2 min read

I downloaded the beta over the weekend via download.microsoft.com, and installed it on a low end laptop, the kind that has all the beta software installed on it.
Installation

The installation process took over a 3 hours and crashed twice, but once up and running I was impressed. The boot up process is faster than Vista and the installation of software is also quicker. Microsoft will be aware that everybody’s impatient for their computers to be faster in all respects. However, at least the process was clearly saying what it was doing, and made it obvious that it hadn’t in fact crashed again.

My first impression was that the icons are bigger, and don’t look patronizing.
Vista’s desktop, improved

On many machines, Vista’s desktop quickly seemed to run slowly. Vista separates its gadgets out from the bar that previously occupied the right-hand side of the screen, and consequently feels considerably more friendly. The difference isn’t huge, aesthetically, but functionally it’s significant.

Another crucial improvement for Windows 7 over Windows Vista is that 7 will run on a range of machines, from low-specification netbooks to high-powered desktops.
Microsoft say that the operating system will be happy on, for instance, an Asus EeePC. Given that the EeePC sometimes struggles to run its cut-down version of Linux, that’s quite some claim, and I’d be eager to see how true it really is.

There are substantial improvements in power management, too, with ports being turned off when they’re not in use, and so this is an operating system that does what it should: unlike Vista, it shuts up, and keeps things going while you, the user, can get on with whatever it is you need to be doing. Batteries will live longer, but the programme learns from your behaviour too. If the display is set to dim after 30 seconds and you move the mouse immediately it does, then you’ll get significantly longer before the computer dims its display again. So there’s time, say, to read something quite lengthy on screen without constant irritation.

Senior people at Microsoft say they’ve been using the current build of Windows 7 on their main machines for a few days now and that there have been no problems…..But they would say that!!!! But a few techie guys I know have said quite positive things about Windows 7.
I think Microsoft has learnt a lot from Vista, but in this economy people aren’t desperate for an upgrade and will probably squeeze as much juice out of XP as they can.

The whole feel of Windows 7, is more of a Service Pack upgrade, rather than a new OS…….So the question I ask is Microsoft charging their customers for Windows 7?

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