The pre-beta version of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system released to developers at the Professional Developer Conference has already made it onto prominent BitTorrent sites, where thousands of enthusiasts around the world are currently downloading it.
Well known BitTorrent sites
such as The Pirate Bay and Mininova were at the time of publication hosting multiple downloads of the
newly aired operating system — both the 32-bit and 64-bit
On The Pirate Bay, one copy of the 32-bit build had over one
thousand people uploading it, and almost 7,000 people on
the way to downloading it. The 64-bit version was less popular,
with the earliest copy available on the site having only around 100 people hosting a copy and around a thousand still
There were complaints that the version offered wasn't the
latest build, but instead the stable one given the delegates and
therefore didn't have the revised taskbar. Complaints also
abounded about how slow the download was considering the lack of people seeding the file.
The most popular link for the 32-bit version of Windows 7 on
Mininova had a similar number of people downloading and uploading
the file as that on The Pirate Bay, although the 64-bit version on this
site was a rare breed with only one copy boasting 30 seeds and
around 150 leechers.
Some people weren't excited. "There is nothing [sic] new in it," wrote one commenter. "I wouldn't recommend this to download. Waste of time. Happy with
Others called for a reality check. "Seriously people. This was
just a PRE-beta release that was given out at a trade show so
writers would write about the new version. This SHOULD NOT be
downloaded with the intent of using it as an everyday system. It is
just so writers could get a feel for what was to come."
Businesses might wonder what the new operating system will
mean for their business. "I was in Redmond three weeks ago and had a sneak peek," said Peter
Menadue, who holds the role of global director of solutions and
technology, Microsoft solutions business within systems integrator Dimension Data.
"I think they've done a stellar job. Sinofsky's a
genius," he added, referring to Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky,
senior VP, Windows and Windows Live engineering group.
He said that
what didn't come out in the press coverage about Windows 7 were
all the bits of the operating system which would be interesting to
enterprise, with aspects like application security, data security
and application deployment getting a facelift.
The support for virtualisation was something Menadue flagged as
being of interest to business as well as Microsoft's pledge to maintain application and
driver compatibility with Vista.
Dimension Data will get the M3 code for Windows 7 before the end of
the year, which will allow it to start an early deployment program
Menadue said there had been a lot of interest in the operating
system because there had been much less information than there was
on previous releases, with Microsoft carefully controlling what
reached the press, but added that with the current climate,
companies were focused "on the here and now".
These comments were echoed by Jo Sweeney, advisor at analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services.
"What tends to happen [in times like these] is that IT
professionals get much more focused on proving and not improving,"
he said. "People will [move to] Windows 7 because if they can put
greater management features into it, it will solve some of the problems
of desktop computing."
Over 80 per cent of IT costs go into the day-to-day running of
IT, Sweeney said — keeping all the PC's running, making sure
everyone has the right patches — and Microsoft's dynamic IT
strategy, in which Windows 7 is a part, will make that easier, by
allowing the separation of applications and user profiles from the
operating system. This will allow anyone anywhere on the network to
access their profile.
People doing best practice desktop management will already have
realised those improvements, Sweeney said, with Microsoft's
direction being a reaction to the market, although he admitted it
was a good one. "How do they execute?" he asked. "Question