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Ballmer announces Windows 7 Open Beta

Ballmer announces Windows 7 Open Beta

Ballmer's first CES keynote focused on Windows 7, Windows Live and some new developments in the world of Xbox 360.

CES 2009: Steve Ballmer popped his cherry last night at the opening CES keynote following Bill Gates' retirement last year.

The keynote focused on Windows 7 and the new version of Windows Live.

Ballmer demonstrated many of the new features in Windows 7 that we've already written about, including Jump Lists, the transparency effect that enables you to see desktop widgets and the new window-snap feature.

He also talked about the new networking setup procedure, which is said to take as little as three clicks to configure, and the ability to instruct content on one shared computer to be played on any machine in the network. Think of using your laptop to access your music collection on your Home Server and playing it in your living room using your Xbox 360.

Ballmer said that the open beta of Microsoft's next-generation operating system would be available for all to download on Friday, even though it was leaked to BitTorrent before the turn of the year for anyone who is savvy enough to use an application like uTorrent. I guess you could say it'll now be available to those non-tech savvy users or to those of us who wanted to wait for an official source before downloading.

Attention then switched onto Windows Live, which Ballmer described as "our cloud solution for communication, sharing and keeping your life in sync on the PC, mobile and on the web."

New features include a 'What's New' feed, enabling you to add any social networking tool and put the content delivered by them into one place. There are over 50 partners on Microsoft's list and it includes the likes of Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and Bebo.

Facebook has had the heaviest integration and you will be able to automatically post information across both Facebook and Windows Live via both platforms. The feed is also accessible from all of the Windows Live applications.

The most interesting update was to Hotmail, which now has an expandable and collapsible sidebar that enables users to quickly search for maps, addresses and much more without having to navigate away from the page. What's more, Microsoft allows you to quickly add the information into your emails without needing to copy and paste. Very cool.

Robbie Bach took to stage after Ballmer had finished discussing Windows Live and he talked about Halo 3: ODST, Halo Wars, Xbox Live Primetime and Kodu, a LittleBigPlanet clone. The biggest news to come from Bach's time on stage was the release of Halo Wars - the demo is due on February 5th with the full release happening later in the month on the 28th.

That was about it - stay tuned for more news later today. Discuss in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
DougEdey 8th January 2009, 15:32 Quote
Who dares to lose their data?
steveo_mcg 8th January 2009, 15:45 Quote
Do you dare not with chairs flying all over....
ch424 8th January 2009, 16:07 Quote
It's not in the article but other news sites are saying that the release date is tomorrow! Thank goodness for that spare 250GB drive I had...

Steve Ballmer's voice sounds like something off Team America. :D
Jojii 8th January 2009, 17:01 Quote
Where is my full scale Mechwarrior. I'm still waiting.
cpemma 8th January 2009, 17:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Who dares to lose their data?
I was going to say "Them who dares Wins folk" but it's a bit weak so I won't.
Hamish 8th January 2009, 17:30 Quote
hasnt everyone who cares already downloaded the leaked beta anyway? :p

also, this is what virtual machines are for ;)
pendragon 8th January 2009, 17:52 Quote
was it me, or was that news article very lite on 'open beta' information?
ch424 8th January 2009, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish
also, this is what virtual machines are for ;)

Can you run Windows 7 on virtual pc?
robyholmes 8th January 2009, 19:17 Quote
You can run windows 7 on virtual marchine, but i don't think the aero will work. People may prove me wrong on that.

I think most people will have the beta, but it doesn't have update, the beta coming out tomoz will have update all the way to july 1st (When it runs out)
BioSniper 8th January 2009, 20:17 Quote
The what's new feed I guess is the same as the one in the current "beta" of the new Live Messenger client.
LordPyrinc 9th January 2009, 01:16 Quote
From the article: "our cloud solution". I'm getting so tired of the latest buzzwords.

From here on out, we should sunset all buzzwords. I get tired of hearing the same type of BS at work. OMG you dont know what this and that means??? Well you aren't in on the new management fog-talk that blinds the peons. What ever happened to plain f**king english?
notatoad 9th January 2009, 01:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Who dares to lose their data?

who keeps data on a system partition? and who doesn't back up data?
steveo_mcg 9th January 2009, 09:39 Quote
kenco_uk 9th January 2009, 10:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by robyholmes
You can run windows 7 on virtual marchine, but i don't think the aero will work. People may prove me wrong on that.

I've tried the earlier beta leak and I'd assume the current one will be the same but no, the Glass effect doesn't work in MS Virtual PC 07.
DragunovHUN 9th January 2009, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragon
was it me, or was that news article very lite on 'open beta' information?

Yeah i feel the same way. Also a download link would have been nice.
kenco_uk 9th January 2009, 15:38 Quote
I'd say that a shedload of servers have just been brought online as the page responds very quickly now. Must surely be available soon.
GavX 9th January 2009, 16:04 Quote
poo:
Error
The site is currently experiencing technical difficulties, please check back in the next business day.
UncertainGod 9th January 2009, 17:06 Quote
Damn me waking up late, the sites dead atm. :(
badders 9th January 2009, 17:13 Quote
It will apparently go up at 12pm PST - thats 8pm here.
Saivert 12th January 2009, 23:24 Quote
I ran the first two pre-beta builds in VMWare Workstation, but when the BETA hit I decided I wanted the full experience so I installed it on my computer. Been using it ever since.
I only have to reboot into Vista when playing Battlefield 2 and Call of Duty 4 because they use Punkbuster which isn't compatible with Windows 7 yet. A shame.

It found all devices and installed drivers for them except SM Bus which I had to install manually.
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