The official Windows 7 Team Blog reminds us that availability for the Windows 7 Beta ends on Thursday (US time, but you might as well work to that scale). Maybe more importantly, though, if you have not already started your download as of today, you're out of luck (at least if you consider the official download to be your only avenue): Microsoft has already pulled the plug on new beta signups and downloads. For those of you still working on your download, you've got until 9am PST on Thursday to finish.
Tagged With windows 7 beta
Good news for music lovers excited for Windows 7: The new and improved music interface in Windows 7 Media Center is overflowing with eye candy and usability. The video above, from web site Missing Remote, demonstrates the main features and interface of WMC7's music playback (who doesn't love that turbo-scroll?). Windows Media Center is one of the most popular media centre applications among Lifehacker readers, so it's great to see Microsoft continue to innovate on this front.
If you're on a Mac but want to know what the Windows 7 Beta fuss is about, the SimpleHelp weblog walks through installing Win7 using Boot Camp, Apple's solution for dual-booting Windows on a Mac. We've already covered how to dual-boot Windows 7 with XP or Vista, and the good news is that installing Win7 on your Mac is just as simple: All you need is your Leopard installation DVD, the Windows 7 Beta, 10GB of free hard drive space, and a few hours. What's your take? Are you willing to put a beta version of Windows on your Mac just to see if the eye candy is worth it?
Having just finished installing Build 7000 of Windows 7 on my PC this week (being at CES in Vegas got in the way of an earlier setup), one of the first things I tested was the search function -- and it didn't do well. In the most telling example, it totally failed to find text files that matched a given search term, even when that term was part of the file name. Indexing Options (under Control Panel) includes a troubleshooter, but it reported that everything was working fine. Since that clearly wasn't the case, I chose to rebuild the index (another choice under Indexing Options). That took a few hours, but the results were good, and Windows Search now appears to be working properly. Of course, Windows 7 is still in beta, and your mileage might vary, but if you're not finding search works well, a rebuild is probably indicated. Ideally, the release candidate will automatically handle this kind of problem without requiring manual intervention, especially for users upgrading from Vista, which does already include search functionality.
Customising the look and feel of Windows is a cinch with themes—problem is, Microsoft generally offers so few supported themes. That's changed in Windows 7 Beta: Microsoft is already offering 20 fresh themes. In previous releases of Windows, if you wanted to choose from more than a small handful of "Royale"-named themes, you had to do some legwork so you could install custom themes. With Windows 7, Microsoft may actually offer several legitimate themes so you can adjust the look and feel of Windows to your heart's content. Granted, these Windows 7 themes aren't as transformative some of the killer custom themes we've featured for patched themes, but these 20 offerings already represent significantly more action in the theme department. Five themes come with Windows 7 Beta out of the box, while the subsequent 15 are all made available as downloads from the Windows 7 Personalise your PC page. According to Life Rocks 2.0, you can find even more hidden themes inside a WindowsGlobalizationMCT folder (if you make a few tweaks first). Each theme comes with a complimentary wallpaper, most of which are landscapes. You can, of course, customise the wallpaper to your liking. Primarily the themes change the colour of the chrome—which itself stays translucent, of course. What do you think of the new Windows 7 themes? Are they enough to keep you from patching and using unauthorized custom themes when the time comes? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments.
Microsoft's first Windows 7 Beta patch fixes an MP3 bug responsible for corrupting MP3s imported into Media Centre or Media Player or whose metadata was edited in some other way. Just grab the appropriate download for your system from the Microsoft support page for the bug, install the patch, and you should be aces. If you've experienced the corruption issue, the same page suggests that you may be able to restore corrupted files by right-clicking the file, selecting Properties, and using Windows 7's file versions list to restore to a previous version of the file.