[URL="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2332430,00.asp?kc=PCRSS03079TX1K0000584"]John Dvorak at PC Magazine,[/URL] a grand old curmudgeon who never pulls any punches created a wish list for Windows 7. It got me thinking about my own wish list, so here goes: [B]1. Don't Make Me Wait Forever at Boot Time[/B] Nothing aggravates me more than waiting for Windows to boot up. It takes forever and seems to take longer with each passing version. I remember some time ago Bill Gates ordering his programmers to speed up boot time. They seemed to have missed the memo because it never happened, and if anything it got worse. [B]2. Gives us …

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Yesterday was Microsoft's big day. Windows 7 was released. Did you go buy your copy already? Are you waiting? Whether you have or haven't doesn't really matter but I'm going to give you my five reasons why you [B]should[/B] switch to Windows 7 and five more why you [B]shouldn't[/B]. Both are compelling and perhaps might change your mind one way or another. This list might seem odd coming from a guy who ordinarily writes on Linux topics, but as an IT professional I have to work with all operating systems and deal with their quirks accordingly. This is my list …

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With the price of Windows 7 topping out at US$320, Microsoft will be handing shoppers less cash at the end of its [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UzmsUtoo4Q&feature=player_embedded]"I'm a PC" commercials[/url]. Price advantages of Windows-laptops over those from Apple evaporated further today as Microsoft's latest operating system hit store shelves and OEM factories. In typical Microsoft fashion, there are six versions of Windows 7, something for everyone at every price point. All but the Starter Edition support 32- and 64-bit architectures. At $320 are the feature-identical Ultimate and Enterprise Editions. Both are available at retail and pre-installed through OEMs; volume pricing is available for Enterprise. …

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There ain't no such thing as a free Windows 7 upgrade. At least that's what it is starting to look like for the majority of people, despite the 'free upgrade' vouchers that are being handed out with new computers as part of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option scheme. A scheme which has been introduced to stop the huge dip in PC sales during the period before a new Windows OS ends up being a standard feature that would otherwise occur. According to [URL="http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2009/09/21/the-truth-about-the-free-windows-7-upgrades/"]research[/URL] carried out by PC Pro magazine in the UK, PC manufacturers are charging their customers in order …

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Isn't it amazing just how attached so many people are to Windows XP given that it is relatively old and [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/25484/53/"]relatively insecure[/URL]? I will even admit to having a netbook which runs very nicely on XP thank you very much, and have no plans to 'upgrade' this to Vista or [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs/daveyw/2009/05/24/has-the-us-army-declared-war-on-windows-7/"]Windows 7[/URL]. The Russian government, in the shape of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), does not seem to [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4066.html"]keen on Vista[/URL] either. Actually, let me rephrase that, it does not seem too keen on Microsoft forcing people into buying Vista by retiring Windows XP. Somewhat incredulously, it is investigating Microsoft …

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I've never been a big fan of American Idol or reality TV in general, but the tit for tat going on between Microsoft and Apple ads reminds me a bit of a reality TV competition with bloggers acting as Simon and Paula and the gang. We watch. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we sneer, but it's all in good fun right? The [URL="http://byronmiller.typepad.com/byronmiller/2009/05/mac-strikes-back-take-that-microsoft.html"]latest ad [/URL]in Apple's Get a Mac campaign goes straight after the new series of ads from Microsoft. Microsoft has tried a number of approaches, but its new series of [URL="http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/03/26/microsoft.html"]Laptop Hunter ads[/URL], which goes after Apple's price seems …

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It's with more than idle curiosity that I've watched the recent [URL="http://news.cnet.com/microsofts-lauren-ad-follow-up-disses-mac-power/?tag=rtcol;pop"]Microsoft ads[/URL] that attack Apple, subtly suggesting that it's too expensive and that it's all glitz with no real computing power. There is so much wrong with these assertions that it's hard to know where to begin. There is after all something to be said for getting what you pay for, and when you buy any old Windows PC based on price and specifications without regard to quality, you have no idea what you're getting. When you buy a Mac, you may pay more, but you know exactly what …

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If you believe the results of the first annual [URL="http://www.fiascoawards.com/index.php"]Fiasco Awards[/URL] then the answer would appear to be an unequivocal yes considering that Vista got a rather staggering 86 percent of the vote for the worst performing IT product of the year. But then appearances can often be deceiving, and I wonder if this is not a great example of some quarters of the media, along with the usual [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3327.html"]Microsoft haters[/URL], jumping a little too quickly onto the 'Vista is a pile of pants' bandwagon once more? First of all, what are the Fiasco Awards exactly? A good question that …

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According to a recent [URL="http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/23/microsoft-to-rebrand-search-will-it-be-kumo/"]TechCrunch article[/URL], Microsoft is planning to rename its Live Search product, Kumar, which means cloud or spider in Japanese. What Microsoft needs to learn, and what the [URL="http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/"]Get a Mac ads [/URL]have captured so well, is that it's not about PR or branding or the name of the products, it's about the products behind the brand. Until they learn that, they are just going to wallow in corporate mediocrity and be subjected to well-deserved ridicule. [B]Seinfeld Didn't Change Vista[/B] This obsession with the surface seems to go back to last summer when Microsoft decided that the …

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[I]Way down deep it's the same old you Way down deep you ain't hiding the truth Just for a minute you had me confused Baby way down deep it's the same old you ~Tom Petty, Same Old You.[/I] My colleague Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in his aptly titled [URL="http://blogs.computerworld.com/the_big_windows_7_lie"]Cyber Cynic[/URL] column on Computer World is always good for a reality check for all things technology, especially Microsoft. This week Vaughan-Nichols takes a look under the hood of the highly-vaunted Windows 7, and he finds nothing more than warmed over Vista stew, the same OS we didn't like much the first time …

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I read an article on Yahoo Tech yesterday that I have to share with you. The title is "[URL="http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20081028/ap_on_hi_te/tec_microsoft"]Microsoft says next Windows won't be as annoying[/URL]". It's funny that Microsoft realizes, and admits, that Windows Vista is a tremendous blunder. They don't say it as strongly as I just did but they should. Like Windows Me, Vista is a terrible mistake. It isn't just me because as one Gartner analyst, Michael Silver, put it in the article, "The real hurdle is to get Vista's reputation behind them." Funny stuff that. In the article, a Microsoft VP said that some of …

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You cannot have escaped the fact that this week is the Microsoft PDC2008. Those attending the Professional Developers Conference, only held every other year, were lucky enough to witness the first full public demo of Windows 7. What's more, PDC attendees even walked away with a full pre-Beta build of the next generation Windows Operating System. Microsoft announced plans to release a full Windows 7 beta early into 2009. Windows 7 promises to deliver new features to help protect privacy and data, while making it easier to recover from problems. Then there is the streamlining and simplification of common tasks …

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[I]You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don't find easy, or learn an awful lot very fast which is what I tried to do. ~Jane Fonda [/I] Steve Ballmer doesn't seem to have learned Jane Fonda's big life lesson. In fact, dude doesn't know when to shut up, which is fairly odd given that he is the CEO of a huge corporation. Ballmer gave a talk last week at the [URL="http://www.gartner.com/it/sym/2008/sym18/sym18.jsp"]Gartner's Symposium ITxpo[/URL] in Orlando where by all reports he let go not one, but two major gaffes (and that's just the ones …

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The second [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBWPf1BWtkw"]Microsoft-Seinfeld ad[/URL] was released Friday. It had a few funny moments, but once again left most people shaking their heads wondering exactly what Microsoft hopes to achieve. I'm not sure they know. Although they may have a game plan, it's hard for anyone to see exactly what it is. We know this much. Microsoft has invested $300M on this new ad campaign to convince us that Microsoft (to paraphrase an old Animals song) is a soul whose intentions are good, but is simply misunderstood. Meanwhile the PR machines has sent out some big wigs to convince us that …

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If your plan is to strong-arm customers into offering your products exclusively, you had better give them something people want to buy. With Microsoft and Windows Vista, such is not the case, and Hewlett-Packard isn't taking it lying down. HP, the world's number one PC supplier in terms of volume sales, appears to be leading a new anti-Vista revolution, of a sort. In an interesting article yesterday in BusinessWeek, Aaron Ricadela reports about "[URL=http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep2008/tc2008095_077474.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_news+%2B+analysis]HP's 'End Run' Around Windows[/URL]," and what a team inside the company is doing to improve the appeal of Vista by making it easier to use. Known …

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If you have to release a statement explaining your commercial, I think it's safe to say it was a failure. The much anticipated [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM_72QXCtN4]Microsoft commercial[/URL] featuring comedian Jerry Seinfeld debuted yesterday, and quickly rose in the viewer ranks on YouTube. Not only was the 90-second spot not funny, it left so many people asking what it was about that it prompted Microsoft to post [URL=http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/windows/featureStories.aspx?story=660dee9e-9606-4e77-843e-ed81d83c0bfe]a release[/URL] that read, in part: [QUOTE] After seeing the new ad from Microsoft, which debuted today, some may wonder what Jerry Seinfeld helping Bill Gates pick out a new pair of shoes has to do …

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Microsoft has announced a $300M dollar ad campaign, featuring 90s TV star [URL="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098904/"]Jerry Seinfeld[/URL], which according to multiple reports has been designed to save Vista and salvage Microsoft's battered reputation. There is so much wrong with this strategy, it's really hard to know where to start. First of all, the problem is not just one of perception. A PR blitz suggests that Microsoft has produced a dazzling product in Vista, but the foolish masses have failed to grasp how good it is. All it will take is a funny ad and we all be lining up to get Vista. It's …

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I first heard about the Mojave Experiment indirectly through Daniweb, whilst reading a [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry2870.html"]blog[/URL] post about something different. I also decided to [URL="http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/#"]check it out[/URL] whilst reading through a [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/forums/thread136855.html"]thread[/URL] on here. And I'm glad I did, if only so I could get to share my opinion on it. After viewing about two-fifths of the videos on the Mojave website, I had seen enough to post something back on the thread that ignited it all. And then I carried on watching videos, and I paused to put some more thoughts down. Those thoughts would have been reproduced word for word …

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My colleague Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols recently wrote a piece on his fine Practical Technology blog called [URL="http://practical-tech.com/operating-system/dear-microsoft-thanks-for-the-help-linux/"]Dear Microsoft, Thanks for the help, Linux[/URL] in which he argues that Microsoft’s ill-timed decision to cut off easy access to XP tomorrow (June 30th) combined with its announcement it would be releasing the next version of Windows in January, 2010 effectively lends a death blow to Vista and creates a huge opportunity for desktop Linux. With all due respect to my esteemed colleague, this is not the first time I’ve heard such a prediction. I am certainly not as immersed in Linux coverage …

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There's an interesting story up at [URL="http://consumerist.com/tag/windows/?i=5010868&t=microsoft-and-the-1632-copy-of-vista"]The Consumerist[/URL] at the moment about some chap called Bill who has been charged $1632 for a single Windows Vista Ultimate upgrade license. It would appear what has happened is that Windows Live Marketplace kept saying to try again later when Bill pressed the submit button for his upgrade license purchase, when what it should have said was we have just debited your bank account $233.15 so whatever you do don't keep pressing that button. Unfortunately for Bill, that's exactly what he did. Another six times in fact. Bill insists that "upon selecting "submit" …

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[URL="http://www.slipperybrick.com/2008/05/iphone-runs-windows-vista-kinda/"]Slippery Brick reports[/URL] that it is now possible to run Windows Vista on your iPhone, well after a fashion at any rate. In fact what you get is a Vista emulator called VistaPerfection 2.0 which provides your iPhone with "wallpapers, sliders, sound effects and over 90 Vista-themed icons for everything from the computer to the recycle bin, plus all of the standard iPhone apps. It even gives you a simulated version of Vista’s Sidebar and Start menu." The iPhone does need to be jailbroken in order to install the thing in the first place, which is one point against it. …

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Before I tell you about Bill Gates’ speech at CEO Summit 2008 today, I’d like to share one more story from my trip to Orlando for STAR EAST last week. And then I’ll tie the two together. In [my May 10 post](http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry2434.html) from the conference, I mentioned “Testing Dialogues—In the Executive Suite,” an extremely entertaining keynote speech by James Whittaker, a software architect at Microsoft. In part of his presentation was a [Microsoft video](http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080315/microsoft-future-personal-health-video/) shown at one of its employee meetings. It opens with a female runner that’s using a device to monitor her vitals as she jogs along a …

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Microsoft has put the brakes on Windows XP Service Pack 3, which was supposed to be available yesterday through the [URL=http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us]Windows Update Website[/URL]. A [URL=http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3262170&SiteID=17]Tuesday post[/URL] on its TechNet site said a “compatibility issue” between Microsoft’s Dynamics Retail Management System point-of-sale application and SP3 has caused the delay. The same issue effects [URL=http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/sp1.mspx] Vista SP1[/URL], but [URL=http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b0c7136d-5ebb-413b-89c9-cb3d06d12674&DisplayLang=en]that update[/URL], released last week, has already been pushed out via Microsoft’s Automatic Updates. The XP service pack had already been released to manufacturing but was not in wide distribution otherwise. XP SP3 continues to be [URL=http://www.tipandtrick.net/2008/official-windows-xp-sp3-build-5512-final-download-links-from-windows-update/]available online at Tip and Trick[/URL] for those …

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With the lackluster adoption of Vista, perhaps Microsoft plans to migrate XP users by attrition—one service pack at a time. The company today released Windows XP SP3, which enables in XP a slew of features, many native to Vista. Available now as a stand-alone [URL="http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=68c48dad-bc34-40be-8d85-6bb4f56f5110&displaylang=en"]installer pack[/URL], the update brings XP users to Peer Name Resolution Protocol 2.1, the version of Microsoft’s peer-to-peer technology used by Vista to learn of and communicate with other Vista apps and Web-connected systems by name. It also will allow XP apps to do the same with those on Vista. PNRP 2.0 was introduced in Vista …

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I'm no Microsoft basher, but I've never hidden my personal loathing for Vista. Yet even I was surprised to learn this week just how cynical Microsoft appears to be regarding Vista. It started the other day when a Steve Ballmer speech to the [URL="http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/"]Microsoft MVPs [/URL]leaked out. According to several news sources including [URL="http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2008/04/17/steve-ballmer-windows-vista-is-a-work-in-progress"]this one[/URL] from ArsTechnica, Ballmer called Vista "a work in progress" at a Microsoft MVP meeting. Well, I could have told you that. It's slow, annoying and smacks of a less than stellar effort by the Microsoft development team, but people have paid big money for this …

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According to [URL="http://www.news.com/8301-13860_3-9911470-56.html?tag=cnetfd.blogs.item"]reports[/URL] it looks possible that the next big upgrade to the Windows OS, the fabled Windows 7, could arrive much earlier than expected. Within the next 12 months even. And who is responsible for making this prediction? None other than Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates himself, apparently. If this is true then it means the development schedules that have been bandied about up to now have undergone a radical rethink. The News.com article suggests that Gates responded to a question about Vista asked at a speech to the Inter-American development Bank and is quoted as saying "Sometime in the …

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It should come as no surprise that the upcoming 'Patch Tuesday' from Microsoft should include critical patches covering the likes of VBScript and Jscript implementation in Windows 2000, XP and 2003. However, [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/news/184764/not-even-vista-sp1-escapes-next-patch-tuesday.html"]some reporters[/URL] have expressed just a little astonishment that both Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP1 are also included in the latest patch run. Apparently one of the five critical patches affects every version of Windows, and that includes both the latest server OS and the first of the Vista service packs. Windows Server 2008 was only released to the public five weeks back, and Vista SP1 just …

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Hello! Since installing the shiny new Vista first service pack; I had been getting some problems browsing - although I hadn't actually changed anything apart from installed SP1. It was mainly websites that were running on flash or those that used ActiveX controls that seemed to be having problems loading. So decided to roll back the settings on IE, this to didn't come without it's own problems but did solve the ones listed above; but unleashed a new one. DEP; my understanding is that MS have been using DEP in Windows since Server 2003 - not sure why I've only …

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[URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/news/181083/microsoft-offers-free-vista-sp1-support.html"]According to IT Pro[/URL] Microsoft has done a u-turn when it comes to charging users for installation or compatibility support with regard to Vista SP1. It says that Microsoft is now "offering free support to any Windows Vista SP1 user experiencing problems." Quoting Microsoft MVP Brandon LeBlanc, it reports "you have a variety of options you can choose for support, all of which will not cost you any support fee." Indeed, it would appear that the Microsoft Vista support site is now offering totally free support for SP1 installation and compatibility issues be it via email, IM or telephone to …

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Evening everyone! As most of you will proberbly already be aware that the first service pack for MS Vista is looming. Although the final version won't be available on MS update until proberbly next month - it is available as a download (roughly about 450Mb) direct from MS. I decided to go all out and install it on my laptop earlier on, and during the setup it asked me to make sure that I had at least 7.5Gb of free space for the service pack. (Not exactly sure why it requested so much?) The install was pretty much painless although …

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The End.