Tonight, while bragging about having W7 (Windows 7) and saying how much I loved it, my good friend Jeremy told me I should write a blog post about the benefits. So here I am, heeding his Elite Advice.
I recently downloaded Windows 7 RC1 from Microsoft. My system had been running Vista for over a year and it was becoming fairly unstable. I even started to receive the blue screen of death upon every shutdown. After dealing with that for over a month, I decided it was time to move on to bigger and better things. By bigger, I mean the additional 1TB of space I added to my already massive arsenal of hard drive space. By better, I mean upgrading from Windows Vista to W7.
Right now, here are my personal ratings for the mainstream OS’s today:
Ubuntu – 2/10 (hard to learn – definitely not user friendly)
Windows XP – 5/10 (old, not very friendly to the eye’s compared to the new stuff)
Windows Vista – 7/10 (it works, but it lacks in friendliness – UAC is also a major pain)
Apple OSX – 7.5/10 (remember, these are overall scores)
Windows 7 – 9.5/10 (read the rest of this post and find out)
Overall W7 blows anything I’ve touched out of the water. OSX still have the strong side with media, but it lacks in “customization”.
Windows 7 Highlights
- New Taskbar: To fully discover the awesome-ness of the new taskbar, you need to use it firsthand to understand it completely. A cool trick is minimizing/maximizing everything. You can now do this by clicking on a small block on the taskbar right next to the clock! You can also drag files around! It’s definitely more similar OSX’s taskbar.
- Windows XP Mode: Run Windows XP SP3 completely inside of W7 on a virtual machine. The integration is amazing! Although it does have a few requirements and requires and additional download.
- Problem Step Recorder: A simple application that records steps you take, and compiles them into an MHTML document. The document can be opened in any web browser, and shows pictures and has a brief description of each step the user takes. And the best part is the user only has to hit “record” and “stop” when they are finished!
- Beautiful Wallpapers: Although most of the internets are going crazy over some of the new and more interesting wallpapers, Microsoft actually included quite a few amazing landscape wallpapers. (sample1, sample2, sample3)
- Windows Explorer: The new Windows Explorer tab is my favorite addition to W7. It adds a “Libraries” section to your computer’s explorer! It comes with a Documents, Music, Picture, and Videos “Library” by default. What you do is add a shortcut to all of the folders you want in each section. For example: instead of navigating to “C:\Users\Nate\Downloads\Torrents\Finished Torrents” every time you want to open a file in “Finished Torrents” you can just add that folder to your “Documents” library and have it at your fingertips! And if you click+hold and drag up on the quick launch icon, it will have “Frequent” folders! Amazing!
- Sticky Notes: I actually use them. They are an actual program, so you don’t have to worry about using them as a gadgets like in Vista.
- Windows Media Player: You can finally play DVD’s on your computer without additional software/drivers! After a fresh install of W7 I just popped a DVD in the tray, and it took me through the commercials and straight to the DVD menu. An also much improved file compatablity. And even better: PC to PC streaming!
- Aero: In W7, Microsoft takes Aero to a new level. Dragging maximized windows on multiple screen desktops is now very easy. Not only is it easy – it’s fun! A cool trick is to “shake” a window, and it will minimize the rest! Leaving only the one you “shake” open.
- Calculator: The New Calculator can do much more than the previous version. Not only does it look nicer, but you can do conversions, statistics, date calculations, and much more!
- System Performance: My computer has more available memory! There are less processes in the Task Manager, and programs take less system memory! It requires less power to run! Which means longer battery life on laptops!
- Paint: In W7, Paint looks wonderful! They did a great job making it user friendly and a bit more powerful. Take a look!
- Windows Media Center: W7 comes with Windows Media Center pre-installed! It looks beautiful and works perfectly!
- Blu-ray: W7 supports Blu-ray out of the box! Now you can read and write without additional software!
- Multiple Displays: Not only does the Aero Maximized window display hopping help users with dual screens, but you can now easily switch outputs just by pressing [Windows Key] + P. This is extremely helpful for presentations.
- Internet Explorer 8: IE8 is included with W7. While many people hate IE, it is an extremely stable and rounded web browser. It follows chrome in tabs having separate processes, and follows FireFox by having add-ons. It’s actually quick too!
- Networking: HomeGroup is basically a way to connect all of the computers in your house, so you can easily share files, video, and devices (printers) with little or no setup!
- User Account Control (UAC): W7 finally gives the user some control! No need to hack your system to hide those pesky popups before you install or run anything! UAC has 4 settings ranging from strict to (basically) off! It much less annoying than in Vista.
- Program Compatibility: I have personally installed more than 25 programs onto my system in the past 48 hours, and everything works equivalent or better than Vista!
- Personalization: The new Personalization Center in the Control Panel has more options. You can now choose from over 20 radiant colors, a few more Dual-Screen compatible screen savers, rotating desktop background (you can set on an auto-rotate with a time limit, or just right click on your desktop to change!), and over 15 different sound themes! Everything from pleasant notifications to annoying beeps!
Overall Windows 7 is by far the most advanced and user friendly operating system I have yet to use. You should use it too! Just download the Windows 7 RC1 before June 2009, and use it for free until June 2010!
My current configuration for W7:
- Windows 7 RC1 64-bit
- Intel Q6600 2.4ghz Quad Core CPU
- 1.5TB Hard Drive Space
- 512mb nVidia 8800 GTS
- 3GB Ram Memory
- Dual 19″ 1440×900 Displays
You can pre-order Windows 7 Now @ Amazon