First impression of Windows 7
Being a Mac user for most of my life I was skeptical about trying Windows 7. I had heard many bad things about Windows Vista (who hasn't), but the press for Microsoft's newest iteration of the ubiquitous operating system had been largely positive. I downloaded and installed the Windows 7 beta on my MacBook Pro (using the preinstalled “Boot Camp” software and a tutorial online). The installation went smoothly, and unlike Windows XP or other versions of Windows I have installed, there was almost nothing to do during the installation. I believe that novice users will appreciate this ease of installation, as that is something that can really intimidate them.
My first impressions of Windows 7 are positive. I really like how Microsoft has implemented a dock similar to that of OS X, although I think that it is superior. For example, in Windows 7 you can just put your mouse over the icon in the task bar and see a live preview of all the open windows from that same program. In addition, the taskbar dock also functions as a program launcher. This is kind of like the quick launch area in Windows XP, but, it has been expanded to make it much more functional. One other important thing to note is that the gadgets of Windows Vista, which used to be tied to one area on the right-hand of the screen, can now be moved around anywhere you want. I believe this is a superior setup to how it was arranged before, especially if you have a large LCD display.
It should also be noted that Windows 7 is much speedier on equivalent systems than Windows Vista. I had installed Vista on this same system and you could notice significant lag. The beta is not without its bugs (some programs have froze, etc.) but, these are the kinds of things that beta versions are designed to solve. I can't wait to check out the full version when it is released later this year or early 2010.
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