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Microsoft intros Windows 7 beta, Songsmith app at CES

post #1 of 157
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In Las Vegas to lead his first CES keynote yesterday, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer announced a free Windows 7 public beta, available for download tomorrow, and a new piece of song composition software akin to Apple's GarageBand.

"Windows has become the language that over a billion people speak at every country and culture around the world," Ballmer told an audience of thousands on hand for the year's largest consumer electronics show. "I believe Windows will remain at the center of people's technology solar system."

Included in the keynote were severalÂ*new feature announcements, outlined in a press release.Â*Â*Home Group will let Windows users easily connect multiple home PCs together for printer, music, photo, and video sharing.Â*Â*Device Stage presents a single, simplified interface for managing devices and running common tasks.Â*Â*Peek quickly renders all open windows transparent, making icons on the desktop visible.

Windows 7, which is nowÂ*feature-complete, has "all the right ingredients - simplicity, reliability, and speed," Ballmer said. Â*According to Microsoft, special attention was paid to "performance, reliability, security, compatibility and battery life."



Windows 7 will also fully support multitouch, enabling "people with touch-screen monitors to use multiple fingers to interact with their PC screens in a more intuitive way."

A new "Play-to" feature will allow "easier streaming of music, video and photos to devices in a home network."Â*Â*Windows Media Player now supports "more media formats", but no specific list was provided.



Ballmer did not give an official timetable or release date, although ZDNet says Microsoft is informing customers thatÂ*the public beta will expire August 1st in the software's EULA.

According to aÂ*CNN report, the energetic and uptempo Ballmer referenced Apple indirectly, touting PCs as the best combination of "value and power" in the market.

"That's why we say, 'I'm a PC and proud of it!'" Ballmer "bellowed", wrote CNN.



As reported by PC World, Microsoft also announced a new music composition program called Songsmith that seems to be aimed directly at Apple'sÂ*Magic GarageBand.

According to itsÂ*website, "Songsmith generates musical accompaniment to match a singer's voice.Â* Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC's microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you." Â*A bizarre demonstration video depicts a stumped jingle writer and his daughter discovering Songsmith together, who then pass the program on to someone else who sings Songsmith a love song. Â*The video is complete with "follow the bouncing ball" lyrics on the bottom of the screen.



Other announcements included partnerships with Verizon Wireless to add Microsoft Live Search to Verizon's smart phones; with Dell to sell the retailer's computers preloaded with Windows Live software; and with Facebook.Â*Â*Windows Live, a free suite that includes Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail, and Windows Live Photo Gallery, is now globally available.Â*Â*According to Microsoft, Windows Live and Internet Explorer 8 "help make the things people do most on the Web faster and less complex."Â*Â*IE8 is still an unreleased beta.

And finally, not to be outdone by Apple's choice of Tony Bennett as a closing musical act, Microsoft finished its kenote with a performance by Australian musical-comedy groupÂ*Tripod.
post #2 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Ballmer told an audience of thousands on hand for the year's largest consumer electronics show. "I believe Windows will remain at the center of people's technology solar system."[/c]

...more like "nervous system" (as Vista proved). Anyways, if you haven't seen the psychotic Baller give his keynote, it's well worth a view (and laugh):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7817190.stm
post #3 of 157
I officially fucking hate Microsoft. They have no taste. It's hard to believe they still behave this way. This isn't the 90's anymore. You've just got to wonder how they think, or if in fact they actually do.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 157
Just registered after years of snooping, but I had to post in this article. The laptops in that Microsoft ad appear to me to be Macs!
post #5 of 157
that commercial is so utterly embarrassing. i cringed while watching
post #6 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I officially fucking hate Microsoft. They have no taste. It's hard to believe they still behave this way. This isn't the 90's anymore. You've just got to wonder how they think, or if in fact they actually do.

Well, it's deeper than just no taste. With SongSmith MS ignores the fact that to create anything good requires talent. Apple provides tools for people with talent or to nurture that talent. Microsoft claims any talentless hack will produce good music. The talentless hacks of the world will again tout how great MS is compared to Apple. I just read an Upanishad this morning on the blind leading the blind (OK, it's also in Matthew 15:14).

The problem is worse when the blind try to lead the sighted our piece of software will do all the work so you don't have to. I have a feeling this is stripping away at our very humanity, and gee I'm not even a Luddite.

This is not possible for creative work as the saying goes GIGO, garbage in garbage out, but the music industry has being trying to automate real musicians out of the process since the end of the 70s. Well, think I'll listen to the entire Tales from Topographic Oceans again today ;-)
post #7 of 157
This is the worst commercial I have ever seen. Our local Chevy dealer ads are more interesting than this!
post #8 of 157
I will be downloading the beta just out of geeky curiousity...

Oh, and also to see how much Microsoft has "borrowed" from OS X in this latest version of Windows
post #9 of 157
Quote:

OMG, I watched the Songsmith ad first and (after cleaning up) thought it cannot possibly get any worse... why did nobody tell this creature that he has a microphone?
post #10 of 157
If they were aiming at Garageband, they certainly missed their mark. This program seems to be NOTHING like garageband, let alone sounds like a cheesy toy compared to the sound samples provided with Garageband.

The commercial, in true Microsoft style, . . . pure Cheese! And I ain't talkin' 'bout Chedda!

Nice try guys, but stick to what your best at. . . words and numbers.

Granted Microsoft will always wanna "be like Mac", I thought it was rather interesting how the task bar in Win 7 is becoming more and more like the Doc, and wow, there's a function that is rather similar to Expose. Hmmm. . . where did they get THAT idea???

Microsoft. . . not on original idea in the house!
How sad.
post #11 of 157
You know I think the previous poster may be right. Isn't that a PowerBook G4 with flowers stuck on it to cover the Apple logo?
post #12 of 157
Looking at the picture of Windows 7 only ICON that is seen on the desktop is the 'trash can'. Does it mean only they could successfully port the 'trash' before the CES?
post #13 of 157
You know Apple really needs to pounce on the "I'm a PC" ad.

Take out the "P" and you get Imac. IMO it is a subliminal mistake maybe or maybe not.
post #14 of 157
Did anyone else notice that the laptops being used in the commercials were MacBook Pros with the Apple logo conveniently covered? Seems like Microsoft admittedly has a sweet tooth for Mac hardware...
post #15 of 157
What kind of world do we live in where the "big feature" of windows 7 is that it will be better than vista. (it actually will work most of the time)

Fix the core of your os and stop just adding layers and layers of pointless crap.
post #16 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by HustlerOne View Post

Did anyone else notice that the laptops being used in the commercials were MacBook Pros with the Apple logo conveniently covered? Seems like Microsoft admittedly has a sweet tooth for Mac hardware...

Well, this guy is supposedly a creative professional, of course he would use an Apple!
post #17 of 157
"Microsoft, huh? So it's pretty easy to use!" <haha

I'm usually not a Microsoft hater, but this is just too much.

I used to think that the "John" Mac tutorial videos were a bit antiseptic (and that other tutorial guy gives me the creeps), but they're so tasteful and to-the-point compared to Songsmith. These MS pieces are like watching a cross between homemade videos and those infomercials at 2:30 AM.
post #18 of 157
Is this the best MS can deliver? I was laughing the whole time. It sounds like every song it outputs is like some 1980's Casio keyboard tune. If you can sing in key (1 key) throughout the song then yes and algorithmic software can detect that and just add chords. If you can't sing and don't know how to sing in key it won't work. I would love to hear those results!

GarageBand is so far ahead of any easy-to-use music software.

Songsmith = Zune
post #19 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimzim View Post

You know I think the previous poster may be right. Isn't that a PowerBook G4 with flowers stuck on it to cover the Apple logo?

I thought that too, at first, but the girl's using a 15" laptop.

The 15" PowerBook G4 had a black or silver keyboard and you can see near the start of the ad that the keyboard appears to be white. There also doesn't seem to be any speakers beside the keyboard.

As for the ad...their employees and management should be embarrassed. Dreadful. I've seen better content created by high school students on G3 PowerBooks. Wow...that was awful.

My two cents.
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post #20 of 157
Where's Apple with a new Ad to make fun of Windows 7.

Apple is gonna find all the thing they copied again and make a crazy ads. I just know it. Esp when Snow Leopard comes out. =)

Can't wait =)
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #21 of 157
that video already wasted 19sec of my life. i am not throwing another 4mins away.
post #22 of 157
Wait a minute, I thought this was Apple Insider.

The only connection this thing has to Apple at all is the comparison to GarageBand which is lame, and not even plausible. Do AppleInsider writers take their cues from Microsoft press releases now? Given that there have been precious few stories of any kind on this site for the last few days, to print this is just stupid.

Even if you wanted to print a story that's only tangentially related to Apple, the better story (which you haven't even covered) is the new Palm pre that came out today. It's not only a very interesting device and OS, it's a direct competitor to the iPhone (the current hot Apple product dont'cha know), and the company is practically run by ex Apple employees.

Relevancy? Heard of it?
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #23 of 157
Unbelievable. Embarrassment.

I feel sick after watching that video.
post #24 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

that video already wasted 19sec of my life. i am not throwing another 4mins away.

Now you can waste more than an hour of your time:

The full CES Keynote.

I think using VLC to view the stream is the best.

I was amazed by how much marketing fluff there was vs. actual feature demonstrations. And many of the things that they went on about as if they were some revolutionary are just mildly modified OS X/ iPhone technologies.
post #25 of 157
OMG. That video is truly unbelievable. I mean this goes beyond bad taste or corporate cluelessness. Is there no one under the age of 45 working at MS? Is there not an intern who can say "This is unspeakably lame, you can't possibly show it to anyone under any context"?

Christ almighty, that's embarrassing.
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"its" possessive form of the pronoun "it".

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Attention Internet Users!

"it's" contraction of "it is"
"its" possessive form of the pronoun "it".

It's shameful how grammar on the Internet is losing its accuracy.
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post #26 of 157
"Microsoft, huh? So it's pretty easy to use!"


AHAHAHAHAHAHAhAhAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
post #27 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post

OMG. That video is truly unbelievable. I mean this goes beyond bad taste or corporate cluelessness. Is there no one under the age of 45 working at MS? Is there not an intern who can say "This is unspeakably lame, you can't possibly show it to anyone under any context"?

Christ almighty, that's embarrassing.

And is there no one at MS who can explain to them what the I'm a Mac/ PC commercials are about. Their inane "I'm a PC" commercial drive me nuts, because besides not actually saying anything, they also completely miss the point of the Apple commercials they are supposed to respond to.

MICROSOFT: The PC and Mac in Apple's commercials are metaphors for the computers NOT the users!!!!

Helloooooooo!
post #28 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I officially fucking hate Microsoft. They have no taste. It's hard to believe they still behave this way. This isn't the 90's anymore. You've just got to wonder how they think, or if in fact they actually do.

I think they just don't have strong leadership, that can look at something and say, "that sucks, do this instead."

Steve nailed it when he said "They have no taste."

Oh, and others have pointed out that is definitely a MacBook Pro in the commercial. lol

That's why they never show the screen from the front, only floating screenshots.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
post #29 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimzim View Post

You know I think the previous poster may be right. Isn't that a PowerBook G4 with flowers stuck on it to cover the Apple logo?

Dude, it IS an apple! It's a macpro, which would be running windows. compare

http://blog.800hightech.com/wp-conte...-pro-ports.jpg with the laptop at 3:02, the ports are the same, even the screws, the touchpad has ONE large button!
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post #30 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Wait a minute, I thought this was Apple Insider.

The only connection this thing has to Apple at all is the comparison to GarageBand which is lame, and not even plausible. Do AppleInsider writers take their cues from Microsoft press releases now? Given that there have been precious few stories of any kind on this site for the last few days, to print this is just stupid.

Even if you wanted to print a story that's only tangentially related to Apple, the better story (which you haven't even covered) is the new Palm pre that came out today. It's not only a very interesting device and OS, it's a direct competitor to the iPhone (the current hot Apple product dont'cha know), and the company is practically run by ex Apple employees.

Relevancy? Heard of it?

This is related to apple however. Microsoft is considered apple's main computer industry competitor, so when they make announcements regarding new products like this, its worth noting on an apple site.

And there's been plenty of apple topics in the past week.

More Topic Related: Did anyone actually get through that "commercial"? I hope that didn't come from their $300-million advertisement piggy bank

I maybe nitpicking here, but even the desktop background looked a little like the Leopard "Space" background.
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post #31 of 157
Hate to say it but Windows 7 looks like a pretty good product that should have been released instead of Vista. Not saying that I don't love my mac book pro and Leopard. I'm just saying it's a better product than what's out there for Windows users (bless them). It's just a shame that they're all going to have to buy new hardware AGAIN to support it! HA! As shown in the Ad, they'll have to be buying Mac's any way!
post #32 of 157
I find it more ironic that AppleInsider posted the video in Flash format that can't be viewed on my iPhone.

I thought Flash was dead and we don't need it for the iPhone?
post #33 of 157
That ad just ruined the great feeling I had for getting a Refurbed Air for next to nothing...

and it made me throw up...
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post #34 of 157
Terrible ad, would turn people off rather than make them buy it IMO...

The girl can't sing, her dad seems like a moron, and it's being played on a Mac. You can see the tip of the white Apple logo poking out above the flower sticker. Plenty of people know what Mac notebooks look like, and they'll be saying, "Hmm that looks like they are running it on a Mac". Well done M$!
post #35 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabuga View Post

Dude, it IS an apple! It's a macpro, which would be running windows. compare

http://blog.800hightech.com/wp-conte...-pro-ports.jpg with the laptop at 3:02, the ports are the same, even the screws, the touchpad has ONE large button!

I loved it! I couldn't get past the line in the song... "What are you doing, Lisa?..."

LISA??


THAT IS TOO FUNNY. A girl with the name of the first Apple Mouse-Driven computer!!
LISA??




Someone's gonna get canned.
post #36 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by ijoyner View Post

I just read an Upanishad this morning.....

Wow. I am impressed.
post #37 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri3 View Post

You know Apple really needs to pounce on the "I'm a PC" ad.

Take out the "P" and you get Imac. IMO it is a subliminal mistake maybe or maybe not.

That's brilliant!
post #38 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Unbelievable. Embarrassment.

I feel sick after watching that video.

I actually made through two and a half minutes. It didn't get any better.

Does MS review this stuff before putting it out? My 11 year old daughter would be nerded out by that shit.
post #39 of 157
Ok..I want 5 minutes of my life back. That was very sad! At least Apple can make a video worth while, even if its about why our new batteries are better than the rest.

That being said...I'm anxious to try Windows 7 Beta when its available.
post #40 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by HustlerOne View Post

Did anyone else notice that the laptops being used in the commercials were MacBook Pros with the Apple logo conveniently covered? Seems like Microsoft admittedly has a sweet tooth for Mac hardware...

My additions to the various posts regarding Apple MB Pros used in MS commercial, MS copying Apple again, and take the "P" out of I'm a PC for the subliminal message of iMac.

They had to use MacBook Pros to efficiently run their Windows 7 Beta. After all, wasn't it the MB Pro that ran MS Vista OS better than PC's and was written up in PC magazine?

Everyone wonders what Apple will do post Steve Jobs, long live him with good health too. But you know who really is wondering what they are going to do Post Steve Jobs? Microsoft!

Apple should do a I'm a PC commercial but have PC say "I am CC" and Mac says "You mean PC?" and PC says "No, CC - Copy Cat"!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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