What's missing are "some of Windows' best built-in applications," such as Windows Mail, which can be downloaded, among other goodies, from the Windows Live site. Microsoft left them out on purpose "to use Windows 7 as a Trojan horse in its war against Google," says Computerworld. "It's a variation on the classic "loss leader" in retail, where you lure folks in with freebies and then pounce with a hard sell."
In addition, Microsoft is expected to detail is cloud-computing strategy, including a fee-based application hosting offering for developers along the lines of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and Google's App Engine. "It can offer cost savings, especially if you're a startup and you don't know how much traffic you're going to get or what kind of storage capacity you're going to need," an analyst told the Seattle Times.
Microsoft will also discuss the beta of Windows Server 2008 R2, which, according to ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley, will include Version 2 of Microsoftï¿¼s Hyper-V hypervisor, Live Migration, and a more graphical Version 2.0 of the PowerShell scripting engine.
Separately, but also this week: Microsoft will ship Windows Vista SP2 on Wednesday to a select group of testers. (It's expected to be ready for prime time during the first half of next year, before the expected release of Windows 7.) The service pack with contain previously released fixes, plus Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches, the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology, the ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista, Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi configuration, and support for UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.