I heard about this from Leo Laporte on one of his TWiT.TV podcasts, specifically "Leo Laporte - The Tech Guy!", May 13, 2009, edition. Apparently Windows 7 is the "best Windows ever", is terrifically stable and performs much better on the same hardware than Vista. The best part? Microsoft is giving out unlimited product keys for both the 32- and 64-bit versions until at least June of this year, and the free license won't expire until March 2010. I'm very, very tempted to give this a go on my home Gateway Tablet PC, though as a critical "production" system and considering my present time constraints, I'm not really looking forward to dealing with any potential issues. With that said, I wouldn't mind more stability than I'm getting from Vista and I certainly have trouble resisting trying new tech.
One other interesting thing that Laporte mentioned - and I may have misheard since I was doing other stuff while listening - is that this release candidate may include the embedded version of Windows XP that runs under the embedded version of Virtual PC. I have been unable to verify that as of this writing, though I could just not have seen it in Microsoft's notes. That would certainly be another big plus in my book, as I have a few software items that require XP. (At the same time, I am running low on hard drive space, so the point is probably moot anyway in my case.)
Anyone else considering this? The download and more information are on the official Microsoft Website, here.
PC Magazine, reporting on news from the Internationale Funkausstellung, a consumer electronics show in Berlin, revealed that Philips will show off the Entertaible, a digital board-gaming surface, on Friday.
We've of course recently seen over the past several years the rise of virtual physical games, if you want to call them that, mostly in "arcades" (if even those can be called that anymore). Essentially these games take real world concepts like shuffleboard or bowling, and use partial physical items, like paddles or pucks, that are utilized on a flat, virtual surface, and interact with an impact sensor at the end of the table to make something happen on the video screen, preferably accurately reflecting what would happen if it were an all physical setup. There's also been quite a bit of controversy in the pinball world, where these virtual machines take the form factor of traditional pinball machines, but do the majority of their work via a video screen. This allows for infinitely configurable tables, but is it still really pinball, or more akin to what we play on our computers and videogame systems? In any case, the revolution, if you want to call it that, has been well under way.