Sunday, January 11, 2009


It was just a while ago that the Windows 7 beta was publicly released on Microsoft's website.
The new Windows 7 beta is truly revolutionary in that it enormously improves the good points of Vista, and adds so much more for the average user, and also for business users. This time aorund, Microsoft has focused their software on making it easy to use, performance based, and just more effective in all aspects of use, without interfering with other software or tasks.

In Part A of the Review of Windows 7: Amazing and Revolutionary, I explained just the tip of the iceberg of what's new and improved in Windows 7.
Now, this is Part B of the review. This will conclude my review of Windows 7.

Windows Explorer and Libraries
Another major feature of Windows 7, is the new library system, which adds to the functionality and management of various files, and as I already explained, it is integrated with Windows Media Player, and media files.
Windows Explorer has gone through a massive face lift, and the graphics are much better than before, with less clutter and provides easier access to the items you need.
With the addition of Libraries, we no longer have to rely solely on Search, indexes, or going to long file paths to file specific directories. With the power of libraries, you can manage several locations at once by accessing your library, including different places, drives, and other computers on your network. It definitely makes finding files and managing files easy to use and more effective. It saves you a lot of time when you need to remember where you last stored your file or such, because all you need is to set up the library, and access all your files from there later, notwithstanding where the file actually is.
These libraries can definitely be taken advantage of in other applications, as shown by the use of it in Windows Media Player.

Windows Explorer and new Windows 7 Libraries with Homegroup visible.

The above is an image of what libraries look like and the new interface for explorer, with HomeGroup also visible, from the Windows 7 Blog.

The TaskBar
Wow, this is really next generation right here! The old taskbar is gone, and it's replaced by an amazing graphical taskbar that utilizes very effective all the space available. See it and you'll understand what I mean:
Amazing new and Improved Windows 7 taskbar
The Windows 7 team has definitely put some good effort into this taskbar, and I really like using it. There's no more of the old text, it looks well in place with the rest of the screen, and feels soothing to the eye. As well, the preview has been changed slightly to fit as well. These previews are now also clickable, with a title and icon at the top, and if you mouse over it, a close button appears.
Then we have the awesome Aero Peek, which lets you "peek" at the windows you mouse over the thumbnails of! Everything else then fades away, and you can also do this with the control button to show the desktop. This is definitely cooler than what Vista had, and deserves praise.

Windows 7 Aero Peek

Next up is the addition of Jumplists which hasn't been fully taken advantage of yet, but provides efficient clicking and access to files when it is taken advantage of. Microsoft Office Word is able to make use of it, by showing recent files. You can access this menu just by right-clicking.

Windows 7 Jump List

For some programs, toolbars are also accessible via the preview:

Windows 7 Thumbnail Toolbar

This makes using your media players much more effective, and you don't have to have the program as active to do something quickly.

To top it off, another cool feature is the ability to show the progress bar on the icons!

Windows 7 Progress Bar

I don't care what the Windows 7 Team Says, this new taskbar is REVOLUTIONARY!

This is another of the great new features available in Windows 7, and I've already mentioned it several times. This, like many of the other features, are integrated with Windows 7, and all the other features newly available. With HomeGroup, setting up a network is easy as 1,2,3!
At the end of the windows 7 installtion, it asks you whether or not you want to set up or join a HomeGroup. As technology advanced, networks are bound to become increasingly popular, and HomeGroup is one of those features that makes good use of networks, by sharing various content available via libraries and media content and even documents if one wishes to share those. This allows all members of the HomeGroup to easily access material, without the hassle of setting up specific directories and all the small details.
In setting up HomeGroup, te Windows 7 Team decided to apply a create a random default password on set up, because it apparently
In testing, this concept raised quite a bit of alarm with people. It seems that most people generally have 1 or 2 passwords that they use for all their online or offline activities. When asked to input a user password for their HomeGroup, they gravitated towards using one of those, and then reacted with alarm when they realized that this password needs to be shared with other users in the home! People generally reacted better to the auto-generated password, since they knew to write it down and hand it around. The other interesting benefit we got from this was a reduction in the amount of time people would spend on the UI that introduced them to the HomeGroup concept. With a user-generated password, they had to grasp the HomeGroup concept, think about what password to set, and decide whether to accept the shared libraries default. Without having to provide a password, people had more time to understand HomeGroup, and their sharing decision - leading to a much more streamlined, private, and secure design.
With a default password, one can still change it in control panel, but it seems to be more effective to use a default random password.

In windows explorer, there are also options readily available, (as shown by one of the graphics above), to easily share your files on HomeGroup.
There's just one little drawback to HomeGroup, and it's that it seems to be a feature only available to Windows 7. That means that in order to take advantage of all the benefits of HomeGroup, one will have to upgrade Vista or XP. Perhaps some features of HomeGroup could be applied in later service packs to Vista, because if that doesn't happen, we can easily see how many people will not be happy about it.

With Windows 7, I have to say, this is one of the things that most people are going to love! I can tell you right now, that Windows 7 performs faster and responds faster than both XP and Vista. While in my opinion Vista was already very fast (the graphics make it "appear" slower), Windows 7 is what speed is all about. All the standards for massive RAM and processing power is gone, replaced with much lower requirements, and still be able to run lightning fast, including faster boot times, opening of applications, etc.
A note on the comparison some people tend to make with Mac's super fast boot:
Windows 7 seems to be getting much closer to instant-boot, with all the effectiveness of using the registry and start-up configurations, unlike mac OS. It fully takes advantage of all the raw power available, while still allowing for the use of start-up programs, registry settings on start-up, other boot settings, etc.
The only tiny drawback here, isn't really a drawback, but it's more related to a graphics animation issue which some people will love, and others hate. When you try to move windows around, there's an issue that appears to be lag, but is actually not, because the response time is superb, but the animation makes it look as if dragging windows around is laggy.
It doesn't stop there either, because there's also been a boost in regards to gaming and graphics performance. Plus, Windows 7 comes with energy saving capabilities that also use energy more efficiently while providing maximum performance.

Windows 7 is undoubtedly a huge improvement.

I don't know if this will be a strong selling point for a lot of people, as I personally don't find it extremely enticing, possibly because I prefer just using normal computers. However, they have implemented a multi-touch system that people with touchscreens are bound to enjoy. It seems all the new gadgets these days involve the use of touch screen, althought touch screen technology itself isn't all that new or complicated.
There's nothing extremely special or helpful about the touchscreen capabilities, but I suppose it is a step in the direction of more modern machines. Although, I don't see how it would increase productivity, and probably isn't a huge deal to most users of the PC.

In conclusion, I will say that Windows 7 is absolutely amazing and although the windows 7 team won't admit it, it is revolutionary. While it doesn't rework the main parts of the windows platform, it builds on existing Vista base, and improvements a lot of functionality, adds new features, taking out many bugs, increase performance, and is certainly a very worthwhile upgrade from Vista. I can honestly say that Windows 7, even in its beta form will please many users of the PC, on their wait for the next amazing Operating System.
I think you'll agree with me strongly on this point, just try it out.

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