Saturday, December 06, 2008

Windows 7 News Roundup #4

Yep. The road to W7 is littered with news.

Release date for W7 Beta 1 looks to be sometime around January according to various sources and Ed Bott is picking January 13th for his W7 roulette stake.

However, if you attend an upcoming MSDN Developer Conference and pony up $99 registration fee, you will (eventually) get (by mail) a copy of the Windows 7 Beta DVD when available.  Just how hard-core an early adopter are you?  Windows 7 Beta for MDC Attendees – Bob’s blog.

          Date            City

I’m afraid I’m booked up already for the Houston date, so will have to continue waiting for a TechNet preview release of W7 (if ever offered there) down the road.  I’m not feeling up to Torrenting a version right now.

These are some great technical posts how how W7 error recovery “works” at least in early releases.  Reading through them it seems to me that they are successful but are curiously clunky in the recovery process.  I can’t image them staying in this format for the final release.  Vista’s is much more refined.  Although no Windows recovery process has ever seemed easy to understand for non-technical users, Vista and XP to a lesser degree are serviceable. This W7 stuff seems sure to frighten!

I just loved this technical look by Rafael inside W7’s boot-progress architecture.  It is surprisingly complicated, yet simple as well.  Here is the golden-part that sent chills down my WIM hacking spine:

In Windows 7, the boot screen is simplified in many ways. It comprises of a single bitmap, loaded from a small Windows Imaging (WIM) file at runtime, and some text rendered on-the-fly. The approach of stuffing a small bitmap inside a WIM may seem a little overkill right now but this was likely done to future-proof boot reporting. I won’t be surprised if we see other boot-related resources (e.g. sounds) housed within the WIM in the near future…

Some great initial info on how W7 may support the mobile broadband platform.  This will allow simplified connection to the Net through a cellular modem so you don’t have to get tied up with the connection manager.

A great Google article, the difference between ‘easy’ and ‘simple’; and why this is a problem for Windows 7 - SuperSite Blog

Paul Thurrott opines on how Microsoft is still overreaching on OS design models and why W7 might still fail to please everyone.

But what about Windows 7? As I and others have written, Windows 7 is all about a complete reexamination of the Windows OS. Microsoft has probed into every visible and invisible corner of the system and tweaked virtually everything. The result is, condescendingly, “Vista done right” or, in my mind, simply a very finely tuned tool. As a friend noted via IM the other day, [I’m paraphrasing here], it’s pretty clear that what we’ve seen so far in Windows 7 is it. There’s nothing more coming. And I don’t know whether to be excited by that or freaked.

The problem with Windows 7 is that Microsoft is copying the Mac, again. No, they’ll never really make Windows as simple as Mac OS X, though by God they’re going to try. And the reason they won’t is because you can’t simply erase decades of piling on functionality on top of functionality. Windows will always be a Swiss Army knife. You can’t escape your heritage.

Gotta say, as a long-time Windows user and support person, I think Paul has some very good points and Microsoft is in a lot of danger of digging into a deeper hole that they started in Vista.

Will W7 be good, better, and more refined than previous versions? Sure.

Will that be enough to technically distance itself from Vista in the fickle minds of consumers and enterprise operations? Jury’s still out, but I’m doubtful it will, with Vista still so fresh out of the can.

I’m thinking only the hard-core Windows enthusiasts and fan-boys/girls will be salivating for W7 for the foreseeable future (pre/post final release).

Meanwhile folks in Cupertino orchard are leaning back in their chairs and smiling….

--Claus V.

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