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May 2009 Posts

5/12/2009 11:07:54 AM

If it is broke, fix it

Two years ago, Microsoft was promising that Windows Vista would revolutionise the life of PC users at home or at work with its fresh interface, snazzy sidebar widgets, improved security and impressive suite of deployment and management features. However, over two years on, approximately 65% of PC users are still happily (well, within reason) plugging away on Windows XP. Now there is a new kid on the block, Windows 7. So after the Windows Vista circus, is this a bandwagon we are likely to jump on?

5th May 2009 saw the launch of Windows 7 Release Candidate and along with it a rush of PC users downloading, installing, then blogging and tweeting their opinions to the world, and do you know what, the feedback is looking pretty good.

So what are we getting? Windows 7 is Windows Vista refined according to Steve Balmer, Microsoft CEO, so we should be looking forward to Vista with less of the bad stuff and then some improvements.

Out go:

  • Classic Start Menu interface
  • Memory hogging Sidebar
  • Ancillary programs like Calendar, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker and Mail, which lets face it, you probably have elsewhere

Highlights of new features (opens new window):

  • Cleaner interface with improved Taskbar and Jump Lists
  • Tweaks to the desktop to make finding the file or window you need easier
  • Streamlined device management for the plethora of devices we want to use with our PCs
  • Simplified networking and file and printer sharing
  • Improved power management to improve laptop and netbook battery life
  • Less intrusive security and maintenance messages with the Control Panel Action Center
  • Integration with Windows Live
  • New Windows Media Center and Windows Virtual PC

One thing that has not changed is the specification of the machine that you will need to run Windows 7. That is the same as Windows Vista and was one of the biggest reasons why users did not upgrade to Vista. However, if you take the view that many of us will have updated our machine or will update soon, then chances are you are good to go with this new version.

Obviously it is early days but we are pretty excited about Windows 7 here, particularly with the benefits that it can bring to businesses coupled with Windows Server 2008. To help you get to grips with this new release we are running a 2 day Windows 7 technology overview, which will highlight the new features of this software and demonstrate the links to Windows Vista to give you a headstart if you intend to migrate from Windows XP. See the course details on the Connect Training website (opens new window).

Authored by Ian Cockayne