back to article Steve Ballmer's Windows 7 dance party

October 22 has arrived, which means Microsoft can stop defending Windows Vista and start pretending it never happened. Eyes have now turned to Windows 7, while Windows Vista joins Microsoft Bob and Windows Me in the annals of underachievers past. Well, except for all those people who are still stuck with the thing. To …


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  1. JayKay
    Thumb Down

    One word;


  2. Steve Evans


    The dusty door opens, and Vista is gently pushed onto the dusty shelf next to ME...

    The door is closed then sealed once more...

    We shall not speak again of this place.

  3. howaboutsomegrace

    Lighten up

    Whether or not you like Windows/Microsoft, an article about an event should not be littered with constant negative commentary. This seemed more like a platform to carry out a grudge than an article about what happened during the party. The market and end users will make the final determination about whether the features noted are worth it.

  4. Tony Paulazzo

    Ballmer: party of one.

    >"exciting" new features you’ll find in Windows 7CBS<

    Here's one I'd like, that my Bluetooth (frigging) Microsoft mouse would still work after the laptop wakes up from sleep mode... when it wakes up, so far (HP laptop so it may be HP drivers at fault here), sleep mode has caused one BSOD, a couple of unexplained shutdowns and the screen refusing to come back to life.

    >a major network in the US known for such highbrow programming as the CSI franchise and Two and a Half Men, will integrate its content with Windows Media Center. Users will be able to access all the CBS primetime shows on demand from within Media Center.<

    Globally, or just for Americans? Guess we UK residents get Sky news.

    >they showed how a laptop could boot in just 15 seconds and wake from sleep nearly instantaneously.Let’s see how responsive Windows 7 is after it’s been running for months loaded with apps<

    Well my desktop's been running the RC since almost day of release, games, multimedia, 3d rendering etc, programs installed and uninstalled, virtXP etc and not only have I noticed no slowdown, but it's been remarkably well behaved, no BSODs, sleep to wake is seconds (I barely turn it off these days), games that would crash in Vista are rock solid in 7, colour me impressed...

    Except for the price.

  5. Haldarc


    You call this a news report? Just like howaboutsomegrace mentioned, this seems like you have a serious grudge with Microsoft/Windows. Are you a reporter or just a naysayer? Now try again, but this time without the bitter disposition please.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Vista was shit. Windows 7 is slightly polished shit.

    The Reg tells it how it is. If you don't like it, go read PC World.

  7. LenH

    Boot Times

    Boot times only matter on operating systems that you have to reboot a lot.

  8. 2FishInATank

    Re: Creeeeeek.....

    "We shall not speak again of this place."

    ...until the next time...

  9. pochrist
    Thumb Down

    I swear This is a pathertic article written by an Angry little Snob

    If you were that unhappy when you looked in the mirror you should have just stayed home and got drunk. Instead of an objective article about a Launch Party, we get a Moody teenage rant and a bitch-fest about how MS is not as sophisticated as Apple, reminiscent as How Conservatives \ Christians are viewed by the Liberal Snobs....

  10. Oliver 10


    This was barely worth reporting, I can't wait for net Thursday though when Karmic Koala hits the streets...!

  11. Geoffrey W
    Dead Vulture


    <QUOTE>The Reg tells it how it is. If you don't like it, go read PC World.</QUOTE>

    Nah! Ars Technica is heaps better than both. Its commenters are smarter too. Increasingly we (not the royal "we" but a bunch of us) come to the Register for some comedy but if we need a bit more depth we go see what Ars, and its commenters, have to say. Sad but true.

  12. jake Silver badge


    "It would seem that without walls, you have no place to put Windows."

    After running Win7 for a week or so as (nearly) my only OS, that's certainly my take on it. I don't need barriers embedded in my OS, TYVM.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    The Family Guy?

    I don't know what happens in translation while crossing the pond, but in the US it's called "Family Guy," sans any appendage of "The" to the title.

  14. Hardcastle

    Ballmer chills with Kylie...

    ...and says to her "Hey Kylie... Pull my finger."

    o.O Don't do it Kylie... Oh shite...


  15. Mathew White

    Caption competition...

    "I knew people said Kylie was short, but isn't she australian?"

  16. PReDiToR


    Posted to my spybook today -

    Windows 7.

    Come on Microsoft, hit us with another reason to switch to Linux!

  17. James O'Shea
    Gates Horns

    there ain't no justice

    If there _were_ justice, then Monkey Boy Ballmer would get arrested for child abuse.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @ complainers

    The event was billed as a launch party for Windows 7. Barely anything about Windows 7 itself was actually said. Hence criticism of Microsoft. Don't like it? Then do Ballmer's job for him and explain what's so new and great about 7.

  19. Jango
    Dead Vulture

    The Reg losing quality!

    Is it just me ? Lately I see unwarranted criticism of anything MS on the reg.

    C'mon reg, you are supposed to report, not just launch into mindless ranting about something MS has pulled off. The world would indeed be a sad place if MS was just like Apple.

    Infact, it just seems like reg has become the Apple tamed press lots of other sites report about!

  20. Allan George Dyer

    eight million testers?

    I wonder if they counted the two copies that were passed to me that I couldn't be bothered to install?

    Faster boot times, sounds familiar; yes, Steve Ballmer talking about the future when Windows XP was released. The thought I had then still applies: in 1984 I had a computer that would boot from cold to the wordprocessing prompt in under 2 seconds (BBC micro with wordprocessor on ROM). Now I have a processor that's, say, 1000 times faster, but I still don't type any faster, and the documents I produce are not 1000 times better. Do we have a problem with software efficiency?

    Mine's the dusty one with the cobwebs.

  21. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    A World without Walls?

    Two things spring to mind.

    1) If there were no walls then how would the 'Windows' stay up?

    2) I'd rather have a world without windows than walls.

    I'll wait for Fedora 12 thank you very much.

  22. Uwe Dippel


    Come on, guys, we all know why we read El Reg! Don't play us the surprised types when Microsoft doesn't come out of the article in full glory.

    Actually, as someone who has used it, I can tell you it is better than XP and Vista. But that's about all. And El Reg even is correct: There is nothing fundamentally new, and neither any wow-effect. It fscking works. Just like my Ubuntu. Shall I now scream with excitement? I guess not.

  23. Gordon Ross Silver badge

    Background Checks ?

    I hope Mr Ballmer underwent the necessary background checks for working with children. After all, we wouldn't want someone who flies off the handle at the stupidest thing, to be working with children, would we ?


  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "explain what's so new and great about 7"

    Well its bigger than 6. Dosent have any of those annoying curves and its not as pompous as 8.

    Hmm i wonder if he was referring to Windows 7

  25. Hugh G. Rection

    @Boot Times

    That why it matters with Windows.

  26. The Original Ash

    Wait, what? A touchscreen TELEVISION?!

    Why the hell would you want that? The remote control ("Bipper") was INVENTED so you didn't have to leave your seat, and the marketing guy is showing off how you can enjoy LEAVING YOUR SEAT and poking the screen?

    Marketing FAIL, my man.

  27. Paul 131


    Ballmer is an idiot dot com

  28. avalon111

    So that isn't a teeny weeny

    ...bit creepy.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How big is program files, and windows folders?

    I've thought of a way to overcome all the performance issues with Windows 7 that are inevitably going to appear in the next few days.

    1. Microsoft creates a RAMDISK dynamically at start time with all the spare ram,

    2. It auto sets it up as a Raid 1 mirror for all program files and windows folders.

    3. When the OS comes to get the file, it asks the mirror and the filesystem.

    4. If the RAMDISK doesn't have the file, it gets it. This will be cheap as the real disk will be getting it as well.

    5. It drops from RAMDISK files if they're written to.

    6. In spare cycles, the RAMDISK is populated with useful stuff. Based on the last accessed time.

    Hey presto, all you have to do is drop 32GBytes of ram into a box, and within a few minutes it's effectively an entirely hardware based box.

    Can I have my "I don't want an ipod button please?"

  30. Tom 12

    They've cracked the bloat thing then..

    "He started by showing the interface for importing photos from a digital camera, pointing out that it displays an image of the actual model of camera you’ve connected to the system"

    Just what we need, 400 assorted jpegs of cameras.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Thank goodness Kylie didn't say...

    she was now going to go do adverts for Google.

  32. Benchops

    NT4 Server

    "Faster reboots to deliver more uptime"

    Broadsheet ad strapline I kid you not.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Still a toy OS

    Windows always has been and always will be a mickey mouse toy OS. Useful only for (maybe) playing games on, or as an object exercise in how not to design an OS.

  34. Anonymous Coward


    Congratulations - you just invented the windows system cache.

  35. nichomach

    Obligatory Title

    "If you want the full Windows 7 experience, be prepared to drop more cash on new hardware and gadgets."

    So...that's bad when Microsoft say it, but good when Apple does...? As it happens, I'm already getting the full Windows 7 experience and liking it a lot better than Vista and even better than XP. Without new hardware. Seems to me that you're complaining that Ballmer and the various partners were demonstrating that new and various types of hardware would be effectively supported by Vista out of the box, and implying that you would have to go and buy them all, which is simply untrue and very poor reporting. If they hadn't demo'ed the capabilities mentioned, you'd have whinged about there being nothing new. A shoddy article that reads as though written by a snide teenager for a school mag. You embody fail.

  36. Adam Salisbury

    @ Uwe Dippel

    You get the first beer of the day for saving me effort of typing the eaxct same thing!

  37. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Life without walls

    So no improvements on the security front then?

  38. Cliff

    Strange comments

    Windows 7 has had heaps of articles in the mainstream press and here at El Reg, and they're almost exclusively positive and happyclappy. This article wasn't claiming to be an in-depth feature examination benchmarking W7 against other OS'es, it was someones underwhelmed impression of what sounds like an underwhelming product launch. The bizarre comments above seem to miss this point somehow?

  39. Anonymous Coward


    Isn't that what the pagefile is for? Oh wait, no- that's the other way around....


    I have 6GB ram and no pagefile. Cue people telling me it's a bad idea, but my machine runs measurably faster than when I had 2GB ram and a 4GB pagefile. If I run out of memory, the application dies. I'm happy with that. Much better than the whole system grinding to a halt while it swaps to the disk so I have to reboot anyway.


  40. VulcanV5
    Dead Vulture

    Stop knocking everything!!!!!!

    The negative tone of the El Reg report was inappropriate and unjustified.

    Computer experts of infinitely greater calibre than any El Reg journo do not lend their name, their reputation, and in this instance, their product, to something that's at best mediocre, at worst a pile of crap.

    El Reg, however, chose to play down that particular aspect of the launch, preferring to make silly jokes about kids and Kylies instead.

    Whereas little if any emphasis was placed on the presence at the launch party of a computer provided by Michael Dell.

    Mr Dell did not get where he is today by heading up a global company selling over-priced under-performing junk. Mr Dell did not get where he is today by endorsing anything that was not of a standard commensurate with Dell computers.

    Let's face it: the banner which has emblazoned Dell's adverts and websites for so many years was placed there only after considerable forethought:

    "Dell Recommends Microsoft Vista"

    As to the apparent restriction placed on customers who wanted something else on their Dell laptop or desktop, this too was imposed only after considerable forethought:

    "Dell insists you take Microsoft Vista because as a valued customer we wish to spare you the consequences of running a really, really out-dated useless OS like XP."

    Now, after the kind of objective in-depth research it devoted to Vista:

    "Dell Recommends Microsoft Windows 7."

    On which basis, El Reg should stop all the knocking.

    Everyone here is more than capable of forming an unbiased opinion of Windows 7, now that Dell has once again fulfilled its role as the consumer's best friend.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ooO, gEt HEr!

  42. The BigYin
    Jobs Horns

    CBS you say?

    I've been watching their (and other people's stuff) on my hacked xBox (running XBMC and Navi-X) for quite a while now and I live in the UK. Been watching the original "Battlestar Galactica" - god it's shit!

    I'd be interested in knowing more about what the OS can do for me, not the applications. I've been playing with Linux and I LOVE the home folder idea. "My Documents" is close, but when I tried to shift it all onto another drive in XP, half migrated and half stayed on C. Has this been fixed in Win7? Are all user settings now isolated from OS ones making migration/update a breeze; or is it still cocked in the horror called the "Registry"?

    Does it support any new file systems? Such as ext3 or ext4?

    Is it still riddled with DRM? Can I play recorded TV on any other PC?

    What about USB support? Will it still moan that something is locking, but not tell me what? Will it still offer no "Force eject" option or similar?

    Do the windows not have nice, handy features like "Always on top", "Roll up" etc?

    Can I have multiple desktops that I can quickly switch between? (Handy for my work)

    Does it, in a nutshell, do anything that XP does not do well enough to justify the £155 upgrade price?

  43. Jerome 0

    Docking station

    "a notebook that docks and charges without using any cords"

    Isn't that the definition of a notebook docking station?

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Features that seemed like a good idea at the time

    "... importing photos from a digital camera, pointing out that it displays an image of the actual model of camera you’ve connected to the system"

    And that's useful because? If I need to know what my camera looks like can't I just look at the actual camera that I've just plugged in?

  45. Anonymous Coward

    @Geoffrey W


  46. ThomH

    Family Guy is perfect for Microsoft

    An unremarkable show repeating the same unfunny jokes ad nauseam for an extremely undemanding audience while trying to pass itself off as youthful and inventive.

    Actually, I take back my title. Microsoft is better than Family Guy, much, much better. And I use an Apple computer!

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Further to AC 23/10/09 10:38 GMT

    Totally agree, it's not a 'feature', it's a gimmick, and a copied idea at that! Apple have had a similar gimmick with printers is OS X for years!

  48. fajensen

    Windows Me++


    One thing's for sure: it'll out-clock Windows Vista


    Nope - While the Release *candidate* was slick ,The actual *Release* is as sluggish as Vista!!

  49. Waderider
    Black Helicopters

    IT moves on......

    Those who slag El Reg for being negative regarding MS are being left behind by the evolution of 'their' business. Wake up, MS is a dinosaur, a fading light. Their products are often second rate, and their zenith is long past. Market share means squat. The market is made up of sheep, and someday soon enough of the herd shall have switched to alternatives for critical mass to be reached. Where the market goes next is the hard prediction.

    I ran Windows 7 Build 7100 for a few months. I only hope the final effort is better. My perception was Vista with a polish....yes, I know thousands of people have said that before, but that's an oft repeated phrase for the obvious reason. Too slow, too big, too many restrictions, not open, too expensive, not simple enough.

    On a tangent, democracy astounds me because every time the electoral cycle leads to a change between Labour/Conservative people think it'll be a wonderful thing. As opposed to more of the same, which is what it is. So Joe Public forgets they once thought soapy bubbles came out of Tony Blairs behind, and then thinks David Camerons behind now issues cleaning products, in-spite of previous evidence.

    I expect better from IT folk though. They're more intelligent than Joe Public. An electoral cycle is currently about 12 years. It's about three years since Vista. A lot less time to forget. At this stage of Vistas lifecycle, people where still saying it was an OS that put forth soapy bubbles. People are saying Windows 7 utilizes nanotechnology to stay clean forever (what a step forward). In three short years an intelligent proportion of society has jumped through the same mental hoops that it takes mouth breathers 12 years to jump through.

    To put all that in plain English, I am disappointed with Windows 7 and am genuinely surprised that other folk are satisfied with it (so far).

  50. Anonymous Coward


    I suppose they never tried a dual/triple monitor rig. Not so unusual a setup. The Vista/7 graphics model does not accomodate multi-monitor systems in spanning mode... as opposed to XP!

    So ye olde gamers, stick to XP.

  51. Anonymous Coward


    "... importing photos from a digital camera, pointing out that it displays an image of the actual model of camera you’ve connected to the system"

    Why, why, why? Does it matter a flying fuck what the icon is. I KNOW what my camera looks like - I plugged the sodding thing in didn't I? I don't need a little picture of the exact model to remind me.

    On Gnome I just get a generic camera icon on my desktop when I plug it in (without needing any drivers) and the icon has the make and model of the camera listed as text, which is handy because I have had more than one camera plugged in at once before, and when I turn the camera off its automatically removed.

    Why does Windows need to do any more than that? Oh I guess some geek in Redmond though it would be "cool". Actually I think a lot of the bits of Windows probably come from that "Hey wouldn't it be cool if..." mind set, and no-one had the sense the slap them round the head and say NO!

  52. Martin Owens


    the article was simply a review of the launch party, a critical look at the PR happy, cheesy stunts that companies put on. I didn't think it was YAIDLIW7

  53. John70

    All I can say is... shares in monitor cleaning products with all this touch screen teccy...

  54. Anonymous Coward

    # of countries

    "But Steve Ballmer was very proud of the fact that so many people have already used Windows 7, citing - repeatedly - that the beta had more than eight million testers in more than 200 countries."

    There are less than 200 countries on this particular planet (195).


  55. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Not Kylie! God I hate that smug little tyke!

    Clip round the earole for being so damn clever, then off to your room with no tea, think about all the grown-ups you've embarrassed! I'M A PC nonsense indeed, young lady! Away with you!

  56. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    More snarky articles please

    Half the point of reading the Register is that the articles are not all rehashed press releases carefully worded to avoid annoying the advertisers. Next week, the wailing Microsofties can enjoy the Register's sarcasm applied to the launch of Karmic Koala.

  57. magnetik

    Camera Icons

    Agree with comments here, the camera icon is pointless. Are camera manufacturers now expected to bundle icons for each model along with drivers? How is an icon more obvious than the words "Nikon D300" ?

    More here ..

  58. Anonymous Coward

    @number of countries

    I think that the number 200 includes Never Never Land, Cloud-Cuckoo Land and La-La-Land. And he probably used Excel on an old Pentium to compute the number anyway. :-)

    Mine's the one with the slide rule in the pocket.

  59. Adam T

    Goodnight Steve Ballmer

    I'm looking forward to upgrading Windows 7, just to fix the crap that is Vista. I don't care about new features - I don't want or need any. I was happy with Photoshop 5.5 too. Give me trustworthy tools and a clear space to work in.

    I do believe Ballmer is a spoon. Microsoft seriously need a new front man, someone not only good on stage, but a leader who can inject some character, charisma and credibility into their products and culture; something MS has always lacked.

    The days of dry business have passed. The 21st century is much more demanding, and consumers have high expectations - and as long as Microsoft allows Apple to set the bar, Microsoft will wither.

  60. Anonymous Coward

    Wakes in seconds...

    Hello Wintards, the 1980's are calling. Windows is quite possibly the only OS that hasn't been able to do this in all the time since then. Yay, only 20+ years later... Good grief.

  61. peter garner

    8 million eh?

    "the beta had more than eight million testers in more than 200 countries"...

    so we'll know who to blame when we get the first first catastrophic worm/virus/trojan then..

  62. mmiied

    @The Reg losing quality!

    "Lately I see unwarranted criticism of anything MS on the reg"

    it is not unwanted MS have done a lot to warnet it like the article said the top 2 new and impresive features shown on there launch party where a changing icon and a downloadable-seprate-form the-os program not realy a good show from there own launch party

  63. Dale Richards
    Gates Halo

    RE: How big is program files, and windows folders?

    AC, you may want to Google "Superfetch" (or Bing it, if you hate yourself). You may be surprised to find that Windows 7 (and, indeed, Vista) already does something very similar.

  64. Chris J
    Thumb Up

    My favourite para from a Reg article for a while...

    "Sadly, Ballmer was a lot less, um, energetic we usually find him at such public appearances. He didn’t yell. He didn’t turn red. He didn’t even stomp on an iPhone. He seemed very, believe it or not, scripted."

  65. Anonymous Coward


    The only thing FAIL is this article . . Are you serious?

    (assuming the author is a MAC person)

    "Then a new message became clear: If you want the full Windows 7 experience, be prepared to drop more cash on new hardware and gadgets. Just what people want in a time of economic instability"

    I take it Apple are so clever they make an OS's that makes use of Hardware that isn't even even there!

    I am neither Apple, Windows or Linux. I am all three. I just wanted to read an article I was interested in. Maybe I should of gone to PC Word?

  66. frymaster


    "The Vista/7 graphics model does not accomodate multi-monitor systems in spanning mode"

    oh god, what a crisis. it wouldn't be so bad if spanning mode was crap...

    oh wait, it is.

    spanning is a good way to make the "maximise" button useless, and to get a great big eyeful of bezel wherever the program you want to use thinks the most important stuff should go. It also assumes compatible geometry.

    independant monitors should be handled independantly, it makes more sense for both apps (large edit window, palettes on the other) and games (main window, subsidiary information on the second like wic)

  67. handle
    Thumb Up

    Actually that's not all

    I do love your opening sentence.

  68. handle
    Dead Vulture

    Sex *AND* the city

    That is all.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Windows 6.1

    68 comments and I can't believe no one has mentioned one obvious thing


    Type in VER if you don't believe me.

    Total fail.

  70. Anonymous Coward


    @Geoffrey W: Thanks, I'll check it out.

    @PReDiToR : You owe me a keyboard =D

    @General "the reg is hopelessly negative" people:

    Marketing BS like this makes me want to fucking puke. Microsoft is being ridiculously optimistic. The Register is perfectly justified being NEGATIVE IN RESPONSE. We come here for tech details (and humor), not FUD, and this article did a great job cutting through the FUD, and revealing the... oh wait, there was nothing to reveal. Thus the rant.

    So please complainers, fuck off. If the Reg stopped reporting this way, I really would stop reading it.

  71. Simon Cresswell
    Thumb Up

    Well I celebrated the launch of windows 7...

    ... I ordered a MacBook Pro.

  72. Snert Lee

    Life Without Walls ?

    Isn't that called camping?

    Or perhaps being homeless.

  73. Andus McCoatover

    Can't beat the pub for honesty

    Blokey who owns the pub here ran/runs XP (XP on customer's system). He got a nice ASUS -covet, covet - decent lappie. Supplied with Vista. I tried it. Reasonably good, actually - recent install, natch. A couple of days later he'd switched to Win-7 because i'd told him it was about to be released.

    Being Vietnamese, he likes the latest, shiniest stuff. Seems a trait of oriental folks when they have money.

    Now, I'm a Linux fanboy, but this W-7 was, er, good. Well good! I reckon Win-7 is onto a winner. (But I won't move from Linux any day soon. Don't need the 'bells and whistles'). But, credit where credit's due.

    Oh, was Ballmer CRB-checked, and were there any loose chairs in proximity?

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