Windows 7 is here ( well, almost!)

The long awaited seventh iteration of Microsoft’s desktop computing environment, Windows 7, is here.Right? 

Right, if one means the date of general world wide release – October 22 -- has come.
Wrong, if one is talking about India, where chances are you won’t find a  packaged copy on sale anywhere in the country. For that we have to blame the geniuses in the Indian Finance Ministry and specifically at the Customs and Excise department who are still grappling with the byzantine complexity of the formula to tax imported packaged software that was part of the last Union Budget proposals.

The new provisions actually sought to avoid taxing the product twice – but trust the babus to make it all so complicated, that their own watchdogs at Customs had no idea what to levy as tax and how. God forbid that they should assess a tax that was smaller than intended… So they took the easy way out and for some weeks now, shrink wrapped software of all kinds not just Windows is piling up at the ports of entry.

If the situation changes we shall let you know – Microsoft is going ahead with a launch event in Delhi on Thursday, and we hope to bring you the India-specific announcement s as soon as they are made.

Meanwhile to give IndiaTechOnline readers a bit of head start, we have scoured the Web to bring you some relevant insights about Windows 7: Thee extracts are followed by a link where you can if you choose, read the full article:  ( and while you are at it do look as our video spot for a quick preview of Win 7)

From OnWindows:
Microsoft says that its latest operating system is built around customer feedback and thus addresses the most popular areas for improvement. As such, Windows 7 is designed to be more responsive and simpler to use – it makes PCs start up, shut down, resume from standby, and respond faster. New functionalities supporting this ethos include Action Center, which replaces the myriad of interruptions and icon pop-ups that an operating system can sometimes throw in the user’s way.
Microsoft has also worked a lot on ease of navigation across the system. The improved taskbar allows you to pin any program directly to it for quick access, as well as rearrange icons just by clicking and dragging. The new ‘Jump Lists’ functionality also eases navigation by enabling users to quickly reach files they’ve been working on by right clicking on the relevant program icon on the taskbar. So, right-clicking on the Word icon will show the most recent Word documents.
Improved visibilty is also a key ingredient of Windows 7, so now, when you hover over an icon, you’ll see thumbnails of every file or window that open in that program. Likewise, two open windows can be easily compared using ‘Snaps’. Drag one window to either side edge of the screen to fill that half, then Snap the other window to fill the other half.
The operating system’s search functionality is also much improved. Microsoft says that Windows 7 makes search results more relevant and easier to understand, as well as using libraries to show all content of a particular type, such as photos, in one spot.
The emphasis on increased usability extends to entertainment, with Windows 7 making it easier to stream music, videos, or photos to networked media devices, such as a audio-video system. This ability to share is further enhanced by ‘HomeGroup’. This is set up automatically when the first PC running Windows 7 is added to a home network, and enables the exchange of files and printers with all of the PCs on that network.

From Channel Web: XP Out, Windows 7 In By 2012: Forrester By Samara Lynn, ChannelWeb/Oct. 20, 2009
Forrester Research just stamped XP with an expiration date of 2012. In a report published last week, Forrester makes a strong recommendation for businesses -- plan to completely migrate from XP by 2012.
With driver issues and all-around bad press about Vista, the assumption is that most businesses opted to stick with XP. In fact, Forrester's research does back up that assumption: 75 percent of SMB computers are still running XP. The hesitancy for corporate IT to roll out the latest OS is, of course, steeped in fear of a new set of technical headaches. Also, it's not surprising that many WinTel outfits are gun-shy after witnessing or experiencing the problems of Vista.
Still, Forrester makes some sound technical arguments in favor of not putting off an upgrade to Windows 7. Forrester's suggested migration deadline of 2012 still gives businesses a 12-to-18-month testing period. This gives sufficient time to upgrade outdated equipment, or perform upgrades on newer equipment. For example, for upgrading memory, Windows 7 seems to run happiest on at least 2 GB, and in performance benchmarks reviewers have done in the CRN Test Center, it screams with 4 GB.
Forrester also makes the case about the real possibility of discontinued application support for XP. It is quite feasible that as Windows 7 starts to take hold in the corp orate and consumer markets, software vendors, driver developers and ISVs are not going to invest in development as much for XP support.;jsessionid=VTIPJM3JYNTFDQE1GHOSKHWATMY32JVN
From IT Wire: Windows 7 to be the end of the line?
by Stephen Withers
21 October 2009

An academic has predicted that Windows 7 - which ships later this week - may be Microsoft's desktop OS swan song.
Associate Professor Sanjay Chawla, head of the University of Sydney's School of Information Technologies, said that desktop computing is becoming less important as cloud computing and virtualisation become increasingly commonplace.

"Users won't need new, more powerful operating systems for their desktops if the tasks they need to perform can be done by cloud computing," said Chawla.

Cloud computing and virtualisation "expand the Internet from a communication medium to a computing platform in its own right," he added.

While cloud computing does have a number of advantages - including the ability to access programs and data from practically any computer and many handheld devices, the removal of the need to update applications, and a reduction in the cost of the hardware needed to run heavyweight applications - it also has drawbacks.

"The downside of emerging systems is the lack of trust in cloud computing. People need more convincing their data is safe in the 'cloud' before they commit to it. The privacy offered by desktop operating systems means they still hold a lot of appeal," said Chawla.

There's also the issue of the bandwidth required to support cloud applications, and the cost of using it (which can be considerable for those who rely on wireless connectivity).
But Chawla doesn't think Microsoft is a spent force. He believes it has "other products in the pipeline offering scope to redefine the computing landscape".
"As a large organisation, Microsoft finds it difficult to react to rapid changes in the market on a timely basis," he said.

"But with its largesse comes a huge R&D budget of $10 billion a year, so it will remain a formidable player in the market regardless of the future of desktop computing." 

- Oct 21 2009