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Microsoft is making use of the time it still has ahead of the October 22nd general availability deadline of Windows 7 to deliver some last-minute finishing touches to the operating system. The latest iterations of the Windows client and server platforms were released to manufacturing on July 22nd, 2009, and, since August, have been available to specific customer segments including MSDN and TechNet subscribers. On October 13th, the Redmond company made available for download updates for both Windows 7 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM designed to boost the stability and reliability of the two platforms.
“An update is available to resolve issues that affect some computers that are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. These issues are reported by customers who use the Error Reporting service or Microsoft Customer Support Services,” Microsoft revealed. “This update improves the stability and reliability of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2 in various scenarios.”
This is not an uncommon practice with Microsoft. In fact, ahead of Windows Vista’s GA in January 2007, Jim Allchin, the then Windows boss, told customers that the first thing they would have to do after installing Vista and running the operating system for the first time was to update the brand-new platform. More »
Starting in the third week of April, Microsoft has debuted automatic upgrades to Internet Explorer 8. IE6 and IE7 users running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are being offered IE8 as an update via AU. Still, Microsoft has stressed the fact that Internet Explorer 8 delivered through Automatic Updates will not in fact install automatically. Instead, end users must opt in for the upgrade from previous versions of Internet Explorer for IE8 to happen.
“IE8 will not automatically install – the user has control over whether to upgrade to IE8. When offered IE8, three choices are offered: Ask later, install, or don’t install. If one chooses “Ask me later” then IE8 will continue to be offered via Automatic Update, and choosing “Don’t Install” will cause IE8 to no longer be offered via this method. Users who choose “Don’t Install” can still download IE8 [from the Download Center] or from Windows Update as an optional update,” explained Eric Hebenstreit, lead program manager. More »
Microsoft promises to optimize the amount of disk space that Windows 7 will consume in comparison to Windows Vista. Essentially, the Redmond company is laboring to decrease the installation footprint of the operating system with the next iteration of the Windows client. While the software giant failed to indicate just how much occupied disk space it was going to shave off in Windows 7, it did inform that it was looking to have Windows Vista beat in this aspect.
“As we develop Windows 7 it’s likely that the system footprint will be smaller than Windows Vista with the engineering efforts across the team which should allow for greater flexibility in system designs by PC manufacturers. We will do so with more attention to defaults, more control available to OEMs, end-users and IT pros, and will do so without compromising the reliability and robustness of Windows overall,” revealed Michael Beck, a program manager in the core OS deployment feature team. More »