Archives for: "July 2009"

Microsoft announce Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack pricing

Full details over on the Windows blog. Here's the quick rundown:

Starter (typically only found on low-cost netbooks) to Home Premium: $79.99.
Home Premium to Professional: $89.99.
Home Premium to Ultimate: $139.99

Unlike Windows Vista, using Anytime Upgrade only takes about 10 minutes, and doesn't require a full system upgrade like with Windows Vista which could take anywhere up to a couple of hours.

The Family Pack, which includes 3 licenses for Home Premium is $149.99, over $200 cheaper than buying them separately, but it sounds like it's going to be for a limited time only.

Windows 7 RTM SHA-1 hash / checksums

A few people have asked me what the hashes are for the final bits of Windows 7. These are confirmed:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit:
Name: 7600.16385.090713-1255_x64fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRMCULXFRER_EN_DVD.iso
Other name: en_windows_7_ultimate_x64_dvd_X15-65922.iso
SHA-1: 326327CC2FF9F05379F5058C41BE6BC5E004BAA7
CRC: 0x1F1257CA

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit:
Name: 7600.16385.090713-1255_x86fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRMCULFRER_EN_DVD.iso
Other name: en_windows_7_ultimate_x86_dvd_X15-65921.iso
SHA-1: 5395DC4B38F7BDB1E005FF414DEEDFDB16DBF610
CRC: 0xC1C20F76

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit:
Name: en_windows_7_professional_x64_dvd_x15-65805.iso
SHA-1: 50127304441A793EE51B3F501289F6599A559E9F
CRC: 502C42C1

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit:
Name: en_windows_7_professional_x86_dvd_x15-65804.iso
SHA-1: 697FA06554502FB21D30275273B25747299C020D
CRC: 578725D1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit:
Name: en_windows_7_home_premium_x64_dvd_x15-65733.iso
SHA-1: 336779EA6B65F63E11A609B4D021439C47AB315B
CRC: 56D954E4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit:
Name: en_windows_7_home_premium_x86_dvd_x15-65732.iso
SHA-1: CC9D8220B2179E784D85BF1EA98D2EE2190D534F

Office 2010 splash screen video

The new swish Office 2010 splash screen has got a fair bit of attention. They are quite nice looking. Here's the one from Outlook 2010:

I would have thought having the Ribbon UI in Outlook and OneNote would be more important, but maybe its not quite as swish.

Restoring the Recent Items list to the Windows 7 Start Menu

By default Windows 7 no longer shows the Recent Items list in the Start Menu by default. Instead it prefers to use the Jump lists, for example Windows Explorer will show recent folders etc, Windows Media Player will show frequent or recent albums played etc.

But you can still enable the Recent Items list if you're being nostalgic.

Taskbar and Start Menu Properties

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu
  2. Select Properties from the menu, this will open the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window
  3. Select Customize... from the Start Menu tab, this will open the Customize Start Menu window
  4. Scroll down to Recent Items, and check the box.

Windows 7 Start menu, with Recent Items

This will enable Recent Items, and again show the link on the Start Menu.

Opera still complaining

Last week Microsoft accepted EU/Opera requests to have a browser ballot screen, where users can install from a list of web browsers the browser they would like.

This won't only be for Windows 7, but will be pushed down as an update to Windows XP and Windows Vista users too.

Surely Opera couldn't be more happy, surely they won't have anything else to complain about? This gives their 2% marketshare, a chance at being 20%, assuming people randomly select out of the 5 or so browsers listed.


Now they're complaining that the ballot screen shows the Internet Explorer icon. Hakon Wium Lie, Opera's chief technology officer said:

"The blue 'e' has become so associated with the Internet in general, due to the bundling with Windows. We think using the blue "e" might not be such a good idea."

You're worried about that? What about the giant Google logo plastered there, for many people Google is the internet, maybe they won't want to use the Opera or Firefox internets anymore.

Jeez, give it a rest.

Microsoft to offer browser ballot screen in EU versions of Windows 7

It looks like Microsoft and the European Commission have come to an agreement where Windows 7, instead of being browserless, will include a ballot screen to select any web browsers to install.

While this will be less annoying than going and finding a copy of Internet Explorer, it certainly raises other concerns.

For starters, which browsers will be included on the ballot screen, and how will any selection be made? Doesn't this move even more anti-competitive? Instead of bundling one browser, now the two 3 or 4 top ones are going to be bundled? What about Lynx or Maxthon? Or the other two dozen or more browsers out there for Windows? Are they going to be on this ballot screen, I doubt it.

What's the process for adding new web browsers? Can anyone now stick a browser together, use Google as the default search and make let the money roll on it?

I'm just waiting on my new Peugeot to have a ballot screen asking if I want to use a Ferrari steering wheel and dashboard.

Company to create advertisements on the Moon? No thanks

Disgusting, absolutely disgusting. Not happy with ruining the Earth, the advertising industry now looks to expand into space.

A new company is looking to sell advertising on the Moon, by using robots to carve out patterns in the lunar regolith. Bidding starts at $46,000.

Their website claims "twelve billion eyeballs looking at your logo in the sky for several days every month for the next several thousand years".

Well for starters it's a little grim they expect humanity to only be around for several thousand years. In reality the vandalism they would commit upon the Moon would be there for billions of years.

The next obvious problem is rights. No nation, company or individual can own the Moon, let alone have the right to vandalise it for billions of years.

Frankly, I think the people behind this little project should be sent packing, and hopefully nobody is dumb enough to bid on their malicious little project.

Windows 7 released to manufacturing

Microsoft has announced that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have now been released to manufacturing.

This means that MSDN and Technet subscribers will be able to get their hands on a copy from August the 6th, Volume Licence customers from the 7th of August and Microsoft Partner Program members can get it from the 16th, Action Pack subscribers from the 23rd.

Here's the press release:

Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division, has just announced on the Engineering Windows 7 Blog that Windows 7 has reached the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) milestone.

As I mentioned previously, RTM officially happens only after sign-off occurs. What happens is a build gets designated as a RTM contender after going through significant testing and meeting our quality bar for RTM. Then, it goes though all the validation checks required for RTM including having all languages of that build completed. If all the validation checks have passed – sign-off for RTM can occur. Today after all the validation checks were met, we signed off and declared build 7600.16385 as RTM.

Included in Steven’s blog post is a video of sign-off happening from the "Ship Room." Sign-off consists of representatives from all the teams here at Microsoft who helped build Windows 7 signing-off for RTM.

Also happening very shortly, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will get on stage for his keynote address to the Microsoft field community at MGX in Atlanta. MGX is an internal Microsoft event held every year. This is where we bring in our folks in the field from around the world and talk about selling Microsoft’s latest products. We’re a global company and this event is super important to us. As you can imagine, Windows 7 is a hot topic at this year’s MGX and we’re anxious to hear what Steve has to say, and I will update that here.

Not only is RTM an important milestone for us – it’s also an important milestone for our partners. Today’s release is the result of hard work and collaboration with our partners in the industry to make Windows 7 a success. We delivered Windows 7 with predictable feature set on a predictable timetable that allowed OEMs to focus on value and differentiation for their customers.

Our customers told us what they want (and expect) and we defined those specific experiences and then built features to support them (like HomeGroup and the Windows Taskbar enhancements). Our customers also told us that “fundamentals” on both the hardware and software side was extremely important. Windows 7 today runs great on the broadest array of hardware types ranging from netbooks to the high end gaming machines. We worked closely with OEMs so that their PCs ignite features in Windows 7 to excite their customers.

Of course, today’s release is also the result of the amazing amount of feedback we received from the millions of people who tested Windows 7 – from Beta to RC. We actually had over 10 million people opt-in to the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). That’s a lot of people opting in to help us make Windows 7 a solid release. Through CEIP, our engineers were guided by customer feedback all the way to RTM. We also have had a great group of beta testers who have dedicated a great deal of their time to testing Windows 7 too. A special thank you goes out to all the people who helped test Windows 7.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my friends over on the Windows Server Team. Today they are also announcing that Windows Server 2008 R2 has RTM’d. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 together can help businesses cut costs and increase productivity. Click here to read their blog post on Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM.

The RTM code will be delivered to our partners within the next few days who will then start preparing to deliver some amazing new products timed to hit at General Availability (GA) of Windows 7. And going forward, I expect to be showcasing MANY of these new products here on The Windows Blog.

We continue to be overwhelmed at the community’s response to Windows 7 and it has been an extremely rewarding experience to witness. We hope the enthusiasm will continue to grow even more as our partners build amazing experiences with their products and Windows 7.

40 years ago today we walked on the Moon

Saturn V carrying Apollo 11 rolls towards the launch pad.

Lift off

Moments after first stage seperation

Looking back at the Earth from about 180,000 kilometres away

On their way home

What was left behind

Nice work Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins, and the half a million or so other people who worked towards this goal.

Apollo landing sites imaged

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter which entered lunar orbit a few weeks ago, has imaged five out of the six Apollo landing sites. Which was a tad earlier than I was expecting. They were taken when the Sun was low in the sky so the decent stage of the lunar module would cast a long shadow to make them easier to spot.

Anyway check this out:

When it enters its lower mapping orbit, the images will get even better with two or three times the resolution.

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