Windows 7 early promise: passes the Vista test
Safe, solid - exciting?
By Tim Anderson in Los Angeles • Get more from this author
Posted in Operating Systems, 28th October 2008 16:00 GMT
PDC Windows Vista is better than its reputation, but its reputation is pretty bad. During the press briefing for Windows 7 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), corporate vice president for Windows product management Mike Nash insisted Microsoft had learned from the Vista experience.
Judging by early Windows 7 code released at PDC, the signs are that it really has.
Microsoft is making all the right noises: everything that works on Vista will also work on Windows 7, it will be faster on the same hardware, it will run longer on the same batteries, it will be more reliable.
In other words, whereas Vista was two steps forward and one step back from Windows XP, there should be no downside to Windows 7 over Windows Vista.
A day spent with a Windows 7 preview build - Milestone 3, running on a laptop loaned for the purpose (Dell XPS M1339, core duo 4.6GHz, with 3GB RAM) tends to confirm that view. Windows 7 feels more polished than Vista, even in the preview, and performance is good.
Unfortunately many of the new features in Windows 7 are absent from the build given to the press, presumably because they are not yet stable, so the following quick tour is partly based on first-hand experience, and partly on Microsoft's demos.
The first thing you notice is the revamped taskbar, with chunky thumbnail icons, full-screen application preview on mouse hover, and "jump lists" - pop-up menus that expose key features directly from the taskbar, provided that the application was coded to support them, and recently opened documents for any application.
Windows 7 Taskbar
First impressions: the revamped Windows 7 taskbar
The system tray area now has a customize option that allows the user to suppress notifications, annoying for developers but empowering for users. It is all about making Windows quieter and less annoying. The same principle is at play in the revised User Account Control (UAC), which offers a simple slider bar that lets the user decide the level of prompting it enforces.
Microsoft has also tried to improve the experience of managing open windows. You can make windows temporarily transparent, in order to see files on the desktop, and when you drag them to a screen border, they snap into place. Vista's sidebar has been scrapped, and gadgets now appear on the desktop itself. Windows Explorer has a new feature called Libraries, where a library is a group of folders which you can search as if it were one location.
Set prompts using UAC's slider
Those few who have a multi-touch display can control Windows 7 with their fingers. Gestures like flicks and pinches perform actions like scrolling and zoom. Although this looked good in the demos, it was also apparent that many icons are too small to work well with finger control, including the close and maximize gadgets on every window.
Early Verdict on Windows 7?
Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:14 PM
thanks to Voyager for the userbar
Don't pander to me, kid. One tiny crack in the hull, and our blood boils in thirteen seconds. Solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats. And wait till you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles. See if you're still so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleeding! Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.
The P***-artist formerly known as DaxFanDS9
Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:37 PM
"I fought Tie Domi one time, at a bar.
I suckered him. Jus' sorta gave everything I had.
Kinda blinked, an' he said, 'who are you?' Then he beat me…
almost to death."
Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:13 PM
Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:16 PM
Formally: Sherlock Holmes and The Green Ranger
SHOWS OF TOONAMI: Thundercats, Voltron, The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest, Sailor Moon, Reboot, Dragonball Z, Ronin Warriors, Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo, Outlaw Star, Big O, Mobile Suit Gundam, Robotech, Batman The Animated Series, Superman The Animated Series, Gundam 08th MS Team, Dragon Ball, Tenchi Universe, Rurouni Kenshin, Trigun, G Gundam, Tenchi in Tokyo, Dragonball GT, Yu Yu Hakisho, Blue Sub 6, Superfriends, Justice League, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Batman Beyond, Dot Hack\\Sign, Transformers Armada, Transformers Cybertron, He-Man And The Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, Gundam 0080, G-Force: Gaurdians of Space.
"Hello Toonami faithful..." - TOM The Toonami Robot.
Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:15 PM
First thing Micro$oft needs to do is make 7 compadable for all software that is outdated and state of the art. Like be able to run an old Jeopardy game built for Windows 3.1 or 95. The biggest problem with Vista seems to be the backwards compadability.
I kind of have the opposite thoughts. I think MS needs to drop all compatibility and start over. That is the only way they could ever stay alive, which is why I am excited about Windows Azure.
A business can run very efficiently on a Mac.
Must care need to care considering most business is on Windows based systems I need something reliable to compete in the market.
If your business is heavily invested in Windows then it is likely one day MS will drop the compatibility required by the specific application(s) you need which opens up an opportunity when you choose to upgrade.
I also would like to add: it is way too early to make judgments on Windows 7.
"The people crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do"
Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:04 AM
I agree Me1000, To start a fresh would do wonders for system speeds and efficency! But would also be a bloody pain!
However, a lot of that can be solved. there are lovely little programs out there and if you want to bundle them all into one grouping, they would be called Emulators!
Sherlock Holmes, There are a lot of sites out there showing how to get older software such as that to run on modern systems.
I was shocked when my beloved 'Master Of Orion 2' refused to run on my newly built XP machine many years ago. It was made for dos/95.
I shelved it for years, Master of Orion 3 came out but was an utter dissapointment.
Now being an emulation buff already,(for example, I run Super Nintendo on my pocket pc, great for lunch breaks), i hadn't considered running software that emulates older computer operating systems, until I stumbled on a Master Of Orion 2 chat forum, where people had been getting the thing to run on the latest version of a program called 'Dos Box'
I tried it out, FAN-TASTIC! works flawlessly! I can even window or full screen it, depending on what I am doing. Since it worked so well I tried it with an even older game that was a favourite of mine for many years that I had to shelve even longer, Wizardry 7 Crusaders of the Dark Savant. Again, the game ran perfect. I could even Throw in some graphics butter and make the old 320x200 graphics look a little better on my 24" widescreen monitor :D
Don't give up Sherlock, look around for various titles you liked but don't work anymore. you may just be surprised
and running a little program like dosbox or even virtual machine, is much less of a fuss than making a dual boot comptuer.
Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:45 PM
At the centre of the known universe.