During the kickoff Microsoft keynote that marks the start CES, Steve Ballmer announced that Windows 7 beta is available starting today for TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Nothing too exciting there for the average Joe, we know, which is why we were excited when he also mentioned that the beta would also be publicly available beginning this Friday, January 9th. You’ll be able to grab either the 32-bit version, or the 64-bit version of the Windows 7 beta software if you are one of the first 2.5 million people to hit the download button. You just need to head to the Windows 7 product page to do so. Just be aware that the beta software will expire on August 1, 2009.
As part of the release, Microsoft was also happy to note that Windows Live Essentials, “a free suite of communications and sharing applications that make it easy for people to communicate, share and keep their online lives in sync and in one place with one login,” is now also available on a worldwide scale.
That’s right peeps, after a huge delay five months ago, we are happy to share that Apple has finally stamped a date on the release of Mac OS X Leopard. The launch is happening in just ten days, on October 26, 2007. Leopard will be available in two flavors - the single-user version, which sells for $129 USD, or the Family Pack, which can be installed on up to five computer in one home for $199. Apple is currently taking pre-orders on their online store, guaranteeing delivery on October 26th, so if you want to avoid the lines at your local Apple Store, we recommend the online purchase. Just be sure you can hang with the required specs - you’ll need, at the minimum, an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 processor that’s at least 867MHz, and 512MB RAM. And please note, we said minumum.
Crazy about the Windows Vista UI, but love Linux? Vixta could be your your thing. Vixta is a new Fedora-based Linux distribution featuring a surprisingly Windows Vista like look and feel. In fact, it’s so surprisingly like Windows Vista that Redmond based lawyers can’t be far behind - it’s a pretty blatant rip of the Aero interface.
While Vixta captures the look of Vista, one wonders if it’s truly as evolved as Vista is. Windows Vista may have it’s flaws, but ove all it is a highly polished operating system with lots of features to make it easy to use for the not so computer literate. No, really. This kind of refinement in a user interface takes a lot of time and energy to develop. The Linux underpinnings might be rock solid, but if Vixta’s stated goal is bringing Linux to the masses, it’s the chrome that will make a difference.
Most modern operating systems, including Microsoft Windows and OS X by Apple, feature technology to turn off internal devices and manage power to be more environmentally friendly and squeeze every last drop of juice out of batteries on portable computers. Unfortunately many Linux distributions don’t offer these features built in quite yet.
Enter Less Watts, a site dedicated to configuring Linux systems and machines to consume less power. Featuring tips and tricks for reducing power consumption in Linux, and links to a number of projects aimed at bringing these technologies to more and more distributions soon. The site looks to be fairly new, but has a great mailing list which looks like a great resource for anyone trying to reign in their power use on Linux boxes.
Read More | Less Watts
For the first time, Apple has released 10.x.10 update to one of their operating systems, due likely to the delay of Leopard. In any event, if you are running OS X, kick Software Update into gear and download the new version. We are running Intel-based Macs, and the download weighs in at 49 MB exactly, and includes the following improvements:
- RAW camera support
- Mounting and unmounting external USB devices
- Support for 3rd party software applications
- Security updates
With that out of the way, we can now look forward to the release of OS X 10.5 Leopard. You can get the full scoop on the update straight from Apple at the link below.
Read More | Apple
On its website, Microsoft reports that “Windows Vista RC1 is available for participants of the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program. Please go to the Customer Preview Program website to register and receive a Product Key, which is required to install and activate the software.”
“Before upgrading from Beta 2 to RC1, please install any Critical Updates from Windows Update for Beta 2. Go to Start, All Programs, Windows Update, and click the “Check for Updates” button.”
The keys for Windows Vista RC1, the first release candidate for Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, were sent out via email to CPP participants. The download is a 2.5 GB ISO and Microsoft servers seem to be holding up well, as we am currently downloading at around 600 kb/s.
Here are the download links:
If you are not part of the CPP, don’t worry. Registrations will open in the coming weeks. The release candidate expires June 1, 2007.
Read More | Microsoft Vista
Despite rumors and speculation from testers of Windows Vista Beta 2 that the operating system was woefully incomplete, Microsoft has pulled through and released the first release candidate (RC1) earlier today. Windows Vista is the next-generation Microsoft OS meant to replace Windows XP, adding new features and eye-candy. Microsoft’s Jim Allchin posted an announcement concerning the release, but it is only availible to TechBeta or TAP participants. There is no word yet on the stability, usability, or new features in this release but it is probably safe to assume that the OS is considerably less problematic than the previous build. So, if you are a tester, hurry on up to download the file.
Read More | Windows Vista Team Blog