Microsoft still has some tricks up its sleeves to add a little jazz to the launch of its latest OS
While the commercial launch of Windows 7 is still some months away, the out-any-week-now Release Candidate is the last chance Microsoft has to add any real, extra features that it has been holding back on. At a press event in London on Thursday, Laurence Painell, Windows OEM Manager, hinted that there may yet be more to come from the system.
What could these surprises be?
- Halo 3 for PC free with each copy of Windows 7?
- Free downloads from the Apple iTunes Store
- Upgrade vouchers for RAM and video cards in each boxed copy?
Perhaps not! One thing that won't happen is the single-version of Windows that floated around yesterday as an April Fool joke
. One thing Microsoft needs to get seriously right is the launch itself.
The "Wow starts now!" motif from Windows Vista rapidly descended into
farce, in fact things never really seem to have hit the heights of the
Windows 95 launch (below), fronted by the Rolling Stones and "Start it
up." To hedge its bets, why doesn't Microsoft pick a song that could
work both ways, we'd go with "I predict a riot" to cover all the bases.
The latest real piece of news is the release of a demo toolkit that will enable business, retailers and others to show off the system and their own software to others. The demo can be downloaded from Microsoft Connect (you need to be a Microsoft Connect member to access this link) and comes as an ISO file that makes it possible to run a limited session of Windows 7 to demonstrate a company's own software running in Windows 7 to customers, making use of the following features:
- Windows 7 Beta Ultimate (build 7000)
- Windows Live Wave 3
- Internet Explorer 8
- Office 2007 Ultimate
- Click-through demos
- Pre-configured settings
The demo functions allow for rolling or annotated demonstrations of the software features that any developer would want to show off.
Frankly, automated in-store demos is something Apple perfected long ago and it's amazing that Microsoft has taken this long to cotton on, instead leaving retailers to display malware infected, teenager-hacked PCs displaying in-store error messages.