Feeds

Steve Ballmer's Windows 7 dance party

Hopping on the grave of Windows Vista

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

October 22 has arrived, which means Microsoft can stop defending Windows Vista and start pretending it never happened. Eyes have now turned to Windows 7, while Windows Vista joins Microsoft Bob and Windows Me in the annals of underachievers past. Well, except for all those people who are still stuck with the thing.

To celebrate the virtual end of Windows Vista, Microsoft held a Windows 7 launch party Thursday morning in New York City. The SoHo venue looked like the sort of oh-so-trendy club you’d see on Sex in the City, with the requisite flashing lights and thumping electronic rhythms, as a crowd of tech journalists and other attendees gathered to see a product that everyone already knows about.

Needless to say, the crowd was far less fashionable than the venue.

Microsoft undoubtedly lacks Apple's Jobsian flair for revealing new stuffs. But Steve Ballmer was very proud of the fact that so many people have already used Windows 7, citing - repeatedly - that the beta had more than eight million testers in more than 200 countries.

As the clock approached the 11am party kick-off, the room was treated to a string of "I’m a PC" adverts featuring little kids connecting cameras to laptops and demonstrating their general ability to use a computer.

One spot showed kids competing against elderly people on common PC tasks. A seven-year-old versus a 70-year-old. An eight-year-old versus an 80-year-old. And, yes, a nine-year-old versus a 90-year-old. The children were victorious, which leads us to believe that Windows 7 is for children and the elderly should keep away.

Then the room was treated to a very special guest: Kylie, a four-and-a-half-year-old from those adverts. (She’s now five-and-a-half). Kylie announced to the assembled throng: "I’m a PC and here’s Steve Ballmer."

Big Steve duly appeared, engaged in some happy-chat with Kylie, and gave her a pink laptop. Here's hoping that wasn't her only payment for appearing in a national TV campaign.

Steve and Kylie

Warm and fuzzies: SteveO introduced by "I'm a PC" Kylie

Sadly, Ballmer was a lot less, um, energetic than we usually find him at such public appearances. He didn’t yell. He didn’t turn red. He didn’t even stomp on an iPhone. He seemed very, believe it or not, scripted.

Big Steve started out by telling the crowd exactly what Microsoft is up to with this Windows 7 thing. In his words, Redmond set out to make Windows 7 "simpler, faster, more responsive" - aka not Windows Vista. According to Ballmer, Windows 7 was designed in large part in response to feedback from partners and Windows users. Ballmer referred to this collaboration as "the secret sauce". Cue the eight million beta testers bit.

Executive blather

He also said that Microsoft had three major goals in mind for this new OS: faster boot times, making it easier to perform common tasks, and providing a platform for partners to innovate new products. But we would hope those are goals for any new operating system.

Then Ballmer burbled about something called "life without walls." This marketing tagline refers to the company’s strategy for integrating systems and devices more seamlessly - allowing your PCs, televisions, mobile phones, and digital picture frames to connect, and communicate. The crowd applauded. Not a pedant in the room, apparently. It would seem that without walls, you have no place to put Windows. But so be it.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Next page: Enter Caddy Shack

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.