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Daily Debrief: Is Windows 7 Vista all over again?Although Windows 7 is still months away from a public release, word on the street is that Microsoft's new OS is only marginally different from Vista. CNET senior writer Ina Fried got her hands on a prebeta laptop with Windows 7 and shares her first impressions...
[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Kara: Welcome to the Daily Debrief, I'm CNET's Kara Tsuboi here with Senior Writer Ina Freed [assumed spelling] to talk about Windows7. Ina has had her hands on a pre-Beta laptop with Windows7 installed and what are your early observations, are you having fun? >> Ina: I am having fun I've actually been using it as my main machine the last couple days. You know, it's pretty fast especially for a pre-Beta version, ya know, typically before Beta this isn't when, ya know, the performance is tuned, typically there's a lot of things that make it not ready for prime time. They have a different attitude this time around they're really not putting features into the builds until they're really done, so it feels much more complete. It doesn't have some of the cool features, it doesn't have the new -- there's gonna be a new Task Bar, it doesn't have some of the cool graphic stuff that'll be in there. But for getting a sense of what it's like under the hood, ya know, I've been pretty impressed. >> Kara: And have you seen enough new features to make it drastically different from Vista, or a good reason for people to upgrade? >> Ina: That's gonna be the real challenge here, I mean there's not a ton of changes under the hood, so it's really gonna have to sell itself on being faster, just better. The phrase that I heard the most, I was at Microsoft conferences for two weeks, is either Vista but better or what Vista should have been. So the sense people have, at least from the early code, is it's not a dramatic departure, and even Microsoft's saying we're not changing a lot of the things under the hood. But, ya know, the question is how much of a big deal will it be if Microsoft really gets Vista right? Ya know, even if that's all Windows7 promises to do, in some ways that would be a lot, it might help them a good deal on the corporate adoption, ya know, a lot of businesses have not moved to Vista. >> Kara: That's true. >> Ina: And, ya know, Vista done right might be a great sell to a lot of businesses because they've been testing Windows Vista, even businesses that haven't adopted it have probably been playing around with it getting a sense for what works, what doesn't, and may have ironed out a lot of the bugs they just haven't decided to deploy this yet. >> Kara: To take that next step, absolutely. But Microsoft is offering one big departure, one big change and that is the whole idea of a touch laptop, >> Ina: Yeah >> Kara: which is a big deal but we're yet to see how popular that can be because that can be expensive. >> Ina: So I did get a chance to play around with the multi-touch features in Windows7 and it is a lot of fun and it, ya know, does give them a very tangible, I mean it literally feels different -- >> Kara: Yeah >> Ina: than predecessors. So, I think that will help them at the very least kind of show that they are making innovations and they are breaking some new ground. You point to one of the challenges which is that it is one of those features that in order to have it at all you have to build in the hardware support. And it's not clear how many PC makers will want to add that added cost, I mean clearly HP has done a lot on the Desktop side with its Touch Smart, even ahead of this Windows release. So, ya know, I would expect some support, Dell has a touch-screen laptop and, ya know, I would expect some others to join in but, ya know, it's probably not gonna hit the low-end of the market. The interesting spot will be these NetBooks, these low-end laptops because there actually are some benefits of being able to touch those small devices but it does add cost. >> Kara: And it's yet to be seen whether or not, ya know, they'll be bought in mass by a corporation or by business users, so, ya know, 7 may appeal to business users, the Touch may not, we'll see. I mean, this all doesn't come out for another 6 months or so, is that right, so. >> Ina: Yeah, I mean even a little longer, Microsoft's official target is, ya know, January of 2010, -- >> Kara: Wow >> Ina: we're hearing next year's holidays. >> Kara: Wow >> Ina: Which would be a little sooner than people expected initially. >> Kara: Okay, well, as you enjoy the pre-Beta version let us know how it works out and let's try to sway us one way or another. >> Ina: Alright, will do. >> Kara: Thanks Ina Freed, I'm Kara Tsuboi, we'll see you on the next Daily Debrief. ^E00:03:54