The Boons, Banes and Mysteries of Microsoft’s Window 7
If you are unsatisfied Vista user, you can bring your chin up and look forward to the upcoming release of the Windows 7 operating system. The last truly successful operating system release by Microsoft was its Windows XP which had many happy and satisfied buyers. So after the unexpected flop of Windows Vista, the millions who had bought the product and ended up being disappointed in it, are now feeling cheated and feel that Microsoft owes it to them to release a fully functional and almost-perfect Windows 7 version, which should be offered to Vista users at a more than reasonable rate.
The release date of Windows 7 is on October 22, 2009, which has PC and laptop users up to their necks in anticipation for the newest operating system being offered by the Microsoft Company. The final ‘release to manufacturing’ order was recently issued by Microsoft to the companies that avail of Microsoft operating system licenses in large bulk and volume, as well as to information technology experts working in-house at Microsoft’s technet services.
Something to look forward to in Windows 7 is Microsoft’s attempt to downplay the visibility and heaviness as an operating system and allow the user to get work done without the ‘in-your-face’ functionalities of your OS in the way. So, it actually gives special attention to the modification of the system tray and the User Account Control functionalities which were the main irritants in the past Microsoft operating systems. It tries to do away with the outrageous special effects that made previous OS’s so heavy. It has also done away with apps like Movie Maker and Photo Gallery to make for a smoother and quicker loading time for any other application. Going back to simplicity and pure functionality, it seems that Microsoft has gotten back on track with what consumers really want with its recent work in perfecting Windows 7.
But like every other piece of software, we have the boon, bane and mystery of the different aspects that will either be loved or hated by users. So with recent reviews and expectation checks made by experts, we can now see whether we will end up loving or hating Windows 7 aspects before it actually comes out in October.
MS Windows 7 Boons
User Accounts. As mentioned before, the User Account Control is modified which will give you ample warning and advice if malicious software and other viruses are attacking. But it will do it in a more functional way than when first introduced in Windows Vista. With a much more sensible approach, Windows 7 offers two transitional settings such as an alert appearing only during the change in program settings, or an effect that makes the screen dim down when malware tries to infiltrate your PC.
The Taskbar. There have barely been any changes in the taskbar of Microsoft Windows since its 1995 release, so this year Microsoft decided to take that feature and give it a complete transformation in terms of placement and functionality. No longer displaying text labels, it displays only program icons to maximize screen space. It also allows thumbnail previews for when you open many applications. One neat feature in Windows 7 is the new Jump List element. With Jump List you can go into a menu of context-sensitive options and right click on it. By doing this you can access the application even before it actually launches on Windows. Another small but nifty enhancement is the addition of a nub on the taskbar’s right side which will open up the desktop when clicked on.
As for the notification area of Windows (otherwise known as the system tray), and which has been a main clutter area for previous Windows editions, it is now modified for Windows 7. If you make new installations of programs, the system tray applets, that were such an annoyance with its reminders and balloons of alerts before, have been transferred to a holding area where the bothersome alerts can be controlled. Applets can still be stored in the system tray, but they will no longer have information balloons popping up. Instead, the alerts are stored in a separate area where you can view them at your own convenience.
Libraries and file storage. In past versions of Windows, My Documents was created by Microsoft developers to let users store all their personal files in it to decrease clutter and keep them organized. But despite the offer to help users organize, PC users still end up scattering files everywhere on the PC outside My Documents. In Windows 7 there is the introduction of Libraries which will allow you to create virtual folders for storing your files. So even if you pictures are stored in 10 different places, you can still view all the pictures in Libraries regardless of their storage location.
Overall, a Lighter OS. The worst part of Windows Vista was its heavy ostentatious environment which hogged the PC resources and left little for other applications to work on. Because of this, Windows Vista was slow in loading as an OS and slow in running other applications and programs which made it the ultimate negative factor that turned off all Windows Vista consumers. Windows 7 however, presents a much lighter presentation that veers away from a very a heavy, splashy environment to one that focuses on less loading of extras and prioritizes quick application loading and fast program switching, while using the least PC resources possible.
Microsoft Windows 7 Banes
Windows Update Maladies. Similar to previous editions of Windows, installing a Windows Update is still required for patching bugs and vulnerabilities in the Windows 7 operating system. Like in previous versions, where the computer demands to be shut down after an update, expect that it will still be the same for Windows 7.
No Upgrading from Windows XP. There is no option to upgrade directly from Windows XP to Windows 7. If you opt to switch to Windows 7 expect to reinstall everything from scratch. For those who were unhappily disappointed with their Windows Vista versions, expect discounts and great deals for you to upgrade to Windows 7 and then consider putting Windows Vista back into the rubbish can where it belongs.
New Homegroups – Not So Nifty. Although the initial idea sounded really great, in practice this new feature is not so nifty after all. Requiring you to be part of a network of PCs that also run on Windows 7 only makes your options to network extremely limited. The idea behind this was being able to share files between PCs and laptops. It seems that the trouble already begins during setup when it asks for a verbose password to be entered.
Microsoft Windows 7 Mysteries
Anticipating or Dreading Touch Input? Windows 7 now allows for special multi-touch inputs. Therefore, if it detects that you are using touch instead of a mouse or keyboard, it will switch to a nice version of the menu that allows for easy access and pressing through touch. Although this is limited to touch-capable computers, this is a nice doorway for Microsoft to explore and develop touch applications to future programs and gadgets for the PC.
Compatibility Dream or Nightmare? Since the nightmare of compatibility issues with applications and programs not made by Microsoft on Windows Vista, everyone is wondering if Windows7 compatibility issues will arise and destroy everyone’s expectations of Windows 7. So far, test programs of Windows 7 have promised a smooth ride for all software with very minor glitches, but one just has to wait and see what will happen when the actual product hits the market worldwide.
To Customize or Not to Customize with MS Device Stage? Microsoft has developed a new feature called Device Stage for Windows 7 wherein your peripherals, like your camera or printer, are given information centers catering to that product will be displayed. This can be used by peripherals’ companies so that they can link to it to supply consumers with needed service centers, online manuals, and help-lines for their particular product. It is only up to those peripherals’ companies now to customize their own manuals and services to fit with the ones being offered by Windows 7.
Despite Microsoft’s poor efforts in trying to fix their reputation after releasing Windows Vista by codenaming it Mojave for an attempt at better reviews, the simple fact is they could have avoided all that disappointment if they had simply just released this much awaited Windows 7 operating system instead. A word of advice would be to hold off for a few weeks before grabbing your copy of Windows 7, no matter how excited you are, and wait for the first reviews to guide you on whether you should purchase one soon or switch back to Windows XP. With the past mistakes of Microsoft, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to their OS systems.