Microsoft Windows 7 Build 6956 Screenshots  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

Thanks to everybody sending in the Windows 7 Build 6956 screenshots. This time I have some spectacular widescreen screenshots for everyone. The images are all in high resolution so they may take a while to load even though I have compressed them. I will upload more screenshots soon but for now, take a look:

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(click to more)

Windows 7 Build 6956 ISO Torrent Released  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

The Windows 7 Build 6956 ISO has finally been created and is now exploding with leechers on most of the "major torrent sites" after a week of excitement over the leak that originated from WinHEC China. Over 2000 leechers are already downloading from the "Mininova" torrent just 3 hours after its upload. "One site" even went as far as to provide a direct link, but I suspect the forum administrators to take it down soon enough.
This weekend has been an exciting one for the entire Windows community. As soon as the VHD image of Windows 7 Build 6956 was fully uploaded and leaked to the community via torrent, people soon realized that the installation process was too long and difficult for everybody to install. Several methods involving copying the VHD contents over, or using Ghost to backup the image were discovered, but these methods only worked for a very small amount of people. So the race was on to see who could first create an ISO of build 6956.
The first evidence of a possible ISO surfaced over at AeroXP at 5:45 this morning when NetRoller3D claimed that he had finished creating the ISO and was ready for upload. But what he didn’t know was that 4 hours ago, the Chinese Windows community over at "PCBeta" was already distributing their ISO via QQ servers. They had changed their distribution method probably so it could quickly be distributed to a select few strong uploaders, so then multiple seeders can be part of the torrent.
The English community got its first sign of a torrent for the build 6956 ISO when aussie_boi from "thehotfix" posted a torrent link. As of now, the torrent has been uploaded to most major torrent sites. The ISO will allow any user to now install the operating system just like any other. One minor detail the pirates did not attend to was the build number that is displayed at the bottom right hand corner during the installation process. Since the ISO was created based off the build 6801 CD, it still says build 6801. But "duanmuxiyu" assures everybody that the ISO is indeed a legit copy of Windows 7 Build 6956. (full Story)

Windows 7 Build 6956 Leaked by an Attendee at WinHEC China  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

The impossible has been done again and pirates all over the world are busy trying to obtain the more updated build of Windows 7- build 6956. Just a day after WinHEC China began, an attendee from the conference managed to slip a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) image of Windows 7 Build 6956 onto a portable device and upload it via torrent to the world. You’d think that Microsoft would have some sort of security enforced to keep this from happening after how hard they’ve been trying to prevent any leaks. The uploader from the PCBeta forum uses the alias Edward_Han, and is seen by the Chinese Windows community as a hero. The community has been referring to him as Edward_Han the hero, and even Master Edward_Han. The entire VHD image was actually supposed to be uploaded yesterday, but Ed’s computer shut off mysteriously, so the pirating had to be delayed for a day. As of now, there’s heated discussion on how to properly turn the VHD image into a fully functional install of Windows 7 Build 6959. A few have succeeded, but most people are having trouble and are awaiting for the Chinese hackers and community to get an ISO out. Word is starting to spread quickly in the English community in forums including our own, and many others. So far, from what we can tell, the following features are included in the build:

=Windows Peeking or Aero Peeking

=Desktop Slideshows

=Modified Start Menu and Taskbar (No arrows beside application icons)Since build 6956 was unreleased, I’m sure this leak counts as illegal. But Windows 7 Beta 1 is due to come out within a couple of weeks, and I’m sure Microsoft couldn’t be enjoying the hype generated around this any more than you and I could. More updates to come, stay tuned. (full story)

Windows 7 to Use Less Space Than Vista  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

We’ve seen much evidence already from Microsoft that they will plan to have Windows 7 become a significant player in the netbook market. In doing this, theEngineering Windows 7 team recently announced that (with no guarantees), Windows 7 will manage its “disk footprint” better and use less space than Windows Vista.
One of the biggest issues people had was with the huge and mysterious WinSXS directory. First, let’s take a look at what it is and why it’s On my 60GB partition with 5GB of free space, the folder alone takes up 5.73GB of space! First let’s take a look at what it is and why it’s there because this folder is here to stay in Windows 7.
The WinSXS directory is actually a “hard link” to the files elsewhere on the system. So for a file in C:\Windows\System32, there would be another file in the WinSXS directory pointing to it. Think of it as a giant address book for the computer. The point of this is for tools that deliver patches and service patches to quickly determine details about the system (such as what’s installed and what’s not), to make servicing efficient. In addition, hard links can actually optimize disk footprint (physical space consumed) for duplicate files on the system, and application developers can use these links to opimtize disk consupmtion of their applications as well. On another note, since this is a reliably service, it is not recommended at all to delete this folder despite the tweaks or tools you may find online that tell you to do so.
Now that we know what WinSXS is, let’s take a look at the installation footprint of Windows Vista to get a better picture of how 2GB worth of code ends up being a 15GB installation.
Just by skimming through this, you could probably quickly recognize a few features that you don’t need. Microsoft recognized this as well, and will be making the following improvements on reducing disk space:
Only the most popular device drivers will be included with the OS. The rest will be available through downloading off Windows Update - Windows Vista SP1 installs almost 1GB of drivers to support plug and play devices. However, these drivers will eventually be out-of-date, ultimately requiring users to download their new drivers off Windows Update.
Optional features at OS installation: Not all features will be installed by default during Windows 7 Installation. However, the e7 blog clearly says optional features will be have the same way they did in Vista.
As you might notice today in Windows, when you choose to add a feature that was not installed Windows does not require a source (a DVD or network location). This is because the feature is stashed away as part of a complete Windows install—this is itself a feature. We will always keep features available and will always service them even when components are not installed—that way if you add a component later you do not risk adding a piece of code that might have been exploited earlier. This is another important way we keep Windows up to date and secure, even for optional features.
My understanding of this is that these features will still be available to you even if you did not want to install them during installation. However, you would still end up saving space since the features are not extracted for installation.
Configurable System Restore: In Vista, System Restore was programmed to consume 15% of your hard disk space at maximum. In Windows 7, you can configure it to create the minimal useful number of snapshots instead.
Deletion of Old Updates: In the past, Windows would archive old drivers that were superceded by new ones through updates or Service Packs. In Windows 7, these drivers would still be archived, but would then be deleted some time after the update is successfully installed. (full Story)

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