Tech Notes

Windows 7, Microsoft’s lastest

By 2009-10-14No Comments


There seems to be a lot of hype out regarding Microsoft’s next version of their PC operating system.  The public opinion of Windows Vista—however flawed it might have been—clearly left a deep impact on Microsoft.  Whether people arguing the criticism regarding Vista is founded or not, there is no argument that the general populous views Vista as a failure.

With that in mind, this is Microsoft’s big chance of redemption.  When Windows 7 was announced, people were immediately excited to see if Microsoft could make the dream operating system for PC users.  I have been running the Windows 7 Release Candidate for several months now, and here are some quick thoughts.

Let me point out that Microsoft spent a whopping 6 billion dollars on development with Windows Vista.  So anyone who thinks this isn’t Windows Vista at heart, is completely wrong.  Windows 7 is an advanced version of Windows Vista.  Microsoft has also deployed the biggest OS beta testing process in the history of operating systems.  What does this mean?  They are definitely looking to get Windows 7 right in the public’s eye.

Under the hood, Microsoft has made many improvements with the code, one of which improves the speed of the OS.  Although I do run Windows 7 on a fairly high end tablet laptop, I have spoken with many users running Windows 7 on bare minimum requirements and they have been quite pleased with the outcome.  In fact Windows 7 runs on lower requirements than Windows Vista, confirming they have done a lot of work to streamline the code, making everything more efficient and requiring less resources than Vista did.  This is a big “hooray” for those who are looking for netbooks.  Anyone who has attempted to run Windows Vista on a netbook knows what I am talking about.   This is why even today you will still see most netbooks ship with Windows XP, although this will no longer be the case.  Many online reviewers have been shouting out how well Windows 7 runs on netbooks compared to Vista, and some even compare the performance to be on par with XP.

While all these under the hood improvements sound great, what is the user really going to notice when they turn on their Windows 7 PC?  User interface improvements!  I would say this is Microsoft’s biggest improvement over Vista.  Over the course of many months I have found Windows 7 an absolute joy to work with.  They have made many improvements to accommodate tablet users, improvements around multi-tasking as well as a host of many others.  A reviewer at gizmodo puts it best:

“Its fancy new user interface—the heart of which is Aero Peek, making every open window transparent except the one you’re focusing on at the moment so you can find what you’re looking for—actually changes the way you use Windows. It breaks the instinct to maximize windows as you’re using them; instead, you simply let windows hang out, since it’s much easier to juggle them. In other words, it radically reorients the UI around multitasking. After six months of using Aero Peek and the new launcher taskbar, going back to Vista’s taskbar, digging through collapsed app bars, or even its Peek-less Alt+Tab feels barbaric and primitive.  By Matt Buchanan

Final Thoughts:  Windows 7 has focused on making improvements over Vista, rather than trying to make any innovations in the operating system space.  I find no problem with that, I think what we are all looking for is a stable, easy to use, Windows style OS.  And from what I can see, that is exactly what Windows 7 is.

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