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Top 10 Things to Look Forward to in Microsoft's Windows 7

50°
298w ago - Rumor has it that Windows 7 will drop in the middle of next year, but last month Microsoft released a "preview" tester build of Windows 7. After living in the Windows 7 Preview for a week now, several features and niceties jumped out at me which promise to make Windows a better place to work come 2009.

Here are just a few of the things to look forward to in Windows 7.

10. Ding-dong, the Sidebar is dead.

One of the first things I hunted down and killed in Windows Vista was the Sidebar, which loaded by default and docked Vista's Gadgets to the right side of your desktop. In Windows 7, the sidebar is no more, and gadgets, should you want them, can roam free across the desktop. This time around, the gadgets feel less distracting to me–the CPU meter and calendar gadgets are my favourites, though this screenshot shows many more.

9. Calculator, WordPad, and Paint got overhauled.

It sucks that Windows 7 is stripping the built-in Photo Gallery and movie-making software that you'll find in Vista (even the Windows Calendar is nowhere to be found in the 7 Preview), but a few of their built-in stalwarts did get some attention.

WordPad and Paint both got the Office 2007 ribbon installed, and Calculator now incorporates real world uses into it. At this point only...
 

The PlayStation 3 Games to Look Out for in 2009!

500°
299w ago - Has 2008 been a great year for Sony? Yes and No, some people have already said why Sony havent had the best of years and I have to agree with them, but theres one thing I didn't do, buy an Xbox 360!

Anyway, was 2008 the year of PS3? No. Will 2009 be the year of PS3? Possibly. The following games are the ones to look out for and could make Sony leader of 2009.

Please note these are PlayStation 3 only games, some of them may not make 2009 (some of them aren't even announced but could be announced soon) but maybe, just maybe.

In no particular order:

- Infamous
- Killzone 2
- God of War 3
- Ratchet and Clank
- The agency (also on PC)
- Gran Turismo 5
- Yakuza 3
- Trico
- Uncharted 2
- Jak 4
- Heavy Rain
- White Knight Chronicles
- Final Fantasy XIII Versus
- Demon's Soul
- MAG
- Wardevil
- Twisted Metal

What games are you looking forward to?
 

Saving XBox 360 Games to the HDD Makes Them Look Better

300°
300w ago - I have found Microsoft's updated version of Xbox Live to be a mixed bag navigation-wise. And I haven't used a few key features like parties or Netflix yet.

But there's one feature I'm using that is undeniably awesome: Saving games to the hard drive. As soon as I got the NXE (new Xbox experience) beta test, I immediately saved "Fable 2" to the hard drive, mainly because the game is constantly accessing data from the disc and it is loud, even by Xbox 360 standards.

I was hoping I would no longer be distracted by the noise of a disc spinning with such fury it could fly out of the machine and behead me and I was right. The 8 minutes or so it took to transfer the game to my hard drive was well worth it, because the 360 is now virtually silent while I play.

But there was one extra, unexpected benefit: "Fable 2" looks noticeably better. The graphics are sharper and brighter. So much so that it's like the game, or my graphics processor, has gotten an upgrade.

Perhaps someone more familiar with programming can tell me why, but I assume it has to do with the fact that it's easier for the console to access and process all the requisite data, so it has to make fewer compromises to deliver me graphics in real time.

Nobody at Microsoft (or anywhere else) has talked about this benefit...
 

Rumor: First Look at Sony's New Break-Apart Game Controller

250°
300w ago - A patent application filed on October 23rd that surfaced at NeoGAF reveals that talk of Sony creating a break-apart controller that surfaced back in July of this year might not have been as far-fetched as was originally thought.

The patent is for a method by which a system could track the movement of one or more controllers, with video tracking the position of the controllers and ultrasonic frequencies used to determine their distance from the console.

What this means is that two different controllers would submit data to a video input device like the PlayStation Eye, with the Eye's microphone picking up on both the visual location and aural distance to track motion.

To quote: Through images included in a patent application, Sony has provided us with the first look at what they could be planning for their much rumoured break-apart control that keeps getting mentioned every few months.

It looks like the PS-Eye is involved somehow, and removable...
 

First Look at Windows 7's User Interface

50°
300w ago - At PDC today, Microsoft gave the first public demonstration of Windows 7. Until now, the company has been uncharacteristically secretive about its new OS; over the past few months, Microsoft has let on that the taskbar will undergo a number of changes, and that many bundled applications would be unbundled and shipped with Windows Live instead.

There have also been occasional screenshots of some of the new applets like Calculator and Paint. Now that the covers are finally off, the scale of the new OS becomes clear. The user interface has undergone the most radical overhaul and update since the introduction of Windows 95 thirteen years ago.

First, however, it's important to note what Windows 7 isn't. Windows 7 will not contain anything like the kind of far-reaching architectural modifications that Microsoft made with Windows Vista. Vista brought a new display layer and vastly improved security, but that came at a cost: a significant number of (badly-written) applications had difficulty running on Vista.

Applications expecting to run with Administrator access were still widespread when Vista was released, and though many software vendors do a great job, there are still those that haven't updated or fixed their software. Similarly, at its launch many hardware vendors did not have drivers that...
 
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