Microsoft has offered a brand new system which they call Windows 7. It has been beta tested and here are some of the reactions from people who have used it:
First of all it looks familiar to people who are already using Vista, it is a far better and more optimized operating system. Some of the kinks in Vista have been ironed out, it actually feels like a better version of Vista. It is more functional.
The User Account Control
Windows 7 has a revamped User Account Control (UAC). Users of Vista would have a sigh of relief since it does not drive one insane by popping up prompts when you want to do something simple like changing the date or time. Moreover it can be customized. The options are:
• You can turn it off so that you get no prompts.
• It notifies you when programs try to make changes in the computer
• Like Vista, it will always notify you for anything, minor or major
• There is another strange option "Always notify me and wait for my response". I do not get this one.
The UAC definitely needs some tweaking. This option should go. Moreover, the small icon next to the UAC remains unresponsive, even when you change the settings.
As per Microsoft the taskbar will be like that of Mac OX X's Dock. However, since this more functional taskbar is not there in the beta version one can not comment on it. Microsoft claims that the new task bar will be able to display all running programs in a thumbnail list, show progress of a task etc. However the current taskbar has been improved in the way windows are minimized, moved or restored. Simply drag down a window to the right or left and it takes just half the screen.
The Control Panel is animated, when you select a category it slides in place. You can return it back with a click.
It is easy to customize themes. Simply right-click Desktop and choose Personalize.
The task is more interactive. It pops up alerts that are more detailed than Vista's when it encounters problems in your security and hardware.
The Windows Sidebar has disappeared, the Gadgets still live on. They can be stationed anywhere on your desktop and are no longer bunched up in one side.
Networking, File Organizing and Search
This is a boon for people who are sharing computers. Windows 7 has streamlined networking and sharing, added a feature called Homegroup that makes it easy to share data with other people on your network. The links are better organized. It is easy to create a home group on your computer. It has a new filing system and everything does not go into the documents folder by default. You have library folders that have separate folders for your music, downloads, etc. Moreover you can drag and display folders from other computers connected to yours.
When you search folders, these other files belonging to your network also get searched.
Windows Media Player has been improved, it can even handle DivX format and AAC audio. If you do not want to play music through the media player, you can simply select the tune you want and click the play icon, it plays through the Windows Explorer, freeing RAM for other functions.
There are many other interesting features. However, once it is launched, which is going to happen this year, we can discuss it further.