By Rahul Dowlath, 4 comments
However, it has been reported recently on the Internet that not many businesses may adopt the new version, resorting to staying with the ageing XP, having not even moved up to Vista. But the real question is this: is Windows 7 ready for you, as the non-business “consumer” user? Would it benefit you to upgrade to it?
The answer: yes, of course.
Let’s face it: Microsoft really created a joke with Vista. The OS was so pathetic, that it actually became the advertising method for Apple to gain a surge in market share. But now is Microsoft’s chance to redeem itself, and it seems like this time, they’re not taking any chances.
To start off, they’ve completely overhauled the technical side of Windows, ironing out all the bugs and flaws of Vista (User Account Control, remember?) and thus aiming to produce a more streamlined OS, in a similar way to what Apple’s done with Mac OS X — although, this is where the two formidable competitors’ similarities in product development stop: where Apple focussed entirely on delivering a smaller, lighter and faster operating system that refined a great deal on its predecessor, Microsoft has gone the same old route of adding new, perhaps unnecessary, features. Although this time, because of the newer and stronger “under-the-hood” coding, those unnecessary features may in fact accomplish what they set out to be: looking just damn cool. Hey, that’s not a bad thing, right?
The biggest change that users will notice in Windows 7 is the new Taskbar. In many ways, it resembles the iconic Dock of Apple’s operating system. However, instead of being the prime place where all your applications can be launched from, the new Windows Taskbar allows you to keep your most frequently-used applications in the bar, enabling quick access to them.
Users will also notice that previously packaged applications, such as Windows Movie Maker, will not be in the new OS. This is all part of Microsoft’s plan of slimming-down the operating system to include only the most essential things its users will need. Movie Maker, along with a host of other “lifestyle” applications, will become available for free under the “Windows Live” branding.
Windows 7 will be available in two versions for retail: Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Business. If you’re currently running a machine with Vista at home, it would be advisable, then, to purchase the Windows 7 Home Premium edition, as this edition would be best-suited to your computer’s hardware configuration and your use of it.
There will be an “Ultimate” edition. However, as with Vista, this version is targeted at the most extreme Windows user who craves power and all the features of 7. It also carries a handsome price with it — so in my opinion, you’d be better-off with Home Premium, or Business (if you’re in a corporate environment).
Overall, from what I’ve been reading about 7 on the Internet, the OS is looking to be very promising. I’m impressed with Microsoft’s testing strategy, by allowing normal users to freely download and test the development (Release Candidate) version of the operating system. But at the same time, I feel that they could’ve taken the successful and simple route that Apple’s done, by releasing one edition of the operating system that has all features incorporated, instead of the myriad number of “home” and “business” and “professional” variants. This would make it far more simpler for the average consumer to purchase Windows for their PC. Furthermore, instead of adding some additional fancy user interface tweaks (like the new Taskbar) they should’ve devoted more time to strengthening the system and making Windows faster and more compatible with the ever-changing face of technology.
We’ll just have to wait until October 22nd, and while I’m now a Mac user, I hope that Windows 7 will provide the healthy competition to keep Apple awake and ahead of the game, so that, at the end of the day, us as consumers are guaranteed better technology.
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