Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tech Review: Windows 7

After the first few minutes of running vista I was really happy with what I saw. It is such a huge improvement from Windows Vista. Before I go on explaining more about it, I am running 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate RC1 Build 7100 on VMware Workstation 6.5.1. It has 1024mb (1gb) of RAM with a Intel Pentium Dual CPU T2330 1.60 GHz Processor.

Desktop: The first thing that pops out at me when I first booted it up is the new Desktop look. Mainly the new Taskbar is really cool. Right now I’m using Windows 7 Basic colors because the Video Driver for VMware is not supported to run Aero. Even without Aero, it still looks better and easier to use. On the taskbar, instead of putting a name for everything, it’s now just a icon and to see the name you either click the icon or hold your mouse over it. Also now at the bottom right hand of the screen, you can customize which icons to show and move them around. Another new feature to the desktop is Improved Gadgets with no more Sidebar. Now you can move your gadgets around your desktop freely instead of having them on a sidebar on the desktop. You can have as many as you want or none.

Homegroup: Another great new feature that has come out is Homegroup, it is a new way to share documents, videos, pictures, printers and more with other Windows 7 computers. You can even choose who you want to share the documents with on the network. If you don’t want others to be able to change your documents but want to let them read them? Then you can enable “Read Only”. Homegroup is on every version of Windows 7 but you can only create a homegroup on Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate.

Snap: Another nice feature is called Snap. Now you can organize your windows easily by dragging them to the side of your computer screen. So now you don’t have to mess with all this resizing of windows, you just have to drag and drop. If you like Snap then you might like Aero Shake and Aero Peek. With Aero Shake you can shake a window and all of the windows but that window you shake, will disappear, shake it again and they will reappear. With Windows Peek, there is a little bar right next to your clock which you can hover your mouse over and see your desktop with outlines of the windows, or click it to minimize everything. Click it again and everything will come back as you left it.

Core System: There have been several changes to the core of the system. Sleep now works better, when you wake up your computer it resumes and reconnects to your wireless network more quickly. Search has been improved to work faster. You can use USB devises a lot faster now. If you aren’t in need of a background service such as Bluetooth, Windows 7 will disable it. Windows 7 is designed to be less memory hungry then Windows Vista. If you look around you might wonder the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit, if you don’t run a lot of programs at the same time then you might want 32-bit (up to 4GB of RAM), if you run a lot at once then you might want 64-bit (4GB of RAM and up). Last but definitely not least, a improved Power Management system. Now if something is not being used (from a USB port to a program service), Windows 7 will turn it off to keep power usage down. It will also dim the screen when using the battery. No more power hungry DVD playback and a more accurate power meter.

Overall I really like Windows 7 and can’t wait to get my copy. I have already ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor on my computers and all but one (this really old Dell 2400) can run it. Below are some links that you might find useful and the minimum requirements to run Windows 7.

Minimum Requirements:
1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)

1GB of main memory

16GB of available disk space

Support for DX9 graphics with 128MB of memory (for the Aero interface)

A DVD-R/W drive

Windows 7 Links:


Microsoft Main Website:

How to get it:

Upgrade Advisor:

Compare Editions:

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