Windows 7 less annoying and less secure?

microsoft try to make Windows 7 less annoying than Vista may also be making it less secure than its predecessor.

With Windows Vista, the operating system popped up a warning any time a major change was being made to the system, whether by the OS or by a third-party application. With Windows 7, users can choose how often to be notified, with the current default set to notify only when a third-party application is making a change.

Blogger Long Zheng, however, is drawing attention to an apparent shortcoming in that approach. Because changes to the user account control setting itself are being made within the OS--and not by a third party--malicious code could turn off such alerts entirely with the user getting little notice that such a change had been made. Zheng said he and fellow blogger Rafael Rivera have come up with a simple proof-of-concept code to show the vulnerability.

Microsoft is trying to thread a difficult needle here. The prompts issued by the User Account Control program, though annoying, help alert users to changes to their system. But if the prompts are so annoying that people turn off the setting--or stick with older operating systems--than things aren't secure either.

Zheng proposes, at a minimum, that Microsoft's default setting also warn users if a change is being made to UAC itself. That seems reasonable to me.

A Microsoft representative was not immediately available for comment.

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Highlighted Windows 7 Security

read this report the Windows 7 Security Issue Highlighted by Long Zheng :

I was certainly one of those in a loud chorus yelling and screaming about the interruptions that the User Account Control (UAC) in Vista visited on my workflow in the early days. There were times when it just drove me nuts. I was happy to see that Microsoft made some improvements on the interruption factor in the beta of Windows 7.

Now, according to Long Zheng of istartedsomething, these improvements may lead to a less secure system. He lays out the issue in a lengthy post and I’m in no position to do anything other than link to and report on what’s contained there.

It brings up serious issues obviously that I’m sure will be addressed somewhow, after all Windows 7 is still in beta. But, the larger issue of how we all deal with the malcontents and miscreants that love to prey on users who don’t pay attention to their systems still remain. Some are even saying that this bad problem will only get worse in a darkening economy as folks with the bad guys preying even more on the uneducated and even the bad guy population growing as the economy worsens. Of course some say just get a Mac, but that old saw is already starting to rust a bit these days and will continue to weaken as Apple’s market share continues to increase.

I don’t think there is any way out of the ongoing race with the malcontents and miscreants as anything man can make, man can unmake or destroy. There are days I’d advocate public flogging, or at least making the bad guys watch endless hours of home movies on YouTube. I just wish that the creative and innovative energy that is spent finding ways to be malicous could be put to use to make a better world.

Yeah, I know, sometimes optimism pops up in the oddest places.

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Windows 7 Is a Threat to Linux

can Windows 7 be a Threat to Linux ? please read this article..

There's been a recent spate of predictions that Windows 7 will kill off the Linux desktop, especially on netbooks. My favorite title so far is Windows kicks Linux to the curb, which provides a nice visual. Well, I'm not actually going to disagree, at least as far as traditional desktop Linux and netbooks go.

But first, a question to drive a point home. Have you ever used a version of OpenOffice Cloud? Neither have I, because it doesn't exist. The closest you can come is to use Ulteo, a virtualized Linux provider service, started by a previous Mandriva founder -- then everything is running on a VM in the cloud including OpenOffice. If you want to go cloud, you have to use something like Google (GOOG) Docs. And isn't a netbook about the cloud?

Microsoft (MSFT) hasn't been sleeping while the cloud trend has been developing. A few months ago they announced they're extending Office to the browser, with lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. And they also announced Azure, their vision of an OS for the cloud. Now, a Linux vendor could pray that a move from XP to Windows 7 on netbooks would mean a return to the days of high priced BOM-based sales (and thus an opportunity for Linux to compete more favorably again). But the reality is, Microsoft will charge whatever the market will bare for netbook platforms, and move the rest of the business to chase the after-market revenues that cloud computing offers. That's something very hard to compete with, for desktop Linux distros which often struggle to stay afloat. This was why I wrote the article about how to make the Linux desktop profitable. The reality is that, in my humble opinion, the Linux distros will never compete well with Windows on BOM-based sales.

So who is the one company who really gets cloud computing, has the infrastructure for it, and an interest in Linux? Google. My take is Windows 7 is a threat to the classic Linux desktop distros. And that Google is the future of the Linux desktop, with Android pushing up the food-chain, and many of Google's infrastructure bits pervading the desktop. Note to distros, belly up to Google...

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Windows 7 Gaming Performance

read this article to see Windows 7 Gaming Performance vs vista...

Since its release, Windows Vista has gotten a fair share of controversy and criticism. The move to a new driver model rendered many legacy hardware products, like printers and scanners, obsolete while the Vista-only DirectX 10 API has never quite lived up to lofty performance expectations. Microsoft has taken the brunt of this criticism and made a pledge to not make the same mistakes with the follow-up to Vista, Windows 7. They are attempting to take what worked with Vista and drop what didn’t, as they make overall system enhancements that range from performance to interface usability. Today we are going to take a closer look at the performance of Windows 7 to see if it compares to the venerable XP or more along the lines of Vista.

Windows 7 is still in the early beta stages, so we urge our readers to keep this in mind when looking at the numbers. Drivers are being updated pretty frequently, so there is a lot of room left for improvement between now and when Microsoft finally releases 7 down the road. For instance, during our week long testing period, we were notified via Windows Update of 2 separate ATI driver releases. Microsoft hasn’t officially announced when 7 will be released, but rumors range from Q4 2009 to early 2010. It appears that Microsoft is attempting to get 7 into the market as soon as possible, as they try to repair their reputation after the lukewarm reception of Windows Vista.

Windows Vista was to be a huge leap in performance and security, with an improved 64-bit infrastructure over WinXP x64 and increased stability due to its revamped driver model. Microsoft, after receiving large amounts of criticism for the vulnerability of XP to worms and Trojans, implemented a number of features designed to prevent the execution of unwanted code. User account control was the biggest addition that aimed to prevent inexperienced users from running malicious programs without warning. Windows Defender and Windows Firewall were enhanced to create an impenetrable wall of security that strived to prevent global infections, such as the Blaster virus that infected a huge install base of XP machines.

Unfortunately, Vista did not turn out the way Microsoft had originally envisioned. Native audio acceleration was gone due to the removal of kernel mode driver support, and hardware that had worked under XP was now useless as manufacturers were unwilling or unable to provide updated drivers.

The UAC constantly queried the user for almost every little system change and the Windows Firewall blocked both the good and bad applications, creating a nightmare for ISP’s attempting to diagnose connection issues. Above all else however, the supposed performance improvements that were meant to be unleashed with DirectX 10 didn’t initially materialize; in fact users instead were left with systems that underperformed comparable configurations running Windows XP. To top it off, the graphical enhancements from DirectX 10 were so subtle, they hardly offset the performance hit that occurred when running with it enabled.

Now Microsoft has unleashed the public beta of Windows 7 on to the market, so let’s get right into the numbers and see where it stands at this early stage.

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Which Is Faster: XP, Vista Or Windows 7?

click on the image to make it larger

Which Is Faster: XP, Vista Or Windows 7?!! a big question , read this article to learn more about that .

Windows 7 is out and up for download, provided you're OK with using a beta operating system. It promises a raft of improvements over Windows Vista, but how's it shaping up for games?

FiringSquad have taken a look at how it runs across two systems: a mid-spec one (AMD Athlon X2 5000+ Black Edition) and a high-end machine (Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition). While the results areworth a look at, it's worth remembering, remembering then remembering again that Windows 7 is still in beta. So there's room for improvement.

Anyway, that caveat out of the way, above are some of the results more relevant to you, the game-playing public.

More detailed break-downs - including Crysis at DirectX 10 - below.

Windows 7 Beta Gaming Performance: XP vs Vista vs 7

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Toshiba new Satellite A350 Laptop

Toshiba has presented the new 16-inch Satellite A350 720p HD ready laptop for HD movie enthusiasts. Satellite A350 features a 16-inch 16:9 format WXGA screen supporting 720p HD resolution, Harmon Kardon speakers, and HDMI out for HD video content viewing. Satellite A350 offers a choice between an Intel and an AMD processor. The price of the A350 starts from $732 (approx. Rs. 35,800) and ends at $1037 (approx. Rs. 50,000).

The first 16-inch 720p HD ready laptop from Toshiba also gives you an option of an Intel Core 2 Duo or a AMD Turion X2 dual-core. The Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processors have the high-end P7450, T5800, as well as the T6400 models as compared to the single AMD CPU Turion X2 ZM-80. The A350 also has options of 250GB or 320GB capacities and runs on Windows Vista Home Premium.

In the graphics department, you can choose between an Intel Mobile GMA 4500MHD and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650. Check for more options at the Satellite A350 page.

The battery life of about 2 hours on a 720p HD ready laptop will amuse the geeks and will disappoint potential customers. A reasonable battery life of about 4-5 hours would've made an attractive deal.

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Windows 7 Security

Right now, Windows 7 looks very much like Windows Vista because enhancements to the appearance and feel aspects of the operating system typically come late in the development process. Lucky for us, much of the awaited security functionality has already made its way into the beta build and we're going to look at some of the new changes for Windows 7.
Old friends, new twists

Returning from Windows Vista are Kernel Patch Protection, Service Hardening, Data Execution Prevention, Address Space Layout Randomization, and Mandatory Integrity Levels

Windows XP SP2 gave us the Security Center. Windows 7 discards this and in its place is an Action Center that incorporates alerts from 10 existing Windows features: Security Center; Problem, Reports, and Solutions, Windows Defender; Windows Update; Diagnostics; Network Access Protection; Backup and Restore; Recovery; and User Account Control.

In Windows 7, users can adjust consent prompt behavior using a slider control, if they have administrative privileges. Microsoft says they'll still be protected against malicious software, even if they never see another alert. While this may or may not be true, users have been conditioned to see alerts whenever something is happening. Without them, perhaps a false sense of security will develop on the part of the end user.
Windows Filtering Platform

Windows 7 introduces something called the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP). The idea is that third parties can take advantage of aspects of the Microsoft Windows Firewall in their own products. Microsoft says "third-party products also can selectively turn parts of the Windows Firewall on or off, enabling you to choose which software firewall you want to use and have it coexist with Windows Firewall."

While this sounds nice on paper, I can't see a vendor teaming their product with the Windows firewall. Smart money says they'll just use their own and ignore the Microsoft solution.

One nice thing to note about Windows 7 is that it makes it easier to configure that all-important home network. When users hit network problems, they curse the firewall and they're often right to. Windows 7 addresses the problem by taking over home network setup and making sure the firewall doesn't interfere.

We also see that scrollbars were removed in the configuration settings screen, as has the Software Explorer feature, and real-time protection in Windows 7 has been improved to reduce the impact on overall system performance. A welcome change from the bloat of Vista.
An inclusive BitLocker

Vista sailed in along with a fleet of new security features, among them BitLocker, a whole-disk encryption tool designed to protect your data even after an attacker makes off with your laptop. BitLocker utilizes a chip called a Trusted Protection Module (TPM). The Vista TPM transparently decrypts the drive once you've authenticated yourself with a password or smart card. A laptop thief can't break into the locked drive, even after booting to a different OS or moving the drive to another computer.

BitLocker drive encryption also supports removable storage devices, such as flash memory drives and portable hard drives has been added in Windows 7. This means that users can keep sensitive data on all of their USB storage devices as well as the physical drives on the host mentioned above.

As a side note to Bitlocker, using groups, you can ban writing to any removable drive that isn't BitLocker-protected. It's a very useful tool against the very real problem known as podslurping. With this policy in place, employees can still bring in the virus-of-the-month on an unprotected drive, but they can't take away an unprotected copy of the personnel database. It's also helpful to know that BitLocker to Go also allows users to securely share data with other users who have not yet deployed Windows 7.

That said, the testing I performed proved otherwise. I could not get this to work so I went to Microsoft and they confirmed that this is an issue in the beta build but will be fixed before final GA release.
Biometrics, System Restore and AppLocker

Biometrics enhancements include easier reader configurations, allowing users to manage the fingerprint data stored on the computer and control how they log on to Windows 7. And System Restore includes a list of programs that will be removed or added, providing users with more useful information before they choose which restore point to use. Restore points are also available in backups, providing a larger list to choose from, over a longer period of time.

I've seen more problems caused by System Restore than solved by it; I'm not a big fan. Still, users often resort to it when trying to clean up a real or imagined malware problem. In Windows 7, you'll at least have a clear idea of what collateral damage may result, as it lists all programs and drivers that would be removed or brought back by invoking a particular System Restore point. It's way better than guessing at the right restore point and hoping for the best, which is what you have to do now.

Another enhancement is AppLocker, accessed through Local Security Policy. It's a way to control which programs users can and can't use, and it's a lot more flexible than Vista's Software Restriction Policies. Still, it's not for the average user. Most IT shops should be pleased with this enhancement. I can see it being tailored to just about any corporate need.

Virtually all the changes in the security area are simply tweaking and improving on existing Vista features. But then, that's what Windows 7 is all about, right? While the enhancements seen thus far in the beta are nice, they aren't stunning.

I hope to see even more improvements before Windows 7 hits the streets.

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Ubuntu’s experts like Windows 7

after the realease of windows 7 beta many windows experts like it , but the suprise is that lunix fouders like it too !!

Oh Windows 7, is there anyone who doesn’t like you, other than John Biggs? In an interview, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder and head MF in charge of popular Linux distro Ubuntu, had many nice things to say about the newest OS on the block. He says it’ll bring a new kind of competition to the table.

Microsoft has been pushing Windows on low-end PC makers by giving away XP licenses, but once 7 comes out that will seem a little ridiculous, especially considering how well 7 is likely to work with the light hardware. So later in 2009 there will actually be a value proposition in choosing Ubuntu to power a line of netbooks — at the moment XP is simply more recognizable and better-supported, and doesn’t cost much either.

But Shuttleworth had more than shop talk for 7:

They’ve put concerted attention on the user experience with the shell. I think it’s going to be a great product, and every indication is we will see it in the market sooner rather than later

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Consumer Reviews Study show Netbook Customer Satisfaction

Consumer Reviews Study show Netbook Customer Satisfaction

Analysis of chump opinions acquaint online application Assessment Insights, Biz360’s new assessment altitude solution, reveals that electronics manufacturers accept added plan to do to sustain netbook bazaar articulation

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A criterion assay of customer reviews of “netbook” laptops calm from arch customer electronics assay websites has just been appear by Biz360® Inc., a arch provider of bazaar and media intelligence solutions.

One of the customer assay study’s allegation indicates that customer advancement for the Netbooks class lags abaft customer advancement for all laptops. Biz360 analyzed over 20,000 online opinions, adopted from assay customer electronics websites such as Amazon, Best Buy, CNET, Newegg, PC World, Circuit City and CompUSA for the aeon May 15, 2008 through November 15, 2008. The company’s new Assessment Insights amusing media altitude band-aid was acclimated to assay the online comments.

Fast facts

“Net Advocacy” for Netbooks class is 40 percent lower than Net Advancement for all laptops.

Performance, affectation & features/accessories are the a lot of important laptop artefact attributes according to customer reviews.

While achievement is the #1 aspect active laptop advocacy, the achievement Net Advancement for the Netbooks artefact class is predominantly negative.

“Net Advocacy” is Biz360’s proprietary metric that factors the absolute and abrogating affect of alone comments, as able-bodied as the appulse of the antecedent of anniversary comment, to crop an indicator of a artefact or brand’s barometer amount in the marketplace. This action is automatic by Biz360’s Assessment Insights product, which lets companies bound analyze advancement array of altered brands, models, artefact attributes and features. By barometer customer affect on a specific artefact or feature, Assessment Insights is able to bear marketers advancing acumen into customer assessment added amount finer than acceptable customer research.

Report allegation

Note to reporters: added abstracts of this amusing media abstraction are accessible from Tamairah Boleyn, Biz360, Allegation will aswell be advised via a customer electronics industry webcast on January 22 at 11:00 am PT, see for accident access.

The assay abstraction accent the attributes and appearance a lot of acceptable to be commented on by consumers. Their comments announce which factors a lot of access achievement and acquirement decisions in the laptops category.

For laptop manufacturers, four key artefact attributes accounted for added than 70 percent of all online opinions: performance, display, appearance and accessories, and accepted opinions.

While Acer is the Q408 top-seller in the netbook artefact family, Acer ranks everyman in Net Advancement a part of the 6 laptop brands. The Acer’s Aspire One alternation had a 34% lower Net Advancement than the boilerplate Net Advancement of all laptop brands.

Nearly one division of all laptop online customer reviews are about performance. Advancement for Netbooks class achievement is predominantly negative.

Acer’s Aspire One series, like about all Netbooks, is admired by the majority of their new owners as not technically assuming up to their expectations.

“Based on our plan in the customer electronics area and the 2008 sales advance of netbooks as a blooming bazaar category, we were absorbed in how this class is faring a part of consumers and aswell in anecdotic bazaar allotment opportunities,” said Stephen Foster, chief administrator of analyst casework at Biz360. “The after-effects of the amusing media assay announce that there is a lot of befalling for advance beyond the lath for Netbook products. Netbook manufacturers aswell face a cogent claiming with consumers whose expectations are based on years of desktop pc usage.”

“Technology has afflicted the affairs mural forever. Consumers now accept the accoutrement to be added articulate and affecting than anytime before. Whether annoyed or not with a product, they can ability out and acquaint their opinions to a apple of added consumers. And whether we like it or not, consumers are alert and are afflicted by those ardent opinions bidding by their peers,” said Brad Brodigan, CEO of Biz360. “In adjustment to accomplish acute business decisions, it is capital that marketers embrace new accoutrement to accept and adapt the new online customer chat that is accident about them.”

About Assessment Insights

Opinion Insights captures and analyzes customer assessment from bags of able and customer assay and arcade sites. This proprietary Web-based band-aid is congenital on avant-garde abstracts accession and analytics techniques, including accustomed accent processing (NLP) to accredit able and customer assay abstraction and assay beyond assorted brands, products, attributes and features. It provides marketers with a alternation of real-time metrics that can be leveraged over time in artefact planning and development.

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Intel introduce CULV platform for ultra-portable laptops

Last anniversary we aboriginal started to apprehend about some new Intel processors for lower priced attenuate and ablaze notebooks. Besides the accessible actuality that these new chips are meant to attempt with AMD’s recently-announced Yukon ultra carriageable anthology belvedere and their Athlon Neo processors, few data were accessible at the time, but now DigiTimes is advancing out with some beginning information.

According to sources at anthology manufacturers, the new customer ultra low voltage belvedere (CULV) should be hitting shelves in the additional division of 2009 and is advised for systems priced amid $699 and $899. Interestingly enough, it is getting accounted that a 13.3-inch HP Mini agenda will access in June based on the CULV belvedere instead of the Atom Zxx due to “Intel’s insistence.” DigiTimes aswell claims that at atomic the “top three” anthology makers are planning to bear their own CULV powered systems, which implies Dell and Acer could aswell be involved.

With this, Intel hopes to bisect the laptop bazaar up into four acutely identifiable segments for 2009, which cover Atom (and after on Pineview) based netbooks, acceptable 12.1 inch and aloft notebooks, Menlow-powered MIDs, and ultra carriageable notebooks based on CULV with sizes capricious amid 11.1 and 13.3 inches.

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Windows 7 Beta is better than Vista in SSD performance

It's not surprising , since Microsoft was planning on developing performance on this front, but now we've got some of our first solid numbers on Windows 7 Beta SSD performance. Nothing crazy spectacular, but Windows 7 looks to have a slight edge over Vista pretty much across the board, with better speed, access time and lower CPU usage -- not bad for a beta, let's hope things continue to improve as we approach "Microsoft would like your money for this" status.

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windows 7 boot faster ?

The beta of Windows 7 shows off Microsoft's a lot of avant-garde operating arrangement in years. Everything from the attending to the audacity has been overhauled. A absolutely revamped taskbar changes the way you'll collaborate with your programs for the better, and none will be annoyed about the faster boot time, , and the bigger ability management.

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Windows 7 performent : window management using the keyboard (hotkeys)

You accept apparently heard already how Windows 7 simplifies and aids window administration by absolution you move and berth windows application the mouse, for example, boring a window to the top bend will aerate it, or beat on the appropriate basal bend will appearance the desktop. Now, you can do all this and abounding others application some appropriately advantageous keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys).

Brandon Paddock, who is one of Windows 7 Explorer developers, afresh acquaint a complete account of Windows 7 hotkeys which I accept affected below. I accept aswell accent those which I accept are a lot of advantageous and apparently aureate time-savers if you get to absorb them into your day to day acceptance (though you will aboriginal charge to use W7 as your primary OS for that).

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Apple's laptop market falls down

Apple is accident bazaar allotment in sales of laptops.

According to abstracts from analyst abutting Gartner, Apple's allotment of the US computer bazaar fell to 8 per cent during the fourth division of 2008 from 9.5% in the third.

In accomplishing so, it absent its third abode to netbook maker Acer which has been authoritative abundant gains.

Mac allotment slowed to 8.3 per cent during the three-month aeon catastrophe December, apery 1.225 actor Macs alien in the US. When looked at annually, Apple did administer to advertise added Macbooks than it did endure year, but its achievement has been boring sliding, Gartner said.

Meanwhile, netbook maker Acer is accepted to accept had its assemblage shipments billow over 55 per cent in the autumn to actuate its allotment to 15.2 per cent from summer's 8.8 per cent while accomplishment its third abode baronial from Apple.

Dell and HP retained the top slots in the poll, but both saw a annual abatement in assemblage shipments. Dell alien 4.465 actor systems in its home market, a abatement of 16.4 per cent that pushed its allotment of the bazaar down to 28.6 per cent from 30.8 per cent. HP remained a abutting second, shipment 4.288 actor units.

It would arise that Apple is accident out to cheaper models acknowledgment to the all-around recession.

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Archos new mini-laptop

Archos is demography its aboriginal footfall into the apple of laptops, announcement today its aboriginal mini laptop. It is alleged the Archos 10 and it prices about $400 for a three-cell array archetypal and $450 for a six-cell array model.

The Archos 10 is appealing abundant a netbook, the latest class laptops to be accumulation the absorption of consumers. This accurate archetypal runs off of an Intel Atom processor and 1GB of memory. The operating arrangement is Windows XP, 160GB of harder drive accumulator are accessible and it sports a 10.2-inch display.

Other appearance of the Archos 10 cover 802.11b/g wireless, 1.3-megapixel Web cam, pre-installed software and a weight of about 2.8 pounds. It will be accessible in March

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Windows 7 performent 'Incredibly Stable,' Expert Says

The balloon adaptation of the next Windows operating arrangement has won a key endorsement from a software able at chipmaker Intel, a aggregation that, admitting getting one of Microsoft's abutting partners, was so careful of Vista

companion OS Windows Server 2008, at atomic if it comes to the beta versions, are a accomplished altered brawl bold from Vista, said Intel software developer Doug Holland, in a aggregation blog column this week.

"I accept now been application the Windows Server 2008 R2 beta and Windows 7 beta builds for some time and accept begin them to be abundantly stable," said Holland, who in antecedent posts has acicular out that Windows 7 will calibration to abutment a whopping 256 processor core

Vista maxed out at 64 cores with the high-end 64-bit version.

Holland says he's so admiring with the Windows Server 2008 beta, which Microsoft appear endure anniversary forth with the Windows 7 beta, that he's application it as the capital OS on his claimed laptops and desktops "and would do so aswell on my accumulated anthology if our IT administration allowed."

Corporate IT organizations don't about acquiesce advisers to run beta software on their PCs.

A balmy accession for Windows 7 at Intel would be acceptable account for Microsoft. In an embarrassment for Redmond, Intel CEO Paul Otellini declared about in 2007 that his aggregation didn't plan to advancement its centralized systems to Vista and that it would stick with Windows XP.

The statement, from one of the world's a lot of able tech executives, able the angle that Vista was not business friendly. Vista acceptance a part of ample enterprises has been about absent back the OS debuted two years ago as accumulated IT chiefs accept complained about its accouterments requirements and abridgement of affinity with earlier software.

Microsoft is counting on Windows 7, which according to aboriginal letters is lighter and added convenient than Vista, to restore its acceptability in the business market. An endorsement from Intel could go a continued way against that.

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Windows 7 Beta Download Finally

It took a while, but Microsoft has assuredly appear the availability (this time for real) of Windows 7 beta, afterwards a animated (as expected) aboriginal day, if anybody approved to download it, and no one could.

The aggregation acquaint a notification on its blog on Friday, adage the servers were afflicted and bare added support. According to Microsoft, 2.5 actor keys accept been fabricated accessible for the beta testers.

Windows 7 accessible beta was appear at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Although it may not be a abiding operating arrangement yet, it’s been the a lot of talked about accountable of the week, and the action for the bound amount of beta keys was fierce.

However, there’s no acumen to anguish if you were not a part of those 2.5 actor advantageous ones. Microsoft said added users will be able to get a feel of Windows 7 as well, during a 30-day chargeless balloon period.

The minimum recommended blueprint for a computer to be able to run Windows 7 are 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 1 GB of arrangement memory, 16 GB of accessible deejay space, abutment for Direct X cartoon with 128 MB anamnesis (to accredit the Aero theme), DVD-R/W Drive, and Internet admission (to download the beta and get updates).

Microsoft warned that some appearance of the Windows 7, such as the adeptness to watch or almanac reside TV, may crave added hardware. In accession to that, users will charge a arrangement accretion disk, apperceive how to plan their way about problems in beta, and not overlook the beta expires on August 1.

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dell present the newest laptop and mini-laptop

A host of new articles were apparent by Dell at the CES columnist appointment on Friday, including a high-power gaming desktop, a USB TV tuner, a new netbook, and a mystifying affluence anthology - Adamo.

An ultra-light, high-end notebook, Adamo is about an inch blubbery with a 13-inch screen. It supports three USB ports and an eSATA jack, to bung in an alien harder drive. The aggregation did not acquiesce the opening, holding, or even affecting this affluence anthology which was on display, for a abrupt time, afore journalists. All that could be apparent was a thin, atramentous laptop model, taken out of a bag!

Neither was Adamo - Latin for "to abatement in adulation with" - angry on, nor did the Dell admiral say annihilation about its specifications.

Though the amount of the laptop was aswell not disclosed, the absolution of the notebook, according to the company, will be "on schedule", in the aboriginal bisected of the year.

Meanwhile, the 10-inch Inspiron mini-laptop that was aswell apparent is priced at $99, with a $350 mail-in rebate, and a two-year arrangement with AT&T wireless broadband service. The appearance of Mini 10 - which is powered by an Intel Atom Z530 processor - cover a congenital TV tuner and chip GPS technology, 802.11n Wi-Fi and 3G adaptable broadband.

Attempting to get TV on the anthology or netbook, Dell has appear its $50 USB Digital TV Tuner, facilitating the examination of over-the-air HD TV channels. The region-specific versions of the artefact will be launched aboriginal in Europe, and again the US and Asia.

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download Windows 7 beta now

LAS VEGAS -- Since Wednesday evening, the beta adaptation of Windows 7 has been accessible to baddest groups of developers. This morning, Microsoft opened up the beta to anyone who wants to download it.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appear that the beta would be about accessible on Friday, but it's still a momentous anniversary for the next adaptation of Microsoft's operating system. It will be the alone beta of the operating arrangement afore its final release.

Much added advice on the Windows 7 beta (and how to install it) is accessible on this page.

I approved to go advanced and download it -- but the page is abundantly slow.

Downloads are bound to 2.5 million, and it will alone plan until August.

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boys enjoy readingBooks illustrated with computer- generated images

Books illustrated with computer- generated images are the latest attack to get boys to adore reading.

Oxford University Press (OUP) claims the "truly boy-friendly" agreeable and anatomy of its Project X books will address to boys up the age of nine.

The books accept been activated in 2,000 schools and can be acclimated interactively through CD-Roms and whiteboards.

But critics absolved the publications as "ghastly" and a bank attack to actor computer games.

The books centre on the appearance of Max and his accompany Cat, Ant and Tiger, who acquisition their watches accept the ability to accomplish them shrink, aperture up a apple of adventures.

The accompany end up snowboarding on spoons, exploring central a sandcastle, white-water rafting on pencils and surfing on lolly sticks.

In after books they appointment Dr X, a villain absorbed on shrinking the accomplished world.

Project X (OUP)

The accompany compress to an agitative new size


Charlie Higson, columnist of the Young Bond books, accustomed the OUP's attack to address fiction for boys, but questioned the books' assurance on computer images.

"They attending actually ghastly," he said.

"They're aggravating to attending like computer amateur and they're aggravating to get them [boys] to collaborate with them like a computer.

"The point is that books are altered to computers - that's the accomplished point. If kids wish to play with computers, they'll play with computers, not apprehend these stories."

Professor Elaine Millard from the National Association for the Teaching of English said the books were a bank acknowledgment to the botheration of boys not adequate reading.

"It's counterproductive - we wish them to appoint with the argument so that they adore the amusement of words.

"The ability is such that it is still accepted, in lots of families, that it's accept for boys not to read.

"What we accept to do in schools is get that activity aback for words on the page."

'Gripping' chance lines

Project X (OUP)

White-water rafting is just one of their adventures

But Elizabeth Blinkhorn from OUP said the books were aimed accurately at accepting boys involved.

"We apperceive that boys are actual motivated by facts and 3D images and arresting chance lines. There are abbreviate capacity to accumulate them motivated.

"And boys absolutely wish to be allotment of the chance and in Project X they are allotment of the story."

Girls aswell enjoyed the books and benefitted from boys' added activity in reading, she added.

Tony Bradman, advance columnist of the Project X micro-adventure stories, said the books drew boys in with abstruseness chance curve and science-fiction and affluence of activity and adventure.

"It's up to us to present books to them [boys] in a way that's attractive," he s

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the First impressions of Windows 7 beta

Windows 7 could be one of Microsoft's greatest operating systems, if it fulfills the affiance apparent by the actionable beta adaptation (build 7000) we accept been testing for the accomplished brace of days.

Let me alpha these quick impressions of Redmond's latest composition by adage that I came to Windows 7 afterwards accepting appropriately run the much-maligned Windows Vista on my Intel Core 2 Duo-based PC for the accomplished 18 months (alongside Ubuntu).

I activate Vista to be a aces advancement from Windows XP SP2. Despite its accessible flaws (can you say "resource hog"?) and the acknowlegement that some of its appearance charge to be disabled by default, Vista at affection is a abundant added abiding and accessible operating arrangement than XP, which was aboriginal arise in 2001.

The absolution of Service Pack 1 and bit-by-bit disciplinarian improvements accept congenital on Microsoft's somewhat-shaky Vista beginning.

Coming from this background, I accept been admiring to ascertain over the accomplished several canicule that Microsoft appears to accept congenital on Vista's strengths and addressed a lot of of its weaknesses with the beta absolution of Windows 7.

I activate the Windows 7 beta a accessible install. Out-of-the-box disciplinarian abutment on our analysis apparatus was perfect, and it took alone bisected an hour and two quick reboots to activate active a abiding desktop environment, admitting we wondered why Windows 7 created a 200MB allotment in accession to its capital partition. The 33MB of updates bound came down the aqueduct aloft loading the desktop.

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Basic desktop achievement was strong; the letters that Windows 7 is artlessly faster than Vista arise to be true. Certainly, Windows 7 had no botheration accompanying installing and ablution applications, downloading files, browsing the Web, and accustomed out added tasks on our bashful 2.8GHz Pentium 4, which has alone an 80GB IDE harder deejay and 512MB of RAM.

Vista's a lot of arresting annoyance, User Account Control, has been pared appropriate aback on its absence setting, and we encountered it alone a brace of times throughout a accomplished morning of installing applications. However, if you feel cornball for UAC's old behavior, you can calmly change it aback via Windows 7's new Action Center, which now centralizes all of the aegis updates and admonishing alerts that Windows throws your way.

Windows 7 recommended that we install a third-party antivirus amalgamation (it appropriate Kaspersky and AVG), but its antispyware amalgamation Defender comes preinstalled. Microsoft appears to accept an antivirus amalgamation installed beneath the hood; if downloading new software with Firefox, we were told that our downloads were getting scanned for viruses.

I decidedly like the new photo-realistic accessory icons, and the check of the way Windows handles and ejects USB accumulator devices. Microsoft appears to accept wiped out a lot of the Windows XP-era interface quirks of Vista; the aftereffect is a abundant added simplistic, unified acquaintance for accepted tasks.

I aswell enjoyed the check of the Windows taskbar, abnormally the glossy graphics, but a bug prevented us from getting able to use the examination action (it showed a atramentous rectangle instead), and you'll wish to play with the taskbar settings to get this section of the Windows 7 addle just right. It's simple to get minimized windows alloyed up with launcher buttons, for example.

I wish to accent that we didn't analysis the Windows 7 beta exhaustively, and business users will charge to carefully appraise deployment software and how the operating arrangement integrates into their absolute environments, as able-bodied as its adeptness to plan able-bodied with third-party software. For example, we couldn't get Adobe Systems' Creative Suite 3 to install on Windows 7 beta; the installer told us we bare to abdicate Internet Explorer first.

But conceivably the a lot of important affair to agenda about the software is that at aboriginal glance, it has abundant added of that ambiguous "Windows XP feel" than Vista anytime did. Even on our bashful machine, Windows 7 didn't batter the harder deejay or anytime feel unresponsive, except if we were installing Apple's iTunes, a belled affliction on Windows systems.

In general, this signals that Microsoft has spent a lot of accomplishment with Windows 7 on carrying a solid operating arrangement that won't "wow" anyone but will amuse them on a abundant added level. In added words, just what the doctor--and the customers--ordered.

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things windows 7 needs to accomplish

With Windows 7 set to accomplish its accessible admission Wednesday at CES (it already has, if you calculation the BitTorrent leak), in account of the seventh aloft adaptation of Microsoft’s operating system, I’ve appear up with seven things I anticipate Windows 7 accept to do.

Redmond is at a crossroads. Apple is resurgent–the iPod and now the iPhone Effect are active users abroad from Windows. Vista isn’t allowance abundant either: the abrogating acknowledgment bend acquired by Microsoft’s bungled barrage and business is aswell accidental to the exodus.

Windows 7 could be advised a analytical absolution for Ballmer and Co. Either the new operating arrangement plugs the aperture in the dam, or the cracks abound bigger and wider. Microsoft needs Windows 7 to be a success added than I anticipate it currently realizes. The blackmail from Apple is real.

So what does Windows 7 charge to do?

1. It needs to plan accurately out of the box. The barrage of Vista was one of the affliction in contempo anamnesis for Microsoft. Dozens — if not hundreds — of accessories did not accept able drivers. This meant that peripherals (some not even a year old) chock-full alive already Vista was installed.

In some cases, users had to delay months for the manufacturers to bolt up. For whatever acumen too abounding ally were bent with their pants down. This cannot appear again.

2. It needs to be marketed accurately from the start. Why should humans buy this? Microsoft needs to advertise the end user on Windows 7. The aggregation absolutely did not do its job with Vista, and the statistics appearance that. That operating arrangement appear 26 months ago, and afterwards all that time alone 1 in 4 Windows users accept installed it. That’s appealing bad.

Redmond needs to accomplish the case for Windows 7 clearly, accurately, and succinctly. It will yield added than a window bathrobe (no pun intended) to move this artefact off the shelves. And to abounding that’s what Vista was no amount if it was accurate or not.

Who’s accountability is that? The marketers.

3. It needs to be simple to use. As you may bethink this was the antecedent of some altercation in the tech blogosphere a abbreviate while back. Windows 7 needs to be simple to use. Part of the acumen why Mac OS has apparent such an uptick is the actuality that it absolutely “just works.” That’s not just business speak.

After a day or so with a Mac, you will be able to do just about anything. The operating arrangement is intuitive, and is congenital for affluence of use. From the aboriginal looks of what were seeing out of the beta, Microsoft has apparent the ablaze and has taken a acceptable attending at what is bare to accomplish this a reality.

4. It needs to apprentice from Mac OS X, not actor it. Yes, I argued in the aloft affiliated column that Microsoft could apprentice a acceptable accord on OS UI architecture from the association at Cupertino. However, the endure affair they charge to do is archetype it.

I anticipate the Dock-like taskbar is a acceptable archetype of how artful can go wrong–which Paul Thurrott aswell seems to lament. While it does a acceptable job in authoritative it attending like the Dock, in accurate Microsoft appearance they try to add to it rather than innovate it, which in about-face makes it harder to use or understand.

Microsoft needs to actively analysis some of these things with end-users afore they absolution them. Some assume like they are a little half-baked.

5. It needs to be innovative. This goes duke in duke with basically aggregate I’ve said afore this point. Microsoft has the better absorption of software development brainpower in the world, in accession to what seems like bottomless resources.

There’s no acumen why something avant-garde cannot be advancing out of Redmond on the regular. Vista seemed to abridgement any addition — no, an activated clear-cut UI does not count, and neither do annoying aegis measures (User Account Control, I’m searching in your direction).

6. It needs to accept the bread-and-butter climate. This is a huge one. This will be the aboriginal Windows adaptation aback 3.0/3.1 to absolution in a recessionary ambiance (yes, XP appear during the dot-com bust, but all-embracing abundant beneath of the abridgement was affected). Disposable assets is at a cogent low for many. Thus, a agleam new OS is not traveling to be important to many.

Microsoft absolutely needs to anticipate continued and harder about how it prices Windows 7: the assorted adaptation action of Vista was added ambagious than anything. Add to this the actuality that cipher is traveling to pay $250 for an OS advancement if they almost can allow their mortgage payment, and it just makes faculty to accumulate Windows 7 cheap.

Let’s go aback to one adaptation for the customer and one for the IT professional/business. Don’t attenuate the account adaptation too much, either. Don’t accomplish Windows 7 abort just because you are aggravating to clasp a few added allotment credibility of accumulation allowance from your customers, or abash them with too abounding versions of the aforementioned thing.

7. It needs to be able to advertise itself. Addition and amount will advertise Windows 7: Vista seemed to accept neither. The Microsofties will bawl from the mountaintops that it did accept both — but to the blow of us it didn’t assume that way. XP awash itself because it appeared to accept value: Microsoft did not absorb abundant money at all accepting it out the door.

Vista had to be force fed to consumers. That’s not good: if Microsoft does not apprentice from the mistakes of Windows Me Redux, we’ll be adage the aforementioned affair in addition three or so years.

Perhaps by afresh if Microsoft fails to affect afresh a lot of of us will be on Macs anyhow so the point will be arguable anyway? Mac fanatics can alone dream.

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Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds new Laptop

Lenovo will anon amend its ThinkPad W700 laptop, which has been advised befitting in apperception the multimedia-professional like photographers, editors, videographers etc. The adapted version, W700ds will affection a 10.6 inch, 768 x 1280 pixel LED-backlit affectation in accession to the 17 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel CCFL-backlit primary display.

The W700ds anthology will aswell now accept a smoother approach blow for the Wacom book and will aswell cover abutment for 4GB Intel Turbo memory. Expect the anthology to be apparent by January 5, 2009.

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a Computer program can analyze brain activity

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A computer affairs developed at a Pittsburgh university can action bound insights into one's thoughts by allegory academician activation patterns, advisers say.

Carnegie Mellon University computer science Professor Tom Mitchell , who is alive on the computer algorithm project, said by allegory an individual's academician activity, the affairs can accomplish actual authentic guesses at which chat of a called brace a being is cerebration about, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette appear Sunday. It can hit accurately up to 90 percent of the time compared with a simple 50-50 guess, the bi-weekly said.

"Even admitting we're acutely actual altered and accept had altered experiences, so that if you anticipate of a Ford Edsel you apparently anticipate of something altered than what I anticipate of, " the researcher said, "nevertheless, we're agnate abundant that these (computer) programs can acquaint us absolutely a bit about what we're thinking."

Psychologist Marcel Just, who is aswell alive on the project, told the bi-weekly the program's use of alluring resonance imaging to accomplish accomplished guesses would acceptable advance to added thought-recognition efforts in the future.

"Fifty years from now," Just said, "I anticipate it'll be believable that we'll be able to analyze people's thoughts with beneath bulky accessories than an MRI scanner, just the way we analyze a person's accent today."

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Android OS laptops closer than you think

Currently Microsoft Windows is a added ascendant operating arrangement than Linux if it comes to laptops, but the approaching may authority a third operating arrangement assertive to access the laptop amphitheatre in the for of the Android OS, but that may be a continued time off, or is it?

Over at VenturBeat, a brace of freelancers got to grips for a few hours with Google’s Android operating arrangement and got it active on an Asus Eee PC, and acknowledgment mostly to the accessible antecedent drivers and the like it was up and active in abbreviate order.

Now beings that Android is acclimated to G1 awning admeasurement you’d anticipate there would be a bit of a botheration with android adjusting to the bigger affectation of the Eee PC, but in actuality the admeasurement acclimation was able automatically by Android. So, maybe the Android based laptop isn’t as far off as on would expect.

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HP New Laptop design

According to HP and its anew apparent 'Firefly' (oh the blessed memories) ancestor laptop again yes indeed.

Designed as a multimedia axial machine, the 17 incher makes two cogent changes to the blueprint we've all appear to apperceive and - if we're honest - rather like. Firstly a additional 4.3in 800 x 480 resolution affectation has been adapted beneath the capital awning which could be applied for a few accessory apps, abbreviate awning bezels. I aswell can't advice but anticipate an ultra advanced even additional awning that akin the accumbent resolution of the one aloft would've been rather added useful.

Secondly - and one I acquisition even harder to get onboard with - is the repositioning of the trackpad appropriate of the keyboard. Now I get the argumentation but on the added hand, I retort: abounding (including me) like application two easily on a trackpad occasionally and it brings appropriate and larboard handedness needlessly into it. Quite bluntly HP our forearms by itself breach into a V appearance if application a anthology and that opens up the amplitude beautifully for the trackpad - I like that you've got multi-touch but all-embracing no, just no.

For the almanac there's a 2.4GHz Core 2 Extreme CPU, Mobility Radeon HD 3870 GPU, 4GB RAM and a 7,200rpm 250GB HDD but none of it absolutely affairs as HP has no affairs to put the Firefly into accumulation production.

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ECS X58B-A Motherboard review

Intel's Nehalem architectonics was a huge footfall advanced in putting high-performance accretion into the boilerplate consumer's PC. In abounding cases Nehalem offers achievement that was ahead aloof for dual-CPU configurations costing several thousand dollars. Now for $700 you can body a analgesic Core i7 body with 6GB of anamnesis and a lath acknowledging both CrossFire and SLI.

Elitegroup Computer Systems, ECS for short, is primarily an OEM architect so it's not able-bodied accepted to the enthusiast community. This is the additional ECS lath I've had my easily on and it is accessible that ECS is aggravating actual harder to advance both their superior and their image. The endure board, the ECS P45T-A, was an OEM lath anesthetized off as an enthusiast board. Just on aperture the box admitting it was accessible ECS meant business.

Intel's X58 chipset, the alone accepted belvedere acknowledging Nehalem, supports CrossFire natively. SLI can aswell be accurate but the lath accept to be activated by Nvidia and either action an nForce 200 PCIe about-face or an SLI key aural the BIOS. These from my compassionate are accidental from an electrical standpoint and are artlessly a evidence of their chipset authoritative days.

Below is a account of all the technologies congenital into this board. Priced at $245, the ECS isn't your top bank lath but thankfully this is reflected in the price. This will be abundant accepted by consumers accustomed how a lot of X58 boards are affairs for $300 or greater. That getting said, this lath does accept a lot of appearance that you wouldn't apprehend on a account board.

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Windows 7 compared to XP and Vista

Some reviews of the leaked Windows 7 beta accouterment the account catechism of 7 compared to XP or Vista, which is absolutely not that important to me appropriate now. As a Windows XP user the afire catechism for me is if Windows 7 is faster than XP. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes over at ZDNet answers this catechism with 20 absolute apple tests. As Windows 7 is still in beta benchmarks are not absolutely fair, but to analyze things like cossack time, shut down time, book transfer, accessible Excel and Word abstracts are a acceptable indicator of area Windows 7 stands compared to XP and Vista.

In this alternation of tests Windows 7 wins by a big margin, which is very, actual promising. In all bluntness I am dabbling with the abstraction of switching to Apple OS X this year in case Windows 7 disappoints. I am a Microsoft OS user back MS-DOS days. I am ailing of "waiting" for the OS or applications. It is the year 2009 and I wish burning boot, abiding burning suspend, and cool fast appliance response. Watching my wife application her MacBook over the endure two years giving me the consequence Apple is afterpiece to that ideal book than Microsoft. I am accommodating to pay austere money for the all-important accouterments if Windows 7 can advantage the ability to accomplish a PC an able apparatus rather than a time crumbling machine.

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