CES: Windows 7 Goes Beta

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on January 8, 2009

If Microsoft has one message they want people to take away from the annual Consumer Electronics Show, it’s “we’re listening.” While the software giant didn’t reveal any major surprises during the opening keynote last night with CEO Steve Ballmer, the company’s announcement that Windows 7 would be released to 2.5 million or so beta users beginning tomorrow has been billed as a watershed moment for the company.

After its disastrous Windows Vista operating system was panned near-universally, the company has spent many months and hours talking to businesses and consumers about what they’d like in the new operating system. There certainly are a lot of nifty new features, including the ability to perform touch-based tasks. And the new OS will be a kindler, gentler force to your PC, taking up less resources after Microsoft engineers jettisoned legacy code and rebuilt the OS as a much cleaner piece of software.

Now it will spend several months getting feedback for Windows 7 from the beta users. What does it all mean? PC users will finally get an OS that works quite well late this year. Meantime, Apple is likely to continue to sign up a bunch of new converts to the Mac platform. The real comparisons will come when Apple announces new additionals for its update in coming months.

Reader Comments

Loa Veve

January 9, 2009 1:26 AM

I am enjoying Windows 7 Build 7000 and it is a well tuned version of the Vista core. The part about "jettisoned legacy code and rebuilt the OS as a much cleaner piece of software" is questionable, my Windows 7 directory weighs in at 8 gigabytes, pretty much the same as Vista.

Chuck

January 9, 2009 1:42 AM

It's not the new features most users want, it's the consistancy with the GUI, more stability and less of a resource hog.

Additionally customers have usually invested a lot more in other APPs and don't have the money to rebuy all new APPS to work with the new OS. That's especially true in this economy!

Nick

January 9, 2009 1:42 AM

This really looks promising. Being a windows user but still needing advanced features for all the other little nifty stuff I do could be implemented into this one ecspecially if a majority of beta testers ask :D

Not The Mama

January 9, 2009 2:08 AM

"...disastrous Windows Vista operating system was panned near-universally... Meantime, Apple is likely to continue to sign up a bunch of new converts to the Mac platform"
What? If you say it often enough it's true? This is journalism? The real disaster is everyone repeating what they hear and considering that a disaster. Right. Collectively you all have the power to create a lie. Congratulations. I have been using Vista since the beginning and have been quite happy with it. I have found it MORE stable than XP and it sems to work more seamlessly with more devices. As for increased hardware requirements, bring-em on. All-told my last two Vista capable PCs have cost less than a single mac notebook. And all my old software, in which I have 10X my hardware costs invested, continues to work. You're right -- a universal disaster. When somone asks you if it's raining outside, do you do you look out the window and give a report or ask someone else and repeat what you've heard?

Morescratch

January 9, 2009 10:36 AM

I agree with Not The Mama, I have used Vista since day one and haven't had any issues. Furthermore, everyone who I know that has switched to Vista from XP loves it and wouldn't dream of going back. Oh and I didn't have to upgrade any of my hardware (2 x 2 year plus old laptops). Vista was a marketing disaster not technical one. I am sick and tired of the media spreading dis-information.

Eric

January 9, 2009 6:35 PM

I disagree. I've had lots of hardware issues and the computers just don't work well, even with higher specs. I had Vista since the beta. I thought it was cool....that's when I picked up a macbook.. I can't even begin to express how much better it is over Vista. Dashboard instead of some lame sidebar...GarageBand...iMovie completely blows away what Movie Maker can do. Yes, i own an iPhone, and yes, i am basically an Apple fanboy now. I hated it when i was in school though. But honestly, leopard plus the new macbook is one powerful yet easy to use machine. I had vista on the other partition- until i upgraded it to windows 7 - and i just don't see much of a noticable difference. If anything, it's more complicated to use. I certainly wont be shelling out another 300 for it.

Software for people

January 11, 2009 11:44 AM

The very first time I tried this OS I was a bit suspicious, I've heard many good and bad comments, however, for working reasons I tried and since then I love it. The feature to install it in your own language, and to add only the things that you need (not the things the OS things you might need) makes it wonderful. The stability is astonishing, no single time my computer has crash since then (since May 2008). If you add no virus attacks and a huge universe of software then that make it the real software for human beings. Of course I'm referring to Ubuntu 8.04. By the way I bought my laptop in Germany that came with Windows Vista in German, no chance to change it to any other language. That was the last time I had touch a Microsoft product.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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