The last couple of weeks I have been testing out the Windows 7 Beta and i must say I’m very impressed, and it seems I’m not the only one. There are thousands of posts out saying how this is the best windows beta ever and even hardcore mac fans are saying they may have to think about what OS to go for in the future. Now I think this is a little overdue with people praising Microsoft and not bagging them out, as I love vista and think there is nothing too wrong with it.
I think the problem was the early vista betas (which i tried out) were crap, had a lot of problems along with the fact it was the beta felt like it was forever. Microsoft have now made vista stable and very good OS with the help of SP1, but the problem is everyone has this negative image in their heads so its doomed to fail and unfortunately could go down in history with Windows ME which will be sad. Now that’s enough of me trying to defend vista.
Now Windows 7 contains some cool new UI improvements, most notably the new task bar. Microsoft have totally changed the task bar with moving it more in the style of a Mac.
Now as you can see, the applications that are open are just icons now and there is a border around the icon to indicate the application is open as you can dock applications to your task bar so they never disappear. When you click on an application that is already running and has multiple windows open, you will be promoted with a display preview to choose which window you wish to navigate to. Another cool feature is when you hover your mouse over the preview, it will show what your display will look like when you click on the window.
Personally I love this feature once I got used to the new task bar, and I think what the mac is missing from their OS is the preview function of each window open inside the application. Because of this preview function, it makes navigation through all your windows open a breeze.
Another cool functon IE8 is when your downloading a file, it will display the progress in the icon on the taskbar.
Some extra UI improvments Microsoft have added are the managing of windows, giving you the ability to resize windows 50% width to compare say two documents you have open.
Some other improvements they have made through out the OS is converting the default applications eg. Paint, Calculator to use the ribbon UI along with update’s to the features. Another cool feature they have added is the ability to cycle through multiple desktop backgrounds every X minutes.
Microsoft have also spent alot of time make Windows 7 lighter, which results in faster loading times and I must say it is really quick especially for a beta version.
The only thing that is bugging me with Windows 7 at the moment is that they have changed the loading screen when booting up the computer to just be a windows logo that moves the colour of the logo around. This annoys me as I like having the bars as I was able to tell if my machine was getting slower and needed a format by counting how many times the bars went across. Yeah im crazy!
Overall I think that you can not complain with the quality of Windows 7 and is going to put Microsoft back into to everyone’s good books, along with none of the problems they faced with Vista (hopefully!).