HelpWithWindows Newsletter Volume 11, Number 21
December 13, 2008
Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition

In this issue:

Windows 7 Public Beta Soon

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Windows 7

There have been several reports that indicate that a public beta of Windows 7 would be available in early January. What's more, according to several sources (ZDNet's Ed Bott, Internet News.com Andy Patrizio and last week WinInfo's Paul Thurrott) Windows 7 will ship this summer (a June 2009 shipping date is being mentioned) - way earlier than Microsoft has (so far) indicated.

Some people are thinking that a June 2009 ship date is not likely. This is roughly 31 months after Vista went RTM (Release To Manufacturing). I'll just point out that Microsoft shipped Windows XP only 20 months after Windows 2000, so a 31 month development cycle for Windows 7 would certainly be a possibility. Most people will remember the painful Windows Vista development cycle, which took 63 months from the day Windows XP went RTM to its own RTM. Microsoft is determined not to let that happen again.

One should also keep in mind that the changes from Windows Vista to Windows 7 are comparable to the changes Microsoft made when it went from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, so although the beta cycle for Windows 7 looks to be very short, it looks plausible.

Your Comments.

Microsoft Unveils Clothing Line

Softwear by Microsoft OK, I admit that this one made me frown too. And admittedly, "clothing line" is a big word for what is basically a collection of retro-style T-shirts. The line is called "Softwear by Microsoft" and was designed by artist/rapper Common. The designs are said to be 'reminiscent of the 80s and are meant to be another way to counter the Mac/PC adverts, designed to be an extension of the 'I'm a PC' ads campaign Microsoft is hoping will change the public's opinion of the company.

"Softwear by Microsoft is a clothing line that taps the nostalgia of when PCs were just starting to change our lives," a Microsoft statement reads. "With retro logos, classic photos, and geek-chic iconography, these pieces showcase the DOS days of the software company that now connects over a billion people."

The "Softwear by Microsoft" is set to hit stores in the US on December 15th. More information & a view of the designs visit the Microsoft Softwear by Microsoft site.


Windows SteadyState

Windows SteadyState makes it easy to keep your computers running the way you want them to, no matter who uses them.

More Info & Download

Latest Microsoft & Windows News from around the Internet

Windows Home Server Toolkit

The Windows Home Server (WHS) Toolkit is a collection of tools that help you troubleshoot issues with Windows Home Server.

Toolkit (32-bit)
Toolkit (64-bit)

Troubleshooting Windows Explorer Errors

Having problems with Windows Explorer crashing when you rigt-click an object, or try to browse through the folders on your computer? In a lot of cases, these errors are caused by 3rd party shell extensions that are not functioning properly.

Read Full Article

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Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Public Beta

Windows Vista Early this month Microsoft released a Beta of Windows Vista Service Pack 2 via their Customer Preview Program (CPP). The beta was released in five languages: English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

The service pack is available as standalone package or as a Windows Update download. The standalone package is around 302 MB for the five language install (32-bit) or 508MB for the 64-bit version. The full language install (36 languages) will be respectively 390MB or 622MB. The Windows Update download size is around 41MB for the 32-bit version, 60MB for the 64-bit version.

Service Pack 2 includes application compatibility improvements, support for 64-bit VIA processors, Bluetooth wireless updates, Wi-Fi performance updates, DirectX updates, high definition audio & video performance updates and Blue-Ray improvements.

Service Pack 2 also includes a Service Pack Clean-up tool (Compcln.exe) which helps restore the hard disk space by permanently deleting the previous versions of the files (RTM and SP1) that are being serviced by SP2. The Pack Clean up tool can also be run offline while creating slipstream images to reduce the size of the image.

You should view Vista SP2's Release Notes before applying the service pack.

If you want to receive the beta through Windows Update, follow the instructions found on the Microsoft Download site. The standalone package is also available from the Microsoft Download site:

Microsoft is providing support for SP2 in their TechNet Forums.

I've been running the SP2 beta for a few days, and haven't run into any issues. I've also not notice any changes as compared to Service Pack 1.

Happy Holidays!

This is the last issue of the HelpWithWindows Newsletter for this year. Most of you will celebrate the Christmas holiday, so I want to wish you & your loved ones happy holidays and all the best for 2009!

The Newsletter will return to your mailbox with the January 10 issue.

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