Windows7, It begins again, but better this time!!

Windows 7 Logo courtesy Wikipedia

Windows 7 Logo courtesy Wikipedia

Well there have been numerous reviews of Windows7. For those of you who havent heard yet, Microsoft is now busy with their testing of their new operating system Windows 7. Yes its not an inspiring name such as Vista and not as thematic as Snow Leopard. There has also been a less pompous approach to the marketing of the new system. Its all abou the user this time. And you see that in the product. Before I become a bit too giddy about this let me write this short review.

Windows 7 is an incremental upgrade. What this means is that some stacks of there system have not been completely rewritten or changed. What does this mean for you? Remember how most of your old hardware had problems when you put Windows Vista on it. Remember how you had to wait for manufactures to develop new drivers so you could finally upgrade from XP. Even then not everything worked for some people. Well now Vista has mostly done away with most of those initial problems. Things generally work on new Vista machines. Now Windows 7 does not have a new driver framework per se. Thus you can just pop in some of the vista drivers and they work. I used a machine that had these specs:

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

    New Tabular Thumbnail taskbar

    New Tabular Thumbnail taskbar

  • 3GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB (2 X 500 GB) Hardrives
  • Intel Graphics
  • 2 X Samsung 17 Inch monitors

As soon as I popped in the install and it went quite fast. Booted the first time and could already connect to the exchange server. Then I logged in and then it worked. Yes it was that simple. I did install some drivers after but already the Aero insterface was working. So I had all that transparency goodness and bit of 3D going on. The requirements for the AERO interface have been reduced. So more machines will be able to use it.

Some changes I can talk about is the new taskbar and how it manages your programs. If you have a machine that runs decently you will like this one. There is no longer a distinction between running programs and ones that are not. When you pin a program to the start bar it stays there. You click on it and then it gets a bit of a boxy glow to show you its running. Then you open a second windows of the same program and then you dont see another tab created on the taskbar. You hover on the program Icon and then a nice thumbnail view of the windows that are open. So a bit less clutter but even better for those who have tight pace on your taskbar.When you hover one of the thumbnails it then makes all other windows transparent so you can just see the window you are hovering on. When you shake a window it then minimises all other windows except itself. Cool huh? This is the most profound change in the whole system. I wont lie it actually takes some getting used too but after a while I did improve my productivity.

I installed these programs:

  • Firefox (Worked, but keeps on resetting settings)
  • VLC Media Player (Worked, perfectly)
  • Itunes and Quicktime (Worked, no problem)
  • Google Picasa (Worked and intergrated with the rest of the system well)
  • Opera Web Browser (Worked)
  • AVG anti virus (Worked, no probs)
  • Office 2007 enterprise edition (Worked)
  • Adobe Acrobat 9 (Worked)
  • WAMP web server (Worked

The programs I used on it are few, but they had no major problems. Its not all rosy in the Windows 7 camp. Some of you will be amazed about how complicated almost every operating system has become. The Control panel of Windows 7 will confuse most users who are not super users. They have added that layer that tries to simplify the process of configuring the system by groupings but as soon as you switch to the classic view beware! It took me a while to get used to the extended UBUNTU configuration menus and this was not different. But as I know my way around the impact was minimal as opposed to someone who just wants to uninstall a program.

Overall I can say, having been a Windows Vista Beta and final user, I like the new Windows 7. It works, believe me, that for me is almost enough, after my laptop Vista shenanigans this is a breath of fresh air. I love it, it opens my email without crashing. I connect to the network first time. I dont fiddle with drivers. The explorer has not crashed in 2 weeks. I have been running it non stop for two weeks without it actually feeling bloated. Hibernation works (it does). I would vote for Windows 7 to replace Robert Mugabe, maybe even our own shower guy. Release Windows 7 now!

By Vukosi Marivate

I use Windows Vista (Laptop), Windows XP (Desktop), Apple Mac OS Leopard (Desktop), 2 X Linux Mint 5.0 and Ubuntu LInux 8.04 (Work Desktops) and a new addition to the family Windows 7 (Test Desktop).

More Pictures:

MultiView

MultiView

Specs

Specs

Experience Index

Experience Index

Picasa Web Album

Windows 7 Screenshots
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