Windows 7 Today

November 18, 2008

Many people are asking “What is Windows 7 going to do for us and when is it scheduled for release?” Even with the recommended hardware upgrades in place, Vista was more sluggish than XP.  Microsoft has heard this complaint and has responded with a pending release, which is rumored to be in October of 2009.  As we all know, this date will probably change to a later time, so don’t hold your breath.

Perception is reality regarding speed
Microsoft has recognized that perceptions of speed focus almost exclusively on interactive performance, and little on resource intensive tasks such as a big mail-merge job taking thirty seconds verses forty.  People do notice however when they click a button and nothing seems to happen immediately, which what has hurt Vista’s reputation.

Knowing this, Microsoft has sped up the front end so it feels like you’re getting more done, but in terms of real productivity it’s no faster than Vista.  Benchmark tests show that performance differences between Vista and Windows 7 are the same.

While this faster front-end seems like a superficial change, it makes a world of difference.  There are plenty of things to like about Vista, but it’s impossible to enjoy them while the whole experience is weighed down by a sluggish interface.  It’s just too bad Microsoft didn’t recognize this earlier.

Some other enhancements
• The Sidebar is no longer, meaning Windows gadgets can be placed anywhere on your desktop.
• Calculator, Wordpad, and Paint got overhauled.
• Windows 7 will run longer on your notebook’s battery power.
• You can switch between Wi-Fi networks in one click from the system tray.
• You can decide what you do and don’t want to see in the system tray.
• You get more control of User Account Control.
• Libraries group similar content; Homegroups to make sharing libraries easier.
• You can instantly snap your windows to size, and clear the desktop in one motion.
• You can do much more from the Windows 7 taskbar.

One other enhancement is a faster boot, but it’s been discovered it boots only a second faster. They touted a 20% faster boot time, but that simply isn’t the case at this time.

So when Windows 7 finally comes knocking next Christmas, one shouldn’t be turning it away. Sure, there will be admonishments about how long it took to get here. And we’re sure it will bring new faults as well as benefits. But these enhancements should hopefully, once and for all, close the book on Vista.

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