The Seventh Cloud

Have you ever thought of pushing an operating system into its own recycle bin? Well, it may not be possible practically but that’s what most of them thought after using Microsoft Windows Vista. After getting used to Windows XP, which undeniably ruled over the last 8 years in the home and corporate segment, people’s expectations increased when Microsoft tuned Vista. Though it was able to deliver the look and feel of a stylish new operating system, the performance part pulled it down. Few of them used it as they couldn’t find any better option. Macintosh was heavy for pockets; Linux was too techy for beginners and so the only option was Windows. Being in a computer manufacturing industry, I had a chance to closely connect with users and understand the needs and expectations from an operating system. It’s like you buy a new car and the very next day you realize there’s a big dent on it, and that’s when you repair and that’s what Microsoft did with Vista Service pack 1. But most of them chose to exchange the car instead of repairing it and so the manufacturer had to come up with a better one.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together for Windows 7. If you are wondering what it is, you are either too far from technology or too close to dreams. For advanced users, I need not say anything because you guys are too interested to know it yourself. So, I will keep this article simple and straight which gives a sample peak into the world of windows. Don’t worry, it won’t be too technical, but I guess Microsoft expects its users to be on cloud 7 if not on 9 after the release. If you are fascinated to know more and want to disintegrate your brain and slobber over the operating system, you better download the Windows 7 beta.

I have done the Windows Seven installation and setup, I obviously installed and tested few basic applications like Norton Internet Security 2009, iTunes, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader 9, Skype, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Office 2007, Virtual Dub, SpyBot Search and Destroy. The beta version is offered only for a limited period and is purely for testing. So, anyone trying it out, there is an option for feedback where you can kill your frustration. Installation speed for the above mentioned software’s was quick, Microsoft Office 2007 being the slowest. I had to install it from a disc and the extra tad of time was taken in staging the installation files to a local store. When you install applications from the local drive or from an USB Flash storage device, the installation speed is much faster. The startling one out of all was Norton. Traditionally a slow installation, it went through in less than 4 minutes (not counting the system scan). I’ll be trying more stuff as time passes though. In scenarios where the installed application was not compatible, the operating system reaction was parallel to Vista. If you are guy with patience, you have few options to send the information to Microsoft and to retry the installation with recommended compatibility settings.

One of the major changes in the UI (User Interface) is the taskbar. It’s wide and has only icons of the running applications. Personally, I didn’t like the change but it doesn’t look that bad either. There are some appealing features like Peek but that can be understood better when you look at it. Overall, it’s a decent upgrade but again if you want to compare with Mac, all the best!!

The annoying part in Vista was the User account control (U.A.C). For those who used it, it’s the screen which prompts or blocks you from installing and asks permissions to continue, even though you trust that application. The user account control has been redesigned in Windows Seven, but the application installation has not changed much. For the programs which are inbuilt, thankfully we do not require U.A.C grants. For example, TaskManager (All User Mode) Device manager, Disk Management, Services and a host of other control panels and windows apps load directly without U.A.C prompting you to grant access. However non-native applications continue to have U.A.C. prompts. This behavior can be controlled even better in Windows Seven. Instead of the plain vanilla on / off modes that U.A.C support in Vista, Windows Seven has an improved U.A.C control panel, that allows you to adjust your U.A.C needs.

Compared to the publicity that was generated when Vista was first showcased, Seven has so far seen a lukewarm response in terms of the number of people grabbing the beta. Reason could be in the fact that the driver model is backward compatible and most Vista Compatible hardware also works with Seven, which was not the case during the Xp-Vista jump. So, it is possible that people are moving up the upgrade chain, however finding minor quantity of troubles to deal with. The versions of the operating system are pretty much same as Vista, and yes we can expect the upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.

The probable upgrade path looks something similar to this:

1. Windows Vista Home Premium -> Windows 7 Home Premium

2. Windows Vista Business -> Windows 7 Professional

3. Windows Vista Ultimate -> Windows 7 Ultimate

Microsoft Windows Vista® Home Basic, Windows Vista® Starter Edition, and Windows® XP (all editions) are not qualifying products under the program.

Good or Bad, we are going to see it and we are going to try it, and let’s hope Windows 7 is actually Windows 7 and not just Windows vista service pack 2.

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