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Windows 7: The Anti-Vista

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December 11, 2009

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On October 22, Microsoft released what many are calling the “Anti-Vista”. For those who have been waiting for Microsoft to redeem themselves from the Vista blunder, the time has come. Here’s a breakdown of how Windows has improved upon their last operating system, how they failed, and pending questions of how Windows 7 will pan out.


Improvements

OS Diet
Windows has slimmed down the Windows 7 OS by nixing the splashy Aero environment that was featured in Vista. This important trim will allow Windows 7 to perform well on most systems.

Extreme Taskbar Makeover
Microsoft finally has taken the liberty to reinvent the taskbar. They canned the text labels and replaced them with icons, leaving a more roomy space to fit open applications along the bar. The thumbnail preview allows you to preview multiple windows for one application. My favorite improvement is the Jump List feature that gives you right click access to menus option before you launch the application.

Notification Area
Aka the System Tray is no longer a nuisance. Windows has improved upon the system tray by placing system-tray applets in a quarantine so you will no longer be pestered by ballon pop-ups of useless information. All these balloon alerts can now be checked at your convenience.

Got Control?
Another improvement since Vista is the modification of the User Account Control (UAC). The UAC warns you of attempts by viruses and malware. In Windows 7, you get two intermediate settings that alert you if a program changes settings.

Library Card
For the longest time Windows has encouraged us to use the folder My Documents to store all of our personal files, an encouragement we all ignored. A new feature called Libraries gives you virtual folders for documents, photos, videos, and music that combine the contents of whichever folders you specify into one unified view.


Failures

HomeGroups

HomeGroups is a Windows 7 feature that allows you to share folders full of media and documents between PCs across a network, sounds cool huh?
Well the truth is Windows dropped the ball on the following:
– You’re stuck with a default password Windows 7 gives you on setup
– HomeGroups works only if all PCs run Windows 7
– Windows Update can still shut you down

No Upgrade For You
Just in case you were thinking to upgrade from XP to 7, you would have to start anew. This means reinstalling all of your apps and re-creating your settings. Also, for those that purchased Vista before June 2009, you will need to purchase the upgrade – whereas Vista purchased after June gets a free upgrade. In my opinion, Microsoft owes a free upgrade to everyone that purchased Vista – it’s their mistake and they should fix it.

Processor Intensive?
So Windows 7 is certainly not as much of a hog on system resources as Vista was. But just because you can run XP on your computer, doesn’t mean it’s powerful enough to handle Windows 7. Make sure you’ve got the appropriate processing power before choosing to upgrade, so that you can enjoy Windows 7’s new features without crashing your computer.


Pending Questions

Are We Compatible?
Although Windows 7 and Vista look and work different, their souls aren’t that different. Although Windows 7 should make for fewer headaches it still comes without a doubt that some will face problems that Microsoft didn’t catch. However, purchasing the 32-bit version will give a much better chance at compatibility with your old programs and hardware.

Device Stage asks Love Me or Love Me Not?
The Device Stage feature gives your printer, camera, and other devices centers of their own. This also allows manufacturers to customize with features. This is cool unless companies choose not to invest the time to build useful device stages. If that happens, then this feature will be useless.

Have a sensitive touch?
Windows 7 serves as the first version with multitouch input support. For example, if it notices that you opened the Start menu with your finger rather than the mouse pointer. Another cool feature, but useless unless you have a multitouch capable PC, it again is useless. Will this feature promote the development of more multi touch pcs and urge buyers to invest in one? I guess we will have to wait and see!

All in all, Windows 7 is such a vast improvement from Vista. If you have XP and have been holding out for a better OS to upgrade to, you might want to have a look and see if Windows 7 is the one for you. If you currently have Vista, it’s a no-brainer: a Windows 7 upgrade is a must!

By: Professional Custom Web Design in Southern California | Jackie Taferner | JT Website Design – JT Website Design specializes in professional custom website design, flash animation, ecommerce website services, and more. Located in Southern California (SoCal).

Jackie Taferner

Jackie Taferner has over 15 years experience in website design and development. Jackie has a wide range of expertise, from PHP code development to marketing strategy, and enjoys working on challenging, creative, and unique projects.

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