Windows 7 Preview: Less of the Same
I’ve had the beta version of Windows 7 installed on my Intel Core 2 Quad, a Compaq Presario, and an Atom-based netbook for about a week now and so far, Microsoft’s upcoming operating system gave a fairly good impression.
I’ve been a Windows Vista user for about a year now and I am fairly satisfied with its performance. A lot of the problems I encountered before were mostly related to the 64-bit version of Vista Ultimate and compatible drivers. So, trying out Windows 7 for the first time didn’t really made a huge impact. And contrary to what other have reported, too me somewhere around 1.5 to 2.5 hours to completely install Windows 7 which is dependent on the rig I’m running it on.
During my guesting at Mornings @ ANC earlier today, TJ and I talked a little about Windows 7. I said it was “less of the same” — the overall feel of Windows 7 is still similar to Vista. The pop-up confirmations are still there to verify your every action and the navigation style is the same. It even has the same decade-old Windows Registry System which I think Microsoft needs to re-do from the ground, up.
Yes, the toolbar is different and behavior of application windows have changed a bit but to the untrained eye (those who have not used Vista before), the difference might seem skin-deep.
So what makes Windows 7 attract positive reviews from a lot of people who have tried it (and even those who haven’t)?
Well, for one, I felt that Windows 7 was a stripped-down version of Vista — less clutter, less eye candy effect and thus, less obnoxious.
Secondly, the machines we have now are far more powerful than they were 3 years ago when people first beta-tested Windows Vista. We have Core 2 Duo and Quad Core rigs with 2GB to 4GB DDR2/DDR3 RAM so system requirements are not an issue for most people. The performance of Windows 7 on these machines are fantastic. Imagine if people tested Windows 7 back then with the PC configuration of that time.
To me, Windows 7 is faster, more functional and smarter. Some even claims it nearing the way OS X behaves though I can’t attest to that as I don’t use OS X. There are a lot of tricks up its sleeve, shortcuts to more commonly used functions and ways to de-clutter the desktop. It even has some special features set aside for tablet PCs (which I will share once I completed the testing on one).
Lastly, there’s very little issue on device driver compatibilities. Since Windows 7 mostly adopted Vista drivers, adding up new devices on the system didn’t present any problematic issue. This wasn’t the situation when people migrated to Vista from XP.
Windows 7’s introduction to the public was made in good timing and I believe it can evade the curse that plagued Vista for years. I think Microsoft has a winner here.