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Archive for July 2008

Microsoft has announced that the final, official name of the next version of Windows will be the same as the codename – Windows 7 – making this the first version of Windows to keep its codename as its release name.

The codename Windows 7 has turned out to be more than just a codename this time around for Microsoft, as the company has agreed to keep things simple and keep the name Windows 7 for the final release of the operating system as well.

As Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management puts it:

“The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows. We’ve used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or “aspirational” monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista. And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, coming up with an all-new “aspirational” name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows.”

This is the first time a Windows version has used its codename also as the name of the final release, and also one of the earliest naming announcements from Microsoft, as Windows 7 hasn’t even reached its first beta version. A pre-beta will be handed out to attendees of the PDC and WinHEC conferences taking place later this month.

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Information regarding the long awaited event for the launch of Windows 7 has been released; online registration is available, and attendees are being rewarded with a free copy of Windows 7.

“The New Efficiency” is the name that Microsoft has adopted for its 3-in-one launch event, where it plans to introduce individuals and businesses to 3 new products: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010.

The event is set to run in 25 different locations across the United States, September 24 through November 9. Anyone can sign up at Microsoft’s Business website and choose to attend various event tracks for developers and IT professionals. The seats at these events get occupied fairly quickly, particularly because of the free copy of Windows 7 incentive, thus reserving early is a good idea.

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On Wednesday, Microsoft has officially announced the release of the Windows 7 operating system for the purpose of manufacturing and distributing to partners and in a few months, to the general consumer market. It also revealed information regarding the release of Windows Server 2008 R2, which is Windows 7′s server operating system counterpart.

The bits making up the Windows 7 operating system have been released to manufacturing, and are being written on DVDs at the time this article is being written. This final version of Windows 7 (build 7600) has been released to hardware vendors as well, in preparation for it to be released as an OEM software on desktops and notebooks.

This type of software release is known as an RTM or Release To Manufacturing. “What happens is a build gets designated as a RTM contender after going through significant testing and meeting our quality bar for RTM,” explains Brandon LeBlanc. “Then, it goes though all the validation checks required for RTM including having all languages of that build completed. If all the validation checks have passed – sign-off for RTM can occur.” Brandon Leblank is a Windows Communications Manager at Microsoft, and he is also in charge of The Windows Blog, an official blog hosted by Microsoft where insider information on the Windows operating system is being brought out to the crowds.

However, even though the bits are being pressed into DVDs and there’s no going back, the operating system will not be available to the general public until October 22nd, and August 6 is the date when select customers such as partners and developers, will have access to Windows 7.

Aside from Windows 7 and its server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2 also RTMed on Wednesday, and that will be available on or before Windows 7′s availability date of October 22nd. It will be available exclusively for 64 bit environments.

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Green with amber shades, this is one of the first wallpapers created by fans for the Windows 7 operating system.

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The controversial Internet Explorer browser can now be uninstalled from the Windows 7 operating system, complying with the numerous objections of the European Union under the claim that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows violates the competition law.

Starting with Build 7048 of Windows 7, the notorious Internet Explorer browser, now at version 8, can be uninstalled from the Programs section of the Control Panel. Internet Explorer 8 is now an option in the large list of windows features just like Solitaire, Internet Information Services and the .NET Framework.

Although Microsoft has yet to comment on the move of making Internet Explorer 8 an option in Windows 7, many speculate that this is in reaction to the numerous objections that the European Union has made against the inclusion of a web browser within the Windows operating system.

Earlier this year, once again the EU has charged Microsoft with violating the European competition law by including the Internet Explorer browser in the Windows operating system for the past 13 years, and gave Microsoft two months to respond to these charges.

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Microsoft Connect     Microsoft is opening up about Windows 7 and starting to look for people to beta test the new operating system, and if you qualify, you’ll obtain a copy of Windows 7 for you to download, with your own license key.

Christina Storm of Microsoft has reminded people that are enthusiastic about Windows 7 that they can participate in the beta program too if they qualify. Similarly to participating in any beta testing program run by Microsoft, this is done through its connect.microsoft.com portal. There you can sign in with your Microsoft Passport account and once you answer a few questions, you’ll be entered the selection for the Windows 7 beta testing program.

According to Christina, the Windows 7 beta program will start very soon, but since pre-beta versions will be handed out at PDC2008 conference, it is likely that the beta version will follow a few weeks after that, possibly as late as mid-December. On connect.microsoft.com, the beta tester application form is typically made available weeks before the beta product is available for download; if Windows 7 beta 1 is released in December, Microsoft will likely be accepting applications as early as November 1st.

In the past, Microsoft has given priority to beta testers that have been testing other Microsoft products in the past as well, and provided useful feedback on them. If you have participated in other beta testing programs through connect.microsoft.com, it’s recommended that you use the same account to apply for the Windows 7 beta program as well.

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