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Windows 7

October 26, 2009

I didn’t wait outside my local Best Buy at midnight to pick up my copy, and I haven’t taken the time yet to rebuild my development environment just because Microsoft released some new software, but I have spent some time with Windows 7, so I thought I’d share my initial impressions. 

First of all, and in simplest terms, I like it.  Windows 7 succeeds in feeling accessible right from the get go.  A new series of simple and discoverable interface tools, grouped together under the name Aero, make organizing windows on screen easy, which is a nice change.  My personal favorite is called Aero Snap, which automatically sizes windows for side-by-side display.  Microsoft has also pulled the reins back a bit on the warning messages, which is a welcome relief.  Everything about the interface has received a face-lift, and the new layouts feel more natural and easier to navigate.  Even the taskbar items have been reduced from familiar rectangles to simple icons, a change which feels obvious and overdue once you start using it.

 On the technical side, Windows 7 has some notable improvements.  The full-system search, accessible from the taskbar, is everything we were told it was going to be when the feature was first announced as part of Vista (it was eventually dropped when Vista became overdue for release).  That feature alone saves a surprising amount of time.  Previous versions of Windows used video memory for all open applications, even if they are minimized, but Windows 7 is capable of using resources for only what’s visible on the screen, so there’s another performance boost, too.  And, of course, Windows 7 is 64-bit, which means faster processing and support for much larger amounts of memory.

 On the whole, Windows 7 really is a step forward.  Microsoft clearly made the decision to delay the release time in favor of more testing and other accessibility improvements, and it was definitely the right call.  Maybe it’s time to make plans to rebuild my dev machine after all…


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Josh permalink
    October 28, 2009 5:27 pm

    I have to agree wholeheartedly with your assessment Ben. While there are relative things to point to like stability (I found the public RC to be more stable than Vista, and have been using Win7 as my primary OS since the release to MSDN and find it to be more stable than both XP and Vista).
    I didn’t know the tip about video performance, that is quite interesting to me. I do very much like the Aero Peek as I think it is called that lets me float over items on the taskbar to see what is in each app (including videos being played back, and graphically intense apps fully visible and updating).
    One thing that is interesting is how much of a sucker I am for the “libraries” concept. I truly like the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos concept and think Microsoft finally got right what they’ve been trying to do since the original My Documents long ago. I suspect this is just a step toward the original “database file system” change that was promised in the early days of Vista pontificating.

  2. noactive permalink
    January 11, 2010 6:40 am

    Windows 7 .Thanks for nice post.I added to my twitter.

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