More Than 100 Million Windows 7 Licences Sold in 6 Months

Windows-7-Touch-Pack We all know that Windows 7 has been selling like hot cakes since its release. However, the exact volume was up for debate. Now, Microsoft has revealed that so far more than 100 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold.

“To put that in context, more than 10% of all PCs worldwide are already running Windows 7 today. That’s amazing!”, wrote Brandon LeBlanc, in the Windows 7 Team blog.

Nevertheless, Windows XP is still proving to be immensely sticky. According to Net Applications, 64.5% PCs are still on the decade old operating system, while only about ten percent are on Windows Vista.

Riding on the back of strong Windows 7 sales, Microsoft’s net profit for the previous quarter soared to $4.01 billion.

Microsoft Shows Off Windows 7’s Touch Abilities With Touch Pack for Windows 7

Windows-7-Touch-Pack In case you are not aware, Windows 7 has inbuilt support for multi-touch. Of course, you will need to have a touch sensitive monitor for this to work. Although adoption of touchscreen monitors has been slow, manufacturers are slowly warming up to the idea. Major manufacturers like Dell, Asus, Fujitsu, HP and Lenovo have already jumped on the bandwagon. In spite of this, awareness about Windows 7’s touch abilities is still fairly low. Perhaps to remedy this, Microsoft has released Touch Pack for Windows 7.

Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a collection of utilities and games, which makes use of Windows 7’s multi-touch capabilities. The applications included in the Touch Pack are:

  • Microsoft Blackboard: An intricate game of physics in which you solve a puzzle by creating a fanciful machine on a blackboard.
  • Microsoft Garden Pond: A tranquil game that takes place in serene Japanese water gardens.
  • Microsoft Rebound: A game in which you use your fingertips to control Tesla spheres with an electrical field between them to catapult a metal game ball into your opponent’s goal.
  • Microsoft Surface Globe: A program that you can use to explore the earth as a flat 2-D map or as an immersive 3-D experience.
  • Microsoft Surface Collage: A program that you can use to explore and interact with your photos and arrange them as a desktop background.
  • Microsoft Surface Lagoon: A screen saver and interactive water simulation, complete with a meditative rock arrangement and playful, shy fish.

You can download the Touch Pack for Windows 7 from here.

Fix Common System Problems with Microsoft Fix It Center Online

Microsoft has launched Fix it Center Online – a repository of Fix It solutions offered by Microsoft. Fix It patches are nothing but one-click solutions to common system problems that Microsoft has been offering for quite some time. In the past, we have referred to them on numerous occasions. However, until now there was no central repository for all the Fix It patches released by Microsoft. So, unless you knew exactly what you were looking for, it was practically impossible to locate the required solution. The newly released Fix It Center (FIC) takes care of this problem.

Fix-It-Center-Solutions

The FIC client packages old and new fixes into a neat utility. Once installed, it will automatically scan your system, detect your hardware and software configuration and offer to fix any detected incorrect system settings. Microsoft claims that FIC can even find and fix issues before they become real problems.

Fix-It-Center-Online-Sync

FIC also allows you create an online account, which maintains a record of all the fixes applied by you in the past. You can install Fix it Center client on as many PCs you like, and when you use the same sign-in account during the client setup on each PC, the information about all your PCs will be registered in the same account. This feature may appear unnecessary to home users but it can be of great help to computer technicians and system administrators.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Microsoft-Fix-It-Center If there is one thing that I didn’t like about FIC, it is the fact that it forced me to use a web installer. It is not hard to see why Microsoft opted to offer just a web installer – they probably just want to ensure that you always install the latest version on any system. However, this also makes deploying FIC on systems with slow internet connection cumbersome. Other than this, I can find very little to nitpick about. Some of the solutions suggested by FIC are quite basic. But then, this isn’t really a tool for power users.

Fix It Center is a beta product. Hence, it may behave unpredictably. However, during my brief testing it worked flawlessly. It’s definitely a great tool and every computer user should have FIC at his disposal.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

[ Download Microsoft Fix It Center Online ]
via TheWindowsClub

How To Use Regedit

reg-icon Windows stores its configuration settings in a database called the registry. These settings are constantly modified by the many different programs running in Windows. Users can also make changes to the registry by using the Windows registry editor, regedit. Making changes to the registry is a common way to correct problems and change the way Windows looks and acts.

However, making the wrong registry changes can cripple your Windows system. So before you start hacking away with regedit, you should learn a little about it. This tutorial will explain some of the features in regedit and tell you how to use it safely.

Backing up the registry

Back up the registry before you make changes. One convenient way to do this is to use Windows System Restore. Here’s how to use System Restore. Another method for backing up the Windows registry is using a free utility named ERUNT, and here is how ERUNT works. Make sure you understand one of these methods before going any further.

Launching regedit

Unlike most other system tools, regedit will not appear in any of your menus when you click the Start button. That means you’ll have to launch it some other way. I’ll tell you how to start it using the Run dialog.

To bring up the Run dialog, hold down the Windows key and tap the R key.

winkey r

Now type regedit into the command entry box and click OK.

start-run-regedit

Using Regedit

Once launched, regedit will pop up pretty quickly. Here’s what it looks like:

regedit-hives-displayed

First, I’ll mention that you can see a Helpmenu in regedit and you’ll find plenty of information in it that I won’t cover in this tutorial.

The navigation pane (on the left) is showing the 5 main hivekeys, which always start with the word HKEY. To navigate deeper into the registry, you need to click on the plus (+) signs next to a hive key. The same applies the further into registry you go. Once you click on a plus, it will display all the sub-keys under that key and the plus will change into a minus (-) sign. Clicking on the minus sign will collapse the structure back to the way it was.

In the view below, you can see that I’ve located the key for a piece of software that I had installed.

regedit-delete-key

At the bottom of the window you can see the registry path to this key. Right clicking on a key will bring up a menu showing several actions.

  • New, will create a new key under the key I have selected.
  • Delete- If this was a program that was no longer installed on my PC, I could safely delete this key.
  • The Copy Key Nameaction places the full path to the key in your Windows Clipboard, and it can be pasted as text into other applications, such as email or a web browser.
  • Exportaction allows you to save the information under a registry key, and this information can be restored later if it’s needed. It’s a good idea to export a key before you make changes to it. I’ll talk more about exported keys later.

Here you can see that I’ve navigated down into the Current User hive to take a look at my mapped network drives.

regedit-add-new-key

In this view, I have the Zkey open. In the right pane (data pane), you can see the entries for the data values under this key. Each piece of data under a key has a name, type and value. The data name can be almost any string of letters as long as it doesn’t contain a space. There are several types of data, as shown above, and you can learn more about them in the regedit help file.

Right clicking into an empty area in the data pane will bring up the Newmenu, as shown above, which allows you to add new data entries. Right clicking on one of the data entries, as shown below, will allow you to modify its value or delete it entirely.

regedit-modify-data

Importing data into the registry

Above I mentioned that you can export a key to save all the sub-keys and data under it. When you export a key, you will see that it wants to save as a REG file.

regedit-export-a-key

A .reg file is actually a plain text file and you can open it up in Notepad to see what’s inside of it. Here’s a look inside of one:

regedit-exported-reg-file

That’s good to know, because you will often find registry tweaks published online in plain text as shown in the image above. All you need to do is to copy the text, paste it into Notepad and then save it as a .REG file.

reg-file-merge

Once you have a REG file that you want to restore or add to the registry, all you need to do is double click on it, or right click on it and Mergeit into the registry. When you do this, you’ll get a message asking you to confirm this action.

reg-file-merge-dialog

After you confirm, you’ll get a message telling you that the information was entered.

reg-file-merge-dialog-confirmed

Notes:
  • If you’ve made changes to the registry, you won’t always see an immediate change (if it’s one you can see). Many times you will have to log out of Windows and log back in before you see any changes.
  • Some free tools make it easy to change your registry without using regedit. These programs are often called tweakor system enhancement tools, such as TweakUI (from Microsoft).
  • Here are some sites with lots of registry tweaks you can apply to Windows.
  • Here are some tutorials on how to use the registry and REG files.
  • Here is a list of free registry tools.
Summary

I’ve told you what the registry is, how to back it up, make changes to it, and finally, how to add to the registry using REG files. Now you have enough information to safely make registry changes, and you can learn even more about these topics in the regedit help file and other places online.

Windows 7 SP1 Leaks, Now Available on Torrent Download

Windows 7 SP1 has just leaked over the Internet. This much awaited Service Pack update which was expected from Microsoft is now available at various torrent sites.
win7-sp1-screenshot-leak
Earlier last month, Microsoft made announcements of the possible availability of this service pack but did not release any date for this. The Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 is available now.

Microsoft’s say on this SP1 release was,

Windows 7, SP1 includes only minor updates, among which are previous updates that are already delivered through Windows Update.

Chris123NT from  GeekSmack has posted screenshots of the leaked build on his website. The leaked build goes by the name of 6.1.7601.16537.amd64fre.win7.100327-0053 and will soon spread over various torrents.

There are two things you should worry about before trying this out.  Firstly, it can be malicious. Secondly, it is a leaked build and is not necessarily a beta release.

Microsoft has not released any official comment on this leak.

[Via: Geeksmack ]

Free Disk Space Analyzer – O&O DiskStat – Limited Time Offer

folder-check-icon[Windows Only] I recently saw an offer for a 1 Terabyte hard disk for around $120. The price of storage space keeps getting better and better. Once you start filling up huge disks, you need a way to figure out what stuff belongs on them and what you need to send to the trash.

There are dozens of disk management solutions out there and many of them are free. However, sometimes you get what you pay for. O&O Software is giving away copies of their O&O DiskStat program. It’s normally priced at $30 USD. In this case, you are getting much more than what you pay for.

o o-screenshot

Quote from O&O Software:

O&O DiskStat is a high-power tool for analyzing the used disk space on your storage volumes. With an easy-to-use interface based on the design of the Windows Explorer, you can take a closer look at the file and folder structure of your internal and external drives. Through intuitive and beautiful graphical representations you will find out which files, file types and folders are taking up the most space.

A few of the features:
* Analysis of the File System Structure
* Supports Internal and External Drives
* Windows Explorer Look & Feel
* Support of 64-bit Systems
* Windows Vista/7 Compatibility

Sign up for a free license of O&O DiskStat (requires an email address)

Center TaskBar Icons in Windows 7 With TaskDock [Windows]

I used to be a big fan of programs like ObjectDock and RocketDock. However, I stopped using them after I upgraded to Windows 7. Windows 7’s taskbar (affectionately called the superbar) acts as a pretty good application launcher and makes these dock applications almost redundant.

TaskDock is a free portable utility, which enhances the taskbar’s dock-like feel by automatically centering all your icons. There is very little else to say about this app. It is tiny download and does just what it is supposed to do. As soon as you launch it, it will center all the icons present in your taskbar. TaskDock does not have any interface and operates silently from the system tray. It continuously monitors applications as they are opened and closed and re-aligns the taskbar buttons accordingly.

TaskDock-Center-Taskbar-Icons-Windows-7

Techie Buzz Verdict

TaskDock does not serve any real purpose other than making the taskbar a bit more pleasing to the eyes. However, folks who like to dress up their system with fancy themes and icons will appreciate this subtle taskbar enhancement. TaskDock can be a bit jumpy but worked well enough for me to give it a thumbs up.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Good)

[ Download TaskDock for Windows 7 ]

Google Chrome Gets Windows 7 Taskbar Previews

In addition to the Form AutoFill feature in the latest dev version of , the new dev version has also added support for taskbar previews.

If you hover over the Chrome icon in the taskbar you will see previews for all the open tabs as seen in the screenshot below.

chrome_windows7_taskbar_previews

This is definitely good, since users will now be able to quickly jump to a tab without having to open the actual window. The Windows 7 Taskbar preview is only available in the developer version of Google Chrome.

Microsoft Spills Details About Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows-7 You have heard the rumors before, but now it is official. Microsoft has announced Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

As expected, Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 would be a minor upgrade. It will mostly be a collection of previously released updates rolled into a single deployer. The only significant new feature would be provided through an updated Remote Desktop client, which would take advantage of RemoteFX.

Speaking about RemoteFX, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 would be a fairly major update and will introduce two new features – RemoteFX and Dynamic memory.

The previously mentioned RemoteFX will be the latest addition to Microsoft’s desktop virtualization stack. It will allow remote workers to enjoy the same rich user experience over a network as with a locally executing desktop. This will include audio, video, rich media, Silverlight and even 3D graphics.

Dynamic memory is an enhancement to Hyper-V which will enable higher consolidation/VM density ratios suitable for servers and VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) deployments.

Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc refused to specify any dates, but promised to reveal more details once we get close to the milestone release. Windows 7 is a fairly polished and a mature product, hence big updates were never expected. In fact, “Don’t wait – go ahead and deploy… you know you want to!”, was LeBlanc’s advice to corporates waiting for the first service pack.

Microsoft Drops Hardware Virtualization Requirement For XP Mode

In a press-release by Microsoft, the infamous hardware virtualization requirement to run XP Mode on Windows 7 will be removed. The Hardware Virtualization restriction required the CPU to support hardware assisted virtualization. A lot of the older generation processors did not have hardware assisted virtualization and as a result posed a problem for many businesses to deploy Windows 7 and support legacy applications. With XP Mode now being supported on a more wider range and a more older series of hardware, businesses should see added benefit in moving to Windows 7.

I’m not really sure of how this will impact the performance of the virtual machine or the host machine (I don’t have a PC that does not have hardware assisted virtualization). If it does affect performance, this move will likely have a negative impact on the user experience. Having the hardware assisted virtualization limitation meant businesses would upgrade their hardware thereby having better performance – fringe benefits to the entire PC ecosystem.

ZDNet got the following from a Microsoft spokesperson on the development:

Customers already using Windows XP Mode with hardware virtualization should continue using it. Customers not yet using Windows XP Mode can start using the product without having to worry about hardware virtualization. For Windows XP Mode, we expect the performance will be more than acceptable with or without hardware virtualization. For developers using Virtual PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 virtual machines we recommend HAV as the non-HAV is only tuned for XP Mode.

*emphasis added