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Microsoft has released 3 betas today!


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#1
Ammalgam

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Microsoft releases beta versions of three key products

By Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates today delivered new test versions of the "three most important Microsoft products," the first time the company has released so-called "beta" versions simultaneously.

Gates announced "beta 2" versions of the Windows Vista operating system, a long-awaited total rebuild of the product that runs most personal computers; Office 2007, Microsoft's popular suite of applications; and Windows Server, software code-named Longhorn that's designed to run the powerful computers behind networks and Web sites.

"Today's a milestone for us in terms of the huge investments and big innovation going into the next major version of Windows and of all the big complementary products," Gates said at the opening of the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle.

During his keynote address at the conference, Gates handed the first copies of the beta versions to an executive from Chevron, a company that is implementing all three products.

The delivery drew applause from the audience of more than 3,000 hardware engineers, developers and businesspeople.

The release of Vista signals that Microsoft is keeping to its revised schedule for development and sale of the flagship product, due out for large business customers in November and consumers in January. Earlier this month, analysts at the Gartner research firm expressed doubt about Microsoft's ability to meet the consumer release target, which the company already let slip once, missing the 2006 holiday shopping season.

The last time Microsoft launched a Windows operating system came in October 2001 with the release of Windows XP.

Beta versions of software are mostly complete but still need refining before they can be released for sale. Microsoft offers these early versions free to a select group of customers and technology enthusiasts, as well as hardware and software developers. They provide feedback, help identify glitches and build products to work with Microsoft's software.

The beta 2s of Vista and Server are available now to information-technology professionals with subscriptions to TechNet and the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), and to members of the company's Technology Adoption and TechBeta programs. In a news release, the company said it will expand access to IT pros who are not part of these programs "in the coming weeks." It said it will "invite a broader group of technology enthusiasts to receive a build of the operating system to begin testing," though the company didn't provice a specific timeline.

The beta 2 of Office is now available through a free download on Microsoft's Web site.

Intertesting huh?
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#2
warriorscot

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Office is about but Vista is apparently a couple of weeks from the lower tier beta test group, im installing office 2007 as we speak.
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#3
GeekMan

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Oh, yes, I got Beta 2 (Build 5384.4) and it is much smaller than 5381.1. The Office 2007 I have been using for a couple of months but, I think that the version that came before this version was much better. The interface has gotten more cluttered over time. The old Pre-Release of Office 2007 is much nicer. As for Vista, It is more user friendly and they are slowly refining it down to a smaller more manageable size. The system requirements have gone down from 5381.1 so vista can now be used on older systems. It can even run oin 128 MB Ram and an old P4 without a videocard. That is pretty good considering that vista used to not be able to run on it.

-- GeekMan
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#4
Ammalgam

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So it's going to be interesting to see what happens:

Vista was released as a very large very inefficient piece of code and we were promised everything fun under the sun.

Now it's running smoothly on older systems? Are we getting less than what we have been promised or have MSFT done an amazing job of code optimization?

To be continued...
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#5
warriorscot

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They are very good at optimising and it does make sense if you optimise and cut down the code in early betas it makes it harder to access and fix the bugs they would keep it "layed out" so to speak to make it easier to work on now they are on the final packaging stages and are polishing it up, and as far as i know they havent taken anything out in any of the betas that they hadnt said they would a while back.

Although if it runs on an old p4 with 128 thats impressive even XP struggles on a system with less than 256 of ram. Ive been getting the office package and it seems allright outlook looked ok but didnt blow me away ill stick with thunderbird, but office 2007 looks quite nice everything seems easy to get to, although i would like to know how to get it to use the dark appearance rather than this gay blue colour its using now.

I like the look of the new excel though i use it alot for my engineering degree and it looks more generally friendly as well as scientist friendly. I might give access a go sometime and make some new DBs.

Oh yeah me likey new access very much, cant wait to get my hands on the vista beta 2 makes me wish i had taken the beta when i was offered access on it.

Edited by warriorscot, 24 May 2006 - 09:36 AM.

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#6
GeekMan

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The Vista 5381.1 was 3.7 GB (Rounded) and the new one is 3.2 GB (rounded) Most of what they are getting rid of is exces junk coding and help files for beta testers. Eventually, ive heard that M$ wants Vista to be able to fit on a normal CD not a DVD.
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#7
Ammalgam

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I have heard that too (the fit on CD thing) and I hope to God that's true. I see absolutely no reason why this OS would be 3 gig plus!!

I can get XP plus SP2 on a cd!!

Before I get explanations, I know, I know, new O.S. , new code base blah blah blah..

Still smells a little inefficient to me...
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#8
warriorscot

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Lol, some of the linux distros are pretty big and no one comments on the ineffeciency of linux, also alot of components will probably be optional you dont load everything onto the computer when you install XP so i doubt you will in Vista, but theres also 6 years worth of software and hardware technology to cater for as well as the new DX10 API features which might take up more space while also being drastically more effiecient than 9.

Early estimates put the DX10 boost over 9 to be 6 to 8 times so vista will be now slouch on the heavy 3d apps side. And there is alot of new multitasking and AI in there for everything else, but it all adds space. They will probably be able to get it on one CD compression technology is pretty impressive these days and just getting rid of the beta apendages should take out a signifcant chunk of space.
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#9
Ammalgam

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My complaint has always been this:

I dont mind 3.x gig on a DVD as long as the contents justify the additional code. I expect Vista to be 6 or 7 times better if the code is 6 or 7 times larger.

We all know that this is not going to be true...

But I will (try and) reserve judgement...
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#10
warriorscot

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I dont know it, and it is 6 to 8 times better for me at least because of DirectX10 the API improvements give at leat 6 times improvement over the current DX9c. And there are alot of new features that are very nice to see and even though they add size why would you buy it without them, and size really isnt important at all the in disk size isnt going to change alot from XP to Vista might be slightly bigger but that would be down to the new textures and 3d textures take up alot of size its the reason games are so large, take away things like textures and they are a fraction of the size.

My last Linux CD was 3.4 gigs and i was decidedly unimpressed with it, i wouldnt mind if it was 9 gig as long as it was good and more importantly has everything on the disk, the constant pursuit of small file size is actually often detrimental ild rather the file size was bigger and i didnt have to download additional content which is now common to most pieces of software.
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#11
Ammalgam

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i wouldnt mind if it was 9 gig as long as it was good and more importantly has everything on the disk, the constant pursuit of small file size is actually often detrimental ild rather the file size was bigger and i didnt have to download additional content which is now common to most pieces of software.


The funny thing is that in my experience, the software gets bigger but the need for patches seems to remain constant...
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#12
warriorscot

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Its because of the way they design software and handle bugs.

1) How bad is its impact? (Severity)
2) How often does it happen? (Frequency)
3) How much effort is required to fix it? (Cost)
4) What is the risk of fixing it? (Risk)

from: http://technology.gu...1781895,00.html

I got taught this at school in software development, if its unlikely to happen alot leave it be, if its hard to fix but rare dont bother, if it becomes a problem later then you fix it at the time. EVERY piece of software had bugs and needs patches not one has ever been created perfect on release however the irony is that companies that release regular patches and bug fixes get ridiculed for it even though there software has no more bugs than the competitiors.
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#13
yurimxpxman

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Will the beta version of Vista be available on the same download page as Office 2007? One page on M$' website said that it already was, but it wasn't.
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#14
warriorscot

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MSDN users its out for, it will be through the same beta experience site in a few weeks.
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#15
yurimxpxman

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MSDN users its out for, it will be through the same beta experience site in a few weeks.


I figured as much after I saw that M$ claimed that Vista was already available from the beta experience site. I already have it though, thanks to MSDN. But I'd like my friends to be able to use Vista also because they're always asking me about it lol.
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