Microsoft intros Windows 7 beta, Songsmith app at CES

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 156
    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
  • Reply 2 of 156
    irelandireland Posts: 17,779member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 156
    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!
  • Reply 4 of 156
    that commercial is so utterly embarrassing. i cringed while watching
  • Reply 5 of 156
    ijoynerijoyner Posts: 135member
    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 ;-)
  • Reply 6 of 156
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    This is the worst commercial I have ever seen. Our local Chevy dealer ads are more interesting than this!
  • Reply 7 of 156
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 156
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 156
    midiacmidiac Posts: 23member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 156
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 156
    kzbk81kzbk81 Posts: 29member
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 156
    tri3tri3 Posts: 20member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 156
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 156
    mrpiddlymrpiddly Posts: 406member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 156
    gto65lgto65l Posts: 42member
    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!
  • Reply 16 of 156
    "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.
  • Reply 17 of 156
    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
  • Reply 18 of 156
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 156
    ivladivlad Posts: 742member
    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 =)
  • Reply 20 of 156
    that video already wasted 19sec of my life. i am not throwing another 4mins away.
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