Windows 7 Beta Test Drive (build 7000)

Windows 7 is the newest operating system due out from Microsoft. Microsoft stated in 2007 they were planning Windows 7 development for a three-year time frame starting after the release of its predecessor, Windows Vista. Microsoft has stated that the final release date would be determined by product quality.

We decided to take Windows 7 for a test drive. There was a lot of fuss when Windows Vista was first released. First there were reports on how much slower it was than XP, then we had all the bugs that went with it. Finally Microsoft released Service Pack 1 and things seem to be a lot smoother for the troubled operating system. It is reported now that Windows Vista is finally being adopted by companies around the world. We wondered if Windows 7 will be any different.

We fired up our test box, a Quad Core AMD processor 9550, 4GB memory and 500GB Hard Drive.

First things first, lets install this puppy.

Install

Now to most people, this looks exactly like the Vista install. You are half correct. Windows 7 is based on the Windows Server 2008 code base which in turn is based on the Windows Vista code base.

Installing is a snap

Copying Files

Time to sit back and make a coffee… The installer is actually much nicer than the Vista installer. It also seems to be a lot quicker at installing. After around 20 minutes we are ready to roll.

Running

Flash huh? Better than the Vista start up for sure.

Detected network

After testing the video card for a good 2 minutes we finally get in to Windows. I note that the beta does not test your computers performance after the install like Vista. This is much better in my opinion as in some cases this could take a good 10-15 minutes.

I find the desktop very smooth and nice to navigate. The desktop does not feel sluggish like Vista did. You will see down the bottom that the quick bar and notification area have changed. For the better I might add.

Notification Area

Being able to make changes to specific notification icons is welcome.

Task Bar

One option here has changed. The show desktop icon is now part of the task bar. Down at the very right hand side of the screen is a button. If you click it, all windows will minimize.

So what about the dreaded UAC (User account control). Many, many, many x1000 people were annoyed at UAC. They thought every program on their computer was trying to do something bad. Luckily Microsoft have changed this. You now have 4 settings which give you a lot of control.
UACUACUACUAC

It actually took a very long time using the default UAC settings to have a pop up arise. That was when I decided it would be a good idea to jump in to the registry editor 😉

UAC

So what about Windows Update. Has that changed at all? A little bit. There are a few extra options, but nothing to brag about.

Windows Update

So what happens if a program doesn’t work on your computer? There is a new troubleshooting wizard in Windows 7 which is very flash. It is a very intuitive wizard and will help novice users troubleshoot problems with ease.

Troubleshooting

What about Internet Explorer 8? It has changed somewhat, but look wise, it looks the same as Internet Explorer 7.

Internet Explorer

That’s enough for now. Try the beta for yourself http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/

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