It has been confirmed by Microsoft that on February 22nd, 2011, the new service pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will go live.
The service pack has been in testing for several months, but Microsoft has previously said that it won’t really bring any new functionality (for Windows 7 at least). Microsoft admitted that the service pack is merely a combination of various updates that have already been released.
“For Windows 7, SP1 will help keep your PCs well supported by delivering ongoing updates, many of which have been made previously available through Windows Update.” – Windows Blog
Windows Server 2008 R2 users will see more fixes in the service pack and a couple of new features.
If you’re a Technet or MSDN subscriber, you can grab the update from February 16th.
Well, today marks one year since Microsoft launched Windows 7 to the general public.
By the sounds of it, Windows 7 has been a great success from Microsoft – after the dismal performance of Windows Vista. Windows 7 (as of September 2010) has a market share of 17% which is pretty amazing for 12 months on the market.
I’ve had Windows 7 since launch day and I have been extremely impressed with it. If you haven’t already given it a spin, you could be really missing out as it definitely performs much better than Vista and has considerably better features than XP.
Users of XP still don’t seem to be giving up just yet, though. Although XP’s market share is dropping rapidly, it still (as of September 2010) has just over 60% of the market share – so it still has some way to go. With basic security support for XP not due to expire until 2014, I don’t think too many will be rushing to upgrade their existing PCs.
I can’t believe I’ve only just stumbled across this, but Microsoft are now offering a whole bundle of professional software to students for free.
They call it Microsoft Dreamspark, and it’s a website ran by the company. If you’re in post-16 or university education, you can get a hefty chunk of their professional software for free. Being a student myself, this is very handy.
Amongst other things, you can get Microsoft Visual Basic 2010 Pro, Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Windows Server 2008 for free until you finish university.
All you have to do is prove your education. This is relatively easy – if you have an ISIS card, an .edu (or .ac.uk) email address you can activate within a few minutes. If not, you can go through the process of applying for activation from your college or uni. You have to re-activate every year to get continued use of your software, but it’s well worth it.
It’s available in multiple countries, so don’t hesitate to check if you aren’t in the US or UK.
If you are a student computer enthusiast or programmer, head over to www.dreamspark.com and claim your free software!
Microsoft is already handing out the release candidate to a select group of testers.
Microsoft has given a select group of testers access to the latest build of the Microsoft Office 2010 suite – the release candidate.
Sadly, at present, the release candidate isn’t available for public download. However, I would think that Microsoft will probably give it to TechNet customers in a few days (or weeks), and then once that’s done everyone else will probably get it shortly after.
This new release candidate would show that Microsoft is really trying hard to reach it’s target of RTM (release to manufacturer) by June 2010. It’s only February and they would appear to be reaching their final stages.
I have to say that I think the beta was very successful – I am yet to find any bugs or hold-backs. I’ve been using the beta since launch day and haven’t had a problem with it yet.
Update: Thanks to Sebastian (see comments) who has informed me that the RC will not go out on public release. It’s a shame, but many thanks for that information.
Time’s almost up for the testers…
If you’re still one of the few using the Windows 7 Release Candidate, you’ll be interested to know that Microsoft are [finally] starting the bi-hourly shutdowns next month. It means that from March 1st, you’re computer will automatically shut down every 2 hours. Three months after that (1st June), you’ll loose use of the release candidate altogether.
So, now’s the time to be making decisions. You either need to buy a copy of Windows 7 (which I seriously recommend you do if you have previously used Windows) or change your operating system.