Saturday, May 09, 2009

Windows 7 RC Initial Impressions

Just like many others, I downloaded and installed the latest Windows 7 Release Candidate. It was installed on a logical partition on our main computer that already has Windows Vista. This isn't advised by professionals though. Professionals advise that you install it on a computer that's not your primary usage system.

I confess that I've only been using Windows 7 for about 3 days, so I cannot attest to the long-term stability of the OS. So far, my impression of Windows 7 is very favorable though. It isn't quite the resource hog as Windows Vista can be. For example, this computer has only a Pentium 4 2.6GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. It had several browser windows open, running the Rhapsody software, Avast anti-virus software, with iTunes scanning my music library. With Windows Vista, all of those tasks running at the same time would render this PC inoperable for anything else. However, with Windows 7, this PC was completely usable and using only about 70% of CPU.

With Windows Vista, you get a multitude of nag messages anytime you try to change settings or install any program. There are ways to shut-off UAC (user account control) in Vista, but it's an all-on or all-off thing. There is no 'in-between' setting. However, Windows 7 allows you to set the degree of annoyance. There are for different settings for UAC ranging from 'never notify', to 'always notify'.

I especially like the way that Windows 7 shows different windows you have open. When I hover over the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar, it shows the different windows that are opened side-by-side.

After I have had a chance to use this seemingly improved OS for several weeks, I'll be sure to post a follow-up to my initial impressions. We can only hope that Microsoft got it right this time with Windows 7.

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ANG/USAF veteran, 2 kids, Peoria