Windows 7 First Look

Microsoft newest salvo in the operating system wars is out in beta, and if it is any indication of what will come with the final shipping product, then they are aiming for victory. Microsoft Windows 7, note there is no year or name or code letters, is what Windows Vista should have been. It is clean, fast, and stable. It contains all of the visual upgrades that were shoved into Vista, but with stability and speed that is at least as good as XP, if not better.

When Microsoft published the beta of Windows 7 they obviously underestimated how interested people were in their next move. windows7Within hours the servers hosting the files and generating the license keys were overloaded and went off-line. Many pundits thought this was a first sign of bad things to come. But within a day the servers were back on line and offering up the files and keys without problem.

The disk image to install the OS is approximately 2.4 gig – much smaller that the equivalent Vista image. The first thing you notice as you go through the install is how quickly it moves. There are none of the long pauses between questions that seem to make up so much of the time of previous installations. And in fact, there are far fewer of those questions. The Windows 7 installation intelligently inquires of the hardware and makes assumptions so that the user doesn’t have to answer a litany of prompts about hardware and location. These setting can be fully configured once the system is up and running, but the bar to getting to that running state is much lower. Whether on older hardware or virtual machines, the entire installation seems fairly consistent at about 30 minutes in length, and not once did the installation fail.
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Microsoft Vista and Office 2007

Ok, lots of questions asked about these two products. The basic answer is that they are both good but not overwhelming. There is nothing wrong with either one of them. Both work just fine. And there lies the problem. The are “good”, “ok”, “fine”. They are not “amazing”, “revolutionary”, “compelling”, or even “must-haves”. At the moment at least, there is nothing that you can do with either of these products that you can’t do right now. Maybe the new software will allow you to do it in a different manner or with a prettier interface, but you can do it none-the-less.

Which then begs the question of why should you shift? If you are buying a new computer or have a way to get a free upgrade, then it is always cool to have the latest and greatest. But if you have a machine that is working just fine now and you would have to shell out your own hard earned money for that upgrade, there really is no reason to do so.

This is what most reviewers, businesses, and consumers all think. And besides, who wants the first iteration of a software release anyway?