I recently had the option to test Windows 7 the Release Candidate. So I thought it would be good to write a short post on my first thoughts on this latest version of Windows. Don’t expect a lengthy review in this article, I may write on later on though.
After downloading and burning the image I got from Microsoft I quickly tried to install it on my HP TouchSmart PC. Why did I choose this computer rather then my laptop or mediacenter. Well I was honestly expecting a lot of trouble and my TouchSmart has a recovery disk to quickly revert to Windows Vista ;-).
First look at the Windows 7
The installation of windows was damn easy, I guess when you compare the installation it is very similar to Windows Vista. A graphical interface is loaded that will help you trough the various steps needed to install Windows 7. So far so good, though it does take quite long to install. But then again who is expecting anything else from a bloated OS, which I still believe Windows is. After the installation most things on my computer are recognized and work fine. Why I say most things, well unfortunately none of the special buttons of my computer are working. So I can’t control the sound, media or the brightness of the screen. Which sucks, but then again I don’t think I can blame Microsoft for that. As HP does not have any support what so ever for Windows 7.
One cool thing I really liked is that after installing a multi touch driver my HP was able to recognize 2 pressure points on the screen at the same time. Which makes for some cool features that work. I really liked it, but keep in mind it is just some eye candy and won’t help you in the every day things you do on the computer :-).
Some new neat features
Some might have already heard about some of the new features included in Windows 7. Well I will try and summarize a few that I find useful and some of which I have serious doubts that they are any added value what so ever.
More decent window grouping
Anyone who has used Windows XP or Vista knows about the feature that windows starts grouping similar windows when there are a lot of them open. Well in windows 7 this feature got extended. Now it groups the windows no matter how many are open. This on its own is not that bad. Because like in Windows Vista you get a small preview of the window when you hover over it. A new feature in this is that when you stay over a window for a longer period of time the window will be displayed on the screen and all other windows ‘disappear’ to the background.
Though this is a pretty stable and nice feature I strongly dislike Windows for doing this same thing for every single tab in Internet Explorer. Which is pretty annoying to people like me who have several tabs open, as well as several instances of Internet Explorer. This causes it to become a bit crowded down in that small preview window.
Better quicklaunch features
One of the older features in windows is the quicklaunch bar in the taskbar. This allows you to quickly start up any program you pinned to it. Well Windows 7 is no stranger to this. It features this prominently and slightly changed. The icons are a lot bigger then before, and like before you can pin any application to the taskbar. One new thing is that if you click on an icon and drag up a quicklaunch window appears with the most used actions, or in case of the explorer the most opened folders.
Speed compared to Vista
A lot of people are comparing Windows 7 with Vista, which I guess is not that strange since they look very similar. One huge improvement is that Windows 7 appears to be a bit quicker and slimmer then Vista. I have not done extensive tests speed wise, but it looks like it boots up a bit quicker and closes quicker. As well as loading of applications this also appears to be slightly faster.
The eye-candy included in Windows 7 is a bit sluggish tough. It’s just that bit lagging behind on commands giving. Like dragging of applications seems to bit just a bit slow. It might have todo with my HP TouchSmart, but Vista runs on it beautifully so I would expect Windows 7 to do the same.
Some related video’s
Like all of you I like vid’s, so I added some nice reviews and feature video’s below. Enjoy them and until next time…