After much hype Steve Ballmer made it official last night at the CES keynote. The windows 7 Public Beta will made available on Friday, January 9th.
If you've been leery of downloading the version that's been all over the torrent trackers since last week, get your download manager ready and keep your browser tuned to Microsoft's Windows 7 page.
TechNet, MSDN, and TechBeta members have already been given access, and you can download from there if your are a subscriber.
Microsoft also announced the global availability of Windows Live, a free suite of communications and sharing applications. Windows Live makes it easy for people to communicate, share and keep their online lives in sync and in one place with one login. The new and enhanced Windows Live services — including PCMag.com 2008 Editors’ Choice winner Windows Live Messenger — along with Windows Live Writer my personal favorite and Windows Live Photo Gallery with face recognition, as well as being designed to work seamlessly with more than 50 popular Internet services. Ballmer also announced new alliances with the following companies:
• Dell Inc. In February, to offer a comprehensive experience for consumers to connect, share and personalize their content, Dell will offer preloaded Windows Live Essentials (a free suite of applications for instant messaging, e-mail and photos that complement Windows Live on the Web) and Live Search on a majority of its new consumer and small-business PCs globally.
• Facebook. In the coming months, Facebook users can choose to share content they post on Facebook, including photos, directly into Windows Live.
• Verizon Wireless. Under a new five-year relationship that covers mobile search and advertising, Verizon subscribers in the U.S. will be able to use Live Search to search for local business and shopping information; access maps and directions; perform general Internet searches; and find ring tones, games, wallpaper and other online mobile products and services.
According to Microsoft press release
Microsoft demonstrated new features and key improvement in Windows 7 based on listening to the needs of customers. Windows 7 is designed to do the following:
Work the way consumers want. With Windows 7, Microsoft paid special attention to performance, reliability, security, compatibility and battery life. The company is on track to deliver a great experience that will allow customers to spend more time doing the things they want to do, without the operating system getting in the way.
Make everyday tasks faster and easier. The more streamlined and intuitive design of Windows 7 is intended to simplify the things people do every day on their PCs. Desktop improvements make using the PC easier and provide immediate access to the applications and files people use most often through features such as Jumplists, Previews and the new Taskbar. The new Home Group feature makes it easier for consumers to connect multiple home PCs together to share printers and access files, music, photos and videos. Device Stage makes connecting and working with devices easier than ever with a single interface to manage devices and run common tasks. New multitouch technology in Windows 7 will enable people with touch-screen monitors to use multiple fingers to interact with their PC screens in a more intuitive way.
Offer a better entertainment experience. Consumers today have access to more digital media and are increasingly using the PC as the hub of their electronic experiences. The “Play-to” feature in Windows 7 allows easier streaming of music, video and photos to devices in a home network. Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center in Windows 7 have built-in support for more media formats so people can use their PC to play more media content and sync it to a broader range of devices. As an alternative to monthly digital video recording (DVR) fees, Windows Media Center, available in some editions of Windows 7, with a TV tuner and improved user interface, makes recording TV free and easy.
These all sound great. I want what i what and i want it to be faster and better then in i thought i wanted…LOL
Windows 7 home page:
Download info from the team:
Steve Ballmer's keynote:
Keynote videos and Windows 7 demo video: