Microsoft did something they haven’t done for a while, in fact for ever, Windows Vista wasn’t even laying a bit of dust and, bam!, here’s this beta of a new operating system and then, boom, you’ve got Windows 7 released. So, whats the crack, is it good, worth it, gonna be a turn around for the Vista pain we’ve all shared? These are the main questions I intend to answer in this brief overview of Microsoft’s latest offering to the Windows world.
Should I upgrade to Windows 7
This is where we get to the Microsoft dilemma. For some reason Microsoft have this OS they just simply can’t get rid off, of course I’m talking about XP. Microsoft tried with Vista and failed quite badly, especially with compatibility involving drivers, which even Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) admitted. This is why this question is hard to answer so I have to section it out.
XP users:No. Yes, believe it or not I still don’t think Windows 7 is worth it for XP users. Why? Well put it this way, Windows 7 (Business and Ultimate) have an added compatibility feature called ‘XP Mode’, so the big question is, do you want to pay hundreds of £/$ on an operating system thats more than likely going to have to emulate the software you’ve been using. Don’t get me wrong, Windows 7 offers some good offerings, but nothing that can’t be added to XP with 3rd party software.
Vista users:Hell yeh! If you’re on Windows Vista, or been on Vista. Windows Vista did something amazing, instead of promoting Microsoft and boosting the love at Microsoft, it boosted the love for alternate options like Mac OSX and Linux, Microsoft are prob the only ones who’ll manage to do that! If you’ve gone through the moodswings of Windows Vista you deserve to put 7 on your machine thats been battling through it all with ya, personally it should be free for Vista users as compensation if you ask me.
Windows 7 has many new features which are finally gonna change the way you use Windows. Windows 7 now features some major ‘Aero‘ enhancements, in fact alot. And, I’ve got to admit they really improve the way you use Windows. Aero Snap to easily have two windows in view at the same, which is handy, the method can also be used to maximise the windows, I know, rather neat. Other features include Aero Shake, which easily allows on window to be the centre of attention and get rid of the rest temporarily, then, shake, and their back, also very useful. You’ll find yourself trying to do these features more or less all the time.
The Explorer in Windows 7 also has some great enhancements, basically fixing the Vista one, things are laid out easily and it makes using it alot more easier. It also features more sharing options. So, I know what you’re thinking, its Vista with a few appearance changes, oh no. Windows 7 is alot more than (a bit more of) a pretty face it also has a few hidden enhancements, Action Center replaces Windows Security Center improving in-built security which is always a good thing, Windows Media Center has a new look (like a green Zune) which is a big more slick than before, and, oh yes, that dock … err… I mean, ‘Windows Taskbar’. Windows Taskbar allows you to see only your program icon nice and big, but also interact with the programs by either right clicking or view (if multiple windows open) by hovering over, a new Aero feature that. It also allows you to “pin” programs to the taskbar for future quicklaunch, all these features do sound familiar don’t they? You maybe thinking Windows Sidebar is no more, but no, now simply referred to as ‘Gadgets’, all the so-called sidebar stuff now can be put anywhere on your desktop, but also if you add it to where the sidebar would be they click in to place, which is nice. Windows 7 also has added touchscreen support, useful for users on Tablets. Improvements have been added to the Start menu as well, one nice add-on is the fact that ‘Shut Down’ is now one button and not hidden behind an arrow. Also it includes a feature which allows you to open, for example, older visited pages for Internet Explorer, or documents for ‘Word’, nice that. I normally wouldn’t mention a new version of Media Player, but Windows Media Player 12 has some nice new additions, unfortunately WMP11 looked better, but it now supports ‘.mp4’ which is nice. It also comes with IE8 …. (bring on the sarcastic woo). Windows classic applications such as WordPad and Paint get a very nice update, including the look first seen in Office ’07 and Paint is now not a bad program at all for image editing and creating with the new brush options.
But I think the biggest Pro we can give Windows 7 is, the release version is, well, actually rather stable.
1. Nice update if your a Vista user
2. Very stable, keep that one up for future releases please Microsoft
3. Windows Media Center alot clearer and helpful
4. WMP12 has new codec, most importantly H.264
5. Improved Account Control
6. Very useful Aero features / Aero Shake Aero Snap etc
7. New taskbar helps with multiple programs running and program management.
8. Updated Paint and Wordpad look and feel, and features. Finally
9. Gadgets no more stuck to one side of the desktop.
10. New Explorer look and feel.
11. Added compatibility
12. DirectX 12 (For all you gamers out there)
13. Easier to disable UAC << Like that one
1. Not enough to make XP users upgrade
2. Most old software still rely on ‘XP Mode’.
3. Whilst the taskbar is nice, still has the same UI from back in Windows 95.
4. Very expensive for the small amount of differences with Vista
5. Why still 6 versions.
6. Added Security? Then why does it still need virus protection
7. Same system requirements than Vista
8. Definitely not enough to make new Mac users switch back.
9. A bit too-like Vista
Windows 7 is a nice upgrade and adds many features that are not found in previous versions of Windows. Whilst these features are useful, I do fail to see many features that would put me first in the queue for Windows 7. Windows 7 is a must-have however for Vista users as it, not only makes using the computer better but XP Mode will make those old dusty apps will finally run on that recently bought computer.
– Some nice additions, but nothing that appeals to XP or recent switches thanks to Vista.
This review is aimed towards the average user.