Windows 7 RTM’s, Lenovo Updates Device Stage

Lenovo Device Stage I got a nice surprise when I looked in my Devices and Printers folder. A new icon for my laptop! #nerd

Before today I had the default laptop icon, which doesn’t really do anything. Today I get a photo-realistic ThinkPad icon (not quite identical to my model). When I double click it a new Device Stage window opens.

This is my first bit of hardware that has a Device Stage (although this one is quite limited). It includes a proper task-based jump-list, links to Lenovo resources online as well as useful control panel links (it made me aware that I have infrared enabled, an unnecessary waste of resources)

I’m glad to see hardware makers taking full advantage of shiny new Windows 7 bits this far ahead of the actual release-to-public date on October 22nd

Full Release Schedule

  • Technet subscribers: August 6 in English, October 1 remaining languages
  • MSDN subscribes: August 6 in English, October 1 remaining languages
  • Software Assurance (Education) customers: August 7, remaining languages a couple of weeks later
  • Microsoft Partner Network (MPN): August 16
  • Volume License customers without SA: September 1
  • Consumers: October 22
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I’m now running Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview on Windows 7

 Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview banner from Connect site I was perhaps a bit overexcited to get an invitation this morning to the Office 2010 TP (#geek). There was a minor panic when the link in the email didn’t work but luckily the url had the invitation code in it so I could just paste that in to the Microsoft connect site.

I was then stuck with the choice between 64 or 32-bit flavours. I would normally go for 64-bit, however, that means that I cannot use any 32-bit add-ins and unfortunately my Outlook requires one of them for my job. I did download the 64-bit version of Visio, so that will have to do until my add-in is updated to a 64-bit build. It is currently installing as we speak. The installation is identical to 2007 at the moment, I chose the Upgrade option and have my fingers crossed. It’s taken about 15 mins so far but I think it’s nearly done.

Time for a play now. I won’t be able to reveal any bits that aren’t in the public domain already, as that will get me thrown out of MS’s good books, but I can tell you what I think of the changes so far.

more to come ….

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Windows 7 on a netbook experience

We had an Advent 4211 netbook (Intel Atom N270, 1GB Ram, 80GB HDD)  at work that was using Windows XP. It was having a few issues so we thought we might as well install the Windows 7 RC over the top of it.

The first issue was that it doesn’t have a CD drive so we needed to get it to boot from a USB to run the setup. This was surprisingly easy to do using my existing windows 7 laptop and the Disk Management console. All you need to do is image

  1. format a partition on an external USB drive,
  2. mark it as active,
  3. copy all the files from the Windows 7 CD and it’s good to go.

I booted from the USB drive and set of the installation. It took 21mins to get to the windows desktop. Thankfully, all of the drivers were downloaded from windows update and the OEM bundled webcam software works too.

I have been amazed at the performance of this little machine. It works almost on a par with my beefy Lenovo T60, despite it’s WEI rating of 2

Everyone in the office has taken a look and been very impressed with it. I think this is really going to be a smash hit once it gets out in the shops. It was horrible seeing XP on the netbook and I was considering a few a the special netbook Linux distro’s but now I think I have the best of both in Windows 7

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Microsoft not to include Internet Explorer in Windows 7*

Microsoft stick IE8 in the recycle bin I know this is a bit old news but the latest TechNet UK newsletter asked us to give us our opinions on the nonsense of removing a web browser from an operating system

You can let them know your opinion by emailing alexanba@microsoft.com

I attached my email below

“I am writing in response to your request of feedback on removing IE8 from Windows 7 in Europe.
I am mostly concerned on the confusion this has given us Europeans on how to physically upgrade PCs. All this move seems to have done is create negative press for Microsoft on an otherwise great response to Windows 7.
I was surprised to read the following on the BBC News report

A Commission spokesman dismissed Microsoft’s claim that it was taking the action to comply with European laws.

"The essential point of our case is consumer choice," said the spokesman.

"We would want to look extremely closely at the terms under which Microsoft is making Internet Explorer available to computer manufacturers," he said.

"If the effect of the technical separation of Windows and Internet Explorer is neutralised by particular terms and conditions they offer to manufacturers to install Internet Explorer, they’re no better off."

The preferred remedy for Europe, he said, was to offer users a screen when they first switch on Windows 7 that gives them a choice between IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera.

"For them to claim that this is somehow imposed by the Commission or is going to resolve the problem with the Commission is far from clear," he said.

"It’s certainly not because we’ve asked them to do it."

So it seems this is well and truly a case of Microsoft vs. Microsoft and all of this confusion/negativity was caused for no reason.

I can ultimately see this as turning into much ado about nothing and eventually having the fabled "Ballot" screen and IE8 at least present, allowing smooth upgrades.
With the RTM of 7 imminent it is something that needs to get sorted very quickly”

It doesn’t make any sense to me. They could argue that they should also remove NotePad, WordPad, Calculator, MSPaint even Solitaire.

As far as I’m concerned an OS is the software that interacts with the hardware to make a computer work. A computer without internet browsing built in is therefore unable to work as a modern-day computer

*Update

Thankfully (and as predicted) Microsoft have scrapped this idea in favour of the Ballot screen. After the EU approve the screen (hopefully a chromeless mini silverlight app LOL) it will not only be present in Windows 7 but also made available by Windows Update for Vista and XP, now that is a turnip for the books.

Microsoft Proposal to European Commission

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