Monthly Archives: July 2009

Windows 7 ‘E’ edition for Europe scrapped!

Good news for folks in the European Union who plan on upgrading to Windows 7, there will be no special temporary ‘Windows 7 E edition’, Microsoft confirmed this evening to CNET News:

It looks like there won’t be a browserless version of Windows 7, after all.

Microsoft said late Friday that it won’t ship the Windows 7 "E" version of Windows even though Europe has yet to sign off on its revised plan. The plan calls for the company to ship Windows 7 with Internet Explorer, but present a ballot screen in which users in Europe can decide whether they want Internet Explorer or another browser.

The software maker had originally proposed shipping Windows 7 in Europe without a browser at all–the so-called "E" version of the operating system. However, European regulators indicated that might not satisfy its concerns.

Read the entire article here

The good news too, pre-orders will revert to Windows 7 with Internet Explorer, but will contain a ballot with additional third party web browsers from which users can select. Pre-orders made available this summer will still be the Full Packaged Product license that customers receive. Customers in Europe will not have to do a clean install either and will be able to do an upgrade from Windows Vista SP1 or later.

This is great news for everyone and it sounds like a good compromised is being reached with other web browser developers too!

Resources

A Quick Look: Customizing your Windows 7 Installation

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A Look at the Anytime Upgrade Process – Windows Team Blog

In addition to pricing information for Windows Anytime Upgrade, Brandon Leblanc gave a quick tutorial of how the process works. Check it out here

Back in April, I took a look at the Anytime Upgrade process and I must say I was most impressed by how quick and simple the entire process is. Here is an excerpt from that article:

The amazing thing about Anytime Upgrade is how quick and simple the process is, Microsoft estimates at least 10 minutes in comparison to Vista’s 30 minute or more process. Based on my trial, it was at least 7 minutes, some persons have even reported at least 5 mins for Anytime Upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Ultimate.

If you are running supported SKU’s such as Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium or even Professional, you will have the option of upgrading to a higher SKU. Microsoft has made each of the SKU’s a subset of features, so a user can do an Anytime Upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Professional, unlike Vista which only allowed Anytime Upgrades from certain SKU’s:

Vista Home Basic – Home Premium or Ultimate
Vista Business – Ultimate

All that has changed, if you want to move from Home Premium to Professional, you will have that option. No need to reinstall your applications or backup your personal data.

Read the entire experience here

Resources

Windows Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack Pricing details revealed
Upgrading: Starting the Move to Windows 7 Release Candidate

Related

Dell Windows 7 Option Upgrade Program
More information on Windows 7: Pricing and Availability
Windows 7 Editions – More detailed information
Official: Microsoft Confirms Windows 7 Editions

 

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Filed under Windows 7

Windows Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack Pricing details revealed

Brandon Leblanc today discusses the much anticipated information about Windows 7 upgrade details: Windows Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack Licensing. Here is what he had to say:

Most people buy a PC preinstalled with the edition of Windows that meets their unique needs. However, for some customers their needs may change over time.

With Windows Anytime Upgrade (or WAU), we make it super easy and convenient for the small number of customers who’s PC needs evolve to need a higher edition of Windows 7.

There are a couple of specific situations where we think WAU will prove useful:

A customer may purchase a netbook thinking they would use primarily it for email. Over time, they find they are using that netbook as their primary every-day PC. That person decides they want their netbook to do more. If the netbook is running Windows 7 Starter (or Windows 7 Home Basic in select markets), WAU makes it super easy to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium. Moving to Windows 7 Home Premium will allow that customer to take advantage of features such as Aero Peek and other enhanced functionality in the Windows Taskbar in Windows 7 such as Taskbar Previews. Desktop themes are also enabled and so is Remote Media Streaming.

With the Windows 7 release, Microsoft is introducing Family Pack licensing which entitles you to install the Home Premium edition on a total of 3 PC’s. This is fantastic news for multiple PC homes. As Brandon notes, having multiple PC’s on your home network running Windows 7 opens up a lot of rich capabilities, such as the super easy networking through HomeGroups, Media Streaming, efficient sharing of resources and a whole lot more.

Today, most homes have more than one PC in them. When you run Windows 7 on more than one PC on a home network, you can do more with features like HomeGroup. HomeGroup allows people to connect to PCs on their network and share files, music and photos with the whole family – easily. The Windows 7 Family Pack is an easy and affordable way to get all your PCs in your household running Windows 7 through licensing to install Windows 7 Home Premium on up to 3 PCs.

Cost:

The pricing for Windows 7 Anytime upgrades will vary depending on the edition you have installed on your PC, lets take a look:

  • Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium: $79.99
  • Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional: $89.99
  • Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate: $139.99

Brandon also notes that Anytime Upgrade under the Windows 7 line up is much cheaper, by at least 12% in the US as compared to Vista pricing. As for he family pack licensing:

  • $149.99 for 3 Windows 7 Home Premium licenses, that’s a saving of $200 for 3 licenses.

I think its a fantastic deal that will encourage a lot of folks to upgrade and take advantage of all of the powerful capabilities built into Windows 7 that make it fun and easy to use. The performance of Windows 7 is exceptional, I have been running the RC on a AMD Sempron 512 MBs of RAM and I am very impressed by responsive and productive that PC is to use now.

Read the entire article here to learn all the details

Resources

Networking made easy with HomeGroups in Windows 7
Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade – Unlocking more benefits with less effort
Upgrading: Starting the Move to Windows 7 Release Candidate

Related

Dell Windows 7 Option Upgrade Program
More information on Windows 7: Pricing and Availability
Windows 7 Editions – More detailed information
Official: Microsoft Confirms Windows 7 Editions

 

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Filed under Windows 7

Windows 7 Technical Testers Get a Lovely Thank You!

If you are a member of Microsoft’s Private Windows Technical Beta Program, the Windows Team made a lot of people happy today. To show their appreciation for their hard work and feedback, testers will be receiving a complimentary copy of Windows 7 Ultimate for helping to make Windows 7 such as terrific release. Here is what Brandon Leblanc of Windows 7 Team blog had to say:

Last week, I blogged that members of the Windows Technical Beta Program would not be receiving a complimentary copy of Windows 7. Normally I hate to be wrong but in this case, I’m stoked that I am.

To show our appreciation, members of the invitation-only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program will be eligible for a free, final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. For more information on how to take advantage of this, refer to Paul’s post in the .Beta_Program newsgroup for details.

Tell Paul that Brandon sent you – and be sure to thank him!

Learn more here

Resources

Microsoft Connect
Engineering Windows 7 Blog

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Filed under Windows 7

The improved Windows Live Movie Maker coming is HOT!

The folks over at Windows Live enthusiast LiveSide web site managed to get a hold of some of the major improvements that are coming in the next update to the new Windows Live Movie Maker first introduced with this years release of Windows Live Essentials. Persons have complained about the lack in functionality and some favorites missing from its predecessor Windows Movie Maker 6. The Windows Live Movie Maker Team seem to have listened and I am seeing some lovely engineering take place:

Enhanced Live Movie Maker with more visual effects.

Notable enhancements:

  • “AutoMovie” – which will automatically “add titles, credits, transitions, and effects, and fits it all together for you.
  • Contextual Video and Music Tabs.
  • Dozens of new animations, transitions and visual effects will also be available.
  • Direct upload to YouTube instead, built-in right out-of-the-box.

New AutoMovie for creating quick movies on the fly

There is still no timeline, but the Live Movie Maker folks are said to be working on something like it. I’m interested to see how this will substitute such a reliable feature. But I am so far impressed with what I am seeing in these early screenshots. Can’t wait to try it out!

Check out addition screenshots at LiveSide.net here

Related

Talking about The future of Windows Live Movie Maker
Movies on the Go with Windows Live Movie Maker BETA
Windows Live Movie Maker Beta Update
Important information regarding MSN Soapbox‏ Shutdown
Get your wishes in for the next wave of Windows Live
Windows Live Essentials the Recap

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Windows 7 has finally RTMed! – A Look back over the past 10 months

Its a spectacular moment for the technology industry, Microsoft today announced that they have completed the most critical phase of Microsoft Windows 7’s development "Release to Manufacturering". Here is what Microsoft President for Windows, Steven Sinofsky had to say about this major event:

Today marks an important milestone in the Windows 7 project. The Windows 7 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we have started to release Windows 7 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next major milestone will be the availability of PCs loaded with Windows 7 and store shelves stocked with Windows 7 on October 22, 2009.

Steven Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer at MGX in Atlanta. Steve Ballmer holding a gold RTM disc

This is a milestone we could not have achieved without the broad participation across the PC Ecosystem we have talked so much about on this blog. Windows 7 is a product not just of Microsoft, but of a whole industry of partners of all kinds. Throughout the development of Windows 7 we’ve seen an incredible engagement from so many people that have contributed to making the Windows 7 engineering project one we, collectively, feel good about. The feedback and collaboration throughout the development of Windows 7 has been outstanding and valuable beyond measure. This work has created the kind of experience so many of you have talked about in this blog—the ability to use a broad range of PC hardware and peripherals with a great setup and out of box experience. On behalf of the Windows team and all of the successful installations and device connections, please let me extend an incredible “thank you” to all of our hardware partners who have done such excellent work….

On behalf of the Windows 7 engineering team we want to thank you very much for your contributions throughout development and your contributions yet to come to Windows 7. THANK YOU!

Next stop, October 22, 2009!

–The Windows 7 team

Read the entire post HERE

Since we have reached this amazing day that the industry has been waiting patiently for so long, lets, take a trip down memory lane:

RTM Build Number:
7600.16385

Windows 7 RTM Launch Video here

Build 6801: Windows 7 Technical Preview
Build 7000: Windows 7 Technical Beta
Build 7100: Windows 7 Release Candidate

Windows 7 Articles:

Quick Look Windows 7 in the Workplace – Remote Desktop
In Awe of Windows 7 for the very first time
My Software Library and Windows 7 – Compatibility Experiences
Troubleshooting Hero’s in Windows 7
Quick look at Credential Manager in Windows 7
More information on Windows 7: Pricing and Availability
Official look at the new Windows 7 Packaging
Upgrading to…ur Migrating to Windows 7 from Windows XP
Quick Look: Windows 7 in the workplace – Joining a Domain
A Tour of Windows Explorer and Control Panel in Windows 7
A Tour of my Windows 7 Desktop
Creating a Backup of your Windows 7 Install
Using and benefiting from Virtual Windows XP
Remote Assistance in Windows 7: Lending a helping Hand is even easier
A Quick Look: Customizing your Windows 7 Installation
Improved Recovery Options in Windows 7
Windows Easy Transfer: Lessons Learned
Getting your PC ready for Windows 7 Release Candidate
Improved Windows 7 Applets – Productivity Boosters
Configuring Libraries and your Devices – Richard Hay
The Complete Guide On How To Install Windows 7 RC by AboKevin
Windows 7 Final System Requirements
Windows Easy Transfer: Starting the Move to Windows 7 Release Candidate
Upgrading: Starting the Move to Windows 7 Release Candidate
Installation: Starting the Move to Windows 7 Release Candidate
Interacting with the Windows 7 Desktop – Fun Time Savers
In depth look at the Windows 7 Taskbar and Start Menu
UPDATE: Windows Internet Explorer 8 RTM Review
Windows Explorer – What’s new in Windows 7?
Networking made easy with HomeGroups in Windows 7
Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade – Unlocking more benefits with less effort
A Look at Windows Backup and Windows Update in 7
Playing with Windows Media Player 12

I look forward to continue sharing my experiences with so many of you who have visited my blog over the past 10 months to learn about Windows 7 and the major benefits it has to offer. This was definitely one of the smoothest beta releases of Windows yet, a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS must go out to the Windows 7 Team and Windows Server 2008 R2 Team for completing this mammoth task. Its not easy to enhance a product for 1.2 billion customers world wide. Windows 7 is a testament to excellent software engineering and I definitely looking forward to upgrading all my systems to it this coming October! Stay tuned for the ActiveWin.com Windows 7 RTM Review which I am in the progress of preparing. 🙂

Andre

 

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Important information regarding MSN Soapbox‏ Shutdown

The MSN Soapbox Team confirmed today that they will be discontinuing its user generated video content service, here is what they had to say:

Attention Soapbox Users,

MSN will no longer offer Soapbox, the user generated video service within MSN Video, as of August 31, 2009. Beginning on July 29, you will no longer be able to upload videos to Soapbox. People who have uploaded videos to Soapbox will have until August 31, 2009 to download them. Please make sure you download your videos by this date if you would like to keep them. We will have a notice running in the Soapbox service to remind you to download your videos. It is our goal that you download and keep all of the videos you uploaded that are important to you. Online video is a key part of the MSN experience and we will continue to offer a rich experience on MSN Video. We will also continue to invest in delivering great customer experiences, while keeping a keen eye on our business objectives during this tough economic climate. Thank you for your support of MSN Video. More details and download instructions are available at: http://video.msn.com/shutdown.html

Thank you for using Soapbox.

The MSN Video Team

Microsoft launched MSN Soapbox in 2006. From my point of view, MSN Soapbox never caught on primarily because of the wildfire that was already set by rival YouTube, which really started the phenomenon itself and later ended being bought by Google. Other factors I believe included a more open platform that was not specifically tied to being invitation only or some form of upcoming technology (Flash vs Silverlight), it was all about the content for YouTube.

 

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