Personal and Technology blog

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Windows 7 Review

Less than a month from now Windows 7 will hit store shelves, in this review I will focus on new features, performance improvements and compatibly in Windows 7. I consider Windows 7 a medium upgrade from Windows Vista and a major upgrade from Windows XP. Windows 7 is allot faster and more responsive than Windows Vista on the same hardware. Some of the applications that have been bundled with Windows for years have been removed such as Windows Mail and Windows Movie Maker in favor of their Windows Live counterparts available in Windows Live Essentials. Windows 7 offers many new end-user features such as HomeGroups, Device Stage, Windows Touch, Libraries, Taskbar, improved window management, Action Center, User Account Control, Jumplists, Windows Media Player, Windows XP Mode, Paint, Wordpad, Calculator and more. I will not focus on all of the new features in Windows 7, but I will instead focus on the major new features. One of the most popular features in Windows 7 is Windows Touch. Windows 7 was designed from the ground up for use with multi-touch displays. Touch support is now bulit into Windows. Therefore, PC Manufacturers no longer have to make their own user interface for their multi-touch PCs. Windows 7 features the biggest update to the Windows Taskbar since Windows 95. You can now pin applications to the taskbar similar to the dock in Mac OS X. The Quick Launch toolbar has been removed. Another new feature in Windows 7 is Jumplists. Right click on a application icon in the taskbar and you will see a list of common tasks and recently/frequently used items with that application. Jumplists are also available in the Start menu. In Windows 7, Microsoft has updated most of the applets included in Windows such as Paint, Wordpad and Calculator. Paint and Wordpad are now touch-aware and use the tabbed ribbon interface that first debuted in Microsoft Office 2007. Microsoft has added new functionally to the Calculator in Windows 7. The Calculator has the same color shame as ribbon interface. Windows 7 includes new window management features such as Aero Snaps, Aero Shake and Aero Peek. With Aero Snaps, simply drag a window to a side of the screen and it will resize itself to that side of the screen. You can also drag a window to the top of the screen and it will maximize itself. If you have more than window open at a time and only want one of them open, shake the tittle bar of the window you want to have open and all the other windows will minimize. Once you have all the other windows minimized, shake the tittle bar of the window you have open and the other windows will be maximized. If you have more than windows at a time and want to peek at a desktop gadget but do not want to minimize them. Simply move your mouse cursor over to the bottom right and all your windows will become transparent. Action Center is a new feature in Windows 7. Action Center is the successor of Windows Security Center, which debuted in Windows XP Service Pack 2. Unlike Windows Security Center, Action Center alerts to security and maintenance on your PC. The User Account Control has been tweaked in Windows 7. You now have different UAC levels let you can chose from via a slider. Libraries is a new feature in Windows 7. Libraries are basically virtual folders that monitor content in your media folders. The same Libraries that you see in Windows Explorer are the same Libraries that you see in Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player. HomeGroups is another one of the most popular features in Windows 7. HomeGroups make it easy to share content in your Libraries and stream media to another Windows 7 PC. Device Stage is another new feature in Windows 7. Device Stage is a window where you see tasks like you can do with your printer or other compatible device. Windows Media Player has seen a major update in Windows 7. Windows Media Player has a brand new user interface, a mini player mode and the ability to stream media to another Windows 7 PC or Xbox 360. Visualizers have been removed from Windows Media Player. In terms of application and driver compatibly, Windows 7 beats Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Windows 7 is compatible with most applications and drivers designed for Windows Vista because Windows 7 is built off the same architecture as Windows Vista and the version number in Windows 7 is NT 6.1 and Vista was NT 6.0. So applications and drivers designed for Windows Vista will think Windows 7 is Vista. For applications that are not yet compatible with Windows Vista and above. Microsoft is offering a free Windows XP virtual machine called Windows XP Mode. Windows XP Mode is mainly for businesses that do not want to spend money buying new software but customers may also find it useful. Unlike other virtual machines, applications that are installed in Windows XP Mode can appear outside of the virtual machine, as if they were running on Windows 7. Apple did the same with the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X by including the Classic Macintosh emulator in the earlier versions of Mac OS X. My overall opinion is Windows 7 is it is the best operating system to come out of Redmond in a long time. One of my friends who has been a Apple user for the past few years, has said "I''m very excited about Windows 7".

Windows 7 videos-

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