Newsletter Archives

  • Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor beta

    If you have a Windows XP SP2 or SP3 computer, or a Vista computer, and you’re wondering whether it’ll handle Windows 7, this one’s for you.

    Microsoft just released the beta version of its Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

    The installer (which puts a copy of .NET Framework 2.0 on your XP machine if you don’t have .NET Framework already) works just fine, and teh advisor runs great, even on a 100% pirate copy of Windows XP.

    It tells you about potential problems with hardware and with incompatible software. Give it a shot if you’re sitting on a fence about installing th Windows 7 Release Candidate.

  • Windows 7 Release Candidate now available for everybody

    Don’t rush.

    As expected, Microsoft has just posted the official Windows 7 Release Candidate. (Actually, they got it out a day early Redmond time.)

    Be sure to read the admonitions on the download page before you install it. While Windows 7 is remarkably stable, it still isn’t fully baked.

    UPDATE: AT 2 a.m. on May 5, Redmond time, the 32-bit and 64-bit consumer downloads are running at full speed.

  • Windows 7 RC Release Notes are up

    In preparation for The Next Server Meltdown, Microsoft has just posted the Release Notes for the Windows 7 Release Candidate.

    Some interesting stuff. For example, if you have any of these PCs,

    HP 2140 Mini-Note PC, HP Compaq 2230s Notebook, HP Compaq 6530b, HP Compaq 6530s, HP Compaq 6531s, HP Compaq 6730b, HP Compaq 6730s, HP Compaq 6830s, HP EliteBook 2530p, HP EliteBook 2730p, HP EliteBook 6930p, HP EliteBook 8530p, HP EliteBook 8530w Mobile Workstation, HP EliteBook 8730w Mobile Workstation

    The install of Windows 7 RC may fail with an error message saying Iastor.sys is missing. If that happens to you, look at the Release Notes for a solution.

    There are also known problems with AppLocker, IE8 page rendering, VPN, the Windows Live Photo Gallery connection to Windows Media Player, some extra see-through parts in the taskbar, playback of high bit rate MPEGs, and Search under very unusual circumstances.

    Let the games begin…

  • Windows 7 Release Candidate now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers

    Windows 7 is up for people who have subscriptions to MSDN and TechNet.

    No surprises. The servers are starting to melt down. I’m repeatedly getting the message, “Sorry, we were unable to service your request.”

  • Ed Bott’s Windows 7 Release Candidate FAQ

    Thinking about installing the Windows 7 Release Candidate?

    The official version will be widely available on May 5. I’ll post the download link here as soon as it’s available.

    The most important thing to remember about the RC: when you decide to switch to the “real” Windows 7 (or on March 1, 2010, whichever comes later), you should plan on wiping out your hard drive and starting all over. Yes, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to take your data off the hard drive before you upgrade. But, no, Windows Easy Transfer doesn’t transfer everything – most notably, you’ll have to re-install all of your programs.

    Before you consider downloading and installing the RC, take a look at Ed Bott’s extensive FAQ about the Release Candidate.

  • Windows 7 Release Candidate – why should I care?

    Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing that I lapes into a verbal shorthand, and confuse the bewilickers out of people. Sorry about that. I’m writing a book about Windows 7 – Windows 7 All-In-One For Dummies – so Windows 7 news really strikes home. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is writing a book about Windows 7…

    My post about the Windows 7 Release Candidate drew this question, posted here, from MW:

    So this means what for a layman?

    MSoft is going to release a full-featured OS for free? Or is a RC some sort of trial?

    I guess my main question is : What differentiates a RC from a fully licensed OS?

    Very good questions, and if I had been thinking  I would’ve answered them in the original post.

    A Release Candidate, in Microsoft’s current parlance,  is sort of a final test version of the product. It has many known bugs, but it’s generally very stable. You shouldn’t install it on your main PC, but if you have an extra PC lying around, installing a Release Candidate gives you a very complete look at the next version of the product.

    In this case, I’m very excited because, frankly, I love Windows 7.

    The RC is free, but it expires. (I’m not sure when this RC expires, but it’s probably late this year.) When the RC expires, you have to replace it with a different program. For most people with the Win7 RC, that means you’ll have to go out and buy a copy of Windows 7, if you like it, or find some other version of Windows (or Linux) when the time limit’s up.

    You should plan from the get-go on completely wiping out the hard drive and installing the new operating system from scratch. That’s true of every beta test copy or Release Candidate of every piece of software – you can’t rely on uninstalling or upgrading. (In Win7’s case that isn’t even an option.) The RC version of Win7 will die, and you need to be constantly aware of the fact that you’ll have to wipe your hard drive when it does.

    Hope that answered your question. Apologies for my abbreviated version.

  • It’s official: Windows 7 RC available to everybody on May 5

    ‘Softie Brandon LeBlanc has just confirmed what we’ve all suspected for quite a while about the Windows 7 Release Candidate:

    I’m pleased to share that the RC is on track for April 30th for  download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Broader, public availability will begin on May 5th.

    Pirate copies are burning up the ether right now. Those of you who pay for MSDN or TechNet subscriptions can get the official version on April 30. And the unwashed (and unpaying) masses can try to get it before the servers melt down on May 5.

  • Windows 7 Release Candidate available

    If you have access to the newsgroup, you should be able to find Windows 7 build 7100, which is widely acknowledged as the Release Candidate. It’s available in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors.

  • Windows 7 Release Candidate leaked?

    I swear it has to happen sooner or later.

    The French language site Informatruc reports that the Windows 7 Release Candidate has been signed off. If your French is a little rusty, here’s the Google Translator version:

    … According to various sources:

    RC sign off … Build 7100.0.winmain_win7rc.090421-21 April 1700 … Bravo … already distributed to the group Gold Partners TAP, awaiting fuitage M. Green

    While the side of the main branch RTM, the 7115.0.winmain.090421 Build-1650 has been compiled on the same day.

    That’s exactly what I was expecting – the Release to Manufacturing builds, numbered 7101 forward, were “forked” away from the Release Candidate builds a few weeks ago.

    I’ll let you know when Win7 RC is out on the newsgroups.

  • Windows 7 Release Candidate coming any minute now, I think

    MS just posted a Partner Solutions page that says:

    We are pleased to announce that Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is available.

    The link there points to the MSDN download site. If you belong to MSDN and click through, you find that Windows 7 isn’t yet available. But I’ll betcha it will be shortly.

    Partners: If you have a subscription to MSDN or TechNet, you can download Windows 7 RC now. Otherwise, you can download Windows 7 RC starting May 5, 2009.

    I don’t think this page was posted in error, and I don’t expect it to be retracted. We’ll see soon enough.

    Busy days ahead.

    Oh. I toldja so. (grin)

    UPDATE: Rats! Microsoft yanked the page. The Release Candidate isn’t yet available. But I still bet we see the RC circulating this month – perhaps only leaked on the newsgroups. And I wouldn’t be one little bit surprised if the internal date for public release of the RC is May 5. Of course, that doesn’t mean MS will make the internal date…

  • Windows 7, Build 7068, and May

    A screenshot of Windows 7 build 7068 just hit the Web and the enthusiast sites are all over it. I wouldn’t call it terribly englightening, but if you’re curious, hit this Japanese language site on the MSDN blog.

    I just discovered that the pirate software sellers in Bangkok are selling build 7057. Yep, selling it. It’s a Real Big Deal.

    The press has been breathless over a page that was posted a bit ahead of time that points at Microsoft releasing its Windows 7 Release Candidate to the world in May. I’m still expecting to see RC 1 on the newsgroups in April. And I’ll stick with the prediction I made six months ago that we’ll see shrinkwrapped copies of Windows 7 on store shelves around September 1.

    Ed Bott has an interesting connect-the-dots post about the latest Windows 7 release date revelations. Er, non-revelations.

  • Windows 7 Release Candidate in late May?

    I don’t think so.

    Neowin reports that a Russian website says that (define “hearsay” for me, please):

    # Internal RC-escrow builds of Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 will be delivered to select testers on the fourth week of April 2009

    # Release candidate for Windows 7 & for Windows Server 2008 R2 will be released to the public during the last week of May 2009

    Sorry, but I don’t believe it. Microsoft is getting very close, very quickly. Build 7057 – the latest leaked build – has plenty of problems with networking and lots of little gotchas. But it’s not far from RC1 status.

    My guess? We’ll see a leaked RC or almost-RC before the end of this month, and an official RC in mid-April. Not late May, as the Russian site says. I still expect to see Windows 7 on store shelves well before September 1.