And so it begins again…Windows “officially supported” logo program

win7-logo

While the “Vista Capable” logo and moniker were nothing short of a joke and outright crime towards humanity, the announcement today featuring details of a revised and lengthened testing program for Win7 testing mean the resulting hardware should actually be…well…capable of running said software. To date, 6,000+ hardware hopefuls have made the cut meaning just about any desktop or laptop you choose will be good to go when the time comes to make the 7 switch. With one of the Win7 labels even bringing 64-bit support under it’s wings, you can be rest assured that uselessness that is the Atom processor will be no where in sight. That is until Intel lets loose their next gen Pineview processors, which bring with them officially supported, Win7 capable Atom processors. Oh joy.

Engadget > Windows Team Blog

Make Windows 7 look sorta like KDE’s twin with “KDE Se7en Patcher”

Customizers and those of you driven by the never ending need to constantly change the look of your PC have a new toy to play around with. While KDE is a pretty slick looking skin/theme for Linux, the fact that it is Linux only is what keeps many people from ever enjoying it. Many simply don’t feel they have the time or knowledge to learn the OS or deal with the incompatibilities that can arise. There is a solution however in KDE Se7en Patcher for Windows 7. Said patch will give Windows 7 the KDE treatment by replacing all of the stock Windows 7 garb with a host of KDE goodies including:

  • Over 390 icon and bitmap resources patched
  • Updated code compatible with Windows 7
  • Updated/removed obsolete resources
  • 190 KDE wallpapers in several resolutions
  • Updated App UI
  • Updated Installer — Option for normal or widescreen wallpapers

While the look isn’t 100% KDE, it should at least hold you over until another more featured pack comes along or start the fire under your arse to code your own package. Tinker away.

Download KDE Se7en from Deviant Art here

Source: Blogs DNA

Sony disabling feature that allows one of Windows 7’s most important features [Face palm]

facepalm

Fans of Sony laptops who are looking forward to Windows 7 and the XP mode that will allow users to run legacy apps without fear of a Vista-like break will be sorely disappointed (putting it lightly) to hear that due to BS reasons that aren’t really that big of a concern security reasons, Sony has disabled hardware virtualization on all current Sony Vaio laptops meaning no XP mode for you. *Face palm*. According to Sony’s Xavier Lauwaert, Senior manager for product marketing:

…received very little if any requests to enable VT technology up until very recently.

In addition, our engineers and QA people were very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter.

For these two reasons we have decided, until recently, not to enable VT. However, with the advent of XP Virtualization, there is impetus for us to relook at the situation and I can share with you that we will enable VT on select models.

Though, I fear to say that the Z series will not be part of our VT-enabling effort. Indeed, we will focus on more recent models.

Again, the immediate outlook doesn’t look to promising as Sony doesn’t appear to be in any hurry. While many users will in fact never need or want this feature, the crowd that has been looking forward to XP mode and all of its hair saving grace will no doubt need to start looking for a nice new wig pretty darn soon. What do you have to say about this unfortunate turn of events?

Of course, if you would like to give Sony the finger and re-enable the hidden pleasures for yourself, you can find info on how to do so with either a Phoenix BIOS or a Insyde H2O UEFI framework
Happy hacking!

Source: Gizmodo, Engadget, The Register, Image Source

Windows 7 upgrade chart is one big grouping of pain.

If you are a company big or small and want to see how not to release a product (and support information), go no further than the Windows 7 upgrade chart. What should be a rather simple affair with a chart that is pretty well laid out and easy to read ends up looking like an eye raping ordeal. As one can see form the shot above, the upgrade path is rather hairy with just about any upgrade path you choose meaning you’re going to have a lousy several hours the day you decide to do the upgrade/switcheroo. Just to get the point across, all of those little blue boxes that say “custom install” mean you will have to first back up your data, wipe your hard drive, and then continue to install Windows 7 — hardly what I’d call an “upgrade”. It’s pretty much like any other OS re-install and it sucks. Why Microsoft would choose to make the XP/Vista -> 7 move so much of a pain in the ass when they’re still even going to offer XP for downgrade through 2011 is beyond me. Oh well. At least once you get it installed it’s actually pretty sweet and worthwhile (this coming from a Mac guy!) Are you looking at the chart above and cringing in pain with the job you have set out before you? IT admins, are you ready to end your lives right now over the nightmare that is sure to ensue? Boy do I want to know what you’re thinking…..

Source: Engadget

Ballmer “not so sure” Google knows what they’re doing with Chrome OS.

When Google announced the development of and future release of Chrome OS, many people took a step back rather confused. Google has until recently been an online/web app type of company. Android brought them into the world of “desktop” software for mobile devices. With Chrome OS, Google looks to be breaking right in to Microsoft’s luxurious downtown apartment and running off with their precious jewel: the desktop OS. Now I’m not launching Chrome OS to the top of the OS heap by any means. They have a long and tedious uphill battle ahead of them. But on has to look at Android and the advances developers have made in order to get it running on netbooks/notebooks and ask ourselves if Google knows what they’re doing by introducing a very similar second OS? Steve Ballmer seems to be asking that very same question.

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Windows 7 pricing officially outted.

I’ll start by saying that if you were hoping for Microsoft to loosely follow Apple in terms of pricing on OS upgrades on their up and coming OS releases, I’m sorry to say that considering Microsoft’s revealed pricing “loosely based” to Apple’s would be a stretch to say the least. For XP and Vista users who are upgrading, the pricing is as follows:

Upgrade Pricing:

  • Windows Home Premium Upgrade: $119
  • Windows Home Professional Upgrade: $199
  • Windows Home Ultimate Upgrade: $219.99

So the upgrade prices aren’t exactly spectacular…but it could be worse right? So how much are users who need the full install getting stuck with? All that and some juicy pre-order discount goodness right inside.
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Microsoft wants XP to forever be in our hearts, minds, and computers

Windows XP brings different emotions to different people.  For those in the IT world, XP has matured into a more or less solid operating system that has been tweaked and loved to the fullest extent.  For home users, it is something they’ve been staring at for years now, possibly even growing a tad long in the tooth.  They want change.  It seems Microsoft isn’t ready to send this aging beast to the grave just yet as they are…again…extending the XP downgrade option.  This time, the magical date that is as solid as water is rather vague — “up to 18 months after Windows 7 is released or until the first Win 7 Service Pack…which every comes first”.  Right then.  XP is becoming the OS that just won’t go away.  While again it is a now mature and very common OS with ultra wide support, don’t you think it has had its time?  Someone else should come fill XP’s shoes…say I don’t know…Windows 7?  Microsoft really has to just let go and bite the bullet and let their customers get their own ducks in a line and stop holding their hands. Before long, XP will seem as old as that dear piece of plastic above.  Agree?

 

Source: Engadget, Image Source

New Windows 7 build leaked — New wallpaper insues

I’m pretty sure the top thing on everyone’s “Windows 7 fix list” was a new wallpaper (picture above).  All jokes and sarcasm aside, the latest builds 7232 and 7260 which were both leaked yesterday to the world of nerds alike actually contain quite a few bug fixes.  So far, actual differences between the two builds are pretty minor as no one has stepped forward with any revolutionary enhancements or changes.  However, Windows 7 build 7260 is labeled as an “RTM Escrow” build meaning that it will be the final code assuming there aren’t any major nasties that pop up.  So those of you who are on top of the Windows 7 leaked builds scene, how are 7232/7260 faring?  Is that new wallpaper worth it?  Step inside for a look at the new Win 7 wallpaper.

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Microsoft giving netbook OEM’s a little bit of sticker shock

If you where a multimillion dollar netbook manufacturer who was looking forward to the next Windows OS to replace the dinosaur also known as Windows XP, you may want to either cling to XP’s dying heart beat or venture out into the unknown (linux) all together.  It seems Microsoft is on course to screw up the potential sweep Windows 7 could have on the netbook market.  Notice the could in the sentence.  The problem lays with (surprise surprise) money.  While netbook manufacturers currently pay between $15-$35 per copy of Windows XP for netbooks, the prices for Windows 7 Starter (netbook) edition are getting a rather hefty kick in the butt, up to $45-$55 per copy.  While those of you purchasing $1,000+ machines won’t even blink at the difference, those spending at most $200 on a netbook and now having to factor in an extra 25% into the cost will simply say good-bye microsoft powered netbook and hello to linux - hardly the response Big M wants…I’m assuming.  Netbook manufacturers who obviously want in on the massive upgrade Windows 7 is claimed to be are still in talks with Microsoft to bring the cost down.  Hopefully the netbook manufacturers succeed.  Are you in the market for a bottom dollar netbook?  If so, would an extra $50 sway your decision to an un-Microsoft powered unit that was cheaper?  Divulge below.

 

Source: Ars Technica, Image Source

Hidden ringtones available in Windows 7!

If you’re in the mood for some new ringtones for your tele, specifically your Blackberry (hey, I got these from Blackberry forums…represent…what can I say).  These free ringtones in question are only in Windows 7 (to my knowledge, feel free to correct me).  In order to score the free goods, navigate to:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones.

If for some reason they aren’t there, you can’t find it, or you simply don’t want to take the 20 seconds needed to get there, you can get those same ringtones here (part 1) and here (part 2).  Enjoy the Windows 7 goodness on your mobile.  :)

Thanks to DataCentre from BlackberryForums

Source: Blackberry Forums, Image Source

Windows 7 starter to regain ability to run more than 3 apps at once - lose the ability to change your wallpaper?!

confusion

Continuing on the current kick of Windows 7 news, the latest not so greatness comes from Paul Thurrott regarding the current 3-app limit on Windows 7 starter. For many, the 3-app limit sounds ridiculous and for for those same many probably is because of the nubmer of things we run at the same time. However, being that 7 Starter is geared towards netbooks that are already much lower powered than laptops or desktops, even running 3 apps or more at once could bring your precious little netbook to a memory puking hault. Because of this, Paul Thurrott claims that in reality, on a netbook anyway, the 3-app limit isn’t that bad. Current rumors however peg Microsoft removing that 3-app limit. *Cheers!* Don’t get too happy though as a new development that is actually worse and not yet confirmed is starting to circulate that a new crutch propping up 7 Starter will be the inability to change your wallpaper. Really!? Talk about a stupid and uneccessary move on Redmond’s part. I hope to god he’s joking. While it isn’t a “deal breaker” per say that you can’t change the background of your Windows 7 Starter powered netbook, choosing such a feature to remove in order to entice you to upgrade doesn’t make much sense. How many people do you know who would shell out more money, possibly in excess of $100 or more just to be able to change their wallpaper…you know…since that is such a hot issue these days.

Source: Gizmodo, WinSuper Site

, Image Source