Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Windows 7: first and second impressions

I've had the Windows 7 beta running on a test machine here for the past month, and the overall impression up to now has been very strong. It's stable, super fast (I'm running a 64-bit version on a two-year-old 8 Gb Core 2 Duo PC) and behaves in general like Vista should have.

That's not to say that I dislike Vista; there's been a lot of knee-jerk criticism of Vista by people who haven't actually worked with it (personally, I've had no problems worth mentioning on three different Vista machines) but Windows 7 does have an extra layer of polish.

User Account Control, for instance, is a lot less obtrusively implemented: no more entering administrator passwords to delete an icon from your desktop. Window management is much improved, and the confusing Vista Explorer windows have been updated with a much cleaner and simpler layout. To be honest, though, the most impressive thing about Windows 7 as far as I'm concerned up to now is just stability and performance: it goes like a train. When was the last time Microsoft released an OS that was faster than its predecessor on the same machine?

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