For those of you who have been holding out on switching over from XP to Microsoft’s latest OS, now there’s absolutely no reason not to move on to the next one. Windows 7′s first service pack is now available to download. Though you won’t notice any UI enhancements, SP1 promises to keep lingering bugs in check and grants you access to all of Microsoft’s future OS improvements and updates. If Windows Update has yet to inform you about the news, manually check for the update or click here. (And as for you non-converts Windows 7 may share aesthetics with its buggy predecessor Vista, but you’ve nothing to fear, especially with SP1 under its belt.)
After almost an entire year of teases, demos, random resurfaces, and handlings on YouTube, the once mysterious HP Slate has been formally announced and detailed. What was originally intended for the consumer market has been tailored and made destined for “business, enterprise and vertical customers.” (You can thank HP’s aquisition of Palm and their current plans of designing webOS tablets for this slight shakeup in marketing.) By now you should know the Slate’s specs by heart, but let’s run through them anyway, you know, for fun. Weighing in at 1.5 pounds, the Slate features a 8.9-inch (1024×600) capacitive multitouch display, 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD, 802.11n WiFi, rear-facing 5 megapixel camera (for taking still images and video), front-facing VGA camera (for video chat), and a Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video accelerator to help provide 1080p video playback. Ports-wise there’s 1 USB, a headphone jack, an SD card slot, and a mic. A myriad of buttons surround the bezel; there’s a home button, a keyboard button that brings up and hides the on-screen keyboard, volume up/down buttons, and a Ctrl-Alt-Delete key.
The Slate 500 runs a clean version of Windows 7 Professional; you won’t find any kind of HP skin here, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences. Unlike Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android Froyo platform, Windows 7 was not designed from the ground up for touch input. A capacitive screen and a fairly speedy Intel processor will get the job done, but just barely. If you are willing to learn how to navigate a made for mouse-and-keyboard OS using your fat fingers, go for it. All I’m saying is that it might be hard to justify dropping $799 for a tablet of this kind. A worthy iPad contender this is not. If you’re anti-Apple, I’d recommend purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab over the Slate any day.
But enough of my gripes. Let’s talk Slate accessories and release details. It ships with a Wacom active digital pen to use for note taking and writing emails. It also comes with a dock fitted with an HDMI port for video out and a “portfolio” case. Again the Slate will ship for $799 and it’s coming to the U.S. first (at an undisclosed date) and will then be “evaluated for further market expansion.”
Look in the gallery below for stills and after the break for official PR.
Finally, a decent parody of those insanely annoying “I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea” commercials. College Humor-approved. Slightly NSFW.
Remember that mysterious tablet from HP that was breifly handled at the Microsoft keynote at this year’s CES? Well HP CTO Phil McKinney is here to go into a bit more detail about the origins of the HP Slate. At its core it’s a multitouch tablet that runs Window 7; it’s the “rich media experience” that promises to set it apart from the rest of the pack. It’s set to release sometime this year.
Don’t mind the “auto-tune” nonsense. The original version cannot be embedded. ..Enjoy Will’s “Windows 7 Rising.”
Here’s a couple treats for you. Apple has already started the anti-ad war against Windows 7 with this latest (and in my opinion, one of the greatest) “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” advertisement. Look after the break for two more new Windows 7 bashing ads.
Nerd alert: Remember the picture of the Windows 7-branded burger from Burger King? Well here’s proof that it existed and that people paid the premium to eat it. Gross. Look after the break for a second burger video.
The day has finally come. Windows 7, Microsoft’s next major operating system, is out today. Will it turn out to be the “Vista fix” and live up to its positive initial reviews? Only time will tell.
Alongside the release there has been a handful of Windows-related news to peruse. First there’s a slew of new Windows commercials featuring a new tagline; “I’m a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea.” Heck, it works. Check out one commercial here, and look after the break for two others.
Next up is the grand opening of the Microsoft Store. The first MS retail store opened in Scottsdale, AZ today, exciting hundreds of Windows fanboys (and girls) who camped outside the mall overnight. The first four people on-line received free Zune HDs and other early customers received some other freebies. From some YouTube video footage and in-store images the Microsoft Store looks very much like an Apple Store, except with more vibrant colors and, obviously, Windows-related products such as Surface tables and Xbox 360s. The video below is the fascinating countdown of the store’s morning launch; the countdown starts (so appropriately and to the glee of the rabid fans) at 7. For a glimpse at the inside of the store, look after the break for a video featuring the welcoming colorful staff and see the gallery below for some stills. [Also noteworthy is that the online Microsoft Store is up and running, too. It offers MS and third party products and services to purchase online.]
Two more less significant but equally relevant newsbits. Today in Paris a “Microsoft Cafe” opened its doors to the public. Besides it being the onlyofficial Windows-themed cafe in the world, there isn’t much else to say about it. It offers free WiFi service to its customers and there are a myriad of Windows products for customers to play with as they sip their coffee and eat their pastries. See the gallery below for some stills of the Windows Cafe.
This last bit of news is quite freaky, actually. In Japan, Burger King introduced the “Windows 7 Whopper,” a 5-inch tall beast of a burger that packs (you guessed it) seven patties. Customers are forced to pay a premium for this…unique treat (777 yen/$8.53).
Oh, one more thing. Remember that over-the-top awesomely awkward “How to throw a Windows 7 party” ad Microsoft made some time ago? Well the good patrons at Funny or Die have created the ultimate parody of it. Check it out in the video below.
And that’s a wrap. Now that Windows 7 is out…what are you waiting for?! If you are a Vista user or looking to purchase a new PC, upgrading/adopting is a no-brainer. If you are still using XP, hesitance is natural (thanks, Vista) but you should definitely consider jumping into the next generation OS. If you’re that skeptical about it, it doesn’t hurt to wait for Service Pack 1. If you’re a Mac user–I’ll just shut up. Windows 7 is finally here. PARTAY…or don’t.
Here we have a Lenovo T400s laptop running a clean version of Windows 7 and Phoenix’s Instant Boot BIOS. Note: The laptop is not coming out of sleep mode; it is in the off-state at the start of the video. It “boots in about one second and will get you to the Windows 7 desktop in less than eleven seconds.” That is speedy! However, as Gizmodo points out, it must be taken into consideration that this quick boot time is helped by a solid-state hard drive and a bloatware-free copy of Windows with Areo visualizations turned off.
I hate to use the phrase “all versions” in the a sentence that is about an operating system, but the geniuses at Microsoft leave me no choice.
Windows 7 will come in six different editions: Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. Of these six editions, four of them will be available to the general public in the US: Starter, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. (The others were developed for different countries.) If you would to know “which one is right for you,” take a look at what Microsoft has to say on the decision-making process.
Up until this point Microsoft made it clear that all netbooks would be restricted to the Windows 7 Starter Edition, meaning that all netbooks would be limited to running at most three applications at a time. That stinks, I know. Fortunately, though, Microsoft has given it some thought and has decided to remove this restriction from the Starter Edition, andallow netbooks to run any version of Windows 7. In other words, you can run the dumbed down Starter Edition or you can rock the Ultimate Edition with Areo Peek features and all. As the release of the new OS dawns upon us (October 22), it looks like Microsoft is trying to do anything and everything to ease the transition from the troubled Vista to what may be its savior, Windows 7.
It features some great music, cool visual effects, and most importantly, it shows off some of Windows 7′s best new features including the new Start menu, the Areo visualizations, and the themes.
With the release of Windows 7 just around the corner (October 22), Microsoft has created an instructional video about how to make the perfect launch party to celebrate the new operating system. It is so lame it’s kinda funny. (Can you say awkward actors interacting in the most awkward of ways?) It is a six minute video, and you should not watch it in it’s entirety. However, you should at least scrub through it. Why, you ask? YouTube user “cabel” has created a parody of the video, and it is funny, in the inappropriate kind of way. So funny, in fact, that it makes the effort of the Microsoft advertisers who made the original worthwhile! Check out the parody video after the break. (Click here for more…)
This is unbelievable. It’s actually quite obnoxious. It is the official Windows 7 upgrade chart from Microsoft. Moving or upgrading from one OS to another is supposed to be an easy task. One company that gets this right is Apple. When a new version of OS X comes out, a Mac customer simply goes to a store, picks up a single copy of the new OS, and downloads it to his or her computer, hastle-free. One company that gets it completely wrong is Microsoft. To start things off on a bad note, Microsoft stocks the shelves with more than one copy of a new OS (usually more than 4 versions). To make things more confusing, they create a chart like the one posted above. An upgrade chart is supposed to be helpful and aid a PC customer in the upgrade process. What this chart does is make things so much more confusing and aggrevating; it presses the fact that there is more than 1 single version of Windows 7 and Windows Vista and it makes things less clear with terms like “custom install” and “in-place upgrade.” This chart contains 66 different senarios to choose from; also, it “includes an entire row dedicated to a product that doesn’t exist: Windows Vista Starter 64-bit edition (Vista Starter is available in 32-bit only)”–that’s blasphemy!
So, what is there to do? Leave it to ZDNet’s Ed Bott to clean up the chart and make it readable. He completed a revised and more sensible chart in about an hour. If you are thinking about upgrading from XP or Vista to Windows 7 this October, take a look after the break for Bott’s chart. Microsoft, get your act together! You attempted to “wow” us with Vista, and that was a disaster (initially). Now you are trying to pick yourself back up with the positively reviewed Windows 7. Releasing more than one version of an OS and creating an upgrade chart that makes matters worse is bad, very bad. A confused customer is not the end goal. Shake it off, and let’s look forward to Windows 7 releasing without a hitch this October.
It’s Microsoft Surface without the surface table. The video embedded above is a quick tour of the Touch Pack apps by a Gizmodo editor. Windows 7 is starting to look better every day. Vista’s funeral is soon upon us.
The “Wow is now,” huh Windows? I thought you brought the ‘Wow’ with Vista. Not so much. Windows 7 will be available to the general public on October 7th. Mark your calendars…or not.
Which operating system are you?
*Isn’t that a great picture? Best upgrade [from PC World] —>Mac OS X. Ha!
[Image via Nep Smith]