A first look at Safari 4 beta for Windows

Safari's currently the third-most popular browser for Windows, but is Apple aiming for number two? The Safari 4 beta debuts a completely reworked program, from the Nitro JavaScript engine to the Chrome-styled interface and Top Sites.

Some users are already swearing by the faster speeds in the beta, while others won't touch a browser without extension support. Let us know your favorite browser and why in the comments.

What's changing through Windows 7 beta

As I noted Wednesday, Microsoft isn't making huge changes to Windows 7 as a result of the beta feedback, but it is making a lot of little ones.

In a posting to its Engineering Windows 7 blog on Thursday, Microsoft outlined some of the changes that will be made for the next public version, which will be a near-final "release candidate" build.

Along with the ones mentioned in my previous article, Microsoft is making more than 30 other changes, including expanding its Aero Peek touch interface, adding broader support for older FAT32-formatted hard drives, and making it … Read more

Windows 7 testers want their voices heard

Although the enthusiasts that are testing Windows 7 have been generally positive on the product itself, some feel Microsoft has been less than eager to receive constructive criticism.

The issue came to a head last month in regards to changes Microsoft was making to make its controversial user account control feature less annoying. While the company did eventually make some shifts to address security concerns raised by testers, for some, the notions has lingered that Microsoft just isn't all that interested in user feedback.

For its part, Microsoft is now trying to make a challenging point. It is trying … Read more

First Look video: Safari 4 Public Beta

Apple's Safari was already the most used Web browser on the Mac, but other browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Camino have been quickly gaining on (and in some cases surpassing) the browser that comes preloaded on all Macs. The new version comes packed with interface enhancements and new features to once again set the bar a little higher for the competition. But is it enough?

Check out this First Look video to find out more about the new features in Safari 4 Public Beta.

Windows 7 beta users to get 'updates'

Next week, Windows 7 beta users will get a variety of updates, only they aren't really updates.

Instead, Microsoft said it will be sending the patches to test the operating system's updating mechanism.

The company stressed the updates won't actually add new features or update anything.

Brandon LeBlanc explained the nature of the updates in a blog posting Thursday (note that the emphasis is his):

Starting February 24, we will be releasing up to 5 test updates to PCs running the Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) via Windows Update. These updates allow us to test and verify … Read more

I'll wait for Windows 7 before buying a new PC

I need a new computer. Badly. My old iMac, which I'm using to write this now, has seen better days. My Windows machines, strewn across the house, are old and tired. But I'm unwilling to buy a new computer today. It's not that I haven't seen machines that I really would like to have, or that I don't have a desire to build my own. But there's a single factor that's forcing me to wait: Windows 7.

I'm done with buying Macs for a while. I really do love my iMac and my MacBook is my trusty companion when I travel, but after using Windows 7, I now know that I'm ready to jump back into the world of Windows. In my testing, Windows 7 isn't just an outstanding operating system that provides an ideal experience, but it's also a great alternative to Mac OS X. I find it superior to Apple's software on almost every level. It's that good.

But there's more to this story than Windows 7's superiority. I want to wait for Windows 7 for a number of reasons.… Read more

Buzz Out Loud 911: Giggles per dollar

Nintendo is smashing the competition in game consoles and Rafe thinks he knows the reason why. The G/D ratio will probably become a new economic leading indicator. We also determine just how long you should wait for Windows 7. And by determine, I mean Rafe and I fight over it and I win. And what do you think of the Microsoft store?

Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 911

Unix Time stamp generator

Sources: Windows 7 moving toward 2009 release

New Windows … Read more

The case for the $50 Windows 7 upgrade

According to CNET News reporter Ina Fried, Microsoft might release Windows 7 in 2009, although the company's representatives still won't say whether that rumor is true.

In conjunction with that report, Fried also said that Microsoft is putting the "finishing touches on a program to offer Vista buyers a free or low-cost update to Windows 7. That program could kick off as early as July, sources said."

TechArp published what it says are Microsoft's latest plans for its Windows 7 upgrade. The publication says that anyone who purchases Vista between July 1, 2009, and January 31, 2010, will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7. Windows Vista Home Premium users will receive Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows Vista Business users will get Windows 7 Professional, and Windows Vista Ultimate users will receive Windows 7 Ultimate.

TechArp's findings are interesting, but they don't answer a key question: how will Microsoft treat all those Vista users who purchase its operating system prior to July 1, 2009? Ostensibly, they will be forced to pay an upgrade fee, which if it's anything like Vista's upgrade costs, could be as little as $99.95 or as much as $219.95.

That's expensive. This time around, Microsoft should set a flat fee of $50 for a Windows 7 upgrade.… Read more

New Windows 7 build appears on torrent sites

A new build version of the Windows 7 beta has been available on several torrent sites as Microsoft ended the distribution of an earlier version, according to a report.

Computerworld noticed that Windows 7 Build 7022 has been available on sites like The Pirate Bay for download this week, the last days in which Windows users were able to download the beta before Microsoft pulled the plug Thursday. Several versions are still there as of this writing, which includes a Release Candidate version of Internet Explorer 8 for Windows 7 that was missing from the original beta release, and XTreview.comRead more

Sources: Windows 7 moving toward 2009 release

Microsoft is moving forward with plans to launch Windows 7 this year, although the company still refuses to publicly commit to that goal.

PC industry sources in Asia and the U.S. tell CNET News that they have heard things are on track to launch by this year's holiday shopping season, which has been Microsoft's internal target for some time.

Microsoft is also putting the finishing touches on a program to offer Vista buyers a free or low-cost update to Windows 7. That program could kick off as early as July, sources said.

The company has run such &… Read more