This October Microsoft will release Windows 7 world-wide, the successor to Windows Vista and Windows XP (again), a major upgrade that promises to further improve the user experience on different PC form factors such as the popular Netbook. For the past couple of weeks I along with members of the ActiveWin.com Team spent some time testing the Windows 7 (RTM) Release to Manufacturing build, which is the final build that will be available in stores and new PC’s around the world (that goes for Intel Macs too).
Because the review is 26 pages long, I won’t be able to post everything here, but I want to give you a snippet. Here is the final comments from the review:
This review was just the tip of the ice berg, Windows 7 is a major release that innovates and performs. As noted throughout this review, Microsoft went back to the basics of what made Windows great in the first place; the operating systems focus on performance has paid off. End users will appreciate significant improvements in areas such as boot time, resume from sleep/hibernation and faster connection to networks. Windows 7 also focuses deeply on mobility, products like the Netbook form factor, which has become highly popular with consumers over the past couple of years. Windows 7 users can appreciate improvements in battery life while also being able to experience the web in a more seamless way through Windows 7’s out of box support for technologies such as 3G and simplified access and setup of Networks.
Should you upgrade? Most certainly, there is no on the fence, if’s or buts about it. This is a major upgrade both Windows XP and Vista users will certainly see benefits from. Vista was of course a hard sell because of the major architectural changes it introduced, Windows 7 reaps the benefits. The investments both businesses and consumers have made in it over the past three years has come forward. In my final comments of ActiveWin’s Windows Vista review, I recommended potential customers move to Windows Vista on new PC’s. Of course with Windows 7 it’s also a great way to upgrade, but existing systems can definitely benefit from Windows 7 with just an upgrade. Running the OS on an AMD Sempron 1.6 GHz machine, 512 MBs the performance is just exceptional, I see Windows 7 breathing new life into many old systems as far back as 2003 (with a few upgrades of course). Windows 7 has the edge here; this is something I can’t see Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard doing because of the architectural changes.
With fundamental improvements to how you navigate and interact with your devices and applications, Windows 7 provides an experience that’s cohesive and forward thinking. It makes application switching intuitive while also enhancing the general user experience of working with your programs in a more convenient way. The Taskbar has come a long way since the days of ‘it works just like switching channels’. Users expect a rich experience and the compelling aesthetics such as interactive thumbnail previews and enhanced search functionality will bring a major boost to productivity. Subtle changes to Search and customization themselves make Windows 7 a joy to work with on a daily basis. Businesses will appreciate the new experiences when accessing resources and staying connected to corporate networks in more simplified ways. When combined with the free Windows Live Essentials, Windows 7 shines further, and proves that Microsoft is focusing on delivering real innovation and value to consumers.
Users today have an overwhelming amount of information stored on their PCs and various devices to contend with, keeping it all organized and accessible can be a chore. Windows 7 takes the complexity out of such scenarios and I think it’s the gem of this release a lot of users will discover they could never do without.
Read the entire review here
Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer 8 – Review
Microsoft Windows Live Essentials – Review
ActiveWin: Windows 7 FAQ/Quick Guide
Microsoft Windows 7 RC Build 7100 Preview
Microsoft Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 Preview
Microsoft Windows 7 Pre-beta M3 Build 6801 Preview
Microsoft Windows Vista RTM – Review
Microsoft Windows XP Professional – Review
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition – Review
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition – Review
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition – Review
Windows 7 Team Blog
Engineering Windows 7
Microsoft Answers Windows 7 Forums
Windows 7 home
Windows Live Team Blog