Ok so Microsoft let themselves down badly with the launch of Vista, but do you really think that they would allow such a fiasco to occur again? Paul Griffiths goes to find out…..
I’m pretty sure Microsoft would empty their last Post Office savings account to ensure Windows 7 is a hit – and if they fulfil the promise shown by the beta version I have been testing for the past few days, then 7 could be their greatest operating system yet.
XP, Vista, 7
There are still people out there who slate Vista however my experience has been I found it a welcome upgrade from XP and whilst it does have its flaws it is a much more stable OS than even XP with SP2. (People conveniently forget the nightmare that XP was on 1st release)
With my Vista experience in mind, I have been pleased to discover over the past few days that Microsoft appears to have built on Vista’s strengths and addressed most of its weaknesses with the beta release of Windows 7.
The Windows 7 install was totally painless. The built in driver support covered all the hardware aspects of my test machine (self-build Intel P4 Dual with 2Gb RAM). 30 minutes of installing, a few reboots and I was up and running.
I had heard that 7 was significantly faster than Vista and sure enough it seemed to be the case. I installed Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Office 2007 and Call Of Duty. All installed perfectly and I found I could easily launch PhotoShop and Dreamweaver – whilst surfing the web.
So whats new?
Vista’s most visible annoyance, User Account Control (those annoying pop-ups that warn you every time you do anything), is set by default at a much less ferocious level, and I encountered it only a couple of times throughout a whole morning of installing applications. It can of course easily be changed back via Windows 7’s new Action Center, which acts as a central place for security updates and warning alerts.
Post-install Windows 7 recommended that I installed a 3rd party Anti-Virus package. The suggested options were AVG and Kaspersky however the operating system itself comes preinstalled with Windows Defender.
One cool thing I found was the new photo-realistic device icons. They look much classier and will no-doubt raise comments from Mac fan-boys. Microsoft appears to have wiped out a lot of the Windows XP-era interface quirks of Vista; the result is a much more simplistic, unified experience for common tasks.
To wrap up…
Overall so far I’ve found 7 to be a stable and useable OS. Critics will complain that in essence it’s a tarted up Vista but why is that so bad? It is important to note that I haven’t tested the beta version of 7 extensively, merely started to play around with it, but so far – so good.
Oh yes sorry – I did have a problem. Apple’s iTunes refused to install….. J