Windows 7 is coming
I was told that the public beta became available on the 9th January. No exact size is currently available but an ISO download done by the presenter earlier this week was 2.7GB, it is expected that this will probably be smaller by launch date. This should use the same or less resources than Vista and you should be able to install it on top of a Vista installation. When I asked about XP I was told you would need to do a full install so you would need to reinstall all your applications afterwards.
It has the basic same kernel as Vista. A few of the nuggets that came out during the discussion that XP will be available for Netbooks until 2010 and that fixes and security updates will be available till 2012 but in both cases no exact dates were available so it could be January 1st or December 31st of the years stated in both cases.
Back to Windows 7 a few of the items mentioned and shown during the briefing show a rather different layout for the Taskbar/Trackbar. In essence things using shared API do not need the application to be pre opened for you to be able to do things like typing a message and then it will open the application whilst you are typing.
Desktop Pen can be a useful tool that can make the Desktop appear translucent which if you have several items opened at once allows you see what is where quickly. The demo was done on a 1.8GHz notebook with 2GB of memory and it seamed rapid enough. If you hover over the Taskbar whatever is shown there will be shown as an enlarged thumbnail – probably enough to see if that’s the item you want.
There is a feature that allows instant copying once two documents are docked side by side and interestingly I told this would also work with cut as well as copy. DNLA will have native support for TV etc.
As far as improving battery life in notebooks items not being used will automatically turned so if for example you are using Wireless then Ethernet is switched off. Another feature is automatic screen dim if you are working with say a document or web page without any input for say 30 seconds it will dim but this is intelligent and should you then press a single keystroke/mouse movement then it will wait longer possibly a minute or a minute and a half before the next attempt to dim the screen.
Home Groups are an extension of a home network and they are much more user friendly, it was unclear as to the ability of others in the group to access a wired network through one of the wireless machines assuming of course they had the right privileges.
Screen Touch and gestures will be supported providing of course your monitor/panel supports the feature.
Sensors will also be built in so for instance GPS could be used to tell you where you are (example given was for weather updates) but perhaps more interesting once applications are created sensors could be used to tell you where the notebook is or perhaps a rule could be created that if the notebook moves more than a set distance it will stop working, useful for all those items that businesses and governments employees lose.
This brings us nicely to Bit Locker that will now support not only internal but external devices this not only includes hard drives but also Flash/Pen drives and SD cards etc. It is stated that the encryption will have a patch enabling these devices to be unlocked in Vista but it was thought this would not work in XP.
Media Centre will include support for Internet TV. Finally Live Essentials Suite is now available as a separate download (130MB) and this makes a whole range of consumer items available for use on PC’s be they XP, Vista or Windows 7, this I am told is available at http://windows.live.com In a nutshell Windows Live is your online hub.
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