Windows 7 – First Look
As promised in our Netbook vs Notebook post, here is our review of the Windows 7 Release Candidate, the final chapter of the test version for the lasted Windows software. Over the past two weeks, I must say this is what everyone wanted Vista to be: a good, fast, USABLE operating system, which is 1000x better than Vista, and probably up there with XP and Apple’s Mac OS X. Dont believe me? Keep Reading. Since this is still a test release and not the full, final edition expected later this year, we’ll keep this first look very brief, just giving you our general thoughts on some of the new things in 7.
Look and Feel
The OS looks completely revamped, and actually appears when using it that Microsoft not only put time and effort into erasing the many mistakes of Vista, but also appears to have let the designers of the OS have some weird fun with it- let’s just say the wallpapers, for example are NOTHING Microsoft like. Take a look at this one of many:
Yes, this is one of MANY wallpapers like this in 7
The interface also has undergone a serious overhaul, replacing the largely unsophisiticated taskbar (the bar at the screen’s bottom) with new, INSANELY USEFUL, features. One such update is “Aero Peek”, which, when you highlight over an open window, will actually hide all other open windows, showing just that one you highlight so you can find it easily– much easier sorting. Also added is “Jump lists” where you basically drag your mouse over a program like a folder with files, click on it, and clickly drag your mouse up in one motion (it easier than this sounds). You will soon see a whole list of some of your previous files and folders with quick access to opening them up. This is something I think is also very useful and something that will become very common as people get used to using it.
Windows 7’s new taskbar and jump lists– here using Windows Media player
It may have been Windows but it sure didn’t seem like it. It’s really, really, fast– booting it up is now 1 minute not 5 like in Vista on my laptop– and not only provided better battery life , but simply amazing performance! By that I mean things just run better, programs open in seconds and multi-tasking between them is a breeze. It also just uses 40% of my 2 GB of RAM instead of %60 used by Vista. It just doesn’t feel like Windows– and that’s a great thing.
Furthermore, Windows 7 offers a virtual XP mode, which, for the sake of compatibility reasons, let’s you run XP inside 7, enabling you to play old favorites like classic Pinball, something they still haven’t brought back since they took it out of Vista. XP mode is really designed to convince businesses to switch to 7, whose programs often are too old to work properly with Windows 7.
Other new programs worth noting include:
- revamped (if not just stylistically) versions of Paint, Calculator and Word Pad
- sticky notes app similar to the one long available on Macs
- multi touch and better overall touchscreen use for touchscreen PC’s
- better searching using the Windows Search bar in the Start menu
If it was up to me, I’d just say release 7 right now and stop selling Vista entirely, that’s just how good 7 is. Bear in mind this is still in testing, so it’s this good and not even deemed ready by Microsoft to ship!
I can’t wait for this to come out later this year and finally dump Vista… what about you? You run Vista, and if so how you feel bout it– does it work well for what you need to do? You still on good ol’ XP? Or have you just abandoned Windows entirely in favor for a Mac and their Mac OS X Leopard OS? Sound off on what you’re using in the comments.
By the way, for those of you eager to try out Windows 7 for yourself, head on over here where you snag a free copy from Micorsoft. Just a note: said free copy is a test copy, and will work like a real copy up until July of next year. At that time, if you don’t upgrade it to a retail copy, will shut down every 2 hours until you do (this is true– we’re not making this up 🙂 ). You also should back up all your data on your hard drive– like music, movies, pix, files, basically anything usefull to you– before upgrading, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, we’d reccommend you’d stay away, just for everyone’s safety 😉