Windows 7 first beta due January 2009
Christmas confusion clarified
Microsoft has dashed hopes of a December release for Windows 7's first beta, having created initial confusion on this important code drop.
January 2009 now looks set to become the month when Windows testers will get their hands on the first-full pre-release build of Microsoft's next client operating system.
In particular, developers attending an MSDN road show on January 13 in Chicago, Illinois will get copies of the Windows 7 beta on DVD. This will be the first of eight such US road shows next year.
The clarification came as Microsoft apparently removed wording from one if its own sites that had promised delegates attending the events scheduled for next two weeks they'd get the Windows 7 beta. These attendees will now get their DVDs mailed to them.
Chicago delegates will "receive a Windows 7 Beta 1 DVD" - there's no mention of postal delivery.
Attend and ye shall receive: Windows 7 Beta for Chicago road-show delegates
The beta will be the first full release of Windows 7 code and give people a better idea of what they can expect from Windows Vista's successor. Microsoft released code at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October, but this was an early build. The code didn't contain many of the features that senior vice president for Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live engineering group Steven Sinofsky demonstrated during his PDC keynote.
Developers we've spoken to during and since PDC have treated it accordingly. They've either reserved judgment on Windows 7 until they have a clearer picture of what's in the beta, as much of what they saw focused on the interface, or they've simply not installed the build. ®
@Richard: Forcing x64 on people with legacy hardware where no 64-bit drivers exist would be bad. However, Win 3.1 did that by dropping 286 machines, so maybe it's time to do it again.
@Sooty: How about the fact that most applications don't NEED to be 64-bit?
@Chris: See comment to Sooty.
Just recompiling an application as 64-bit really doesn't gain you much (and may cause bugs, depending on how sloppy your coding is). You'll probably get a slight performance increase due to the additional CPU registers, but you'll also have a larger memory footprint, due to the size of pointers doubling. Most applications (read: your browser, Flash, etc) don't need more than 4GB RAM (normally) and therefore won't really benefit from being 64-bit. Where you start using 64-bit applications (besides drivers and kernel-intefacing applications) are applications that need the extra RAM, eg: databases.
This is exactly why on Solaris systems you see a 64-bit kernel with a largely 32-bit userland. Most of the userland apps don't really need to be 64-bit, and making them all 64-bit just for the fun of it will only increase disk and memory usage.
"Applications will not go 64bit because they don't want to create 2 versions"
It's 2 flags in Visual studio to change the build type, but yes you have to do it your self.
What's really needed is a "universal" installer which will have both sets of binaries, like many older mac apps designed for PPC. Until this is as easy to do as it is to just make single system installer it won't happen.
So how does the 32bit Enterprise Edition of Windows 2003 enable access to more than 4GB of RAM? It is 32-bit, yet i have just installed 16GB RAM in a proliant running 32-bit 2003 Enterprise to run SQL server.
Is it not an MS licensing thing?