things have changed, like the tab index in common dialogs, that just make sense.

    Another one: in Vista, if you lock your workstation with a password, for some reason you can click your cursor out of the text box, even though it's the only text box on the screen.

    In Windows 7, this has been fixed.


  5. b166er

    letting the bay do all the work then

    so AC/OP "pretty peppy in a VM" or "really really needs" which is it?

    For the record I find it quite usable in a VM with 400Mb available to it.

  6. Jaap Stoel

    I'd like that

    A free upgrade form Vista to 7.

    I've given the OS a trial run and it seemed to work pretty well.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yes.. free upgrade this time around

    At the very least please give vista all the performance tweaks. Unfortunately, I don't think MS can provide a SP that will do that. From what I hear seven has allot more code change then they would want to admit. I am hoping SP2 will speed up the bloat and disc thrashing in vista but I don't expect much. I will look for the cheapest upgrade path to seven for my 1.5 year old HP notebook. Hopefully that path will be free. Especially with all the pre sp1 crap I had to go through with this machine. The networking is still iffy and sometimes hangs on my vista wifi network when communicating with my XP desktop. Oh how I want them to cut out that deep rooted DRM which IMO is the culprit. The only thing keeping me from putting XP on my notebook right now is the power management is indeed better with vista.

  8. John O'Hare
    Gates Horns

    Short Beta period?

    Since Bill G. apparently already admitted that windows 7 is an incremental improvement upon windows Vista, I can only deduce that they actually had about 3 years of beta testing in the wild, with quite a lot of their beta testers actually paying for the 'privilege', either directly by purchasing a boxed version or indirectly through the windows tax.

    Good show. MS, the only company that can sell beta state software at overinflated prices...

  9. Justin

    Maybe a longer beta period is needed after all

    ...if MS is working on "simplifying interface and navigation"?

    Oh yeah. That's the complaint I always hear about Vista, its interface is too complex!

    Not the utter bone-stupidity of using Windows Search as a basic navigation tool, hogging more hardware than a retired carpenter, or having charming "features" like a filesystem that could damage itself so badly that reformatting under XP was the only fix.

  10. Martin Budden Silver badge

    I love to count, ah-ah-ah!

    Why is it called Windows 7? By my count, it's the 9th major windows-for-home-PCs version.

    1. Windows 1

    2. Windows 2

    3. Windows 3

    4. Windows 95

    5. Windows 98

    6. Windows ME

    7. Windows XP

    8. Windows Vista

    9. Windows 7

    Maybe it's because ME and Vista sucked so much that Microsoft are disowning them.

  11. adnim


    I laugh my ass off. It is a fixed, erm, possibly fixed Vista. What's new, well it is just as difficult if not more so to get to the nuts and bolts of the OS. I am going to hate supporting it.

    MS are trying really hard to push their Internet services through this OS. It wasn't to difficult to disable and remove the Internet Accelerators, and change the default search engine to a decent one. What a joke though, when is a shortcut to ms services an accelerator? OK so one doesn't have to type the address of windows blog, Encarta, Hotmail etc in the address bar or do a scroogle search for them to be found, but using the word "accelerator" is taking the pi$$.

    I have yet to find a way to stop media player sending info to MS and Internet Explorer sends every website address one visits to Microsoft to determine if it is a safe site to visit if one accepts the recommended settings whilst setting up IE.

    It killed my grub boot loader, Linux is competitor friendly, Microsoft are and always have been anything but.

    I've played around a little and I am not impressed. I will not be using Vista II, sorry Windows 7 on any of my machines. I reckon there will be another MS OS out before XP is truly dead, but that is likely to be a cloud based OS as a service and there is no way at all I will use an OS that is tied into Microsoft's servers.

    @ David... Free upgrade from Vista? it is Vista, or at least what Vista should have been on release, I would take a free upgrade from XP plus financial recompense for the time taken to get as familiar with it as I am with XP. Learning a new OS is not a fun adventure, it is a tiresome chore.

  12. Adrian Esdaile
    Thumb Up

    @AC try it on something other than a 486?

    AC: really? really? You can't get desktop gadgets to run? Mine run OK, but they're just not that important to me.

    The improved wifi connections? check!

    The snappy disk performance? check!

    The speedy & pretty interface? check!

    The backwards compatability? - check!

    My hardware? Asus N10 laptop, with 2GB ram, 160GB 5400rpm HDD. Almost every component wored perfectly OOTB, needed driver for power management and FN keys. The Vista drivers from Asus site all worked.

    "needs a good video card to be happy" - mines happy with the battery-saving Intel on-board gfx - hardly a graphics powerhouse! Switch it to the Nvidia 9300M (no slouch, but still a low-power laptop gfx - not even remotely desktop class) and W7 happily plays Fallout3, Crysis and runs Autodesk Revit. On an Atom 1.6G too, so again, not exactly top-notch. Oh, and my battery times have improved over XP by about 45mins, so it's doing something nifty with power management.

    Mind you, I've been running Vista64 on my desktop since it came out, with no problems at all. Every problem I've seen with Vista (and XP for that matter, though Vista doesn't get crufty like XP does) is caused by too many dodgy torrent downloads.

  13. E_Nigma
    Thumb Up

    Looking Good Here

    It runs very smoothly, it is very responsive, after about 10h of use I closed all the apps (antivirus still working in background, of course) and opened Task Manager to find 335MB used which is not bad. As for it demanding a powerful graphics card, I can only say that it's more than happy with my 9800Pro (which was a marvel of it's time, but that time was 6 years ago) and I'd say that anything that ran Vista Aero won't have a problem with 7's.

    So it's pretty much like polished Vista with a few nice touches. The Homegroups sound like a neat feature, although I haven't tried it, the GUI has undergone some changes (unlike Vista's which basically offered preview when Alt+Tab was pressed and some eye candy, but was otherwise functionally identical to the old one; and that's pretty much all that the Vista Capable folk can't use and what all the fuss is about, but now I'm going on a tangent). Also, to my surprise, I think that it was the first time that I had reinstalled my graphics card drivers without restarting the PC. I have to admit, so far so good.

  14. Timo

    MS stuck between a rock and hard place

    Makes sense that they'd close off the beta - First, it lets people get a free copy of Windows, which Microsoft probably doesn't feel like doing right now given their layoffs etc. Second, this means people will determine that they can wait for Win7 to come out. That will create short-term problems for Microsoft's revenue and profits.

    Microsoft has created "vaporware" in reaction to competitors' product announcements, and has screwed those competitors as customers opt to wait because "any day now Microsoft product XYZ will be out." To some extent they've screwed themselves by releasing a better product which really also isn't vaporware at this point. An ideal solution would be for M-soft to hurry Win7 to the market. No point in delaying the release of Win7 because, well, they already know that nobody is buying that OS. MS must be a little shocked that peoples' choice of upgrade paths was to opt out completely.

  15. Tim Bates


    I assume they mean this is the end for Beta1. I've tried 32 in a VM and 64 as a proper OS.... And frankly, it's not ready. There's issues all around, from user experience to reliability.

    Some areas are vast improvements over Vista (UAC is now much better), some stuff stays the same (slow network transfers, slow USB access, etc)... And some stuff has gone backwards at an alarming rate (Windows Media Player now tries to be iTunes, Paint/notepad have the damn ribbon, etc).

    On the issue of the rate the beta is being consumed. This worries me. Betas should only be participated in by users who have both the skills and the time to do so. Otherwise the data returned is pointless. MS should be restricting the beta to people who've taken the time to register for it at least 6 months prior. Before the media start seeing images and hyping it up. This way only people who are committed to the idea will be able to test.

    @ Martin: It's worse than that.... 7 is version 7 of the NT series. So 1-3 and 9x don't count... But NT started counting at 3.1. Not even a base version number.

    Counting again, I get 3.1, 4, 2K, XP, 2k3, Vista/2k8 and 7. Which means 7 is sort of right... If we don't count XP as 5.1, which is really is.

  16. Jess

    Would be funny if apple were to release a similar beta for snow leopard that ran on PCs

    MS wouldn't like that

  17. Adam Harris

    @Martin Budden It's the 7th "major" release - despite being 6.1 not 7.0

    Well it's all a bit confusing as it's meant to be the 7th release of NT...

    1) Windows

    2) Windows 2

    3) Windows 3.0 / 3.1

    4) Windows NT 4.0 / 4.1

    5) Windows 2000 / ME (NT 5) and XP (NT 5.1)

    6) Windows Vista (NT 6)

    7) Windows 7 (NT 6.1)

    It's actually NT 6.1 - but M$ recon there are enough differences between it and Vista to still consider it a major new revision. This apparently was not the case with XP versus 2000/ME ;-)

    I think the same developers that work out the "time remaining" figure on file transfers worked out this logic.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Why is it called Windows 7? By my count, it's the 9th major windows-for-home-PCs version."

    It is the 7th version of the NT kernal i believe, vista was 6, xp and 2000 - 5 etc

    Before that the home versions had a different kernal.

  19. Craig Roberts


    "Learning a new OS is not a fun adventure, it is a tiresome chore."

    Does that mean that people who have been using Windows based OSes for years shouldn't move onto Linux then? ;)

  20. Roger Heathcote
    Jobs Horns

    Jeez 2.44Gb!

    They're not kidding when they say it "might take a couple of hours to download". I can't say I'm surprised their servers are taking a beating when this fuckers 7 times the size of XP. I wonder why they didn't just seed it on the pirate bay, save themselves a few bob?

  21. Roger Heathcote
    Gates Horns


    Thought that was a Ballmer icon for a second there... no diss to Jobsey (get well soon)

  22. Matt Horrocks

    @Martin Budden

    No, it went like this.. two competing lines of 'Windows', one for the home one for businesses/anything that requires less-crap networking than the other

    Windows 1

    ----LAN Manager floating around somewhere here

    Windows 2

    Windows 3

    ----Windows NT 3 series

    Windows 4 ("95")

    ----Windows NT 4

    Windows 98

    Windows ME

    ----Windows NT 5 ("Windows 2000")

    ----Windows NT 5.1 ("XP")

    ----Windows NT 6 ("Vista")

    ----Windows NT 7 ("7")

    Since they binned off the crapness that was DOS+GUI shell after WinME.

  23. insanity

    Releases != Version Numbers

    @Martin Budden - Here's a trick for you, open a command prompt in various versions of Windows and check out the version numbers rather than just counting releases:

    Windows 1,2,3 (and 3.1, 3.11)

    Windows 4 (95), 4.1 (98), 4.2 (Me) - I think, can't remember exactly but they are all 4.x

    Windows 5 (2000), 5.1 (XP)

    Windows 6 (Vista)

    Windows 7

    @admin - "Learning a new OS is not a fun adventure, it is a tiresome chore." - That is exactly why Linux is not taking off as much as it probably should, especially when you look at the corporate market (well, that and application/data compatibility, but that's another argument entirely).

    And my opinion? I quite like the changes in Windows 7, and it will probably replace Vista on my BootCamp partition... but OS X will remain OS of choice for the time being.

  24. Matt W


  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: @AC try it on something other than a 486?

    Adrian Esdaile wrote: "Every problem I've seen with Vista (and XP for that matter, though Vista doesn't get crufty like XP does) is caused by too many dodgy torrent downloads"

    Funny. Everyone I know who had problems, had them with hardware, particularly printers.

    Pensioners don't tend to do a lot of P2P. They do like to write and print letters to their grandchildren though and when their printer doesn't work, they automatically assume it's something they've done wrongly.

    The sort of people who mess around with torrents on the other hand can easily identify the problem. They're also more likely to know how to get their hands on an XP disk and go back to using that...

  26. Dale Richards


    Please, PLEASE can you stop the endless commenting on version numbers every time a Windows 7 story gets published? It's getting very, very old.


  27. Anonymous Coward

    RE: @AC try it on something other than a 486?

    Adrian Esdaile wrote: "Every problem I've seen with Vista (and XP for that matter, though Vista doesn't get crufty like XP does) is caused by too many dodgy torrent downloads"

    So you're saying that it can't handle communicating with other machines properly? Better add that to the list of why Vista is shite.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Why do they call it Windows 7?

    Because when you see it, you'll turn 7 degrees and walk slightly to the side of it.

  29. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Moderatrix!

    Nah. It's funny and strangely zen. Sorry.

    OK, no more after this point, this time.

  30. Neil Daniels


    I liked the beta - much more polished than the pre-betas (obviously)... but then it trashed two of my hard drives (apparently). Anyone else had random spin-downs using Maxtor SATA drives?

    Other than that (admittedly rather major) issue, I really like Win7. The description "Vista pretty but without all the crap" seems quite apt.

  31. Shaun
    Thumb Up

    I quite like Win7

    I only bothered to try it because I happened to replace my PC when the beta came out.

    Review: I'll use it if I have to wipe/replace my current computer after it's been released, but it's not good enough for me to specifically remove XP to use it

  32. adnim



    Mind you a move to Linux is well worth the effort.

    @insanity: I would say you are correct regarding corporate moves to Linux, compatibility with data formats etc can be dealt with, obviously there is expense involved, as there is in retraining staff to use Linux. But this extra expense would likely be more than compensated for, especially when one considers the cost of open source software.

  33. Nick Mallard

    @ Neil

    re the Maxtor drives: that's just Maxtor I'm afraid, hardly the most reliable of drives.

  34. Dale


    Then you'd also have to remove all the "Paris, because..." comments, and everything else that was funny for a brief period in 2005 and then stopped.

  35. The Sceptic
    Thumb Down

    Bollocks to Re-branding

    Am I the only one who's realised this - surely not?

    Windows 7 is Windows Vista - check any component - system properties show Vista. Another display of the contempt MS have for the customer

  36. Neil Daniels


    Two drives, at exactly the same time?

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