Microsoft Corp on Thursday released its most ambitious operating system (OS), 'Windows 7' (Win7). Because of its earlier OS Vista's many technical glitches, sluggish operation and inability to run some other programs smoothly, consumers and professionals shunned it, refusing to update from the OS of Windows XP.
"We are delighted by the initial reviews from partners and the technology community. Over 90% of testers from around the world have rated it as "good" or "extremely good" and consider Windows 7 to be responsive, simple to use and stable," said Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India, in a release.
Earlier, Microsoft's non-executive chairman, Bill Gates, the world's richest man, had said that Win7 would be more user-centric and will also focus on performance improvements. As per the beta previews, the new OS is not a revolutionary product at all. It shares a lot of Vista's core technology and was clearly designed to fix nearly every complaint that users had with Vista. Here is a preview of Win7 OS based on the beta release version.
INSTALLATION: When I first installed Vista on my PC, there were many problems with the device drivers. Many drivers were just not available. Win7 can be installed smoothly without any problems of device drivers. That said, I would add, Win7 would work well on systems where Vista was loaded. The hardware requirements for Win7 are basically the same as they are for Vista and it runs better on that hardware, or at least feels like it does. For Win7, you will need at least 1Ghz processor, minimum 1GB RAM, a graphics card based on DirectX9 with WDDM driver model 1.0, about 16GB space on the hard disk and DVD drive (yes, Win7 comes only on DVD). For a 64-bit system, the hardware requirements are almost the same except that you will need to double the RAM and need a little more space on the hard disk.
FIRST IMPRESSION: Win7 has a bigger taskbar; the Quick Launch toolbar is replaced with pinning applications to the taskbar. These buttons also enable the Jump Lists feature to allow easy access to common tasks. Additionally, there is a feature named Aero Snap that automatically maximises a window when it is dragged to either the top or left or right edges of the screen.
FEATURES: Win7 includes a number of new features like advances in touch and handwriting recognition, new computer search function, support for virtual hard disks, improved boot performance and kernel improvements. Even on the Control Panel, there are many new items like ClearType Text Tuner, Display Colour Calibration Wizard, Gadgets, Biometric Devices and System Icons.
PERFORMANCE: Again, since what I used was a beta version of Win7, there is not much to say. But, overall, Win7 gives a feeling of an OS of today. Interestingly, you can install Win7 not only on your desktop but also on netbooks and even tablet PCs.
FINAL WORD: Win7 comes in six different editions in most countries, however, only Home Premium and Professional editions will be available for retail sale. The other editions are focused on other markets such as the developing world or enterprise use. Win7 will also come with a family pack that would allow installations on up to three systems, in select countries. Win7 would be available from $119.99 to $319.99 in the US.
Microsoft has not revealed the price in India, but said the FPP pricing for Win7 has reduced in the range of 25%-35% percent over Windows Vista, for most SKUs.
Win7 is available at more than 45,000 retailers around the world and in India, all 16 OEMs will bring in more than 100 different Win7 PCs within 30 days from Thursday, the company said. - Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]