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All posts tagged "windows 7"


Friday, February 27, 2009

Building a Windows 7 HTPC

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:00 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...-htpc,2159.html

"In this How To guide, we’ll explain why the HTPC now makes so much sense, we’ll show you the hardware that goes into our test platform (and how it all fits together), and we’ll walk you through using it with Microsoft’s Windows 7 beta, which should be shipping by the end of the year. Truly, this is the hardware/software configuration for which we've been waiting."

Not to take away from the coolness factor, but I'll be the contrarian here and say that I think the HTPC is overkill except for the most hardcore. Why? Things like the Xbox and other Media Center Extenders will give you 90% of the bang for a lot less of the buck.

Tags: windows 7, htpc

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Windows 7 Mobile Broadband Receives Big Industry Support

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 08:48 PM

http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/wi...-broadband.aspx

"Windows 7's Mobile Broadband enhancements give people a more reliable way to connect to the Internet using a wireless modem. Taking advantage of this feature is just like connecting to any other wireless network, and is done using the View Available Networks feature. A consistent experience for customers on top of a common infrastructure for partners to build off of enables several benefits including lower support, maintenance, deployment and management costs."

If you've ever had to fight with a dysfunctional WiFi connection tool, usually in the form of "bonus" software that comes with your laptop, you'll appreciate the fact that Microsoft is going to integrate wide-area network connectivity right into Windows 7. Announced partners include Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Sierra Wireless, T-Mobile, Fujitsu-Siemens, and more - so, basically, the biggest players in the industry. Sounds good - but only if the service providers in my area grab a sanity check and stop charging $60+ per month for the service. I already pay $50/month for Internet access at home and $30/month to get data on my phone - I refuse to tack another $60 onto that, at least as long as I can tether my Windows Mobile smartphone to my laptop and get Internet access everywhere.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Windows 7 SKUs Announced: Yeah, There's Six Of Them

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 03:34 PM

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/...Win7SKU-QA.mspx

"We've received great feedback from customers and partners through Windows XP and Windows Vista, and have learned a lot about how to communicate what's available in different editions of the operating system. At the same time, we have a customer base of over 1 billion along with many partners, so it's important to make sure the right edition of Windows with the right features set is available for them. The first change in Windows 7 was to make sure that editions of Windows 7 are a superset of one another. That is to say, as customers upgrade from one version to the next, they keep all features and functionality from the previous edition. As an example, some business customers using Windows Vista Business wanted the Media Center functionality that is in Windows Vista Home Premium but didn't receive it in Business edition. Customers won't have to face that trade-off with Windows 7. With Windows 7 there is a more natural progression from one edition to the next."

Well, it's official: Windows 7 will have six different versions. My initial reaction is to groan, but upon reading the full Q&A, the reality is a bit better than I thought (though not by much). If this plays out the way Windows General Manager Mike Ybarra says it will, you should only see three version of Windows 7 when you're shopping for a new computer, either online or in a store: Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional Business, and Windows 7 Ultimate. The other versions, which are Enterprise, Basic, and Starter, will be available only through specific channels - Starter only in emerging markets, Basic only from OEMs and for specific hardware, and Enterprise only for IT groups (your typical big-business types). Read more...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Windows 7 Play To Showcased

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 09:00 AM

http://on10.net/blogs/nic/Windows-7...Remote-Control/

"Windows 7 Senior Program Manager, Gabe Frost, demonstrates Windows 7 “Play To” functionality to the crew of On10.net For those unfamiliar, Play To is a new function introduced into Windows 7 that allows one to send a media file (from the same PC, shared media library derived from networked PCs, or a dedicated home server / NAS) for playback or display to a DLNA / UPnP device like a music streamer, digital media adapter, or photo frame with a simple right-click of the mouse."

One of the new features that Windows 7 brings is the "Play To" option. It is one thing to read about it, but Gabe Frost of Microsoft demonstrates this feature in a video at On10.net. Towards the end of the video, he says that Windows 7 can become a "Universal remote control for your media" which I think best describes "Play To." I'm very looking forward to this, as I've worked to come up with a wide variety of hacks such as using FM Transmitters, Shoutcast and Videolan to stream audio and video across my house and this seems to bring it all together in a much easier to use interface. I'm glad that they're going with a standard like DLNA, however, to make full use of this means upgrading/replacing a large amount of hardware I have around the house. Then again, new toys are always welcome!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Engadget Thoroughly Reviews Windows 7 Beta

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/23/...th-impressions/

"We've covered a few tidbits of what the Windows 7 Beta has to offer, including the mess of machines we've installed it on, but we finally gathered together all our thoughts and impressions of the OS into one meaty pile of words and screencaps. Naturally, we're working with a beta here, so things can absolutely get better (or worse), and Redmond might be hiding a feature or two in the wings -- or for the inevitable SP1 -- but we'd say Microsoft has really put its best foot forward here. Check out all our ramblings after the break."

More reviews of Windows 7 Beta are coming in, but Engadget has taken the time to publish a detailed review, going over each major component of note. They certainly like what they see, and applaud many of the improvements made, but they also take time to criticize many, many parts of Windows 7. In the end, they see the upcoming OS as an evolutionary step in the right direction for Microsoft. I really like how they've broken Windows 7 into different parts, explaining what we can expect with pictures. They thoroughly walk through each step, from the Superbar, to how the display control panel's been updated to benefit mobile workers, to its home networking abilities. I particularly like the part showing the "Play to device" feature. I also feel that the reviewer, while trying to be fair, has not been impressed with Microsoft in the past, so comments are harsh. I find this a good thing, since many reviews out there seem to be a bit blinded by some parts of Windows, gushing over every tweak. This review brings Windows 7 back to Earth and looks at it from a more practical perspective. Definitely a worthwhile read for those looking to upgrade once Widows 7 comes out.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Windows 7 Is All About Usability

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fe...MC-R3A917316679

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends. The first iteration of Microsoft’s next operating system has arrived, and things are looking up for the Windows faithful. In fact, the first beta of Windows 7 is so reliable and responsive that it reminds us of the early Windows XP betas. With less than 12 months to go before launch, Windows 7 is in much better shape than Vista was at the same time, and it feels like a much more usable operating system than even XP did during its beta phase."

The Windows 7 beta has been out for over a week now and MaximumPC has been putting it through its paces. Under the hood, Windows 7 draws a lot from Vista, however, the interface has changed drastically. The taskbar, networking, media playback and even how you interact with windows have been updated. Many of the changes look nice and make sense, such as the taskbar morphing into a task manager/quicklaunch/recent documents controller. However the only downside I see is after having spent 10+ years getting used to the Windows 95 interface legacy, I'm going to be real stubborn about learning a new interface, despite how beneficial it might be. I applaud change, especially ones that help, but I know more than one person who has kept with Office 2003 because they loathe Office 2007's ribbon interface. I strongly suspect that that will be Microsoft's greatest challenge, convincing people that they need to move past Windows XP. Anyone else with me, or should I pull up my pants and tell everyone to get off my lawn?


Saturday, January 10, 2009

What Windows 7 and its Beta is All About

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 AM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-1...tag=mncol;title

"Windows PCs have always represented a great value relative to other companies in the marketplace, both in terms of the whole range of price points and all the capabilities that you get out of the box. Given the economic situation, as shareholders would expect us to tighten our belt, but with the things that are most important, and customers would expect us to do that while continuing to innovate. And this is why even in this touch economic situation it's exciting to be able to look at the product pipeline we've got with Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7 and Windows Live...and the next generation of Windows Live, and look at all of the advances that we're offering to customers. A Windows PC is an unbelievable entertainment investment."

Bill Veghte is currently at CES stirring up interest in Windows 7. While the public beta is now available, CNet was unable to get Veghte to commit to a firm release date raising some questions as to whether it'll meet hopes that it will be released this year. However, a good portion of CNet's interview with Microsoft's Senior Vice President was spent emphasizing Windows 7's flexibility and focus on consumer needs, going so far as actively soliciting feedback during this beta period. I'm eager to set up a test computer to try out all the new features that I've been reading about. Fortunately, the requirements for Windows 7 aren't steep and in fact, very similar to Windows Vista. Anyone else going to try out the beta?


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Win 7 Beta Bests XP and Vista

Posted by Timothy Huber in "Digital Home Software" @ 10:00 AM

http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=3236

"How does Windows 7 beta 1 compare to Vista and XP in terms of performance? That's a question that's been hitting my inbox regularly over the past few weeks. Let's see if we can't answer it!"

ZDnet ran a series of tests comparing the performance of XP, Vista and the Windows 7 beta on the same hardware. The results were nearly a sweep, with Windows 7 finishing first in 42 of the 46 individual tests. Results like that a particularly impressive when you consider that Windows 7 is a beta build and most likely hasn't received any fine-tuning. The more I hear, the more I'm anticipating good things from Windows 7.

Tags: beta, windows 7

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