Many postings over the weekend and today regarding Windows 7.
Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) will be made available to MSDN and Technet subscribers on April 30, 2009 and the public release will begin May 5.
The biggest announcement was that of Windows XP Mode for Windows 7. Paul Thurrott provides and overview and detail in “Secret No More: Revealing Windows XP Mode for Windows 7” and “Windows XP Mode Internals – Part 1 (Overview)”.
Paul also provided a plethora or information on Windows 7:
Windows XP Mode Internals – Part 1 (Overview) – He links to Rafael’s beginning of his deep-dive into XP Mode for Windows 7.
Now that we have a near-final release candidate (RC) to play with, Rafael and I have been pouring over the licensing policies for the various Windows 7 SKUs (stock keeping units, or "product editions"). Some interesting details have emerged, and I’m pretty sure most of this is all new info.
AAC/H.264/MPEG-2 support will not be provided to Windows 7 Home Basic and Starter customers. That functionality will only go out to Home Premium, Professional, and Enterprise/Ultimate users. But it looks like there will be add-ons made available (free or paid, it’s not clear) to users of low-end Windows 7 versions.
Maximum RAM. All 32-bit versions of Windows 7 "support" 4 GB of RAM, of course. But if you go 64-bit, you can add up to 8 GB in Home Basic and Starter, 16 GB in Home Premium, and 192 GB in Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate.
Windows Media Player Remote Media Experience (RME) is not available in Windows 7 Home Basic or Starter. However, all versions can share media over a home network.
All Windows 7 SKUs support 20 simultaneous SMB connections. This works out to 10 users, apparently.
XP Mode (formerly Virtual PC). As we first revealed yesterday, only Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate are licensed to install XP Mode.
Windows 7 Release Candidate Review – The first three parts of his Windows 7 RC review …
I had noticed in one of the previous post-Beta interim builds of Windows 7 that ESET NOD32 was throwing up an Action Center message to the effect that it was incompatible with the way security software communicates its status; previously, NOD32 worked just fine. In the RC build, this has been formalized with an appearance by the familiar Program Compatibility Assistant window shown here. There’s no fix as of yet, but I suspect this change will affect more than just NOD32. I will check.
Windows 7 Feature Focus: Aero Themes – Aero Themes combine desktop backgrounds, Aero glass color, a sounds scheme and a screensaver…
Windows 7 Feature Focus – Series Update for the Windows 7 Release Candidate – He has updated the entire Feature Focus series the Windows 7 Release Candidate…
Windows Weekly 104: Windows 8, Boring Bunny – Leo and he discuss the Windows 7 release candidate, Windows 8, and more…
And from Blake Handler’s The Road to Know Where:
A Developer’s First Look at Windows 7: This 10 part series introduces Windows 7 with an emphasis on those new features that will be of most interest and use to developers. It consists of: two introductory sessions, one focusing on the new user interface, and one on behind-the-scenes features, two hour-long sessions that cover compatibility and security issues, six shorter sessions which focus on coding for a single new feature.
Microsoft Press has released free preview chapters from soon-to-be-published Microsoft Press books about Windows 7.
While not as powerful has these new Windows 7 features, Microsoft has released their Microsoft Product Support Reporting Tool (MPSReports) utility that facilitates the gathering of critical system and logging information used in troubleshooting support issues. This information helps diagnose problems in the software quicker and provide solutions.
Engineering Windows 7 Graphics Performance from Engineering Windows 7 by e7blog
One of the areas of any release of Windows that receives a significant amount of testing and scrutiny is the performance of graphics—desktop graphics all the way to the most extreme CAD and game graphics. The amazing breadth of hardware supported for Windows and the broad spectrum of usage scenarios contributes to a vibrant ecosystem with many different goals—from just the basics to the highest frame rates on multiple monitors possible. In engineering Windows 7 we set out to improve the “real world” performance of graphics as well as continue to improve the most extreme elements of graphics. This is work we do in Windows 7 and work our partners do as they work to improve the underlying hardware/software combination through drivers (note: Windows Vista drivers continue to work as they did in Windows Vista, but we’ve also been working with partners on updated drivers for Windows 7 which many of you have been testing through Windows Update downloads). This post looks at this spectrum of engineering as well as the different ways performance is measured. Ultimately we want to inform you about what we have done in engineering Windows 7, while we leave room for the many forums that will compare and contrast Windows 7 on different hardware and in different scenarios. This post is written by Ameet Chitre, a program manager on our Desktop Graphics feature team. –Steven