Now that Windows 7 beta has been released, there are quite a few people using it and I’ve seen pretty positive feedback about it. I’ve been running it for about a month now and am impressed with the performance over Vista mostly. All my programs continue to run fine (only exception is MagicDisc ISO mounter, but found another option – why isn’t ISO mounting a part of Windows – vote here?!?!?!) and I was able to set up a perfect Windows Deployment Server image to quickly image my laptops with the latest build, a slipstreamed version of Office, etc.
NOTE ON CONNECT LINK: People have said they’ve received Page Not Found messages from Connect when clicking the link above. To be honest, I’m not sure why. I promise it is there :-). One user (thanks Barry) noted the following: Register using your MSDN bound passport using the register link in your entry. After that the 404 vanished. I hope this may work for others as well.
There were a couple of things I wanted to send feedback on regarding the product. I’m trying to be a good beta user myself and provide feedback on the product just like any other customer. The cool thing is that the beta team has provided 2 ways within Windows 7 for you to provide feedback.
UPDATE (May 2009): Please leave feedback for Windows 7 using the appropriate beta/release candidate program options. This blog post is simply a pointer to those methods as they existed in the beta. Leaving feedback in the comments section here is fine, but it is likely that it isn't being monitored by the Windows 7 team...I'm not on that team!
Send Feedback Link EVERYWHERE in Windows 7
The first is that in every window near the minimize/maximize buttons in the title bar (and a shortcut on the desktop until/unless you delete it) there is a Send Feedback link. This launches the feedback session. It asks you to log in with your Windows Live ID, which I did. I was then greeted with this:
It turns out that you first have to be a member of the Connect system (Microsoft’s official public feedback mechanism) program for the beta in order to give feedback. Seemed strange I thought? Others who are a part of the beta weren’t getting this message. As it turns out if you got the download of Windows 7 from the Microsoft Windows site, you’re already a part of the Connect program for the beta. Others like me who got their download from MSDN or TechNet, didn’t have to “register” the beta and thus are likely in this stage where I was at. It seems that there was some missing instruction on the MSDN/TechNet sites on a step required in order to give feedback only if you got your beta through these channels. The information is now back on the site:
Give us feedback on the Windows 7 Beta!
As an MSDN subscriber you have the ability to register with Microsoft Connect to track the status of bugs you report. You will also be able to search, view and vote on bugs other MSDN subscribers have filed.
To register on Connect, please click here. This will enroll you into the MSDN Bug Filing Program. Once you are enrolled in the program you may file bugs using any “send feedback” link in the product and access your feedback tracking page directly from this link. Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions
Basically, you need to sign up for the Connect program for the Windows 7 beta and then your feedback link will work.
Record your Feedback
The second option for giving feedback is that you actually have the option to record the feedback. Let’s say you ran into a problem and it was reproducable and you wanted to let the team know about it (please let them know about it). The tool, called the Problem Steps Recorder, is a part of the Windows 7 beta experience. To launch this tool, simply click the start menu and type “psr.exe” and start the program. It will bring up a little recorder and walk you through the next steps. The end result is an HTML report packaged as a zip file that you can send to someone (application vendor) or attach to your Connect report as indicated above.
You can view a walk through of this at Long Zheng’s site along with a sample report output. It’s a great idea to add to a product. Should provide better specifics to a problem.
So if you are a Windows 7 beta user, be sure to use these mechanisms to give feedback about the product and provide as much specifics as you can.
Hope this helps!