back to article Microsoft: Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC

Microsoft is advising people against rushing to download the Windows 7 Release Candidate, which became broadly available today. The company has also reminded potential testers they won't be getting a gratis operating system, pointing out that while the Windows 7 RC 1 won't expire until next June, it will expire. No-doubt …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    Thanks, Tim!

    "Reg reviewer Tim Anderson reckoned Windows 7: "At least looks like a sound return to the company's core competency.""

    That bad, eh? Thanks for the heads-up; I'll give it a pass, then.

  2. Kevin


    "The advice on Windows 95 was for a 386DX processor and 4Mb memory"

    I pulled it on a 16MHz 386 SX with 4 megs of ram took 35minutes to boot... seriously

    "You could get away with a 233MHz processor and 64MB memory on Windows 2000."

    Hmm I ran it for over 290days with no downtime on a P1 133 with 256 megs of ram. it was used as a web, FTP server, and router it ran perfectly fine and only went down when we had a blackout do to a failed UPS.

    "The fudging of the hardware numbers on Windows Vista landed the company in court."

    Can't argue that seen so many PCs that were made for vista, or had it on them, that Vista chugged along horribly. Kinda reminded me of my 386 with windows 95.

  3. Chris Seiter
    Thumb Down

    Tempting Virus Target

    All that needs to be done is to write a virus that either changes the internal clock time to the 10th every time you reboot or change the license key to an expired one. This is like the newspaper article telling everyone what the countermeasures are against printing funny money.

  4. N

    No rush

    To download anything remotely like Vista

  5. James

    reverse psychology

    1. Give it away for free.

    2. make it expire.

    3. make people buy it when it does expire

    4. profit!!?!

    I actually like it so far. I am thinking about making it my primary OS.

  6. Rick Giles

    And this is different how?

    "Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours..."

    Sounds like a normal day of using M$ Windoze.

  7. mike

    Bi-hourly shutdowns...

    But surely windows needs to be restarted at least once per hour anyway just for it to work?

  8. Gary F

    I will take my time - NOT

    So the RC is ready to download and MS are asking us to take our time and wait a few days, weeks, maybe a couple of months before we download it. Yeah, as if! I was downloading it the very minute it was made available.

    Anyone interested in tested it out or actually using it on their main PC isn't going to take their time and wait - apart from the 9 hours it took me to download on a 8Mbit connection. I think their distribution network was limiting the bandwidth per client to stop it collapsing!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC

    Erm, don't worry, I won't...

    Still going fine with XP: just sorted out ghosting software for my fresh re-install of XP. I'm now ready for a try-out of Ubuntu in the very near future.

  10. Timbo
    Thumb Down

    For all the virtualization talk.....

    W7 RC don't seem to like running virtualized applications, at least most of the Thinapp based ones I've tried so far.

  11. wsm
    Thumb Up


    Microsoft turning customers away? Well, they always did have trouble with "setting expectations" as their training manuals called it.

    For what it's worth, I got the RC last week and, like nearly everyone on the forums who wanted it, I can say it's a success as a replacement for Vista. It puts all of the fixes in the right spots and works on just about everything from netbooks to servers.

    The only stumbling block is the virtualization compatibility requirement for the CPU. But that's meant for newer boxes anyway.

  12. Medium Dave

    "...shutting down every two hours"

    ... What can you say?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait Hold up

    Aww come on MS. But I was soooooooooooooooooooooo looking forward to. To. To. Well actually totally ignoring this beta release and the next beta release known as the retail box. Probably every iteration of windows past XP that I can until the couple games I play no longer operate properly under it. So yeah I absolute will not be in any kind of rush to get this bit of bloatware.

  14. Nick
    Jobs Halo


    OS X all the way...

  15. vincent himpe


    you will need one of those intel based cray boxes to run it smoothyl i guess..

  16. Philip Bath

    Windows XP Mode

    Does the new XP mode give you a choice of running it in 64 bit or 32 bit edition or is it fixed to what you have Windows 7 as?

    i.e. I am installing Windows 7 64 bit, but really want a 32bit virtual pc.

    Should I just install as normal or is there something else I need to do?


  17. J

    To avoid interruption...

    So long, and thanks for all the free beta tester work, suckers!

  18. WinHatter

    your PC will begin shutting down every two hours

    For once I'll follow M$ piece of advice, I'll wait till June 3011.

    Well, people may not have to wait that long to see their PC crashing down every 2 hours.

    I know M$ said shutting ... I say crashing ... tomayto tomato ...

    /mine's the one made of apple fed penguin pelt

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well to be fair...

    I run the beta on a steaming pile of Fujitsu Siemens Pentium 4m with 1GB ram and it runs fine.

    The reboot every two hours thing? - my laptop cooks itself and goes thermal shutdown at about two hours anyway!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Why bother?

    Don't really understand why you'd slow your computer down and fill it up with shite just to run your software more slowly in an emulator.

    It's like buying a Mac and using it to run Windows apps. If you don't appreciate or can't use the native OS, why bother spending the extra money?

    Windows XP works, even if it is a security nightmare. Windows 7 seems to be just another Vista, with more changes just for the sake of changing things and more glitz to cover up how slow and unreliable it really is.

    Why would I ever bother to use an OS that slows my PC down with absolutely zero benefits? If you're going to say it's more secure, I'm going to laugh at you for being a complete and utter moron.

    Tell me, have they worked out how to copy and delete files yet in less than 10 times it takes to do the same thing on any other OS, including many of their own?

    Will it still ask me stupid questions? Will it still refuse to update my software because I don't have access rights to my own software? Will the first service pack actually make things worse? Does real anti-spyware and anti-virus software work under Windows 7 or has it been deliberately disabled like it was in Vista? Have drivers been written for industry standard hardware yet? Will the drivers you can get be usable or the botched, unreliable hacks independent hardware vendors are still forced to create today?

    When you can show me a new version of Windows that isn't a piece of complete shit wrapped up in a shiny skin, I might be interested.

    If Windows 7 is just another Vista, you might as well get a Mac. Because the only reason for running Windows has always been the hardware is cheap for the performance you get. If you need to spend as much on hardware as you would for a Mac, you might as well get the computer that has a reliable and working OS. Even if Apple are a bunch of arrogant arsehats with the customer service of.. well Microsoft, it's still better than spending a fortune on hardware to run an operating system more slowly and more unreliably, with less working software.

    Fuck me I never thought I'd say Macs make sense economically, but it actually looks like happening.

  21. Ben Lambert

    Hardware spec? So what?

    So you expected MS to give you a system that was exactly the minimum spec? It sounds to me like they gave you a normal system. It's not like they gave you an Alienware or something extreme.

    Sheesh. Can the reg at least TRY to be unbiased?

  22. Alain Godet

    No crash

    Strange, but I downloaded with no problem Windows 7 this morning. Seems this product interests users as much as Vista. Personally, I stitch to OS X...

  23. Steven Raith

    Windows requirements

    "The advice on Windows 95 was for a 386DX processor and 4Mb memory, but it was recommended you actually had a 486 and 8MB."


    I had a 486SX and 4MB RAM - it wouldn't install on my machine at all.

    Was the "maths coprocesser"/FPU support [what made the difference between the SX and DX lines as I recall - and oh how I remeber lusting after a 100mhz 486 DX4*...] a requirement at the time? I might have missed that.

    Anyway, I have an Athlon Thoro' 2400 XP here which I couldd pull half a gig out of and wap Win 7 RC1 onto - I might do it this weekend to see how it performs. Most processors from the last four years will piss all over the once mighty Thoro [OK, not as good as the mobile barton, but good bang for buck nonetheless] so it's a pretty good testbed to see what the requirements are like.

    I don't really have a problem with Windows having ever higher requirements - keeps me in the business of building machines for mates!

    Steven R

    *PS:: I was about ten or eleven back when I had that - how the hell can I still remember those details??? I am a bloody geek :-(

  24. Rob Welsh

    1Gb and 1Ghz?

    Smells like bullshit to me. What exactly can you run with that, paint and fucking textpad? For goodness sake surely someone has tested this claim by now....

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start."

    Which one is it? bi-hourly is twice an hour, not every two hours.....

    Either way, what's different there than the normal experience on Windows??

  26. Shingo Tamai
    Gates Horns

    Take it slow ?!?

    Do you need to buy some vaseline too while you take it?

  27. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Gates Halo

    In before the haters

    I expect to see a gusher of caustic vitriol from The Usual Xuspects(TM) touting the advantages of Linux which, somehow, despite its amazing superiority, manages never to get more than 1% of the desktop market. And, of course, I think we can count on the TUXers never having actually used 7 and thus not actually being able to contribute anything meaningful to the conversation except to rehash tired cliches about Windows while continuing to overlook the many shortcomings of Linux as a desktop operating system.

    Come on, guys, don't let me down.

  28. Matt

    1ghz + 1gb ram?

    Well I downloaded the RC this morning, came down my connection nice and fast... using the download tool the speed was the same as if I was using a newsgroup :)

    It installed flawlessly on my PC a Sony UX1XN UMPC- the specs being 1.33ghz Core Solo, 1gb Ram 30gb SSD, what can it do? a lot more than just run paint!! cold boot to working desktop, including biometric logon - 35 seconds!!! resume from hibernation - 22seconds, opening IE8 - 2.5 seconds, Outlook 2007 - 2.7 seconds... not bad for a computer that does fit in my trousers pocket!

    you lot can keep your bloody XP! in this machine win7 is FASTER by some margin than XP ever was, loging on, opening apps, aesthetics, everything!!

  29. Arnold Lieberman
    Thumb Up

    Ancient laptops and Xubuntu

    I took the opportunity of doing some experiments as it just so happens that I dropped my laptop last week so needed a new hard drive. Downloaded latest xubuntu (9.04) when it came out on my loverly if underpowered Latitude X1 - great, all hardware detected and it seems to work fine. Shame bluetooth support still isn't sorted and power management (even when configures as a laptop) is still dire. It managed to flatten an extended battery in under 2 hours - where I was getting nearer to 4h30 under XP SP3. And about 30 updates each day thereafter keeps the 3G card busy. And yes, I spent ages fiddleing about with wireless power settings etc. I won't even go into the hassle of getting Windoze shares working under Thunar. Maybe next year...

    On went Windoze 7 on Saturday (thanks MSDN), video and sound not detected immediately but one update later and all drivers are installed. Running sweetly on just 512Mb RAM (about 100Mb Free, soon to be upgraded anyway) with enough oomph to get Firefox going nicely. All in all, pretty impressed so far, bluetooth PAN working flawlessly and battery time back to where it was. Even though the graphics score exactly 1.0 windows redraw very fast. Certainly a vast improvement over the abortion that was Vista.

  30. Goat Jam

    Don't mention the war!

    So, I went and started the download. Hilariously, Microsoft asks you what operating system you are currently using.

    The list of options includes nothing but MS products, with "Other" slapped on the end.

    So, either they are doing the head in the sand thing and pretending that OS/X, Linux, BSD, Solaris etc all don't exist or they are assuming that anybody who has already switched to any one of these options will never go back to Windows.

  31. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    I think I can handle that...

    Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC? I think I can handle that, I don't intend to download it at all.

    As for the comments:

    1) If you get away from Windows, Thoroughbred Athlons, Pentium Ms, etc. are suddenly not some ancient piece. Even P3s are perfectly usable. Mac OS X recommends an 866mhz machine with 512MB... Ubuntu recommends a minimum 700mhz and 384MB of RAM (I've used Ubuntu on systems with those kind of specs and it's fine.) Thinking a 1.5-2.5ghz system with 1GB of RAM is somehow wimpy just shows how bad Windows has gotten.

    That said, from what I've read, Microsoft's recommendation is probably accurate. People online have put 7 onto 512MB systems and had it run acceptably. I'm not a Microsoft fan but I have to give them full credit for successfully debloating Vista. .

  32. Adrian Esdaile
    Thumb Up

    It runs fine

    ...on an Atom-based 1.4Ghz Asus N10, with 1GB RAM, with the processor clocking down to 700Mhz in battery-saver mode.

    Much smoother than Vista, equivalent to XP on the same machine. Sure, I have to clock the machine up to 1.4Ghz to use CAD (and use 2GB ram) but I had to do that with XP anyway, so whats the problem?

    It has a smaller footprint than Vista, and *far* better battery management than XP, so - WIN!

  33. Tony Reeves

    Who has the big sign on their wall to remove the 2 hour shutdown code?

    Will they remember, will they still be working at Microsoft?

    Anyone taking odds on the 2 hour shutdown bug remaining in the FCS code?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    MS cracks the whip and we all jump through the hoops - Sure.

    Oh so many many vagaries.

    First NO upgrade path from XP to 7, now there is an up[ grade path.

    Then comes all the maybee's along with that - as well as the 52 varieties of Win 7, AND the astronomical rip off pricing.....

    Uhhhhhh OPEN SOURCE = Ubuntu Linux and Open Office, and some 25,000 free and brilliant programs.

    Much less head aches.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    To Pay Is To Fail

    Oh just listen to the anti MS brigade; "Mac this, Mac that...."

    When will all the Mac braindead "get it" and get over it?

    The whole point to having MS windows and all its compatible software is to avoid paying a dime for any of it. Therefore, why would any of the freetard windows users want to rush out and purchase a Mac Machine? When, sooner or later the many millions of "freetards" will happen upon a free install of windows xp, vista, or soon to be 7 [final].

    Now, before all the geeks start spitting and blethering on about "virus, securtiy, bots...." it's just an OS on a machine, which if it becomes flawed with backdoors or infected at any time, then commons sense ought to be applied with another install of the OS.

    Afterall, a computer is just a machine and not a life controlling object. Though, if you find yourself being controlled by your Mac, Pc, netbook or whatever, then you really should get out a bit more and perhaps try something new like "flyfishing", or swimming with dolphins.

    Remember: To Pay is To Fail.

    Ps, Windows 7 does appear to use less resources than vista, and at last one can write an ISO to disc without any additonal software installs. Shame on MS for hijacking my HD audio drivers though.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    your "...PC will begin shutting down every two hours"

    Hot damn! They really HAVE improved it!

  37. John Goodwin

    Jaunty versus Windows 7

    I'll still be keeping my workhorse as Jaunty has been dead reliable. But although a UNIX afficionado, I've delved in the dark side and have been pleasantly surprised with the Beta and now RC1.

    Running in a virtualbox session with 512Mb, it just seems to run faster than Vista ever did - and I'd go so far as to say - on a par with XP.

    As for the shutdown every two hours, last time I experienced that nastiness was way back in the day of Win98.

    I'll probably whack it on the laptop and see how it goes. The girlfriend is Windows only, and gasps when I boot up with a different GUI hehe ;-)


  38. Slackness

    I have to admit...

    I updated the kids pc from 64bit vista to 64/7 and there was a marked improvement, upgrade was very smooth and with zero errors.

    All the games that ran on Vista run on 64/7 the only app that failed was daemon tools (*I was pre-warned by 7) oh and Kaspersky required a reinstall as I had changed the OS.

    2.8ghz Core2 (O/C), 2 GB RAM, ATI 4670 Video

    Kids verdict.. s'ok (aged 12)

    Personally im sticking with my OpenSuse box as it does what I want and whats needed.

  39. Nick Mallard

    So whats wrong with it?

    Too many moronic bashers on here today starting with Vincent.

    Actually try it. I've had it running, and running well on Asus EEEpcs, it runs wonderfully on my 1gb el-crappo E machines laptop and a space Celeron D box with half a gig of ram. It runs better than XP. It runs a hell of a lot better than Vista. It's reliable, the beta's were solid for me and the RC is now my main OS installation. I will indeed be buying it on release.

    Why whinge about it cutting out every 2 hours after March? That's a long time of free OS useage which is beyond what they need to do, but probably necessary to help cut out the mental images Vista carved in.

    It's more intuitive than OSX and does just as good a job on a far larger array of hardware installations. It's outright better than Vista and they've finally sorted out 90% of the issues they had with it. It's a step forward from XP however I'm still annoyed we're stuck with 32bit, which is wholly unnecessary however they need to drag money out of people in all places possible.

    So, a good step forward by MS as far as I'm concerned. If you're going to bash it, do so constructively, and not just for the sake of it.

  40. Matt

    re Henry Wertz

    How can you comment on something you cant even be bothered to try?? for free!!

    OSX? i run Leopard on a Powerbook 1.67 with 2gb ram and Win7 blows that out of the water for speed on my 1.33 core solo...

    and bloat?? your specs are fine for the OSX vista timeframe release... when Win7 is released Apple will be obsoleting much newer and more powerful hardware.... 1year old top of the line macs wont be able to run the new core features of Snow Leopard and My 1.67ghz machine? the most powerful laptop apple made 3 years ago, well it wont even load on there! Im not even going to comment on linux, yes it may run, but for anything other than a server or appliance, god its awful!

    Win7, love or hate M$, is actually shaping up to be quite a decent OS...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: English?

    Anonymous Coward wrote:


    'Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start.'

    Which one is it? bi-hourly is twice an hour, not every two hours.....

    Either way, what's different there than the normal experience on Windows??"

    Actually you are thinking of the prefix semi. Bi-hourly means every two hours. Semi-hourly means twice an hour.

    Oh the sweet irony. Or perhaps it is to be expected. Be you i've got something wrong too.

    Paris because she doesn't know about semi either.

  42. Dale Vile
    IT Angle

    Lowest spec

    I have been experimenting with Windows 7 for a few months now on various machines. It runs very well on a Sony Vaio TZ with a 1.2 GHz core2 duo processor and 2Gb of memory, and that's with reasonably demanding use. Assuming an implicit dual core requirement in this, I would therefore say that Microsoft's 1GHz minimum processor spec is probably reasonable. While I haven't tried whipping memory out of the Sony, I did load Windows 7 onto another machine (an old Philips notebook) that had a faster processor but only 1Gb of memory. That did not run very smoothly until I put more memory into it. I would therefore suggests that 2Gb RAM is probably the safest working minimum for most situations.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    So have you actually tried Windows 7 yet?

    I wonder just how many of the detractors have actually used Windows 7 beta or RC1? If Ladbrokes offered odds I'd be happy to put a tenner on less than 10% of the vocal anti-MS penguin shaggers having used Windows 7 or even Vista SP1.

    I for one think W7 works very well. I've even run it on a Samsung NC-10 and it performs better than Windows XP. I will be happy to adopt the production release early but like any sane person won't be truly happy until SP1 has landed and bedded in.


  44. Andy Worth

    Re:1Gb and 1Ghz?

    For once, MS might actually be telling the truth. I haven't gone quite as low as a 1GHz processor, but it certainly runs (and surprisingly well) on my Dell laptop with 1.4Ghz Celeron CPU and 1GB of RAM. I'd say that it is comparable with a fresh XP SP3 install on the same machine which is quite impressive really.

    They must have been quite clever in the way it scales itself according to your PC's performance. I haven't determined yet exactly what features it disables (aside from the Aero theme) but somehow they've made it run quite nicely on "slower" machines.

    @Henry Wertz

    Just on your point 1), I know exactly what you mean. Kit that becomes too slow to run XP can quite happily be used with a Linux install. In fact, using Linux as a base and some server-based virtualisation for app streaming (for apps that "require" XP) makes quite a nice replacement for a Windows XP desktop imho.

  45. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Up

    Have to admit....

    It runs pretty well on my machine. AMD Athlon XP 2ghz processor, 1gb PC3200 nvidia 6600 256mb card on a GA-7N400 Pro2 mobo. My only annoyance is that it would not natively install on to a sata HD, preferring the older PATA drive. It won't win any speed records, but neither did XP on the same box and SUSE 11 is only MARGINALLY quicker (not enough to make me care).

  46. SuperTim

    Minimum hardware......

    I dont think microsoft are the only ones who "fudge" their requirements. I recall minimum specs on software i have produced being so low the software was almost unusable, but still ran. You needed about 4 times the performance to get the best out of it, but we would only sell a quarter of the volume.

    Everyone knows that specs need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but will happily cry when their 386 doesnt run vista even though bill gates said we didnt need more than 640KB of memory!

  47. N

    @ AC

    If it shuts down every 30 minutes then thats no change

    But If it shuts down every two hours, thats an improvement over Vista!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yup - core competency..

    Reg reviewer Tim Anderson reckoned Windows 7: "At least looks like a sound return to the company's core competency."

    That's right. After a while, it starts rebooting a lot. That is indeed a return to shooting at feet with both barrels. I'm not convinced it's a welcome one, although it correlates with the advice some Linux advocates have been giving installers to make migrated Windows users feel more at home: set up a background task that randomly restarts the machine every so often.

    MS can try to hype the new version as much as it wants, it has proven very clearly with Vista that the upgrade game is not strictly required to have functional IT. Avoiding the Vista downgrade has saved a lot of companies quite a bit of money, which is a nice thing to discover in times of a crisis.

    Almost everything I use now has a Linux equivalent, and that's where my stuff is going, with a bit of VM to take care of the fragments I cannot move yet (mostly mobile phone updaters). Collanos workspace, Freemind, Openoffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, SugarCRM, Truecrypt, PGP - no problem at all..

  49. Aaron

    I like it

    for all the neh sayer's out there id thought I would add that I hated vista it was one of the worst OS I've ever come across (yes that includes OS/2 Warp), however windows 7 I really like, sure it wont run on hardware that came off the ark but then microsoft never claimed it would. I run it on my laptop and my main pc and its smooth not resource hungry my game run well and im actually a little shocked and pleasantly surprised.

    As for the expiry, well of course there's an expiry it wouldn't make much sense to give away a near complete OS with no restrictions when they intend to sell the final product. I don't mind reinstalling before a years out hell I will probably do that several times because I like to fiddle play with new OS's and hardware.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Matt

    even if you are not a Microsoft sockpuppet, your abundant overuse of the exclamation mark is distinctly likely to engage the suspicious-minded

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As normal...

    ... a MS story and the internet retard brigade is out in droves!

    "So, either they are doing the head in the sand thing and pretending that OS/X, Linux, BSD, Solaris etc all don't exist or they are assuming that anybody who has already switched to any one of these options will never go back to Windows." <---- except all of those people that bought the linux netbooks and then trading them in for the windows xp netbooks, maybe they are trying to learn who is using it who isn't already using windows!

    Also to everyone whineing about the minimum specs, those arn't actually the minimums, it runs fine on a machine with 512 ram and only 1ghz processors (probably lower but that was the slowest machine I had), the reason for the high mimimum specs is that computer makers are idiots, they will make a computer which is the minimum spec and sell it, then it looks bad on MS becaue the OS runs slow because people don't understand that a lower spec machine will likely run something slower!

    Making the minimum specs in fact higher than is required helps, really it doesn't need a DX9 gfx card, it will happily run without, but then people don't get aero and they complain again.

    Windows 7 is a nice OS IMO, runs nicely all of my games seem to work (slightly better in some case, wanna test DX10 performance really but that requires installation on my PC, laptop only has integrated) but everyone has and is entitled to there own opinion. But how about voicing the opinion without the slagging off of a company because you don't like them, and actually used some reasoned arguments for once!

  52. Nazar

    MS Shills

    For all you MS Shills that keep harping on how W7 is faster than XP. Stop it. It is questionably faster that Vista but that is it.


  53. jake Silver badge

    @Tom Maddox

    "I expect to see a gusher of caustic vitriol"

    No, Tom. It only looks like vitriol if you are religious about your OS.

    "I think we can count on the TUXers never having actually used 7"

    I don't count myself as a "tuxer", even though my go-to desktop OS is Slackware (one flavo(u)r or another of BSD on most servers). I use whatever OS does the job I need it to do. In the last decade, Microsoft has failed. Miserably. The last OS that MS released that I (personally) find useful is Win2K. My wife has a dual-boot XP/Slack 12.2 box that hasn't booted into XP (except for me applying security updates) in around 6 months.

    I'm not going to bother with Microsoft products anymore until Microsoft stops assuming that I am a criminal. I don't shop at Walmart for the same reason.

  54. Geoff Mackenzie

    Don't rush to download ...

    No probs, I wasn't going to :-)

    Also: "Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours" - how does this differ from normal Windows behaviour?

  55. Brian Whittle

    crying wolf ?

    Microsoft either overestimated the demand or underestimated their servers. Got the Key and the download no problem.

  56. B Candler Silver badge

    @Arnold Lieberman

    The Latitude X1 is a great little machine. Note that Dell are still selling the 1GB memory upgrade for just £21.87 including VAT and shipping - part number A1476451. As the laptop has 256MB soldered on board, this gives you 1.25GB in total.

  57. Anonymous Coward

    1ghz - 1gb Ram

    I tried it (well, the beta) on an old 1,2 GHz AMD laptop with 256 MB Ram. Well, guess what? It works ! Granted you can't really work with it as the machine is swapping like mad, but it wasn't brilliant with XP already...

    And I have it on a HP 2133 netbook equipped with a Via C7 CPU, that came preinstalled with Vista Home (Note to HP, putting a CPU that should be restricted to smartphones & Tivos in a Netbook and hoping to run Vista on it is just a very bad idea - put a real CPU inside!), and it runs quite nicely.

    So, may I suggest to the penguin hugging crowd to stop babbling around, without even being able to back up their claims?

    Like it or not, Win7 IS better than Vista (ok, that wasn't hard) performance wise, the interface is ok, and it doesn't crash every 5 minutes. Thing that hasn't happened since the era of Win9x/Me is over, and software can't just go write in memory segments that aren't theirs... And if your windows box still crashes, you might want to stop the urge to install all those sharewares you find on the CD given for free with a magazine you just bought ;)

    Can't you guys just be positive ?

  58. Psymon
    Gates Halo

    @Henry Wertz

    The reason Linux and apples linux flavour have smaller footprints is because (drum roll for the elephant in the room....) they are smaller OSs, with fewer features.

    Fewer features, you say?

    Why, yes. The reason you don't know about the pretty staggering difference in feature sets, is because you're a user, not a sys admin.

    Remember where win 2k came from? NT, the network OS. For the past decade MS have been dilligently working for us, not yourselves. Have a look in computer management at the services running, and google some of them - for the average home user, they do nothing. Stick it on my network, and I can make that machine positively sing and dance!

    This is the true reason Linux hasn't made a dent in the corporate environment. Coupled with their overly simplistic implementations of ldap, kerberos and dragging their heals over DNS standards, lack or decent bandwidth management...

    All of these features work out-the-box...

    But I'm getting off-topic.

    Win7 (Vista SP2) is actually a very toned and slim beast, considering what it's capable of.

    (not @ Henry)

    Oh, and if you've been having trouble keeping a post 2K MS OS running smoothly? How? Seriously, how utterly incompetent are you? I think you need a sys admin!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    OK, I won't

    So, what does windows 7 actually DO that windows XP doesn't?

    I suppose being able to use more than 3gb of RAM has some merit, as that's probably a minimum requirement anyway.

    But... but... what does it DO that windows XP doesn't?

    If it delivers a faster, smoother OS experience, I'm sold - that's good enough.

    You can throw all the eye-candy in the world into the interface, but if my programs don't run any faster, start quicker or run more reliably than under windows XP, why on earth would I switch?

    Well, there's really only one reason - when the big software developers stop developing for Windows XP.

    In the interim, Windows XP has such a wealth of software and customisation options, Microsoft are going to be hard pressed to convince users to switch.

    To sum up, reasons to switch to Windows 7 for me would be:

    1. Faster and more reliable

    2. Cost - sub £200

  60. DZ-Jay

    Re: English

    >> "pointing out that while the Windows 7 RC 1 won't expire until next June, it will expire."

    Isn't "next June" a mere few weeks away?

    Since when was "next" re-defined to mean "upcoming, but skip the closest one"?

    Sorry, I'll ODFO now...


  61. Nick
    Thumb Up

    All fine here.

    Managed to download it fairly quickly yesterday morning - installed itself within an hour in an old Dell D610 with a gig of RAM. Feels a tad slower than the 7000 beta release, but works perfectly. I did however have to plug into the network to get the drivers for the wireless and graphics card but seems fine to me. Its certainly as fast as XP though.

    Still looking good MS, but I'll still stop with 'nix for my home machines.

  62. DZ-Jay

    Re: 1Gb and 1Ghz?

    >> "What exactly can you run with that, paint and fucking textpad?"

    Really? It's been a while since I last used a lower specc'ed machine (not since Win2K was a new thing), but up until recently I was using a MacMini with 1.3GHz processor an 512MB of RAM without much problem. I did my coding on it and even played World of Warcraft (albeit a bit slow on the framerate). Is Windows XP really that crap on the same hardware?

    At work I use a dual-processor machine with 3GB of RAM and Windows XP and it runs like a cripple on syrup, but I always attributed that to the crap installed by the IT people; things such as AV software, network access managers, monitoring software, and a whole catalog of icons that lives in the System Tray.


  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm beginning to wonder if MS has a sense of humour after all

    it would certainly go a long way towards explaining why they'd give the RC behaviour that writes the gags for the Internet comedians at no extra charge

  64. DZ-Jay


    Can you elaborate? What exactly do you think Windows XP offer for networked use that Linux or even OS X do not?

    May I remind you that Linux is very much popular as a network and application server in many ISPs and corporations, so it cannot be lacking many features in that regard.


  65. Brian Whittle
    Thumb Up

    minimum specs

    I think Microsoft have get the minimum specs about right for once. For vista they said 512 MB which was never enough. Vista runs OK on 1GB and windows 7 runs even better, much better on crappy hardware

    Out of curiosity I put the 32 bit client on my now aging HP/compaq NX9020 (Celeron M 1.4) and it runs surprisingly well . Maxes out when playing full screen Flash content but so does my Macbook.

    With Firefox running (which is a hog anyway) and avast installed memory Use is 602 MB

    I dread to think what it would run like with Vista on it

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Don't worry Microsoft, I won't rush to download it!

    "your PC will begin shutting down every two hours" Don't worry about that either. I'm sure some enterprising person will figure out how to disable this "feature" in about two hours. I may take a whack at it myself.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The only reason...

    .. I bought Vista was their promise of h264 decoding and satellite support in Media Centre via the TV Pack.

    The same pack they then decided not to release to the public.

    Lesson learned, MS like to shaft their customers.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    Finally - an XP Replacement

    I've been testing W7RC32 on a Dell Optiplex P4 2.8 with 512Mb RAM which is a typical machine around here. We were curious as to how it would run, but it's definitely faster than XP and our Intranet is like lightning under IE8 compared to an IE6 or 7 under XP which was a pleasant surprise. So far it seems a lot faster than XP on the same hardware, and feels lot nicer to use overall. No annoyances either which is nice.

    Installation via WDS was also painless - simply load the WIM files from the DVD into a WDS server and instant network boot install. Installation is painless.

    Very impressed so far - I plan to install it on my main work desktop machine for a real test

  69. Matt

    @ Michael Joyce - more English

    Warning: here be some "Cut and paste" shenanigans:



    Main Entry:





    Middle English, from Latin — more at twi-

    1 a: two <bilateral> b: coming or occurring every two <bicentennial> c: into two parts <bisect>2 a: twice : doubly : on both sides <biconvex> b: coming or occurring two times <biannual> — compare semi-3: between, involving, or affecting two (specified) symmetrical parts <bilabial>4 a: containing one (specified) constituent in double the proportion of the other constituent or in double the ordinary proportion <bicarbonate> b: di- 2 <biphenyl>

    usage Many people are puzzled about bimonthly and biweekly, which are often ambiguous because they are formed from both senses 1b and 2b of bi-. This ambiguity has been in existence for nearly a century and a half and cannot be eliminated by the dictionary. The chief difficulty is that many users of these words assume that others know exactly what they mean, and they do not bother to make their context clear. So if you need bimonthly or biweekly, you should leave some clues in your context to the sense of bi- you mean. And if you need the meaning “twice a,” you can substitute semi- for bi-. Biannual and biennial are usually differentiated.

    (I appreciate the irony of cut and pasting from an American dictionary here, but I don't have access to OED)

    So it does seem that bi-hourly could be correctly interpreted as either "twice an hour" or "every two hours". (Although the previous sentence would suggest they meant the second.)


  70. N

    @ AC - The only reason...

    Im not sure why, but every time they build up the hype in the beta, the good stuff seems to get left out & what you have is a crock o shite left over. Wasnt WinFS supposed to be part of XP?

    Which is why some people may ignore the security implications & stick with XP/2000

  71. Tim Brown

    Ah... another classic

    Since I've recently being playing around with Virtualbox I thought I'd have a look at the release candidate.

    However going to the download page, I see I need a Windows Live ID... I don't have one... why is there no signup option? Why? Well because I'm using Opera 9 and their download page is broken when viewed with Opera and the signup button is missing!

  72. Chewy

    XP fanboys

    Please we don't want to hear that you prefer XP to an OS you haven't actually used. You have an OS that you are happy with, but do you really need to ram it down our throats constantly.

    That also goes for people using Macs and *NIX systems. I'm not anti other OS's but the grass isn't always greener. I like Jaunty but it isn't perfect as I'm having problems with Tracker complaining the index is corrupt.

  73. Trygve Henriksen

    Why bother?

    After all, eComStation 2.0 RC6a is out, so why would anyone want W7?

    Mine's the one with the install CD for GalCiv II Gold for OS/2 in the side pocket.

  74. stim
    Gates Halo

    best ever

    funny how most of you here probably haven't even tried Win7, but just love to slate it anyway! how sad.

    i would recommend you stop the childlike bashing until you actually try the product...seems to me that just because MS have made it, you lot seem to instantly hate it. It is free, so why not uninstall the precious linux for a few weeks and give it a go. It's not that hard for all you techie's to rebuild a PC a few times is it?!

    Windows 7 is the best O/S ever made, and it's not even finished yet! You will all see.

    (and no, i dont work for MS).

  75. Anonymous Coward

    All the best MS!

    I tried the earlier version and I have to admit that it was a vast improvement on the "other " previous attempt, the big V. I wish MS all the very best for the future hope this works out well for them, no hard feelings.

    I have to say, MS you won. Congrats! I simply couldn't keep up with the cracks and patches needed to keep Windows XP and Vista going, so I threw in the towel, dumped my PC and went Apple OS/X. I was lucky a relative bought me an iMac, finally using my PC to learn, rather than hording knocked off software.

    Love, a reformed, former freetard!

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @Timbrown - " because I'm using Opera 9"

    oh, so you're the Opera 9 user...

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    @ DZ-Jay "Isn't "next June" a mere few weeks away?"

    i think you'll find that is 'this' june.

    Paris... go figure.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Bring on Snow Leopard. That baby's gonna fly.

  79. Goat Jam
    Paris Hilton

    @"As normal... "

    Ha ha

    If MS are so chuffed about how many people are switching from some dumbed down netbook OS then why don't hey give people the opportunity to declare their Windows love?

    Surely they should be shouting it from the rooftops, no?

    P.S. Why do all you MS shills/fanbois/investors post as AC all the time? It's like there's only one or two of you who just keep on posting the same old tired lines over and over and over and over.

    Paris, because she knows nothing about being anonymous.

  80. Simon B

    Daft question - Can I not just change the clocks date???

    So if I change my clock to the correct date but year 2000 I have 10 years of usage for free? coooooooooooool! Coat needed??

  81. Psymon
    Gates Halo


    This is hardly the place for a complete feature list, and going into details over the the advantages/disadvantages between the Windows/Linux counterparts could take up a whole site, so at best I could give a handful of examples.

    Bear in mind also, we are still discussing the OS footprint, so we are talking about features that are built in, laying dormant until a sysadmin with a domain controller carresses them into life. As opposed to separate entities or 3rd party apps that need installing.

    Also, let's not hear any paranoid screams over security. These services are locked down tight as a drum (epsecially since SP3), and all communication with them is encrpyted by default (ironically, we've had to disable some of the encryption features to allow our Unix server to authenticate, due to it's limited Kerberos facilities.)

    Background Intelligent Transfer Service

    Commonly used only by windows update in the wild, it allows for interrupted file transfer resumes, but connected to a corporate network is also used to deploy OS installs, group policy updates and many other core features of the OS (as well as being an open API for 3rd party developers).

    The key difference here is that you can define bandwidth throttling of all transactions across your network, to avoid conjestion, including cross-site link prioritization and scheduling. Crucial if you have a globe spanning network.

    Windows Management Instrumentation

    Incredibly powerful - Allows SQL querying of nearly every aspect of your client and vital for auditing of your software/hardware inventory. I was able to obtain the serial number off the battery of a users laptop from the other side of the world!

    Microsoft Installer

    MSI packages are not executables (most setup.exe files are self extracting msi packages) , they are relational database files that use the STANDARDISED (You hear that Linux devs?) MsiExec installer service. If the software developer has followed the well documented stadards, then the software can be fully managed and distributed to all clients from the server for automated (and virtually bulletproof) self-repairing installs.

    Group Policy Management

    Where to start? Every last element of a windows environment can be configured from the server by applying a group policy to the OU container that holds either the user or computer account, from what NTFS rights they have on the hard disk or registry, network resources, printers, roaming profiles, automated software installs, configuration of 3rd party software preferences, what you get in the start menu, whether they get the system tray clock...

    These are just a tiny fraction of the features that Linux either isn't as good at, or simply doesn't have. For a hobbiest with a small workgroup, Linux is fine, but an enterprise administrator spanning multiple sites and countries needs a more mature, fully fledged and fully manageable OS both at the server and the client end.

    Who cares about a few extra gig of hard disc space if it's going to save me countless man-hours in maintenance?

  82. Chika

    Lowest spec used?


    <accent="yorkshire" python="monty">

    I shall be using the same machine I used to test the beta, which was the same machine I tested Windows Server 2008 Beta on, which is a 1 GHz PIII with 512MB. It was good enough for those other systems, not to mention openSUSE 11.0, so it should be good enough for this.

    And you tell the youngsters today, and they won't believe you!


    However, I should mention that the only problem I've had so far with W7Beta on this test system is driver related, which reminds me of every other Windows release going back at least to W95 and possibly before!

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ stim

    School holidays, is it?

  84. stim

    i would respond to your name...

    but you're obviously too young to even write it (or too chicken hence the Anon)...

    which part exactly do you think is childish then? please explain, i'm dying to hear.

  85. Neill Mitchell
    Thumb Down

    Mozilla won't install

    Tried 3.0.10 and 3.5. Did not install. No error message, nothing happens.

    If Microsoft are going to muck about with childish anti competitive behaviour like this then they can stick it.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    works here

    i installed it no problem, you sure it's not user-error?

  87. Jon Green

    Seems OK so far

    I've been running 32-bit W7 under VirtualBox, running in Ubuntu 9.04 ("Jaunty Jakalope").

    Having an idea of Vista's predilections, I gave it 1.5GB RAM, although I cheaped out and allowed only a 12GB virtual disk instead of the recommended 20GB.

    To my surprise, not only did it install relatively painlessly - if rather slowly - but there's 5.25GB free afterwards. Of course, peak use during installation could be more than that, since W7 will probably need some space to decompress files that it deletes when finished.

    What can I say? It works, so far. I haven't really beaten the bejazus out of it yet, and it will be interesting to see how it behaves running programs in XP compatibility mode, given that it's already running in a virtual machine, but it doesn't seem too bad.

  88. Christopher Rogers

    @ Neill Mitchell

    I'm writing this in Firefox 3.0.10 on my Windows 7 BETA .

  89. Andus McCoatover


    <<I like Jaunty but it isn't perfect as I'm having problems with Tracker complaining the index is corrupt.>>

    Found that too. Solution? "sudo apt-get remove tracker". Fixed.

  90. Brian Whittle

    firefox works

    If you can't get Firefox to work on windows 7 its a problem causes by you or your PC not windows 7

  91. Mostor Astrakan

    OMG... Features!

    Background Intelligent Transfer Service - Yup. We have Secure Shell for that. Also, Linux has loads of QoS options that you can use, should you desire to do so. It's actually pretty typical of Microsoft to implement bandwidth throttling in their file transfer program, instead of at the network level where it belongs.

    Windows Management Instrumentation - Sounds lovely, doesn't it? I was most surprised when Linux told me the amount of juice left in my cordless mouse's battery. It would be even nicer if all hardware manufacturers would implement those management functions consistently. Just getting the serial number off all the machines would be nice. However, there are still machines where you're reduced to crawling behind them and copying faded little stickers...

    Microsoft Installer - Oh my god... You mean MS has an installer now? Based on Relational Database Files? Yeah, whatever. I forget when the Debian Package Manager made its appearance, but it's been with us for a good bit. It will auto-install and auto-configure all software, and administer package name, version number and whatnot in a neat list so you can easily see what's on there. It also automatically resolves requisites, downloading them off teh Internets where required. (So nice not to have to worry about license keys, license daemons, activation, Windows Ginuwine Advantage, copy protection and all those other things that MS wastes your time with). Or you can point it at your own repository. The MS installer has nothing on Debian Package Manager and APT. You didn't think we were still busily hand-crufting installs with "make install" did you?

    Group Policy Management - What Linux don't do out of the install images, you can usually control with a small shellscript. I can control up to the last comma what someone gets on their screen with Linux.

    "(ironically, we've had to disable some of the encryption features to allow our Unix server to authenticate, due to it's limited Kerberos facilities.)"

    Yeah... There's a reason for that. You see, what you Windows people see as "Kerberos", is actually Mostly-Kerberos with a few little non-standard MS pimples added, just to be incompatible with anything else. So-called-LDAP is the same. I'm actually surprised that MS *lets* you disable their pimples. You see, in our happy Unix world, the word "standard" actually means something. It means that all the Unix-makers (Sun, IBM, HP, and the Linux Hive-mind) have agreed to do things all the same. That means, for instance, that graphical X11 applications from all those platforms happily display next to each other on my Linux workstation. It also means that I don't care what Unix a DNS server is running, because it's standard and will always work. Even after fifteen years or so in IT, I still have to see my first correctly-functioning Windows-based DNS server.

    So yes, any idiot can configure a DNS server on Windows. However, that also means that you get a DNS server configured by an idiot. Ask them to do something not immediately obvious, and they're at a loss and muttering direly about how only a freak would want something like that.

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