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Windows 7 Release Candidate Is Available From Microsoft

May 1st, 2009 1 comment

More information on PressPass as mentioned earlier.

Windows 7 RC Reflects New Advancements

New to the Windows 7 RC are advancements such as Remote Media Streaming, Windows XP Mode (beta) and the upcoming beta of the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor:

Remote Media Streaming. Enables highly secure, remote Internet access to home-based digital media libraries from another Windows 7-based PC outside the home.
Windows XP Mode. Utilizing Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode allows Windows 7 users to run many Windows XP productivity applications, launched right from the Windows 7 desktop. Windows XP Mode will be available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate customers via download or, for the best experience, pre-installed directly on new PCs. As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft is releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC. For larger businesses where management is important to reduce the total cost of ownership, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) within MDOP adds management to Windows Virtual PC including centralized policy, administration experience and deployment.
Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. To help enable a smooth transition, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will help people analyze their PCs in preparation for a Windows 7 upgrade. Available soon, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will be a downloadable tool that will help people determine their ability to upgrade from their Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based PC to Windows 7.

In addition, a number of enhancements were made to existing features based on feedback from beta testers, including the following:

Refined navigation. Several enhancements to the Windows taskbar, JumpLists and search make navigation and finding exactly what you want much easier.
Internet Explorer 8. InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer 8 prevents browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and usernames and passwords from being retained by the browser. With Windows 7, you can start an InPrivate session straight from the JumpList. You can also open a new tab from the JumpList.
Windows Touch. Controlling the computer by touching a touch-enabled screen or monitor is a core Windows 7 user experience. Improvements in the RC include several Windows Touch updates, including the ability to drag, drop and select items with touch, even inside Web sites that scroll both horizontally and vertically.

System Requirements for Windows 7

With the RC, Microsoft is also providing guidance on the minimum system requirements for Windows 7, showing that Windows 7 will work on a broader array of hardware than any other release of Windows at launch:

1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 GB of RAM (32-bit)/2 GB of RAM (64-bit)
16 GB of available disk space (32-bit)/20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher driver

Enjoy!

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Microsoft discusses Windows XP mode in Windows 7

April 30th, 2009 1 comment

REDMOND, Wash. April 28, 2009 — As part of the upcoming Windows 7 Release Candidate milestone, Microsoft will release a beta version of Windows XP Mode, which allows users of Windows 7 Professional and above to launch many older Windows XP productivity applications directly from their Windows 7 desktop. The Windows XP Mode stand-alone feature is specifically designed to help small businesses that are using Windows XP applications move to Windows 7. For larger businesses, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) MED-V 2.0 builds on top of Windows Virtual PC and provides centralized management of Windows XP Mode. MED-V 2.0 will be available in beta within 90 days of general availability of Windows 7.

PressPass spoke with Scott Woodgate, director of Desktop Virtualization and Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) at Microsoft, to find out how this new advancement is helping ensure a smooth transition for customers planning to migrate to Windows 7.

Read the entire interview on Windows 7 Professional and Windows XP Mode. Personally, I think the ‘XP Mode’ on Windows 7 is a great thing, unfortunately some people dont (and for some of the authors points I strongly disagree with). Whilst its not included in the ‘out-of-the-box functionality’ (phrase around the office these days) you will be able to download the bits -  VirtualPC engine & a Windows XP SP3 Licensed copy if you have Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, or Windows 7 Ultimate.

The crudge of this is that, the virtualised version wont include the same security model as Windows 7, so you’ll have to have two anti-virus’s installed, but it will function much like Parallels and VMWare Fusion does on Mac.

Dont take peoples word for it, try it with the Windows 7 RC.

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Two Cans: Windows Vista SP2 RTM’s

April 29th, 2009 1 comment

10685_10520_9787_windows_vista_packagingHot on the heels of Office 2007 SP2, Microsoft has RTM Windows Vista SP2 (also applies for Windows Server 2008).

This update brings:

  • Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches
  • Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology
  • Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista
  • Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration
  • Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.

More changes are documented on Technet or for more information see the Microsoft Knowledgebase Article KB948465.

The Release Candidate was released in early march.

microsoftwindowsserver2008The slipstreamed versions will appear on MSDN:

Filename: 6002.18005.090410-1830_x86fre_Client_en-us-FRTMCFRE_EN_DVD.iso
Size: 3,243,413,504 bytes
SHA1: 25AD9A776503E6A583BEC07879DBCC5DFD20CD6E
MD5: 19CA90A425667812977BAB6F4CE24175
CRC: E2AD10F9

Filename: 6002.18005.090410-1830_amd64fre_Client_en-us-FRTMCXFRE_EN_DVD.iso
Size: 3,861,460,992 bytes
SHA1: AAEE3C04533899F9F8C4AE0C4250EF5FAFBE29A3
MD5: A1C024D7ABAF34BAC3368E88EFBC2574
CRC: 80B2EDB5

For the moment, keep your eyes on the Technet page (currently, the page title is “New Page copied from Windows Vista SP2″). Otherwise you can download them when available:

While your reading, Windows 7 RC should be available very soon! Build you should be looking out for is, 7100.0.winmain_win7rc.090421-1700. Its worth the wait ;-)

As for non-subscribers, it should be ‘out in the coming months’.

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Windows 7 Beta SDK and .NET Interop Samples Posted

April 2nd, 2009 No comments

The Windows Tean blog‘s Developers blog has a run down of the .NET Interop Samples for Windows 7. Make sure you install the Windows 7 Beta SDK and grab the samples.

I have yet to play with them :( But the Windows 7 Builds are running awesomely on my Dell M1330.

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Engineering Windows 7: Just a few more changes from Beta to RC

March 14th, 2009 No comments

In addition to the changes made from the Windows 7 Beta release to the soon-to-be-released Release Candidate, a fresh new list of changes were posted today.

Asside from the visual tweaking going on, some important system level changes have taken place:

23. Partition size reduction

In Windows Vista, configuring features such as Windows Recovery Environment and Bit Locker required significant customer interaction.  Also, a significant amount of drive space was reserved. The Windows 7 System partition enables features to be configured to work “out of the box” so very little customer interaction is needed to configure and utilize them.  Based on feedback and telemetry data received through the beta, it became clear that we could cut the drive size in half (from 200M to 100M).

24. Reserved System Partition naming

The system partition is created automatically by Setup when installing on a machine with no existing partitions.  During the Beta the existence of this partition on default installs confused many people and feedback indicated that a label telling them that this is space reserved for the system would be helpful when browsing disk configurations, and further help prevent it’s accidental deletion by enthusiasts. We will now label is “System Reserved”.

25. Dual Boot partition drive letter assignment

For a dual boot configuration for the Beta, the other Windows OS wouldn’t get a drive letter and therefore wouldn’t show up in explorer.  We heard overwhelmingly from Beta customers that the lack of a drive letter was confusing and even caused some to believe that their secondary OS was lost. Assigning the drive letter makes it visible in explorer and aids in navigation across OS installations.

26. Pagefile reduction

Through extensive use of Beta telemetry data, we have determined we can slim down the Windows disk footprint further by reducing the default page file size to be 100% of the available main memory.  It used to be “Memory + 300MB” so on a 1GB RAM system there was an extra third allocated that is no longer required.  The pagefile on some occasions will increase in size if required, but we just pre-allocate less.

27. Improved driver support

Based on telemetry data received from the beta, we identified networking drivers that were not available inbox.  We worked with ecosystem partners to achieve increased inbox driver coverage across wireless and wired with significant coverage for some of the new ATOM-based laptops

Interesting changes to the pagefile pre-alloc reduction.

The release candidate is going to be bootilicious :-)

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Microsoft releases IE8 Beta 1 and ASP.NET MVC RC1

January 28th, 2009 No comments

Wow, what a stinking hot day today was, utter chaos on our public transport system (which they are explaining and not making excuses about just incase you got con’nexed into thinking that) so it was nice to spend some time on the beach like the rest of the crowd.

More importantly, news in the virtual werld is that Microsoft have released Internet Explorer 8 RC1 for everyone to test against. Essentially its now feature complete and will behave like RC1 at final RTM. So give that a go, if you were a tester you’ll be glad to know that your pre-RC1 copies will upgrade. You wont be able to install it on Windows 7 though!

If you want to peak Inside Internet Explorer 8 theres a good interview on Channel 9 with Dean Haachamovitch and Jason Upton.

Then, theres the release of ASP.NET MVC Framework RC1. See the release notes and take a look.

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Getting a Windows 7 Beta 1 Product Key

January 10th, 2009 4 comments

Just over 12hrs ago the download links for Windows 7 Beta 1 went live and I posted not long after about it… But in my rush to get Neo to a friends place for a doggy day (where were my priorities aye?) I forgot to mention how to obtain a proper license key to utilise the betas. So heres the spill.

Sign in via your .NET Passport

Its vital that you sign in via your .NET Passport, otherwise you’ll keep getting redirected to the Microsoft homey page or the Windows Beta 7 site. You can do this by visiting any protected section of Microsoft, say like the Manage Your Profile section.

Once your signed in, your ready to try and obtain your key. Use one of the following URLs (they are purposely not hyperlinks so you are forced to copy/paste):

  • Windows 7 Beta 1 – x86

    https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/productkeys/win7-32/enus/default.aspx

  • Windows 7 Beta 1 – x64

    https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/productkeys/win7-64/enus/default.aspx

If at first you don’t succeed, reload and try again.

Most of the time you try the links you’ll be greeted with this:

But dont fret, its only to warn off n00bs, just keep refreshing your browser and eventually the server will bite.

Successful x64 Key obtained.

Some people have gone so far as to using 20 tabs in firefox, cycle-through (just use CTRL+TAB) after they’ve all reloaded and checking, if none bite just right click on a tab and select “Reload All Tabs”. Repeat till key found.

If your _really_ desperate, you can automate the entire process via Firefox + GreaseMonkey by following this forum posting. Nothing like calling on the greasy helper monkeys to work whilst you ponder the mysteries of life.

You can also readup on Installation Instructions for Windows 7 Beta 1 to get up to speed on the setup process and also some information on the Windows Blog about downloading and installing Beta 1.

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Windows 7 Beta 1 Public Beta Download Live!

January 10th, 2009 2 comments

Just under half hour ago Microsoft released the Windows 7 Beta 1 for public viewing, hurry in and get on the wagon because it can only fit 2.5Million people.

Grab a copy whilst its still hot from the direct links below, from TechNet Evaluation Centre or the Windows 7 home and your personal key from here (currently down).

Download: Windows 7 Beta 1 (x86) | Windows 7 Beta 1 (x64)

No doubt the servers will be are being hammered, alternatively, you can use your Microsoft Connect, MSDN, or TechNet for subscribers and testers.

IMPORTANT:

If you do download the Windows 7 Beta and you have a healthy collection of MP3s, make sure you download the patch that was released to fix a serious bug that may cause your MP3s to stop working. This is all documented in Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 961367. Download links for x86 and x64.

Enjoy!

UPDATE (8AM Australian EST – 10/01):

“Due to very heavy traffic we’re seeing as a result of interest in the Windows 7 Beta, we are adding some additional infrastructure support to Microsoft.com properties before we post the public Beta today. We want to ensure customers have the best possible experience when downloading the Beta, and will be in touch once the Beta goes live.”

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Windows Se7en, feedback.

January 9th, 2009 No comments

Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light. – Movie: Se7en

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Steve Balmer Announces the availability of Windows 7 Beta!

January 8th, 2009 No comments

Thats right, the moment you’ve been patiently awaiting for has finally arrived. Windows 7 Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 is now available on Microsoft Connect, MSDN, and on TechNet for subscribers and testers.

Microsoft has promised the first 2.5 million a copy of Windows 7 Beta for the general public, so keep an eye out.

Theres already an update KB961367 being released and included in the items you can download to fix a problem playing MP3s.

Windows 7 Beta (x86) – DVD (English)

Includes: Beta;

01-07-2009
Details

Keys

Download

File Name: en_windows_7_beta_dvd_x86_x15-29073.iso Date Posted (UTC): 12/22/2008 2:41:15 PM
SHA1: 6071184282B2156FF61CDC5260545C078CCA31EE ISO/CRC: AABA5A48
Available to Levels: MSDN OS (VL); VS Pro with MSDN Pro (VL); MSDN Empower; MSDN OS (Retail); Developer AA; VS Pro with MSDN Pro (Retail); MSDN Enterprise; MSDN Universal (Retail); VSTS Suite (VL); VSTS Architecture Edition (VL); VSTS Development Edition (VL); VSTS Test (VL); VS Pro with MSDN Premium (VL); MSDN Universal (VL); VSTS Database Edition (VL); VS Pro with MSDN Premium (Retail); VSTS Test (Retail); VSTS Development Edition (Retail); VSTS Architecture Edition (Retail); VSTS Suite (Retail); VSTS Database Edition (Retail); BizSpark Startup Administrator; BizSpark Startup Member;
Instructions and Resources
Update to Windows 7 Beta (KB961367)

To protect your MP3 files
1. Before you install this Beta release, back up all MP3 files that might be accessed by the computer, including those on removable media or network shares.
2. Install the Beta release of Windows 7; download and install the Update to Windows 7 Beta (KB961367) located on this page.

And the 64bit build:

Windows 7 Beta (x64) – DVD (English)

Includes: Beta;

01-07-2009
Details

Keys

Download

File Name: en_windows_7_beta_dvd_x64_x15-29074.iso Date Posted (UTC): 12/30/2008 4:26:48 PM
SHA1: E09FDBC1CB3A92CF6CC872040FDAF65553AB62A5 ISO/CRC: 8E2FAD39
Available to Levels: MSDN OS (VL); VS Pro with MSDN Pro (VL); MSDN Empower; MSDN OS (Retail); Developer AA; VS Pro with MSDN Pro (Retail); MSDN Enterprise; MSDN Universal (Retail); VSTS Suite (VL); VSTS Architecture Edition (VL); VSTS Development Edition (VL); VSTS Test (VL); VS Pro with MSDN Premium (VL); MSDN Universal (VL); VSTS Database Edition (VL); VS Pro with MSDN Premium (Retail); VSTS Test (Retail); VSTS Development Edition (Retail); VSTS Architecture Edition (Retail); VSTS Suite (Retail); VSTS Database Edition (Retail); BizSpark Startup Administrator; BizSpark Startup Member;
Instructions and Resources
Update to Windows 7 Beta (KB961367)

To protect your MP3 files
1. Before you install this Beta release, back up all MP3 files that might be accessed by the computer, including those on removable media or network shares.
2. Install the Beta release of Windows 7; download and install the Update to Windows 7 Beta (KB961367) located on this page.

From Celine Allee:

“After much anticipation, Microsoft has now made Windows 7 Beta available for evaluation and testing to IT professionals! For TechNet subscribers, you can download Windows 7 Beta today here. The beta is your chance to help us with feedback that targets the fundamentals—the ‘quality bar’ that we are setting for Windows 7 on security, reliability, and performance. If you are interested in getting even more involved, the Windows Feedback Program is your chance to directly influence future versions of the Windows operating system. This program is limited to the first 500 IT professionals to sign up, so don’t delay!”

Oooo yeah!

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