In a keynote address at the CES 2009 in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the beta availability of the Windows 7 operating system as well as the the latest version of the Windows Live, a suite of personal communications services and applications.
"I'm thrilled to announce the availability of the Windows 7 beta, which is on track to deliver simplicity and reliability," Ballmer said. "Windows 7 and Windows Live are part of an incredible pipeline of consumer technology that is making it easier than ever for people to communicate, share and get more done."
The beta version of Windows 7, Microsoft's next-generation PC operating system, can be downloaded starting tomorrow at www.microsoft.com/windows7.
Windows 7 boasts a streamlined and intuitive design, intended to simplify the things people do every day on their PCs through features such as Jumplists, Previews, and the new Taskbar.
The new Home Group feature makes it easier for consumers to connect multiple home PCs together to share printers and access files, music, photos and videos.
Device Stage makes connecting and working with devices easier than ever with a single interface to manage devices and run common tasks. New multitouch technology in Windows 7 will enable people with touch-screen monitors to use multiple fingers to interact with their PC screens in a more intuitive way.
The "Play-to" feature in Windows 7 allows easier streaming of music, video and photos to devices in a home network. Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center in Windows 7 have built-in support for more media formats so people can use their PC to play more media content and sync it to a broader range of devices. As an alternative to monthly digital video recording (DVR) fees, Windows Media Center, available in some editions of Windows 7, with a TV tuner and improved user interface, makes recording TV free.