AfterDawn: Tech news

Windows 7 beta out in the wild

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 29 Dec 2008 0:06 User comments (26)

Windows 7 beta out in the wild An initial beta of the upcoming Windows 7 operating system has hit torrent trackers across the internet, and one reporter, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet has impressions on it.
He says the new OS is "solid and fast", but also adds: "The new revamped taskbar is visually very interesting (and certainly a lot easier to use at higher screen resolutions that the Vista or XP taskbar), but it tries to do too much and as such comes across as kludgey and counter-intuitive. One failure is that it's hard to tell the difference between apps that are running and shortcuts that have been pinned to the taskbar. "

The OS was demonstrated recently by Microsoft at the Professional Developers Conference, but many could honestly not find any differences between 7 and Vista.

An official first beta is expected to be sent to beta testers in January.

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26 user comments

129.12.2008 1:11

Bring on Mac OS I say.
I get the feeling that this will be something like when milenium and windows 2000 and win95 and win98 not much difference.

229.12.2008 1:33

Since Vista was the post-XP "Windows Me" (i.e. to release SOMETHING, albeit kludged together, before your INTENDED next OS is ready), I would expect Windows 7 to be mostly like Vista. However, it took SP1 to make XP finally decent, so maybe Windows 7 SP1 in 2011 might be worth giving a look-see (w/ Aero disabled, of course!). ;-)

One wish list item for the next Windows OS I'll actually use (and maybe even pay for): Make the 'Classic' theme ACTUALLY 100% 'Classic'! It would be nice to have more customizations built into the OS instead of having to download utilities, do registry hacks, etc. to do things.

329.12.2008 1:57

SP1 made xp average it took SP2 to make it that's more like it,as for future versions of windows, microsoft can kiss my hairy ass unless they're prepared to loose'n up that OEM activation only on the original comp mobo bullshit,either that or do what the activation was originally intended for and make it subscriber based,let the subs lapse & you only get up to what you paid for,just like what slysoft or is it dvdfab is going to do,a dam sight more fairer me thinks

429.12.2008 12:08
warriorp
Inactive

a subscription based os? i think not. i would be using a pirated copy if that were to happen.

529.12.2008 13:41

Meh, Linux mint w/ KDE is my choice, windows just keep repeating itself and I'm not going to pay for OS, what just keeps crashing.

629.12.2008 16:53
AXT
Inactive

This release (build 7000) already got owned by hackers. LOL

729.12.2008 19:29
atomicxl
Inactive

My Vista laptop runs perfect so i've got basically zero interest in this unless it actually can run faster on my laptop.

If I bought a new computer and it came with this, I wouldn't downgrade it, but i'd never upgrade since every program thats critical for me (music apps) runs in Vista with no issue so I don't see the point.

829.12.2008 20:23

Originally posted by atomicxl:
My Vista laptop runs perfect so i've got basically zero interest in this unless it actually can run faster on my laptop.

If I bought a new computer and it came with this, I wouldn't downgrade it, but i'd never upgrade since every program thats critical for me (music apps) runs in Vista with no issue so I don't see the point.
Windows 7 made has my laptop run much more efficient and it's leaps and bounds better than Vista on my Desktop PC. I also run a strange mix of old, very old, and new software and I have had no problems what so ever. Not a one driver issue either. I didn't need to install any drivers on either my laptop or my desktop. It just worked. MS is going in the right direction think.

929.12.2008 23:21
AXT
Inactive

I gave it a quick spin around the block and so far I am not disappointed with what I see. I just hope that they do not add "features" to the final product. I'll give the final product a whirl and if I like it I will buy one of the business editions as to minimize the amount of crapware like games and windows media center.

1030.12.2008 6:42

I was under the impression that Windows 7 was supposed to end up with touch screen support, and that this was the main leap forward with the OS. It may be that I'm wrong, or that it just hasn't been incorparated in the Beta version, or that no one tested it so far.
Having used software like iMon, it would be a bonus if MS came up with something with proper development and support on the touch screen side of things, it would also give a valid reason to choose it for many users that alreasy use touch screen.

1130.12.2008 6:49
varnull
Inactive

Yeah.. "features" fista steps sideways.. all you have here is 2000/me all over again, with the exact same retailer lockin and junk you will always get from M$ .. If you "buy" something that is subject to activation.. you haven't bought anything at all. Over here a couple of retailers did a fista update that turned all the drm on.. and had hundreds of machines returned under warranty as faulty as a result. This next pile of crap will have it all on from day one. You gets what you pays for.. and with M$ that means "nothing worth having"

1230.12.2008 10:16

Originally posted by BigDK:
I was under the impression that Windows 7 was supposed to end up with touch screen support, and that this was the main leap forward with the OS.
MS has something called Surface and it's being used in some retailers already (like AllTel, I think.) I've seen some demos online and it looks like something out of the PC systems in Minority Report or Iron Man, in regards to the touchscreen ability and gestures. (Now, how do I get my hands on THAT!)

1330.12.2008 12:49

Cheers for the info, will look into it.

1430.12.2008 14:27
mark29
Inactive

cant wait to download this beta

i've been using the prealpha on all my pcs; netbook, laptop and even a 7 yr old desktop which struggled with xp and it runs full aero quite nicely, this is gonna be a very big step forward i think.

1530.12.2008 18:59

Vista was the ME. That peice of junk is not worthy of using.

1630.12.2008 22:45

Originally posted by mark29:
...this is gonna be a very big step forward i think.
And a few hours later I pulled the drives from my main rig (still running XP) and installed a spare drive I had lying around. I must say this OS FLIES compared to Vista. I'm running a Core 2 Duo 1.86ghz with 3gb of DDR2 800mhz memory, and Windows 7 is blowing everything out of the water on 2+ year old equipment!

Now, I know this is far from a final release (it hasn't been saddled with Windows Defender and Firewall yet) and it still hogs over 512mb to start, but this should be leaps and bounds beyond Vista. I was fortunate to be a beta-tester for Vista, and liked some of its features, but it was slow in comparison, including the RC and then the final product out today.

7 seems to handle compressed archives (zips) and network transfers better than Vista SP1 and XP SP3 IMHO. A good step forward. Programs launch snappy, and they got the UAC under control in regard to nag screens. Only problem I've had so far is installing Avira AntiVir, which I had to right-click and "run as administrator", which I'm sure will be a hassle for some. I also have to track down a few drivers, but it's for peripheral devices, such as printers, which typically aren't in the beta builds as I gather.

Though it's pretty stable, I still would not recommend using this as your full OS, as with any Beta product, there are sure to be bugs. If you do want to give this a spin, I would dare say you need a spare HDD or PC, or load it with Virtual PC (though a noticeable performance difference.) Otherwise, if you're someone who doesn't care about your data, or has nothing saved anyway, then just format your drive and start from scratch!

1730.12.2008 23:14
OzMick
Inactive

Still no sign of WinFS that was planned for Vista. Still the same old registry. Still essentially the same Vista kernel. I'd like to see MS justify what differentiates this from a service pack, it just looks like they are gouging their gullible customers.

This is their stupid frigging "mojave experiment" on a larger scale. Anyone who falls for it is just a noob. Maybe they should just drop the "Windows 7" codename, call it "Mojave" and be done with it, that only seems appropriate considering it is still essentially Vista.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Dec 2008 @ 23:25

1831.12.2008 1:45

I MIGHT give M$ some kudos if they ever release a Windows OS where EXPLORER.EXE doesn't crash all the time. And I'll ALWAYS hold the ultra-crappy Registry against M$.

1931.12.2008 3:55

I personally think Vista x64 is a pretty awesome operating system. You definitely need the goods to appreciate what it can do for you.



No time for Leap frog!!!

2031.12.2008 11:29

Originally posted by JOHNSTARR:
I personally think Vista x64 is a pretty awesome operating system. You definitely need the goods to appreciate what it can do for you.
Very true, as it's a zippy OS with SP1 installed. However, there are many x86 apps that are not compatible with it, which is kind of a downer.

2131.12.2008 17:01

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
I MIGHT give M$ some kudos if they ever release a Windows OS where EXPLORER.EXE doesn't crash all the time. And I'll ALWAYS hold the ultra-crappy Registry against M$.
- don't install anything to your pc
- don't try to run anything with it (sofwares, videos..)
- don't connect it to internet

Follow those steps and you should be safe from crashing.

EDIT: We all know Vista was test versio that never had any future, so we can only keep our finger together and hope Windows 7 will be next good OS (after XP).
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Dec 2008 @ 17:06

226.1.2009 5:49
GZed
Inactive

I always find it more that a little funny everytime I hear the name "Windows 7".

We all know that Windows 2000 was called NT5 while in development.
That makes Windows XP NT6
Vista is NT7 by my count.
Then Windows 7 is....hang on a minute!

They're repackaging Vista and reselling it to us using essentially the same name and model number!! Hehe, they must get a huge laugh out of that down in the MS development labs.

236.1.2009 6:08

Maybe Vista was somekind alpha (test) version of the 7th
windows and now this new one is the full OS...


247.1.2009 2:24

Quote:
We all know that Windows 2000 was called NT5 while in development.
That makes Windows XP NT6
Vista is NT7 by my count.
Then Windows 7 is....hang on a minute!
XP was actually NT5.1
Vista is 6
And 7 is, well 7.

257.1.2009 4:20
GZed
Inactive

Quote:
XP was actually NT5.1
As if. Windows 2000 with SP4 would be at least 5.4 by my reckoning.

Windows XP added msconfig, System Restore, a completely revised GUI, native CD burning, picture handling capabilities, and the list goes on. Sure it had core kernel similarities & driver compatibility with win2k but it was no Windows 5.1. Not by a long shot. The longest running and most successful Windows ever deserves its own version number me thinks.

If the core kernel similarity & driver compatibility between win2k and XP is the basis of your argument, then Windows 7 is actually 6.1 (because of its core kernel similarity & driver compatibility with Vista).

267.1.2009 19:06

System restore was lifted from Windows ME (or was it 98SE), the picture handling capabilities would have also been around since the 98 days (the thumbnails of images that would be displayed).

Windows XP was nothing more than Windows 2000 with added multimedia support. And that's not a bad thing, as Win2k was one of the most rock stable OS's ever.

As you pointed out, XP was built using the 2000 kernel, but unfortunately there was no driver support from 2k to XP. (you could not use you 2k drivers for devices on XP).

Although apparently, Windows 7 will have full backwards capabilities with Vista drivers, which has led some people to label Windows 7 version number as really NT6.1

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jan 2009 @ 19:22

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