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Windows 7 Beta Is Available

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In a keynote address at Consumer Electronics Show 2009 (CES), Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, announced Windows 7 Beta and a new version of Windows Live. Windows 7 Beta is available for download for MSDN, TechBeta and TechNet customers and will be widely available starting January 9th.

The key Windows 7 highlighted features were:

Work the way consumers want. With Windows 7, Microsoft paid special attention to performance, reliability, security, compatibility and battery life.

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.

In the same time, Steve Ballmer announced a new version of Windows Live, a suite of free online communication and sharing applications: Mail, Messenger, Photo Gallery, Live Spaces, SkyDrive, an online 25 GB storage solution, Mobile, Calendar, and others. Microsoft has also struck deals with Dell, which will preload Windows Live Essentials on many of their PCs, with Facebook to interconnect with Windows Live, and with Verizon Wireless to provide mobile search through Live Search.

Useful links: More information about Windows 7 presented at CES, CES website.

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