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Friday, January 16, 2009


The launch of a new operating system is typically a time of anticipation, trepidation, excitement, and on occasion, frustration. Microsoft has been associated with the last one – frustration on many occasions. However, this time, with the beta release of the Windows 7 OS, they do appear to have a formula that works, finally.

Since I only installed it yesterday, I’m still testing it out, and figuring out stuff. But, based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m penning down my thoughts here.

1) Performance – It surely seems much, much faster than that previous behemoth – Vista. The reason being – sound common sense in design. Earlier OSes ran a host of background services, to enable users to access them anytime. For example, even if you were not using your bluetooth, its processes would keep running, and wasting processing power. Now, the OS only starts a service when needed. Simple, right?

It loads faster, makes you wait less to open applications, and is a much more pleasing OS.

However, I’m not yet sure if it will slow down over the next few days, as I keep adding a slew of programs.


2) Look ‘n’ feel – Broadly, it looks similar to Vista, except for a more ‘glassy’ feel to it. A couple of additions here are shown below:

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If you hover over those little windows, their contents get displayed on the screen, without the windows being active. You click the window once, and presto! It opens.

Also, Windows 7 has got rid of that memory hogging sidebar that had gadgets. Now, you can add gadgets independently to the desktop, at whichever location you wish. Of course, the memory consumed is lesser too.

3) Enhancements – If you have a ‘touch’ PC, you’ve got it made. Handwriting recognition, surface touch – this version has it all. Speech recognition is supposedly better too. (I haven’t had the time to test it out yet.)

4) Control Panel – This is one feature I don’t like anymore. The control panel looks cluttered and unwieldy. Sample this:

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Of course, you can get a simpler view too. But then, it doesn’t give you full features, right? So, take your pick.

New Bitmap Image

5) Other added features – One of the best is that Microsoft has added a ‘Jump’ menu. When you hover over a program icon in the Start menu, some of the recentmost files opened using that program appear on a list.


Overall, the OS is speedy, efficient, and likeable. Though, I don’t understand why MS decided to remove the Windows Live programs like Movie Maker, Messenger etc. and made them optionally downloadable from its site.

Another grouse that I have is that the blue screen of death (BSOD) is still the same!! I got one yesterday, and it was as terrifying as ever. I hope MS can make it more useful to an average user in Beta 2 or the final release.

This is not meant to be a techie’s review – just a normal user’s. So, please bear with it, write back if you need to add more, or suggest anything. In case you plan to download Windows 7, visit here