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Windows 7 beta available worldwide

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Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has announced that a test version of the U.S. software titan's Windows 7 operating system will be available worldwide on Friday.

"We are on track to deliver the best version of Windows ever," Ballmer said while making an opening keynote speech at a premier Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"We are putting in all the right ingredients: simplicity, reliability and speed."

Developers and Microsoft partner companies can begin testing Windows 7 immediately, Ballmer said.

"On Friday, we will make the beta available worldwide so users can come online and try Windows 7 at home. I encourage you all to go out and download it."

The eagerly-anticipated successor to Microsoft's Vista operating system will streamline everyday tasks, cut boot-up times, extend battery life and make it simple to weave "smart" devices into home networks, according to Microsoft.

Ballmer said that the Windows software at the heart of Microsoft's empire is being "transformed" into a program that connects networks of computers, mobile telephones and applications hosted as online services.

A "Play-to" feature in Windows 7 enables easy streaming of music, video and digital photos in home computer networks, according to Microsoft.

Media Player and Media Center programs in Windows 7 support more media formats for playing video, music and other digital content and will synch to a wider array of devices, according to Microsoft.

Windows 7 software is tailored to handle touch screen controls coming into vogue as replacements for the computer mouse.

Ballmer also used the keynote stage to reveal that Microsoft has struck new partnerships with U.S. telecom firm Verizon and hot online social-networking service Facebook.

Facebook members can link their profiles to Windows Live accounts and automatically share photos, video and other content they post at Facebook.

"You can now connect Facebook with Windows Live," Ballmer said. "Facebook content can be published to Windows Live."

Microsoft last year paid $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook.

Verizon is using Microsoft Live Search to handle Internet searches for its mobile telephone service users in the United States.

Ballmer said a Windows Live Essentials free suite of software for email, instant messaging, and photo sharing is available and is even being pre-installed on personal computers made by Dell.

This was Ballmer's first time filling the shoes of recently-retired Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose CES opening keynotes had become a tradition.

Ballmer told consumer electronics industry insiders filling the audience that these brutal economic times hold opportunity for technology firms that position themselves for an inevitable recovery.

"No matter how long this recession lasts I believe there is no turning back from the technical world," said Ballmer, adding that Microsoft plans to continue investing heavily in research.

"At the end of the day, it is the power of ideas and innovation that drive us forward regardless of economic environment. The opportunity to change lives with technology is more powerful than ever before."

Ballmer sees special opportunity in the convergence of "the three screens people use every day -- personal computer, mobile telephone and television."

© Wire reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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Even though the Windows 7 pre-beta and beta's have been leaked in bitTorrent for weeks now, I've been waiting for this to see if people have had any issues... hear nothing but good things so far and looking forward to trying this out.

Looks like I've got something to geek out on over the long weekend...

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Start me up? Maybe not....

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If my laptop wasn't as old as time itself I'd be very tempted to try this out.

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interface is like vista but its a mixture of XP and vista with lesser requirements, and no more annoying UAC. Its quite faster than Vista and I like the interface. Been using it for 2 mos and all drivers running in vista can be run by this Windows. System is quite stable and can be run even by Pentium 3 and 1Gb memory.

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“We are on track to deliver the best version of Windows ever,”

Well at least that is better than VISTA's tagline, "Mediocrity at its best!"

Maybe they will one day aspire to "Best OS on the market!"

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anything is faster than Vista.=this new Windows OS can only be branded as a success.

I am more of a <WinXp SP2 or WinBorg fan myself with Win2000 lasting the longest between reinstalls.

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“We are on track to deliver the best version of Windows ever,”

I've been hearing this for the last 14 years.

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Well, considering that I've heard nothing but good things (even from the Pre Beta!) from people trying Windows 7 Beta so far, I'm looking forward to loading it up tonight and finally seeing for myself! FYI, after the initial problems with Microsoft's servers being overloaded they've resolved the issue as of this morning and you can now download your copy of the Public Beta and get a Product Key.

Also, for anyone experiencing issues with Vista, I highly recommend going to www.maximumpc.com and going through some of the Vista customization tutorials. It's ok if you're just a regular user, they are very detailed, go step-by-step and explaing pretty much everything and why you're doing it. Give it a shot and I'll bet your Vista experience gets better.

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I've actually just installed it as of last night. I am currently blogging about that install experience on my MacBook Pro running Windows 7 on a VMWare Slice.

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Stop being sheep. Skip windows, other options exist. If you're a computer pleab, get a mac, if your technical go Linux. (Same thing; they're both a version of Unix under the hood, Mac has a better interface of course)

I've been a full-time Linux for two years now, have never looked back. I'm using an old P3 laptop but running the latest software from Ubuntu Linux. I've upgraded my computer 6 times now? Not one windows computer can handle two updates. If/when I update my hardware it will be a separate consideration. Oh, and no viruses haha.

I don't expect a huge Linux uptick, but seriously just get a mac and forget all the headaches. You'll wonder why you waited so long.

Vista was such a disaster like Windows ME. Why give these idiots your money AGAIN?

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You could compare Vista to a cheese sandwich and the cheese sandwich would win.

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"Skip windows"

Nah, Windows works for me, as it does for millions of others.

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"Skip windows" Nah, Windows works for me, as it does for millions of others.

Lemmings, all of them. And "works" is a VERY loose term when relating it to WIndBlows.

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windows 7?? but i just installed ME!

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1-windows3.0 (yes I used this one on a 286 running in standard mode back in the day)

2-windows3.1

3-windows3.11 (precursor to NT)

4-windows-NT

5-windows95

6-windows98

7-windows98se (most successful)

8-windowsME (worst version prior to Vista)

9-windows2000 (merger of NT and 9x versions, stable! shock)

10-windowsXP (best ever and better than 2000)

11-windowsVista (ridiculous popups still occuring somewhere in a dimension onto itself)

Not including service packs as that's not a version number. So...if I can add then Windows 7 is actually the 12th version.

If Windows doesn't even know where Windows is, good luck with that. Even so anything other than Vista will be better.

Mac/Windows are the kiddie picture books of the computer world, while with Linux I learned how to read. I wouldn't recommend Linux unless you know what a computer is doing. Otherwise just go Mac. Windows is done and done. Given the economy why keep investing in poor computers?

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One observation as a former Windows user is that Windows is a piracy magnet. Spyware, bots, all kinds of weirdness known and unknown built up over time looking at your email or online activities. I was doing tech support and I fixed one elderly person's computer and found 18 viruses and 3 trojans! Truly amazing.

Most Windows users use pirated software, are constantly losing credit card data, supporting criminals, and victimized by lots of personal identity theft (USA especially). Anyone can use various tools to defeat Windows or software for all kinds of reasons.

Linux and Mac much less so. Bug fixes and security updates are quick and routine. They're too secure and not worth the criminal effort. Most of the luser base is Windows, so that's where the crime is focused.

Linux, it's free so nobody has motivation to defeat it or steal it. The licencing structure allows me to use it as long as I don't take credit. All software for it as well follows similar licenses. Hence oddly enough all your software is completely 100% legal.

Windows is a virus laden piracy magnet that because of their closed business and licence models invites more viruses and pirates. As businesses are increasingly over the Internet they're going to not want to risk connections with Windows. As China begins to lower it's China Firewall I pity every Windows user who will be inundated with more severe attacks or corporate spying.

It's an uphill battle but with Mac already there and Linux improving it visual interface, at some point Windows will lose or just implode.

If you're happy with Windows, that's fine. But as time goes on the other options will surpass it and you'll wonder why you wasted all this time.

Please go now and update all your anti-virus, anti-spybot, firewall, email blah blah blah...

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"WindBlows"

Ha ha ha! "WindBlows" rules!

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Haha Sarge! Microsoft rules your pocketbook.

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I love when people who know nothing about computers think that bashing Windows makes them sound smart.

"Lemmings, all of them."

Totally. They're all losers for using a OS that WORKS for them and is able to RUN their software.

"And "works" is a VERY loose term when relating it to WIndBlows."

I have 3 computers in my home that run Windows on a daily basis, and none of them ever crashes or freezes. So go spread FUD somewhere else, you sad troll.

"One observation as a former Windows user is that Windows is a piracy magnet. Spyware, bots, all kinds of weirdness known and unknown built up over time looking at your email or online activities. I was doing tech support and I fixed one elderly person's computer and found 18 viruses and 3 trojans! Truly amazing.

Most Windows users use pirated software, are constantly losing credit card data, supporting criminals, and victimized by lots of personal identity theft (USA especially)."

So? I have no malware in my computer. A good antivirus + not being stupid is enough to keep your computer clean. But I guess that if you're really stupid, it's easy to get your computer infected if you run Windows. So in your case, I can see the logic in YOU not using it.

Btw, Mac and Linux would have plenty of viruses if they were as popular as Windows. It's just that no one cares about them.

"If you're happy with Windows, that's fine. But as time goes on the other options will surpass it and you'll wonder why you wasted all this time."

Call me back when Mac or Linux have as much software available for them as Windows, including games.

"Please go now and update all your anti-virus, anti-spybot firewall, email blah blah blah..."

Auto-update ftw.

"Mac/Windows are the kiddie picture books of the computer world, while with Linux I learned how to read. I wouldn't recommend Linux unless you know what a computer is doing. Otherwise just go Mac. Windows is done and done. Given the economy why keep investing in poor computers?"

Macs are the epitome of fail. They're all about flashy stuff but are expensive and uncustomizable, and have much less software available for them than Windows. And the funniest thing is that their fanboys are hypocrites who criticize Microsoft for "being evil", when Apple is as bad (if not worse, at least MS doesn't use hardware lock) as Microsoft.

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