Microsoft Windows Vista Vs Windows Xp

Discussion in 'Windows XP / Older OS' started by RACERPRO, May 4, 2008.

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Microsoft Windows Vista Vs Windows Xp, What do you Use

  1. I Use Microsoft Windows Vista 32 or 64

    46.3%
  2. I Use Microsoft Windows XP 32 or 64

    53.7%
  1. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Where Should Microsoft Partner Next?

    DEMOfall 08 is an autumn harvest of companies Microsoft should be partnering with.

    At least a few of the companies, many of them startups, are possible Microsoft acquisitions, too. If the company doesn't have people here shopping for acquisitions, something is grossly wrong.

    By the way, Microsoft made an impression in the best way possible—freebees. During the main morning session, Microsoft software was thrown out to the audience, mostly to people sitting up front and waving or shouting. Smart marketing, Microsoft.

    I really wanted to attend DEMOfall yesterday—after all, it's taking place in the city where I live, San Diego—but Microsoft's "Get Virtual Now" event was more topical for this blog's targeted readership.

    I want to call out three presentations from the morning session:

    Familybuilder uses social networks to connect people while they're still alive. Now there's an interesting approach to genealogy—connect with the living instead of the dead. Today, the company introduced a DNA kit to help identify those living relatives.

    Microsoft launched Windows Live Spaces based on the precept that people want most to connect with friends, family members and even coworkers. The approach is sensible. But there are many more ways that people can connect online that are, from a product marketing perspective, very sticky. Nothing is stickier than family. My question: Why isn't Microsoft a partner?

    Familybuilder's big success, before the launch of today's revamped cross-platform site, was through its Facebook application released in 2007. Familybuilder is also available through Bebo, Hi5, MySpace and Orkut.

    A partner like Microsoft could bring something important to Familybuilder: more confidence that personal privacy will be protected. DNA testing opens up a Pandora's box of health privacy disclosure problems. Microsoft's strong privacy policies could and should be example to a company like Familybuilder.

    source: microsoft-watch.com
     
  2. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsoft Prepares to Harvest Windows 7 Beta Feedback

    Just as is the case today with Windows Vista and Windows XP, Microsoft is preparing to harvest end user feedback from the first Beta build of Windows 7.

    According to Christina Storm, a program manager on the Windows Customer Engineering feature team, the next iteration of the Windows client will simply continue the Windows Feedback Program (WFP) set in place for XP and Vista. Storm indicated that Microsoft is in fact tailoring WFP in order to fit Windows 7, starting as early as the Beta 1 development milestone. Microsoft is currently not accepting any new participant in the WPF, and hasn't been since early 2007.

    “Customers choose to be part of a survey program, an automated feedback program or both. They then complete a 20-minute profiling survey, which later allows us to look at their feedback based on their profile. We have customers spanning a wide spectrum of computer knowledge in our program, and we are constantly working on balancing the panel to staff up underrepresented groups. The majority of customers who are spontaneously willing to participate in a feedback program like ours are generally enthusiastic about technology. They are early adopters of consumer electronics, digital devices and new versions of software. In contrast, customers who see the PC as a tool to get a job done tend to be a bit more reluctant to join,” Storm stated.

    According to Microsoft, all the participants in the WFP, be it for Windows Vista, or for Windows 7, have to install a data collection tool built by the Windows Telemetry Team. The utility has the purpose to automate the feedback collecting process. At this point in time, Microsoft is preparing its feedback infrastructure for the advent of Windows 7 Beta 1.

    “When we release the Windows 7 beta we will also be collecting feedback from this panel [the Windows Feedback Program] and asking for participation from a set of Windows 7 beta users. Our current plans call for signing up for the beta to happen in the standard Microsoft manner on Microsoft Connect,” Storm concluded.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  3. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 Beta 1 available for download on December 2008

    The constant wave of Windows 7 Beta chatter from Redmond, even without an official confirmation from Microsoft, is a clear indication that the company is gearing up to move the next iteration of the Windows client beyond the development milestone (M) stages.

    With the Windows 7 roadshow approaching at a fast pace, as Microsoft is getting closer and closer to events such as the Professional Developer Conference 2008 (October), Windows Hardware Engineering Conference 2008 (November) and TechEd 2008 EMEA (November), the first Beta build of the operating system is starting to take contour. Still, Windows 7 Beta 1 will not make it to the October and November conferences, as it is planned for availability in mid-December 2008.

    Microsoft has failed to either confirm or deny this piece of information at this point in time, but according to Mary Jo Foley, citing unnamed sources, Windows 7 beta 1 will drop just ahead of Christmas 2008. On Vista WinHEC 2008 homepage, Microsoft is claiming that Windows 7 “is coming soon” but doesn't give any indication of the actual deadline, although it is rushing hardware manufacturers to get ready for the operating system.

    The Redmond giant released the first taste of Windows 7 back in December 2007. At that time, Milestone 1 was virtually indistinguishable from Windows Vista. Moving forward into the development process, the Redmond company has also produced a Milestone 2 Build of Windows 7, which was kept tight under wraps and wasn't leaked like M1. The next move as far as the evolution of Windows 7 is concerned is a Milestone 3 release, which in its turn will be followed by the first Beta build of the platform. One thing is for sure, under the leadership of Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, Windows 7 will have a short Beta life, approximately a year. Microsoft is reportedly not preparing a wide release of Windows 7 Beta until the client is either feature-complete or very close to the final version.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  4. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 to Feature Reinvented Windows Explorer Wheel

    Windows Explorer is one of the areas of Windows generating disappointment for users in the evolution from Windows XP to Windows Vista.

    Although in Vista, Windows Explorer was indeed kicked up a notch in terms of design, functionality and capabilities, the fact is that hardcore users were left missing the amputated Windows File System, even though Microsoft claimed that the best parts of WinFS were included into Vista. Well, with Windows 7, the Redmond company has yet another chance at reinventing the wheel with Windows Explorer and, apparently, the software giant will go for it.

    The Windows group is looking for no less than to “shape the vision of browsing, searching, indexing and visualizing data,” according to a member who pointed out that efforts are being made to reinvent “the way people think about their data. Our team is responsible for developing the Windows Explorer. In the next versions of Windows we will be breaking new ground enabling users to act on their items, irrespective of where they are stored and delivering an indexing technology to provide wicked fast views over their local data.”

    With Windows 7, Microsoft is in fact looking to “redefine the face of Windows,” something which of course was not the case with Windows Vista. In this regard, the most interesting development direction for Windows Explorer in Windows 7 is the users' ability to “act on their items, irrespective of where they are stored”.

    Microsoft might be preparing Windows 7 to actually stretch into the Cloud. The Redmond company has already confirmed that Windows 7 and Windows Live Wave 3 would be virtually joined at the hip, but there is an additional scenario for the successor of Windows Vista “to ignore” the actual location of files. The Redmond company is working on a Cloud platform dubbed Live Mesh. The new platform permits users, among other things, to store and synchronize files and folders across a variety of devices including laptops, PCs, mobile phones, servers, etc. In this regard, it could be possible that Microsoft is considering a very intimate connection between Windows Explorer and Live Mesh straight on Windows 7 desktops.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  5. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 hits Milestone 3

    I got a gander at the latest test build of Windows 7 briefly (courtesy of a source of mine) and was not allowed to take any screenshots. But it is real, it does exist and it is, indeed, in certain testers’ hands inside and outside the company.

    From the quick glimpse I got of Milestone 3, it sounds like Bryant of AeroXperience was right on the money with his hypotheses about what’s changed in the latest internal test builds. The latest build seems quite stable. The Ribbon user interface from Office 2007 is now part of WordPad and Paint. Home Groups — the functionality formerly known in “Longhorn”/Vista as “Castle” — is part of the new Windows 7 build.

    I also noticed that the “Graphical Console,” a k a PowerShell Version 2, seems to be part of the latest pre-release Windows 7 build.

    (Looks like Stephen Chapman over at the UX Evangelist site got to see Build 6780, too, and has a lot more to say on Windows 7’s Paint and WordPad.)

    From what admittedly little I had a chance to see, Windows 7 does not look or feel like a major departure from Windows Vista.

    Sources say there isn’t an “M4? currently on Microsoft’s Windows 7 schedule. Next up is likely some kind of preview build (which may or may not be distributed to those attending the Professional Developers Conference and/or Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in October and November, respectively.) After that, a broadscale Beta 1, which should be feature-complete and pretty much set in stone, is expected for mid-December.

    Like my ZDNet blogging colleague Ed Bott said, it’s not impossible for Microsoft to hit a 2009 release for Windows 7 if the first true beta doesn’t go out until December. Such a move would not be unprecedented.

    Do you think the Softies are going to get Windows 7 out the door in 2009, as they are hoping — and maybe even early enough to make it onto new machines in time for Holiday 2009 sales?

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  6. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Vista: The Return, Day Two

    I can only describe my full-time return to Windows Vista as an experience in increasing friction.

    It's like Vista has personality, that she's somehow a wounded lover; she's angry that I left for a while. Vista hasn't thrown open her arms to embrace me.

    Over most of the summer, I spent more time using Mac OS X than Windows Vista. That was in part because I took on Apple Watch and because of the iPhone 3G. But it's time to turn back to Vista, particularly with so many Microsoft products coming out or going into beta over the next couple of months. Today was my first full day using Vista; yesterday was switch day.

    My morning started off with a big surprise: Windows Live Mail wouldn't send any messages, and I got a cryptic error notice for my troubles. E-mail had been working last night, but not this morning. Now maybe it's coincidence, but I installed Zune 3.0 software before observing the problem. Could the software applications—both from Microsoft—be a little incompatible?

    It's this kind of productivity drain that has people switching to the Mac. I don't have hours to spend figuring out the problem. I did some basic troubleshooting, which included rebooting the laptop while I ate breakfast. Live Mail's death meant switching to Outlook, which I had resisted. Outlook saps resources when checking mail (it's not a friendly multitasker), and the point of my return is finding out what is the Microsoft lifestyle. For consumers, Live is the center of that lifestyle. Overall, my experience with Windows Live Mail has been most disappointing. I hope the Wave 3 version is better than this.

    When I should have been testing Zune 3.0, I was manually setting up various e-mail accounts, all IMAP, in Outlook. There is an account settings import wizard—for Outlook Express and, get this, Eudora Light. I knew these were the only import options for Outlook; I had never checked for Version 2007 but expected broader import options.. Eudora Light? How about Thunderbird or, better yet, Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail? This Microsoft stuff is supposed to work together, right?

    After setting up Outlook, I remembered to open Windows Messenger, which gave a connection error because Internet Explorer was set to offline mode. Right, I hadn't yet launched IE 8, which kept mysteriously switching to offline mode. Oh? Could that be Live Mail's problem, too? D`oh, I should have known better. Live Mail received mail just fine. The problem remained.

    I really like Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, by the way. That's why I've written so little about the browser. IE 8 deserves several weeks of hard usage before review. I still find the UI to be too cluttered, but the new features are impressive and the security features are a whole lot less intrusive.

    This post would have been my analysis and first impressions about Zune 3.0, if not for the day's early mail troubles. I'm hoping to give Zune its due tomorrow.

    My initial test system is the HP Artist Edition Notebook—Pavilion dv2800t—with a 2.2GHz Intel Dual Core processor, 14-inch display (with 1,280-by-800 resolution), 128MB discrete nVidia GeForce 8400M GS graphics (shared to 767MB), 2GB of RAM, 250GB hard drive (5,400 rpm), multi-DVD burner (with LightScribe) and Windows Vista Ultimate Service Pack 1 64-bit. The Windows Experience Index rating is 4.0.

    Previously, I used the 1.6GHz MacBook Air, with its small hard drive (80GB) and punier graphics (64MB discrete; 144MB shared). The Mac wakes from sleep much faster than the HP laptop. It's the software, definitely. Performance is otherwise pretty good, but, as I experienced using Vista before Service Pack 1's release, the user interface occasionally freezes or there's a sputter when switching applications.

    That said, there is a noticeable improvement in an unexpected way. Vista 64-bit feels differently than the 32-bit version. The operating systems look the same, but, to me, the 64-bit version handles more smoothly. If I didn't know the kernels were different, I would guess they were separate Vistas. The 64-bit kernel is more locked down than the 32-bit one, which affects how all kinds of software interact with the operating system. Even security software is largely restricted from kernel access.

    I don't have the right words to describe how Vista 64-bit feels different. When I got the computer, the better handling was immediately different. I'll call it a smoothness. I only checked to see if the HP laptop had Vista 64-bit after detecting the difference.

    source: microsoft-watch.com
     
  7. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Downgrading Apple - the Windows Brand vs. the Windows Products

    Microsoft is without a doubt diversifying the collection of resources behind the new $300 million Widows marketing campaign created by advertising agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky.

    From Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld's the Future Is Delicious to I'm a PC; Windows vs. Walls; Life Without Walls; the fake “I'm a PC Guy” John Hodgman (aka Sean Siller, senior program manager for networking in the Windows Core Operating System Division), the Redmond giant is evolving along its initial Free the People strategy designed to tell the truth about Windows. The first signs of Microsoft clearing its voice in the market were delivered by Brad Brooks, corporate vice president, Windows Consumer Product Marketing as early as the start of June 2008.

    The Windows Brand vs. the Windows Products

    “Windows has always been about putting the power of computing in the hands of people. All of these efforts are designed to reconnect and re-ignite our customers’ imaginations around the value of Windows in their lives today, and the promise of Windows in their lives tomorrow,” explained Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President, Online Services & Windows Business Group with the initial launch of the Windows campaign on September 4.

    Microsoft is laboring to span Windows across various segments of the consumer market, delivering a segmentation in relation to the PC, to mobile phones and to the Cloud. In this manner, the Redmond company is elevating the Windows brand above the products that it is inherently associated with. Designed as a subtle divorce between Windows and the underlying software solutions or cloud services, the strategy is to make the brand independent of any product.

    While the Windows brand has indeed suffered because of competitors such as Apple, the fact is that it has also been hurt by Microsoft itself. The Redmond giant can go head over heels with multi-million marketing campaigns but it won't change the fact that Windows Vista as a product has eroded the Windows brand. At the same time, the company's modest positioning on the operating system market for mobile phones, coupled with the confusing soup of applications and services between MSN and Windows Live for the past years, has also impacted the value of Windows, at a conceptual level.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  8. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    E-mail, photo programs stripped from Windows 7

    Microsoft has decided that Windows 7 won't include built-in programs for e-mail, photo editing, and movie making, as was done with Windows Vista, CNET News.com has learned.

    The software maker included Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Mail, and Windows Movie Maker as part of Vista, but later chose to offer separate downloadable Windows Live programs that essentially replaced those components with versions that could connect to online services from Microsoft and others.

    Microsoft told CNET News late Monday that it has decided to remove those features entirely from Windows 7 and instead offer only the service-connected Windows Live versions as optional free downloads. Earlier on Monday, Microsoft had declined to say how it was handling things.

    In a follow-up interview on Monday, Windows Live general manager Brian Hall said Microsoft made the decision to remove the tools from Windows for several reasons, including a desire to issue new operating system releases more quickly than it has in the past. The move also removes the confusion of offering and supporting two different programs that perform essentially similar functions.

    "It makes it much cleaner," Hall said.

    Lastly, he said, making the Windows Live tools completely separate from the operating system paves the way for Microsoft to work selectively with specific partners.

    "We can do things with specific partners to enable really great experiences that might be hard in Windows," Hall said.

    Antitrust rules make it hard for Microsoft to tie operating system features to specific services.

    Microsoft last week rolled out the latest "Wave 3" releases of its Windows Live programs, adding Windows Live Movie Maker to the mix of programs, which includes Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Mail as well as blogging tool Windows Live Writer and instant messaging program Windows Live Messenger. While Windows XP and earlier releases had an instant messaging program built in, Microsoft took out that feature in Windows Vista.

    Hall said it was too soon to say if the "Wave 4" release would precede Windows 7 or be coincident to it. Microsoft has said it will have Windows 7 on the market by January 2010, while CEO Steve Ballmer has said he is pushing for a release next year.

    "We'll do Wave 3 and then we'll figure it out," Hall said.

    It remains to be seen just how Microsoft will distribute the Windows Live programs in conjunction with Windows 7-based PCs. Presumably the company could strike deals with computer makers or retailers to include the software, or links to download it.

    source: news.cnet.com
     
  9. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 Pre-Beta Availability Confirmed

    Microsoft is making headway with the building process of Windows 7, the next iteration of the Windows client, and is gearing up to release a development milestone of the operating system at the end of next month.

    Microsoft's professional Developers Conference in Las Vegas, between October 27-30, 2008 will be synonymous with the broadening of the Windows 7 testing program past the limited testing pool of the company's close partners that was given access to early builds including Milestone 1, Milestone 2 and Milestone 3. The Redmond giant will in fact offer a pre-Beta build of Windows 7 to all PDC2008 participants.

    "We're (...) giving every attendee a pre-beta copy of Windows 7. Yes, you heard that right. You'll be able to install your own copy of Windows 7 and play with it on your hardware. This is a very limited release, and PDC2008 attendees will be the first to get it. Gotta love the PDC," revealed Mike Swanson, Microsoft technical evangelist.

    In just one month Microsoft plans to deliver the first consistent taste of Windows 7. The company demonstrated the operating system's touch computing capabilities earlier this year, but otherwise detailed in no way M1, M2 or even M3. Screenshots, videos and a tad of information on the recently dropped Windows 7 Milestone 3 Build 6780 were made available from third party sources, but Microsoft continued to be mute on the matter. At PDC2008 Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, will be the one to introduce Windows 7 to the world.

    "In our first keynote at PDC2008 Ray Ozzie will talk about the new world of Software Plus Services, with Bob Muglia joining him, to unveil our new Cloud Computing platform," Microsoft revealed. "In a second keynote, Ray will return to talk about building immersive user experiences and introduce Steven Sinofsky, who will give developers a first look at the next version of Windows, Windows 7. Scott Guthrie and David Treadwell will join Ray and Steven to dive deep on the latest Win32 and .NET platform advances that enable a next generation of user experiences spanning multiple devices, including a look at the latest developments in .NET, Silverlight, "Live Mesh", and the rest of the client platform."

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  10. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

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    A Taste of Windows 7 Details

    With the availability of Windows 7 pre-Beta confirmed for late October 2008, Microsoft has also delivered additional details related to the agenda of the Professional Developer Conference 2008 in Las Vegas.

    Between October 27-30, the Los Angeles Convention Center will host no less than 22 sessions focused on the next iteration of the Windows Client. This week, Microsoft has added 17 new information sessions to the existing five. But at the same time, the Redmond giant is still failing to reveal all that much about what it will discuss quasi-publicly in just one month.

    In this context, there are a variety of items on the PDC2008 agenda on which no details have been made public. Windows 7: Building Great Communications Applications by Larry Osterman is one of them. Larry Osterman, who is a Principal Software Development Engineer, revealed that “the primary target for my talk is developers who are building an application that in any way communicates between users (voice mail, instant messaging, voice over ip, etc). In addition, if you’re a games developer or a media player developer, you should also attend, there’s stuff in the talk for you too. There are also some other cool talks included in the list that I’m absolutely planning on attending”.

    At the same time, Microsoft was shy about revealing anything related to the “New Shell User Experience APIs”, “New APIs to Find, Visualize, and Organize”, “New Text and Graphics APIs" and “New APIs for Building Context-Aware Applications”. Details on all these application programing interfaces for Windows 7 will be published at a later date.

    Here are the additional 14 sessions which do feature abstracts, courtesy of Microsoft:

    “1. Windows 7: Developing Multi-touch Applications (Reed Townsend)

    In Windows 7, innovative touch and gesture support will enable more direct and natural interaction in your applications. This session highlights the new multi-touch gesture APIs and explains how you can leverage them in your applications.

    2. Writing Your Application to Shine on Modern Graphics Hardware (Anantha Kancherla)

    This session centers on the new enhancements to DirectX that enable Win32 applications harness the latest innovations in modern graphics hardware. You will learn how to use the Windows 7 graphics infrastructure to enable your applications to display graphics content on different generations of graphics hardware, across multiple displays and on a remote desktop. Also learn how you can test your application for DPI awareness, what to look for, and how to make it provide the best experience on high-DPI displays.

    3. Unlocking the GPU with Direct3D (Allison Klein)

    This session will teach you how to use the latest version of Direct3D to unlock the rendering and computing power of the GPU and to target the wide variety of hardware used by your customers. Learn techniques for integrating this high-performance 3D graphics pipeline within your Win32 applications.

    4. Benefiting from Documents and Printing Convergence (Jesse McGatha)

    Discover how updating your printing infrastructure to XPS allows your application to seamlessly bridge across both electronic and physical paper and benefit from new document workflow and interoperability scenarios.

    5. Designing Efficient Background Processes (Vikram Singh)

    Inefficient background activity has a dramatic impact on system performance, power consumption, responsiveness, and memory footprint. This session demonstrates best practices for background process design and will dive deep on the capabilities of the Service Control Manager (SCM) and Task Scheduler. Attendees will also learn how to use new Windows 7 infrastructure to develop efficient background tasks.

    6. Design Principles for Windows 7 (Samuel Moreau)

    Together, we can increase customer enthusiasm, satisfaction and loyalty by designing user experiences that are both desirable and harmonious. In this session, we will introduce the Windows User Experience Principles approach to shipping software. Along the way we will share stories and lessons learned along the journey of designing the user model and experience for Windows 7, and leave you with a set of principles that you can apply as you build your applications for Windows.

    7. Integrate with the Windows 7 Desktop Taskbar (Rob Jarrett)

    This session dives into new APIs that enable integration with the latest Windows desktop features. Learn about new extensibility methods to surface your application's key tasks. Discover how enhancements to the taskbar, Start Menu, thumbnails and their desktop elements provide new ways for you to delight your users. This talk is a must for application developers who wan to provide the best user experience for their applications on Windows 7.

    8. Welcome to the Windows 7 Desktop (Chaitanya Sareen)

    The Windows desktop is evolving-is your application ready to evolve also? This session sets the stage for exciting enhancements to the taskbar, Start Menu, and other desktop elements.

    9. Deploying Your Application with Windows Installer (MSI) and ClickOnce (Tyler Robinson)

    If you are a developer involved in the creation of application deployment packages using Windows Installer (MSI) or ClickOnce, this session is for you. Learn how you can take advantage of new features in Windows 7 to shorten application installation times, reduce UAC prompts, write less custom code, take less time to write installations for complex packages, and much more!

    10. Deep Dive - What's New with Win32's user32 and comctl32 (Raymond Chen)

    Hear about the lowest level user interface components (user32, comctl32) that appear in almost every Windows application. You'll learn about "recent" changes and enhancements in these subsystems, plus be subjected to some philosophical musings on how foreground activation is like love. (No really, it will actually help you write better software.)

    11. Programming Sync Providers that Work Great with Windows (Moe Khosravy, Jason Roberts)

    In this session, learn how you can enable your application to synchronize with other applications that use the Microsoft Sync Framework. This session will cover how to implement sync for contacts and other PIM data, how to package sync providers for distribution and installation, and how to register sync provider for use on Windows.

    12. Using Instrumentation and Diagnostics to Develop High Quality Software

    Learn how to enhance the quality and supportability of your software during developing and deployment using the Windows 7 instrumentation and diagnostic platforms. This session will focus on key aspects of the event and performance counter infrastructures, and discuss best practices around adding instrumentation to your code. We will introduce the new Windows PowerShell-based diagnostic platform, and how it enables you to easily monitor multiple data sources to empower the end user and IT pro to detect and resolve software problems.

    13. Best Practices for Developing for Windows Standard User (Cezar Ungureanasu)

    The application development requirements in Windows 7 for UAC-compatibility are exactly the same as in Vista: Vista-compatible applications will interact with UAC in Windows 7 without any modification. No new APIs are required or provided. The UAC improvements for Win7 will impact the user's experience but not the application interface. Logo requirements regarding UAC compatibility are the same as in Vista.

    14. Writing World-Ready Applications

    This session centers on globalization features for Windows 7, including sorting and string comparison, locale support, and coverage for new languages, with an eye to helping developers extend their applications to a global user base. This session introduces the Extended Linguistic Services API, the next step in the evolution of globalization support for Windows developers. This session will also cover the Multilingual User Interface (MUI) technology inside Windows 7 and .NET, and walk you through an end-to-end look at how to make your application MUI-enabled so that you can easily take your application worldwide and extend your customer base into new language markets”.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  11. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    IE8 Performance vs. Google Chrome and Firefox

    With Microsoft making headway towards the gold build of Internet Explorer 8, the Redmond company has to face an ugly truth. Performance-wise, with emphasis on JavaScrip performance, the software giant is getting ready to release a browser inferior to what is already available from rivals Google and Mozilla.

    Microsoft's aim is to make the next iteration of IE superior to what Internet Explorer 7 brought to the table back in 2006 on Windows XP and the start of 2007 on Windows Vista, and in this regard the company is on the right track. However, there is little focus on shifting Internet Explorer 8 into high gear and making it outrun Firefox 3.1 and Chrome.

    When he launched Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 back in March 2008, Dean Hachamovitch, general manager Internet Explorer, revealed that "some of the tests we have done show pure JScript performance improvements up to 2.5 times. We also measured the performance gains on common Gmail operations, like loading the inbox (34%), opening a conversation (45%) and opening a thread (27%) compared to IE7."

    The fact is that, with Google and Mozilla praising the JavaScript horsepower under the hood of Chrome and respectively Firefox 3.1, Microsoft cannot afford not to make "speed of the essence," although this is exactly what the company is doing. Stephane Kimmerlin, product marketing director, Windows client business group, Asia-Pacific, Microsoft, told ZDNet at the beginning of September that "when we designed IE8, we did not start with performance in mind."

    Christian Stockwell, IE program manager, said at the end of August 2008 that Microsoft would not be joining the chorus of browser developers trumpeting their product as the fastest in the universe. And believe it or not, there's a good enough reason why Microsoft is not applauding the performance superiority of IE8 over that of its rivals... because it's simply not there.


    The need for (JavaScript) speed
    The fact is that Microsoft has so far managed to avoid making their JavaScript benchmarks for Internet Explorer public. While Google has the V8 Benchmark Suite, the WebKit Team has SunSpider and Mozilla is offering Dromaeo, the Redmond company continues to remain loyal to its proprietary strategy with IE. In this regard, the conclusion presented by Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's community coordinator in the past, is that Microsoft is simply falling far behind the developers of open source browsers when it comes down to speed. Dotzler noted that Microsoft simply "can't keep up" with open source projects and that it's "a shame that they're falling so far behind" with IE.

    Is IE8 evolving in terms of JavaScript performance? Undoubtedly. Just as undoubtedly as the fact that Google Browser (Chrome) and Firefox 3.1 have already evolved past the stage where the next version of Internet Explorer is now. Whether Microsoft likes it or not, Chrome and Firefox 3.1 are “state of the art” in terms of JavaScript performance, while IE8 is lagging behind, with no consistent push from the company to make the browser measure up to the standards of its rivals.


    What did Microsoft do with IE8?
    "When we took a hard look at our goals and considered what we could do to build the best browser we were presented with a quandary. On the one hand, we could focus very narrowly on scripting performance, trusting that our investment would noticeably improve our users’ browsing experience. Alternatively, we could invest more broadly in realistic scenarios, measuring heavily-used subsystems and investing our optimization effort accordingly. We opted for the latter approach," Stockwell explained.

    In translation, Microsoft abandoned the idea of focusing on boosting JScript and JScript alone and went a different way, namely optimizing the browser for top usage scenarios. But in this context, Microsoft has left itself wide opened to a perception problem. And make no mistake about it; just as it was the case with Windows Vista, while poor performance is survivable, the generalized consumer perception of poor performance however acts as a deal breaker.


    Firefox 3.1 TraceMonkey
    For Firefox 3.1, the successor of Firefox 3.0 and the next iteration of its open source browser, Mozilla introduced native code compilation JavaScript engine ("SpiderMonkey"). Just make sure to remember the key phrase “native code compilation." This created TraceMonkey. It's rather simple; Mozilla is cutting down significantly on the interpreting aspect and is increasing the focus on native code. The next generation JavaScript implementation in Firefox 3.1 uses a trace as the compilation unit.

    By turning to traces in order to compile JScript "just-in-time" and renouncing to utilize functions or code files, Mozilla ensures that the JavaScript engine performs less interpreting and executes JS applications directly in native code. The raw beauty of the new "trace trees" technique and tricks that evolved SpiderMonkey into TraceMonkey is the loop optimizations made possible by the trace (sequence of instructions) for patch executed repeatedly which are no longer interpreted. Mike Shaver, Mozilla's chief evangelist pointed out that Firefox 3.1 is competing directly against native code.


    Google Browser Chrome V8
    Remember the "native code compilation" key phrase for Firefox 3.1 and TraceMonkey? Guess what?! The same is valid for Google Chrome. In fact, Lars Bak, software engineer, revealed on the launch of Chrome that one of the cornerstones of the browser was the fact that its JavaScript engine was capable to compile source code directly into "native machine code." In this context, while Firefox 3.1 still performs some interpreting in addition to using traces, Chrome has no interpreter; compilation is done directly in native code. In addition, deploying virtualization and turning to "hidden classes and inline caches," Chrome delivers additional optimization, as the dynamic hidden classes streamline access to JavaScript objects.


    Swimming in Native Code
    This is what Microsoft needs to make Internet Explorer do, although it looks like it's already too late for IE8 with a reported Release to Web deadline set for November 2008. Microsoft's Christian Stockwell touted Jscript performance gains of 400% with IE8 compared with IE7 as far as the SunSpider benchmarking suite is concerned. The Redmond giant did introduce optimizations when it comes down to JavaScript-DOM and JavaScript Object Notation. But at the same time, while the company too should have focused on native code, it didn't.

    Microsoft has indeed worked on IE8 performance, from runtime to memory optimization, but also on taking the AJAX subsystems a step forward, and the actual evolution of the existing JavaScrip engine of the browser. However, this does not change the fact that Internet Explorer needs a native code compiler so as to at least keep the same pace as its rivals.
     
  12. Diatomacious

    Diatomacious MDL Novice

    Oct 1, 2008
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    Vista is Topdog!

    Vista is hands-down way better than XP. I feel Microsoft has done an excellent job at exploiting the capabilities of newer computers. The only reason to even think about running XP at this point is if you have a Pentium 4 or less with around 512MB RAM (It just won't do Vista if ya know what I mean) :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    New Window Management System for Windows 7 Pre-Beta

    The window management system is one piece of the Windows 7 graphical user interface which will evolve starting with the pre-Beta version of the operating system.

    According to Microsoft, the evolutionary design changes in terms of window management are expected to generate feedback and reactions as soon as the Windows 7 builds become available. With Windows 7 pre-Beta now less than a month away, the Redmond giant revealed that it took a number of different scenarios in consideration when it comes to the successor of Windows Vista.

    “For Window 7 our goal is to reduce the number of clicks and precise movements needed to perform common activities. Based on data and feedback we've gotten from customers, a number of scenarios have been called out as important considerations for the design. As with all the designs we’re talking about - it is important to bring forward the common usage scenarios, make clear decisions on the most widely used usage patterns, address new and 'unarticulated needs', and to also be sure to maintain our philosophy of 'in control',” stated Dave Matthews, program manager on the core user experience team.

    The software company has analyzed user behavior in multi-tasking situations but also when it comes down to focusing on a single item on the desktop. Microsoft has even looked to solutions involving virtualized desktops and docking pallets but also additional approaches which remained undisclosed. At the same time, Matthews revealed that the company labored to continue to provide support for application developers leveraging single document interfaces and multiple document interfaces.

    In Windows 7, the Windows Aero border on windows will continue to be transparent even when the items are maximized, unlike in Vista. The windows management system has been tailored to support a variety of input models including touch screens. But, in the end, Microsoft has worked to improve the efficiency of managing windows, streamlining the most common actions, and adapting the system to a range of devices from laptops to PCs.

    “Overall - customers feel in control, and that the system makes it faster and easier to get things done. This point is important because the feeling of responsiveness and control is a key test for whether the design matches the way people really work. We put designs and mockups in the usability lab to watch how people respond, and once we see people smiling and succeeding easily at their task we know we are on the right track. The ultimate success in a design such as this is when it feels so natural that it becomes a muscle memory. This is when people can get the feeling that they’ve mastered a familiar tool, and that the computer is behaving as it should,” Matthews added.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  14. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows XP gets another six months

    Given its history of moving deadlines at a moment's notice, it hardly seems surprising that Microsoft is keeping Windows XP alive even longer than expected, but its latest move looks particularly bad for Vista.

    The apparent decision to allow OEM computer sellers to offer disks that downgrade installations of Windows Vista to XP until the end of July next year clearly bumps up against the period when Windows 7 might be released.


    Unpromising outlook
    Microsoft had previously said it would end the scheme next January, but the continued lack of demand for Vista appears to be behind the change of heart.

    If the move is confirmed, it's yet more bad news for Vista, as XP users may have the option to skip the unloved OS entirely and move straight to Windows 7.

    By J Mark Lytle

    source: techradar.com
     
  15. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Vista Performance Post SP1

    Poor performance was one of the sins associated with Windows Vista RTM, especially in comparison to Windows XP throughout 2007.

    In this context, the Service Pack 1 for the operating system was long overdue as Microsoft faced what it seemed to be an ever increasing wave of criticism because of the sluggish pace at which Vista performed common tasks through which XP seemed to breeze with no issues. This situation was remedied with the introduction of SP1, and now Windows Vista's performance is placed under the microscope by a panel of IT professionals and Microsoft employees in a Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable with Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich (transcript available for download here).

    The conclusion of the Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable focused on Vista performance is that the advent of Service Pack 1 helped clear the operating system of the problems it had as a RTM version. At the same time, it wasn't just the service pack, as much as it was the ecosystem of hardware and software solutions built around the platform growing more mature. In this regard, the optimization of computers' BIOS and drivers has contributed to speeding up Windows Vista, according to Gabe Aul, a principal group program manager for Microsoft specializing in Windows performance.

    “So the scenario is that if a critical driver to the boot process, boots their driver, is not self-signed, embedded signed, then the system has to check the catalog file to see if there is a signature there in order for it to allow to progress,” Aul stated. “What happens though is that on a lot of systems, especially if you have gone through multiple driver updates, catalog files can accumulate and, suddenly, during the boot process you are scanning through a number of catalog files while you are waiting for, in order for the system to continue to load. So, embedding signing the driver will skip that step and that can save a considerable amount of time. Five to ten seconds on boot depending on the number of drivers and catalog files that are on the system.”

    Aul also indicated that Vista is in fact superior to CP when it comes down to launching applications. This is where Vista-exclusive technologies come in, with the focus on superfetch. Aul explained that on XP, the cold launch of applications involved accessing the disk for all the bits and hitting a bottleneck for performance. This is no longer valid in Windows Vista because of the caching performed by superfetch.

    “Having that stuff cached by superfetch means that your cold launch time if you’ve never launched this app in this session but superfetch has cached the data that predicts what I need, then than warm launch, or that cold launch time will be very, very close to warm. And, so, you should see with Vista that the app launch times are much more consistent than they were with XP when it could be very fast or very slow,” Aul explained.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  16. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 UAC, the Evolution

    One of the aspects of Windows Vista that is going to evolve in Windows 7 is the User Account Control.

    More criticized than praised, UAC in Vista represents just a milestone for Microsoft, according to Ben Fathi, vice president for core OS development, who revealed that the Redmond giant was ready to go all the way with the feature. Fathi stated that Microsoft had centralized both the negative and positive feedback on UAC and that Windows 7 would resolve some of the issues associated with the RTM edition of Windows Vista. The company has already toned down UAC with the release of Service Pack 1 for Vista.

    "Based on what we’ve learned from our data and feedback we need to address several key issues in Windows 7: reduce unnecessary or duplicated prompts in Windows and the ecosystem, such that critical prompts can be more easily identified; enable our customers to be more confident that they are in control of their systems; make prompts informative such that people can make more confident choices; and provide better and more obvious control over the mechanism," Fathi revealed.

    UAC is nothing more than a security mitigation introduced in Vista to force users to run with standard privileges and developers to build solutions for standard users. In this manner, although the User Account Control is by no means a security barrier, the Redmond company did manage to enhance the protection of end users.

    Fathi indicated that Windows Vista and UAC had changed the way that developers built applications. In this regard, software built for the successor of Windows XP no longer requires unnecessary administrator rights in order to install or run. This move has contributed to decreasing the attack area of the operating system and the exposure of end users.

    "As we evolve UAC for Windows 7 we will address the customer feedback and satisfaction issues with the prompts themselves. We’ve heard loud and clear that you are frustrated. You find the prompts too frequent, annoying, and confusing. We still want to provide you control over what changes can happen to your system, but we want to provide you a better overall experience," Fathi added.

    The UAC in Windows 7 will be less chatty than its precursor in Vista, while at the same time being a lot less confusing. The tests Microsoft conducted with the Windows 7 User Account Control indicated that 83% of respondents understood the information presented to them in the dialog box. Fathi indicated that there were two critical aspects on which Microsoft was focusing for the Windows 7 UAC.

    "1. Broaden the control you have over the UAC notifications. We will continue to give you control over the changes made to your system, but in Windows 7, we will also provide options such that when you use the system as an administrator you can determine the range of notifications that you receive. 2. Provide additional and more relevant information in the user interface. We will improve the dialog UI so that you can better understand and make more informed choices. We’ve already run new design concepts based on this principle through our in-house usability testing and we’ve seen very positive results," Fathi said.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  17. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsoft confirms Windows 7 is final name

    Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 will be the final name for the next generation operating system.

    In a blog, Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management confirmed the news.

    "Since we began development of the next version of the Windows client operating system we have been referring to it by a codename, "Windows 7." But now is a good time to announce that we've decided to officially call the next version of Windows, "Windows 7" Nash said.

    This is the first time a Windows OS has been named by its codename. The decision was made for simplicity. Nash added "this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore "Windows 7" just makes sense."

    Microsoft is set to reveal a lot more about Windows 7 at its professional developers conference which starts on the 27th October. Neowin will be live all week so look out for some great information about the future of Windows right here.

    source: windowsvistablog.com
     
  18. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Vista SP2 and Windows 7 by the End of June 2009

    The evolution of the Windows client, involving both Windows Vista (now with Service Pack 1) and Windows 7, appears to be closer than Microsoft is ready to acknowledge officially.

    Of course, Windows XP, even with Service Pack 3, is the past, with the exception of customers abandoning Windows Vista by exercising their downgrade rights. Windows Vista, even with SP1, is a present that makes the future seem to not get here fast enough. And Vista SP2 along with Windows 7 and Windows Cloud (Strata) are the future. But at the same time, both Vista SP2 and Windows 7 are nothing more than the evolution of Vista, to a lesser, and respectively a larger degree.

    Come the end of October 2008, and the start of November, Microsoft will deliver a rather consistent taste of where it is heading with Windows, not only Windows 7, but also Windows 7 Server and Windows Strata (the label continues to be unconfirmed by the company). Events such as the Professional Developer Conference 2008, Windows Hardware Conference 2008 and TechEd EMEA will be focused on Windows 7 and Windows Cloud, although less on Windows Vista.

    While at TechEd Brasil, at the start of this week, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer indicated that the company planned to unveil a range of new products by July 2009. Microsoft's CEO mentioned that, by the end of June 2009, the software giant would offer "client operating system releases." Microsoft is, of course, already cooking Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7.

    Ballmer stated that "Microsoft technologies: Windows, Windows Server, .NET, Visual Studio, Silverlight, SharePoint, Office (...) over the course of the 12 month period that ends June of next year, [are] just a subset of all of the exciting new innovations Microsoft will bring to market: client operating system releases, information management tools, security, gaming products and systems. The range of new technologies in some senses is growing and growing quickly." (emphasis added)


    Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2)
    Microsoft released Windows Vista RTM at the end of January 2007, not counting the business launch of the operating system in November 2006. Vista SP1 was released to manufacturing on February 4, 2008 concomitantly with Windows Server 2008, but was only made available for download starting March 18. Now the Redmond company has already moved onward to Service Pack 2.

    In fact Vista SP2 invites to the Beta program have already started to be sent out, according to Neowin. It is not Windows Vista SP2 that Microsoft is cooking, but also Windows Server 2008 SP2, Beta invites for which have also been sent out. Microsoft has yet to confirm anything officially, but the first Beta bits for Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 are reportedly going to testers in just four weeks.

    Still, while Service Pack 1 was the catalyst that took Vista RTM out of coma, making the operating system worthy of a long forgotten and discarded Wow label, SP2 is bound to be nothing more than a standard service pack release. At best, SP2 will take Vista forward just as much as SP1.

    The equation is rather simple for Microsoft. The company will end up with a repeat of the Windows XP SP2 – Windows Vista scenario in which both operating systems are available at the same time on the market, although this situation would involve Vista SP2 and Windows 7 RTM. The last thing that Microsoft needs is to evolve Vista with SP2 sufficiently enough that it will be capable to rival Windows 7. In this context, the answer is rather simple. The Redmond giant needs to keep Vista at a relative stand-still even with SP2, and focus all innovation on Windows 7.

    Windows 7, or Windows 6.1, or Windows Vista R2, or Windows Vista but "a lot better"

    The seventh major version of Windows, but only according to Microsoft's math, comes with no differentiation between the codename and the brand. However, Windows 7 will, for the sake of perpetuating the existing level of Vista software compatibility, be in fact Windows 6.1. At the same time, according to Ballmer, Windows 7 will be Vista, but “a lot better.” This makes Windows 7 an excellent candidate for the Windows Vista R2 label, just as Windows 7 Server is in fact Windows Server 2008 R2. Still, the early feedback on the Windows 7 moniker indicates that the management of the Windows 7 project made the right choice.

    "There you have it, Windows 7 now has a name. It’s called – Windows 7,” revealed Steve Clayton, Microsoft's UK Partner Group CTO. “To be honest I was quite surprised but also pretty pleased. The naming decision as Mike Nash says is about simplicity. It’ll certainly save us from all having to unlearn the name we’ve all had for it to date. I expect this naming decision will be debated to death on all the usual sites, but me, I’m just happy we settled on a name. Now let’s get to the PDC and get the bits!"

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  19. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsoft to Mac enterprise bloggers: How much to sell out Apple?

    Vista is much better than Mac OS X, right? For the enterprise. And how much will it take to get you to write up that thesis?

    Such was the pitch that arrived in my inbox today from marketing company Studio B., a Great Neck, N.Y., marketing company associated with Microsoft and the Microsoft Press. The firm wondered if I’d like to write some “corporate custom content” for a client.

    According to the Studio B. site, the company “supported” the Microsoft Commerce Server 2007 rollout with marketing sales and marketing tools as well as providing trainers for early adopters.

    Here is the text of the letter:

    One of our customers has asked us write up a technical marketing case for Windows Vista over Mac OSX in the enterprise. I’m contacting you to see if you know anyone who would be interested and capable of writing this based on background materials we have.

    The candidate should have a good understanding of client systems in the enterprise and the technologies behind issues that are important in the enterprise (deployment, manageability, work group and policy management, security, suitability of developer platforms for line of business applications, tech support, licensing, TCO).

    We have some background materials that include a 75 page technical document called “Apple in the Enterprise” and other summaries of technical points, but it all needs to be put together to make the case.

    It’s not too hard to figure out who the customer is here. The price to sell out the Mac in the enterprise is $15,000. But my guess is that this fee may be negotiable upwards depending on the brand of the author in question.

    Can it be that the Mac and the iPhone are gaining enough traction in the enterprise to start ringing alarm bells in Redmond? It appears so.

    Certainly, the Windows consumer group was working overtime on the night before Apple released its notebooks refresh. Microsoft’s marketing team pounded the Windows press with the message of an “Apple tax.” Mary Jo Foley’s column in All About Microsoft makes interesting reading.

    However, on the enterprise front, we may be seeing the result of increasing demand by Mac switchers in the executive ranks, who have been hounding IT departments for support. These switchers have been helped by the continuing progress with Windows virtualization for the Mac as well as increasing support by enterprise software vendors for native Mac versions (an important story at the upcoming Macworld Expo in January).

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  20. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 to RTM within a year?

    Microsoft has let the cat out of the bag a week early and stated "there is not another WinHEC planned before Windows 7 is released."

    Blogger Long Zheng noticed the admission on Microsoft's WinHEC 2008 site.

    As the WinHEC conference is an annual affair, providing the conference isn't cancelled next year then this would put Windows 7 on target for a RTM before November next year.

    The revelation follows comments from ASUS CEO Jerry Shen discussing the future of the ASUS Eee PC in an interview with Laptop Mag. "I think in the future in the second half of next year we will put Windows 7 on Eee PCs" said Shen.

    If all of this is true and Microsoft is on target with Windows 7 then recent rumours of a Beta 1 in December would not be far off.

    Microsoft will be unveiling the full Windows 7 desktop during a keynote by Steven Sinofsky at its professional developers conference in Los Angeles next Tuesday. Attendees will also be given access to a pre-beta build during the PDC.

    source: neowin.net