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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
My Windows 7 Review: Windows Vista is so Yesterday!
Pardon me for being braggadocio, but I just can’t help myself from feeling good to be using Windows 7. I have switched to Windows 7 a couple of days ago and I got to say, I’m really impressed. In this short period that I have tried Windows 7, I dare to say that Windows 7 has clearly outperformed its predecessor, Windows Vista. Instead of focusing on creating a candied-coated OS, Microsoft has done a superb job in developing an OS which has it all. They paid more attention to the necessary needs and less to the trivial ones. If cosmetics are all you expect in a new OS, then Windows 7 won’t impress you much. This is because Microsoft retained majority of the appearance features from Windows Vista. It is not surprising if an average user could not distinguish the two Windows from a momentary look. (Click Read More)
At first glance, one would notice the heavily transformed taskbar in Windows 7. In fact, this has to be one of the major changes appearances wise in this new OS. It gives the user an option to always combine taskbar buttons and hide their labels. With this feature included, your taskbar never has to be messy again. If you are a conservative person, fear not as a simple tweak will bring back the old styled quick lunch taskbar buttons. Another change in the appearance takes the form of desktop themes. Windows DreamScene is no more, but it has been replaced by Slideshow-y Wallpapers. The wallpaper changes every certain interval predefined by the user, eradicating the boredom that comes from staring at single wallpaper all the time. Everything else pretty much remains the same.
But like I said, Windows 7 is nothing about appearance. Its performance is what amazes me. My notebook reboots in few seconds now, and shuts down even faster. Cool, huh? I don’t want to get technical here, but in layman’s term, all you got to know is Windows 7 to Windows Vista is like Windows 98 to Windows 95. To those who lived through that period, you’d know it was so magical when you first unleashed Windows 98. Windows 7 is somehow similar to that moment. Windows 7 is everything Windows Vista is not.
There are few interesting features that I have noticed so far. Let me start with its keyboard shortcuts. Windows incorporated many more interesting keyboard shortcuts in this release of Windows, most of the making use of the ‘Windows’ key. For instance, if you press Win+Space, you’d get to take a peek at your desktop from whatever window you were previously on. This is useful if you have placed some important gadget on your desktop and you want to take a brief look at it without closing down or minimising your current active window. Other than that, there is another short cut, where you can press Shift+Taskbar Icon to make a duplicate program that is currently running. For example, you are running Microsoft Paint (which by the way has gone through major changes GUI wise), and you have worked on the image in it and you don’t want anything to get overwritten, so you want to open another copy of Microsoft Paint. Instead of going through start menu again, u can simply hold Shift and click on the active taskbar button to open another copy of Microsoft Paint. All these are just some of the many shortcuts that have been integrated in the new Windows.
Oh ya, my review will definitely be incomplete if I don’t mention this. Remember how Microsoft ensured you that Windows Vista would run software from Windows XP, and even if it can’t, you can run it different compatibility mode but it never really worked? Well, now it is working completely. And I have tested it for myself. I intentionally tried to install a program which can only run in Windows XP. Initially, and as expected, I could not get the program to run due to compatibility issues. But using Windows 7’s feature called Troubleshoot Compatibility, you get to choose to run the program using compatibility settings of a different platform. I for once find this feature extremely useful. Not all the products in the market are made forward compatible. At such, it is up to the OS’s developer to ensure these programs don’t get obsolete due to compatibility issues. What is even cooler is you get to save the settings of the program to run in that working mode for future execution. That means you only have to run Troubleshoot compatibility once.
What’s the catch one might ask. Well, I can’t see anything much, besides the removal of Windows Live Essential. Windows Live Essential includes Windows Movie Maker among other things. I don’t see myself missing this program anyway, with its issues of burning DVDs previously in Windows Vista. Besides, with Windows 7 integrating a built-in function to burn ISO image files, I can’t complain much now, can I?
Again, these are only some of the features that I have seen for myself in my 2-days usage period of the product. There are still much more to come. I have personally used Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. And I find Windows 7 as the most stable and efficient built yet. It is simply the best version of Windows around. I would recommend Windows 7 to anyone. It will be released on 22nd October 2009.
For those who already have Windows 7, check out Window 7’s Top 30 Tips and Tricks.