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Windows Operating Systems Software

Developers Will Get Windows 7 Alpha On Oct. 28 83

Posted by timothy
from the let's-call-it-project-kilimanjaro dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft confirmed today that it will hand out 'pre-beta' release copies of Windows 7 on Oct. 28, at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC). Mike Swanson, a Microsoft technology evangelist, has said attendees will receive a 160GB external USB hard drive that will presumably include the Windows 7 alpha. Mike Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, was cautiously optimistic that today's announcement meant Microsoft was on track with Windows 7. 'If they didn't do this, you would have to wonder if they could make the schedule,' Cherry said."
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Developers Will Get Windows 7 Alpha On Oct. 28

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  • by clang_jangle (975789) * on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:02PM (#25156313) Journal
    No way it's anything else. MS couldn't code anything substantial that fast. Then again, I suppose they could have outsourced the whole thing...
    • Wait? Windows Mojave is really Windows Vista?!?!?!
    • Well it's easier to move quickly when you cut out all the features [slashdot.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by reynaert (264437)
      I would be very surprised if Windows 7 is anything other than Vista SP2.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by drspliff (652992)

        Did you mean Vista RC1?

      • by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruising-slashdot.yahoo@com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:01PM (#25158221) Homepage Journal

        It's a bit bigger than that. Multi-touch capabilities, vastly improved BitLocker, new networking capabilities that simplify sending/sharing files, a couple substantial changes to UAC (in some cases simply changing simple config options to make it less "annoying", in other cases adding new capabilities such as automatic elevation for MS-signed binaries). Bootup and hibernation are being parallelized and should run faster on multi-core machines now. Many apps, including the calculator, notepad, and Paint have undergone significant UI and/or feature upgrades. The general UI has been updated somewhat as well.

        The kernel sounds remarkably similar, though. More like 6.1 or 6.2 than 7.0.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Taxman415a (863020)
          Emphasis on the bit. Of course they're just claiming that it's going to have multi-touch throughout anyway. Most likely it will be half assed and even if it isn't that would still make Windows 7 a far cry from the features that were promised to be in Vista/Longhorn years ago. So yes, basically it's Windows ME all over again.
          • by DevonBorn (975502)
            Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was rather under the impression that Vista is the new ME or are you saying that 7 will also be a ME (perhaps a ME^2 ?)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by msclrhd (1211086)

      The Vista codeline is what Windows 2008 is built on (it is Vista SP1 with additional server-orientated stuff). The Windows 7 codebase is built on top of this.

      Also, from what I understand, MS aren't doing anything too drastic in the kernel.

      With Vista as the foundation (which they rewrote a lot of, IIRC) they can make incremental, evolutionary improvements.

      Take Firefox as an example: Mozilla didn't rewrite it when they were developing FF3; they cleaned up bits, for sure, and added new features, but it was a l

      • With the number of developers Microsoft has, they can do a lot of development work, so have the potential to add a lot to the Vista/2008 codebase.

        The only thing that makes that statement true is the word "potential" - which we learned from all the scaled back and incomplete features in Vista, truly translates into "the most infinitesimally small potential to..."

        Just sayin...

        ;-)

      • The Vista codeline is what Windows 2008 is built on (it is Vista SP1 with additional server-orientated stuff). The Windows 7 codebase is built on top of this.

        And though I wont look it up, the fact that Vista needed a patch for a 3.1 bug with image handling tells me that they have actually never changed anything. And so you pay good money for 1990's technology. I make my kip as a .NET programmer, but I would never pay for the pain that is Vista or 7, and my organization is sticking with XP come hell or h

        • by msclrhd (1211086)

          Don't forget that Microsoft still need to be backward compatible as much as possible. It is possible that MS rewrote the image handling code, but kept it compatible with the way Win3.1 handles images such that they share the issue.

          Another possibility is that MS are keeping the Win3.1 binaries to run 3.1 applications, as 3.1 applications are 16-bit. Microsoft are known for (as can be seen by the huge WinSxS folder in Vista) for keeping older versions of their libraries around. For example, comctl32 is kept a

    • I think you meant Vista/Mohave Redux.

    • by Zeio (325157)

      True,

      And if EAX/DirectSound and DirectSound3D don't work, this thing is headed for the same DRM/Securepath infested garbage bin Vista is in.

    • by Cowmonaut (989226)
      Again, Windows 7 started development while Vista was still being made. Just because Vista got delayed does not mean Microsoft pushed back the ground breaking for the replacement OS. Sad fact, by the time a Windows version is released its already outdated. The security patches are just to keep people "happy" until they can be conned into buying the 'latest and greatest' Windows version.
    • No wonder the code quality is so terrible, and they say outsourcing doesn't harm anyone.

  • If they require an external HD to hand this thing out it better contain a boatload of documentation or developer tools. I've never seen one of these, so can someone tell us what MS usually hands out in a pre-beta for developers that takes up so many bits?

  • Holy code bloat, Batman! Windows 7 eats up 160GB of hard drive space? This is even worse than Vista!
    • No silly! Most of the disk space is probably occupied by HD video, presentations and documentation.


      develoeprs... developers... developers... developers.
      • by tacarat (696339)

        No silly! Most of the disk space is probably occupied by HD video, presentations and documentation.

        If by HD video, presentations and documentation you mean the top results from an MSN porn search, I see much more interest in the follow up conferences. The porn would be tied into the security of the new products. It's easy to miss a single wrong character in an MD5 checksum, but misplace one pixel in a boob shot and you'd have a lot more admins taking an active stance in securing their boxes.

        Wait...

    • Actually, they just said the size of the flash drive will be 160GB.

      Remember, it's an alpha release, so all code modules include debug code and other information that a release candidate won't have. This assists in stepping through the debugging and allowing you to dump the status of objects and variables, including statics, at the time of a crash or problem.

      But, admittedly, code bloat is a problem at Microsoft.

      I hope the final version won't autoload all the libraries and all the possible apps that you migh

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, they just said the size of the flash drive will be 160GB.

        Remember, it's an alpha release, so all code modules include debug code and other information that a release candidate won't have. This assists in stepping through the debugging and allowing you to dump the status of objects and variables, including statics, at the time of a crash or problem.

        But, admittedly, code bloat is a problem at Microsoft.

        I hope the final version won't autoload all the libraries and all the possible apps that you might ever need or want - this is one of the reasons why WinVista is such a dog of an OS - on startup it loads a lot of chrome most people don't want and don't need - and this is why they can trick you into "choosing" a stripped down WinVista with all these optional chrome apps and libraries not there on load as "better" than WinXP.

        But, given their past behavior, I wouldn't bet on them releasing a lean OS, even for business users.

        parent is clueless

    • by Daimanta (1140543)

      My jaw literally dropped and I couldn't close it for around 20 second. A 160GB harddrive for a bloody Operating System!? Are they bloody nuts? Assume that you need more than a DL-DVD. That's more than 9GB of compressed information. That is absolutely humongous. I feel like an old fart remembering the time that we had a 4 GB harddrive. And now a MS created monster called Windows 7 takes up more than 9GB of information? Even with extra testing/developing info that's simply unbelievable. I am not putting this

      • I feel like an old fart remembering the time that we had a 4 GB harddrive.

        I'm only 28 and remember loading programs from a cassette tape on our VIC-20. I also remember when we got our first 100MB hard drive for our Packard Bell, and immediately partitioned it into 5 20MB partitions.

        • I used to literally flip switches to load programs, and when we got a cassette drive I was thrilled.

          Then again, I made my own S-100 bus computer back in the day, so having skills with a soldering iron was useful too.

          • I recently programmed a 2 kbit flash rom with nothing but a battery, two resistors and two toggle switches. Does that count?
            -nB

            (did it to prove a point FWIW)

        • by ryanov (193048)

          I'm 26 and remember our 43 MB HD, which was large at the time, which had to be partitioned into 33 MB and 10 MB partitions. I think DOS 5.0 had a limitation? Or maybe it was 4.0 and we didn't repartition when upgrading.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dutch Gun (899105)

        Perhaps if you had spent some of those 20 seconds reading the article, you might have run across this sentence:

        Mike Swanson, a Microsoft technology evangelist working on the PDC, said earlier this week that attendees will receive a 160GB external USB hard drive that will contain all the developer bits from the conference. The USB drive will presumably include the pre-beta version of Windows 7.

        So, this includes all the bits from the conference... this means a lot of video presentations, power-point presentations and images, along with (I'd presume) a number of SDKs, what have you...

        The 160GB hard drive is in no way indicative of the final size of the Windows 7.

        Oh, and my first harddrive was 20MB. :)

      • Have you looked at what vista and OSX 10.5 use when installed? Both are 20+GB. Granted OSX has more stuff to use then the base os.

      • by dhavleak (912889)
        This is how stupid rumors start.. think for a second: this is swag at PDC! The disk has an OS, SDK tools, loads of video content, and it's still probably not full. Win7 will fit on a DVD. There's no other distribution method available. Even a freaking BluRay disk won't be able to hold a 160GB OS.
    • No no no. You didn't read the full article. Windows 7 only takes up 2 gigs. The rest of the space on the hard drives they're handing out is full of porn and stolen credit card numbers.

      • by msclrhd (1211086)

        Microsoft must have slimmed Vista down a lot then, as Vista takes somewhere between 10GB - 15GB!

  • they were still pushing and selling it to people ? ads and whatnot, with shaking butts etc ?
    • by kesuki (321456)

      or doing the robot.

      vista isn't going to get adopted by businesses so windows 7 is important. so for right now they need to pretend like vista is all happy fun stuff for consumers, and eventually windows 7 will fix stuff.

       

      • by unity100 (970058)
        businesses do not need anything new. xp does ok.
        • Until Microsoft ends support for XP and a new version of Windows is required to ever get anything patched (still years away, but businesses must prepare).

    • Oh, vista's not dead...

      Mike Swanson, a Microsoft technology evangelist

      Here's the text from his upcoming speech:

      "And, beeHOLD, Ah say to YOO-uh, Windows 7 comes NOT to ABOLISH Vista but to FULFILL it! Ay-men!"

      Don't stick around for the faith healings, you might get smacked upside the head with an external 160 Gig HDD.

      • by unity100 (970058)

        Don't stick around for the faith healings, you might get smacked upside the head with an external 160 Gig HDD.

        why external ?

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          why external ?

          Because if you take it internally it will make you sick.

      • by MSwanson (99458)

        Awesome! I'm definitely LOL over here. I'll have to work on my evangelistic delivery. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blitzkrieg3 (995849)

      they were still pushing and selling it to people ? ads and whatnot, with shaking butts etc ?

      It looks like they're attacking this from two angles. There's the "Vista isn't as bad as you think it is" side, and the "Let's get something else out the door without a prejudiced bad reputation" side. Right now vista evokes the mental image of a steaming pile of bloat, so unless the marketing campaign can give the vista brand a positive image in the mind of consumers, there's no hurt in talking about the next big thing (that isn't vista). At the very worst, it will start out with 0 brand recognition, a

    • If it is in Alpha then it is still 2 years out I'd imagine. Then you consider Vista has been out since Novemberish 2006. Just because they took way too long to go from XP to Vista (letting people get too comfortable), doesn't mean they wont move back to an every few years thing like prior to XP (which sucked when new, imagine that).
  • So, if we get pre-beta on Oct 28, does that mean the hotfix for major holes in the OS gets released in SP1 or SP2 next year?

    By the way, USB flash drives, by their nature, are inherently insecure.

    • by AndyCR (1091663)

      By the way, USB flash drives, by their nature, are inherently insecure.

      It's an external hard drive, but at any rate it's not insecure if you use encryption. If anyone gets my USB drive they'll get the hardware, the decryption program, and a bunch of noise. At any rate, why would security even be an issue? It's not like they can prevent anyone from copying the data after the conference.

      • Actually, even encryption isn't that secure. The external nature of the port makes a contact cover replacement fairly easy to pull off and you can use the system power to operate the transmitter for easy espionage.

        People have a habit of not looking for things they don't think are there.

        • by AndyCR (1091663)
          If the encryption is done using a program rather than hardware in the drive, cyphertext would be going to/from the port and it would be decrypted by the computer, not the drive itself. (If they have enough access to your machine to install a port listening device of some kind, however, you're hosed anyway.)
  • The alpha will almost simultaneously be available to everyone at their favorite BitTorrent tracker.
  • Windows 7 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BigBlueOx (1201587)
    AKA Windows DVIAMEWBSOSTLDF
    (Damn! Vista Is A Major Embarrassment We'd Better Slam Out Something That Looks Different FAST!)
    • by alexhs (877055)

      /me tried to pronounce it...
      Windows DvIamEwBsOstLDf ?
      Was that intentional ?
      Will it have the same reliability ? :P

  • After stripping out all the applications it only weighs in at 160GB :P
  • You use to spread this stuff with just the boot sector of a floppy, I know over they years malware grew in size to the point where the last major version came on dvds. But really 160GB hard dive does this mean we will all need to have blueray players to install the latest viruses?

    Ah well..... that's progress for you.

  • As an alpha it likely doesn't include niceties like "installers", I wouldn't be surprised if the HD contains a complete disk image for use on a virtual machine.

    And as previous posters have said, this is for developers , so it'll also have documentation , code examples, videos, all that jazz.

  • I imagine that this is akin to video game reviewers getting DSes and PSPs with the video game to review: it's just swag. And bribery. And you don't have to wipe a good machine to try it out.

    I have trouble believing that Microsoft would deliberately submit themselves to a joke so transparent that half of the Slashdot comments are about it. They worry about that sort of thing. Why, I bet Ballmer is reading this thread and throwing chairs around right now!
  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:57PM (#25158905) Homepage

    October 9th is the public beta. I hear they will be using Bittorrent for distribution.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    My company just had me register for PDC and they had me use a special code of "PDC2008". Saved $200. Figured I'd share the code if it helps anybody else. Cheers!
  • A new developer shall be aware he is now member of the "family", and has to protect the work of the "family"... but windows is not from the family, it's a parasite... young developer don't surrender to the dark side and all its short term bells and whistles...
  • So was Vista the next Windows ME? They just started getting everyone on this damn OS now we have to go through the whole upgrade debacle again? Vista got a bad rap, so now we have to ditch it for the new OS and pretend it never happened. Nice.

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