Monday, January 12, 2009

Microsoft unveils Windows 7 beta

Software giant, Microsoft Corporation, has unveiled its latest Windows 7 beta, thereby on trial.

Chief executive, Microsoft, Mr. Steve Ballmer made this announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, last week.

According to him, the first beta version of the successor to Windows Vista is immediately available as a downloadable disk image to MSDN, TechBeta and TechNet subscribers, while the general public will get to test drive the new operating system (OS) from January, Friday 9.

He said, that Windows 7 is expected to hit shelves towards the end of this year or the first quarter of 2010.

Stressing that Microsoft’s broad roadmap for operating system releases, specified a three-year gap between releases.

The new OS first made an appearance in October, when a ‘pre-beta’ version was given to attendees of Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference (PDC) 2008.

ZDNet reports that before Mr. Ballmer’s pronouncement, head, Microsoft United Kingdom (UK), on Windows, Mr. John Curran, had called the beta release the “feature-complete.”

He said, Windows 7 would appeal to business users and Information Technology (IT) professionals because of its enhanced security which entails that the new OS does not require new hardware investments above those required by Vista.

“[The encryption feature] BitLocker was a key enhancement in Vista, but Windows 7 takes that a step further,” Curran said, noting that BitLocker To Go is the new feature.

“If you take a traditional Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive and then turn on BitLocker, you can either put in a password or lock [the USB drive] using a smartcard,” he said.

A USB drive encrypted using BitLocker To Go, he explained would be usable on a PC running Windows 7, Vista or XP, although an XP machine will only be able to read the drive after downloading software to allow this.

“Any hardware that runs Vista, you can have confidence it will run Windows 7 the same or better without a hardware upgrade,” Curran said, claiming that the new OS is fundamentally built on Vista.

“Most Vista-compatible applications will also be compatible with Windows 7. The exceptions would be applications that are highly operating-system-specific, such as antivirus or file-management software,” he said.

As said by him, Windows 7 is “designed and optimised for the mobile PC, whether it is a netbook or a laptop”, and claimed the new OS would work even on current netbooks such as those using a1.6GHz Intel Atom Central Processing Unit (CPU).

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