Windows 7 beta Review

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I have been running win 7 build 7.0 beta for the past month and I think I’m ready to offer my opinion about this widely praised OS.

 

Pre Installing 

As at the time I was thinking of trying win 7, I was in need of a laptop because our old laptop was giving up on me. It was too slow and I couldn’t do pretty much anything with it. So I decide to retire our old laptop and migrate it into either the Fedora or Ubuntun world. Haven’t decided yet. With that decision made, I set out to buy a new laptop. I kept going between windows pc or Mac pc. Why? , well, I’m not an apple fun boy but I was interested in developing for the IPhone which meant having a Mac. But I could bring myself to justify the amount I would pay for a Mac in relation to how much time I will actually spend using it (which will only be during development for the Mac environment). Then there was the thought of running windows on the Mac using VMware fusion. I had heard some good stories about fusion.

After a couple of discussions with a few friends, I made the discussion to go for a 64bit windows laptop. I discarded the taught of buy a Mac and running windows virtually because, I mainly live in windows. Emulation seems to take away the optimum performance of any OS and I do push my laptops really hard. I could have gone for a dual booth on a Mac but by then, I had already fallen in love with Sony’s Vaio FW. It was perfect in every way. So in the end, I ended up with a 64bit Sony Vaio FW . See the specs below.

 

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Installation Experience

Installation was smooth as a baby’s ass. Wow, that different from what I have experienced so far. In any case, I think MS did a good job with installation improvements. My installation path was an upgrade from vista home to win 7 ultimate so I hope others with different upgrade or new installation path will go as smooth as mine. I can only hope since this is a beta.

 

UAC configuration

This is a lot easier since you can now choose your own configuration and not be bothered by unnecessary pop up’s. One up for the MS guys.

Device Discovery

This is by far my favorite since it looks like a lot of work has been done here. I was able to discover my Xbox, router, cellphone (through Bluetooth), wireless printer and more in just a few seconds. Win 7 really made it easy for me and I hope the  final version will even be better.

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Software Installation

I didn’t have any issues except for IE 7 and Microsoft Expression suite. IE 8 64bit works just fine and works really really fast. IE 7 will start but doesn’t allow any interaction with it. I don’t know if its because I did an upgrade from Vista home to window 7 Ultimate. The expression suite also installed with no issue but will error out when running blend or designer. Personally, I don’t care for designer since I do all my vector work in illustrator and export to xaml when I need to. I just needed Blend for the composition of my application. I will have to resort to my desktop for now till I have a solution around this.

 

UI Features

I was really hoping for some ground breaking but ….its better than it was before. The peek feature is my favorite were you can peek a window and go back to the one you were working on without switching between windows. The grouping of apps at the bottom also makes sense and works very well for me. A bit of style would make these features look great but style is what Microsoft lacks, not like Apple. With that said, the UI is functional and lets you do your work and that’s all one can really ask for.

 

Overall, I will switch to win 7 in a heart beat as its proven to be a lot better than my vista desktop. I think MS got it right this time and if they keep this up, they will have customers like me on their side. That doesn’t mean I giving up on Mac. I like the work of the Mac boys. The look to design first for inspiration. They look to groundbreaking but unfortunately, they are not business worthy at the moment. Not because you cannot run a business with a Mac, but finding all the different software you need to run a business can be more challenging in Mac world than in the windows world. Plus their pride in the “no-virus” selling point  scares the hell out of me because no OS is bullet proof and I have more confidence in the support and speed of the MS security team (since they have been dealing with this shit for a long time) than the 2-5 man security team at Apple.

Note: I really don’t the size of the security team hiding at the Cupertino-based company’s basement. I was mealy making a point.

 

Wish List

  1. Spellchecker feature built into the OS or as an add-on so all content applications can make use of it instead of rolling out their own
  2. Map feature should be build into or be an add-on to the OS for allow mapping needs to be met by any application that needs it
  3. Location based feature build into the OS
  4. An OS that knows its environment, that can adjust the light, sound(noise cancellation etc) properties depending on the surrounding.

These are the things I consider moving forward. Up until now, I still cannot believe that laptops and pc don’t come with prebuilt radio receives in them but they are present in the tiny mp3 players we buy.

What do you say dear reader. What are your thoughts.

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