Windows 7 Review: The Clash of the Three Windows (4)

Windows_7_Normal_Extra_Vista_by_mufflerexozWindows 7 is a step forward in usability, security and support for the latest in hardware and technology. Computer enthusiasts and power users coming from the camp of Windows XP users reluctant to make the switch, and the horde of eager Vista owners hoping to make a change, will find in Windows 7 a compelling package worth the price of admission alone. Noteworthy features include the new taskbar that streamlines the user interface and prevents annoying clutter that results from having too many open windows. Improved security and finally, a non-obtrusive User Account Control (UAC), should convince many XP users to make the switch. Real improvements to the Windows kernel that extracts more performance from multiple core CPUs plus full featured support for DirectX 10 and 11 results in a more convincing gaming experience.

The findings of many reviewers and editors unanimously proclaimed Windows 7’s responsiveness and feel.  In terms of speed, Windows 7’s new approach for managing and navigating applications is as fast as Windows XP’s user interface. The same experts also noted improvements in security that was first implemented in Windows Vista.

Microsoft decided to simplify the Windows 7 product line, unlike Windows Vista which was sold in eight versions which were divided among consumer and business markets.  Retail computer shops will only sell two editions of Windows 7. For the basic consumer, Windows 7 Home Premium is recommended while the Professional version is aimed at enthusiasts and IT professionals. For both editions, an option to upgrade to the Ultimate Edition is already embedded in the installer and is readily available once the purchase to upgrade is made. The main distinction for both editions is the ability for computers running Windows 7 Professional to join a domain while this option is absent from the Home edition.  There is no compelling reason to upgrade to the Ultimate Edition unless there is a real need for multiple language support.

The activation process still needs improvement. Reasons such as hardware upgrades and system reinstallation should not be red flagged by Microsoft. IT professionals and enthusiasts often find themselves in situations where the easiest option to restore a computer‘s performance is a simple reinstall of the OS. Gamers may need to exchange their hard disks for bigger sized ones or switch to faster graphics card. This behavior, unfortunately, is often misinterpreted as installing singly licensed Windows into multiple computers (piracy), thus redoing the activation process. Many users find the process of redoing activation highly objectionable.

Windows 7 is the best version of Windows so far, including some major flaws like the clunky and highly objectionable activation process. Windows 7 is seen by many to be the true successor of Windows XP and not Windows Vista. The best indicator for the success of Windows 7 is when Windows XP becomes part of computer memorabilia. It is that simple and this is expected to happen soon when Windows 7 finally hits the stores this October.

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