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Microsoft Closes Windows 7 Beta Downloads

Gordon Kelly

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Microsoft Closes Windows 7 Beta Downloads

Attention everyone! Attention! Your chance to download the luscious Windows 7 beta from Microsoft has now gone. XP users you needed this. Vista owners you really needed this (if only to see what Vista should have been).

This sad day comes after Microsoft not once, but twice extended the platform's availability. At first it lifted the 2.5m downloads cap and secondly it pushed the deadline from January to this very day. If you did start downloading but have yet to finish then you have two days drink download, erm... up time.

To recap, both 32bit and 64bit editions of Windows 7 were available for free evaluation in Arabic, English, German, Hindi and Japanese language options. Testers will have use of the beta until at least August when functionality will then become restricted but you will not be locked out of your computer altogether. Personally speaking I expect Microsoft to extend this if it hasn't gotten Windows 7 out the door by then.

If you missed out, not all is lost however as Microsoft will continue to issue licence keys for the beta until August so if you know a friend who has a copy or can snag a copy from the various online/P2P sites then you're still in business.

As for any tips? Well, I've been using Windows 7 as my primary OS for almost a month now and I've conversed and cogitated on the subject until the cows came home (then went back out again as I was too busy cogitating to feed them). My conclusion in all this:

Get It! Get it now!

Link:

Windows 7 Beta Download Page (Product keys still available)

Bytes

February 10, 2009, 11:42 pm

I tried Win7 deeply, and I still prefer Vista 64-bit.


Sure Win7 is faster and feels lighter and has great feature. But at least it's usable. Under Windows 7 when you maximize a window the boarders and superbar stays transparent and it makes things hard to read on those areas, distracting, useless (really there is NO benefit), and if you have any bright background or change or animated background, then you keep thinking that Windows want your attention on something.





Hopefully it will corrected. Else, I'll stick with Vista 64-bit. Beside, Vista 64-bit is the Vista that should have been. It's a shame people uses the last minute 32-bit adaptation which Microsoft should get an awarded for making a OS at such speed.





In conclusion, Windows 7 is great, impressive, but unusable for serious work. Sure you can disable Aero... or remove the transparency, but that just defeats the purpose of having Aero.

rav

February 10, 2009, 11:43 pm

Got it running on one of my machines and like it a lot. don't think its a major jump from Vista though. More like loads of little usability enhancements.





The best difference is the performance improvement.

Keldon

February 11, 2009, 12:15 am

Didnt realise the deadline for this today, Grabbed a copy of the 64bit edition as the weekend but have yet to install it :)

smc8788

February 11, 2009, 2:41 am

@ Bytes - That's the only reason you don't like 7?! Sure not everyone will like it but I would hardly say it makes it 'unusable'. I didn't even notice it until I had been using it for a few days. Overall I think 7 looks much cleaner and professional compared to the cluttered, messy look of Vista.





What *is* the point of Aero, apart from making things look nice? The regular non-aero interface is exactly the the same without all the jazz.

Gordon394

February 11, 2009, 2:51 am

@Bytes - wow, I have to admit that is one of the biggest deal breakers I've ever known ;)





Personally I really like the effect, doesn't bother me in the slightest - animated wallpapers or not.

xenos

February 11, 2009, 3:46 am

Its brilliant using it on my main system until its officially released or otherwise updated. :-)

jingyeow

February 11, 2009, 3:54 am

There is something pretty misleading going on. Win 7 at its current stage is not all that stable. It frequently hangs at shutdown. Windows Media Player 12 often hangs or becomes unresponsive and trying to end processes in the task manager (or items that have hung or become unresponsive) is ITSELF unresponsive. I do like everything about Win7 when it works correctly, but at the moment, is it better than Vista SP1. No.





I'm annoyed that TrustedReviews keeps hyping it up so. I can see plenty becoming disappointed when they do eventually move. It's incredibly similar to Vista if you take the taskbar aside from a user perspective. I tried to use this on my main computer and despite making many sacrifices in terms of incompatible software, not being able to relying on your computer to shutdown or complete a file transfer makes an OS not so very attractive.

Guest

February 11, 2009, 4:44 am

Have been switching between Vista and Win7 beta for last few weeks, and the difference is really quite small. On my PC I cannot tell any performance difference at all. Overall Win7 is a bit nicer, but there are things that I find worse.





For example, the new task bar, whilst at first seems "cool", is actually a bit annoying after a while and slower to use. ("Hovering over a button", "wait for popup", then "select window"....is actually quite a bit slower than "Click on required icon" - I NEVER have Grouping turned on in Vista). You can turn grouping off in Win7 as well, but then you end up with a weird looking toolbar that kinda looks like Vista - but the icons you have pinned (which aren't loaded) splatter all over the place. Just looks untidy - bring back Quicklaunch PLEASE!





Libraries are good and a useful improvement - but don't seem to work for Network drives (great for business. NOT!).





"XP users you needed this. Vista owners you really needed this"


Sorry, I totally disagree with that statement and am frustrated by TR's OTT statements like this. I am not convinced that in the main Win7 will convince XP users to switch any more than Vista did. Likewise, I think Vista users will feel "What's the big deal - why all the hype?". I have a friend who is totally XP (won't touch Vista) - he installed the beta to have a look and his remarks were "Hmm, it's Vista with some tweaks. Not sure I will change unless I have to".

racey1979

February 11, 2009, 5:28 am

Damn it, missed out. When will it be released fully, or when is it supposed to be? Microsoft says the BETA will stop working in August.


Ive never had that much bother using Vista 64 bit, and id just like to draw your attention to the link below!!





http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

Gordon394

February 11, 2009, 7:20 am

@darkspark88 - it has to differ from person to person but I've had one blue screen in a month. I suspect it's due to XP/Vista orientated software. I refer you to @xenos for a contrast.


@Steve32 I believe the new taskbar is what changes the whole experience. I find it far faster to use. If you never have grouping then I guess you don't open a lot of programmes which should make the new taskbar even faster. Given the tabs in browsers the only thing I have grouped these days are Word documents. You have to accept it though, quick launch isn't coming back (it's not even going to be an option) and while it may take time to get used to it simple IS a huge step forward. Trust me - 18 months down the line this will not be a discussion.


@Andrew - you can download it anywhere and just get a key from the official site. Regarding the review, Jon doesn't work for us anymore but I suspect if I chase him down he'd have changed his opinion long term. That said, with any review there is rarely universal team opinion. Take the Samsung Omnia for example... we gave it a 7 (a score heavily attacked for being too harsh)... I'd have given that a 5. Tops!

Ian Yates

February 11, 2009, 3:32 pm

I'm with Gordon here.


I'm a Vista SP1 convert (XP SP2 at work, and I miss more of Vista at work than XP at home), and I like the incremental improvements that Win7 has brought - especially the new taskbar.


Can't wait for release, but I'm going to reserve judgement until I know the upgrade price from Vista Ultimate - I'm not paying another &#163300+ for something that feels incremental.


No stability issues here - but then, subjectively, I've never found Vista less stable than XP.

Guest

February 11, 2009, 3:39 pm

@Gordon - Actually, I open lots of Windows all the time (Worked in IT for 20 years, spend 10+ hours a day looking at a screen (sadly)). As I speak I have 17 windows open (Notes email, Outlook, 5 Word docs, 3 Excel , 4 Browser Windows, 2 RDP Sessions, iTunes). But, I do have a large monitor and always have the task bar two rows high. I simply know where windows are and click on the window I want, when I want. I can still do this in Win7 - it just looks a bit scruffy scruffy. Also, I have 5 Word docs open at the moment - finding them is just slightly slower with grouping on. I have to hover over the icon, wait for the windows to pop, then move the mouse to the one I want.





None of this would stop me using Win7, but for the way I work, it doesn't really improve things. OK, on a low resolution screen, single row taskbar, it may well by a HUGE STEP FORWARD - but as it wasn't even broken for me, it simply isn't.





I am glad Win7 has converted you to the Vista way of thinking, but please also accept other peoples opinions about Win7. In many ways Win7 is better, but it also isn't perfect, and it is just Vista evolved to me.

HarryGlass

February 11, 2009, 4:16 pm

@darkspark88 nearly every review & blog says win7 is incredibly stable, not just TR, there's a few known bugs that cause it to crash - but hey it is a beta. Did you run it as an upgrade? That's reportedly less stable than a clean install. Otherwise I'd say you've got a driver conflict.





@Steve32 I can see your point, though that said the new functionality on the toolbar is great otherwise and once the next version of Office comes out I'm sure you'll be praising the toolbar; it's ahead of it's time in a way. I think it would be good if you could disable grouping for just one program though, giving the best of both worlds.





@Every one: I find it strange that people say "it's just a coat of paint on Vista" or some such. Isn't that the case with most software? Just about every feature in Win7 is improved with new features & functionality over Vista making things much easier to use (the odd taskbar issue aside). Vista is better than XP, this is better again and since it runs faster and smoother than Vista it's really time for XP diehards to move on from what will be a 10 year old OS by the time Win7 is released.





@TR: unrelated to all this, can you fix your adverts? There's always a flash ad on the right hand side that covers the top of the story or the first comment. Probably you're running FF with AdBlocker and don't notice it, but I actually prefer IE8 (otherwise) and so find it ungainly. And when are you going to put in "remember me", it's a hassle to login every time you want to comment.

smc8788

February 11, 2009, 5:26 pm

@ HK - I agree. It's foolish to expect a complete fundamental overhaul of the OS, especially given the 2.5 year development/release time frame, when Vista was released over 5 years after XP. There really isn't *that* much wrong with Vista in the first place, anyway, so I don't think it particularly needs a complete overhaul, just tweaking and improvements, which is what they have done.





Having said that, I won't be upgrading my current computer or laptop as it isn't really economically sensible to do so in my opinion, as long as I can get DX11 on Vista and there aren't any new worthwhile features. I will be looking forward to using it when I build my next computer towards the end of the year, though.





@ darkspark88 - 99.9% of software that is compatible with Vista is also compatible with Windows 7.

basicasic

February 11, 2009, 6:19 pm

So to sum up then. Compared to Vista Windows 7:





1. Has a new taskbar.


2. Maybe a bit faster


3. er .... thats it.





Excellent.

aaron88

February 11, 2009, 6:53 pm

@steve32 - You don't have to "hover and wait" for the items to come up on the task bar. You can just click on the icon and all the windows pop up straight. So with just 2 quick clicks you can find what you want. I think this is faster than on Vista because even though it requires 1 more click, you can find the window you want instantly from the picture instead of trying to work it out from half a name on the task bar.

Guest

February 11, 2009, 11:37 pm

@aaron88 - hover/click, yeah whatever - it is an extra action to perform. I am glad the new system works for you. For me I can deduce the icon I want from the first few letters of the description (most of the time)....in fact I usually just know where things are so barely have to look at all.





But, let's not blow this out of proportion - I don't hate (or even dislike) the new taskbar. I just pointed out that it isn't quite that wonderful either. At the end fo the day, it is only a means to and end (and accounts for a small fraction of the time I spend using a PC). It certainly doesn't make or break an OS for me. There are other more important things in Win7 for me.





My main frustration is the whole "Vista Sucks, Win7 is the best thing since sliced bread" commentary that a number of sites seem to persist with. As most comments in this thread seem to agree, XP was good, Vista (once fixed) was an improvement and Win7 improves things further. It is evolution not revolution.

BinnsY768

February 12, 2009, 3:25 am

@Steve32





Have to say I get annoyed by the exact same comments. I've found Vista to be a brilliant OS, my install of buisness 64 is almost 16 months old now and still running as sweetly as the day I installed it which is something I certainly don't remember XP doing after that long.





I love vista, I run it on both my desktop and my laptop and simply cannot imagine going back to XP. For me Vista was the massive step up from XP, it offered so much more and all it asked was that I offer it more power which I was fine with. Now 7 is coming along and from the looks of it is going to offer me even more speed for the same power.





If thats true then it does indeed sound fantastic but it will be Vista that we have to thank for that, not XP.

samclam

February 13, 2009, 3:14 am

You can easily download Windows 7 else where.


Still crashes with BSOD, so does Vista SP1, at least XP doesn't any more.


Apple had the balls to get rid of OS 9 and go with Unix (BSD) but lock you into their overpriced hardware. Microsoft never build a good core OS, just endless patches.


So that leaves Linux Ubuntu for me.

Tony Walker

February 15, 2009, 4:37 pm

Didn't get a single blue screen but had plenty of lock-ups with 32-bit "7" on my current system.





Have just built a new (i7) system and needed an OS so have put the 64-bit "7" on it and will see how I go.





As a slight aside, have you seen how much the price of an OEM copy of Vista has gone up recntly?

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