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Windows 7: Performs better than XP, Looks better than Vista
on October 27, 2009
Let me preface this review with my qualifications so that you may understand the extent I've gone to with operating systems to end up proudly claiming, "I'm a PC."
I use Linux (RedHat) at work, I've tried Ubuntu and Lycoris long before it, I've tried Debian and Slackware and however many other flavors of *nix in the past just to say I tried them. I've messed with BeOS (Zeta development was an exciting time), I've played with Mac OS X on numerous occasions (beautiful OS), and I've tried countless obscure operating systems that I doubt even 1% of those reading this would know about (and trust me; there's a reason for you not knowing about them, lol). Why have I messed with them all? Because I enjoy operating systems and I find them to be amazing achievements. There's no denying that Mac OS X is a beautiful OS that performs quite well within the structured hardware environment Apple has created. Linux is hella useful on an enterprise level (though Windows Server is easily comparable these days) and even home flavors of Linux have become quite nice (Ubuntu)! The fact of the matter is that I'm partial to Windows through my experiences with having tried just about every flavor of every OS out there over the past 10 years or so. I used to collect beta versions of operating systems (not just Windows, but others as well), so I've not only tried the final products, but I've also gained appreciation for them by seeing them and playing with them through their development cycles. Where Windows is concerned, at one point or another, I've instally just about every build of every version currently out there (and trust me, there are TONS of builds - alpha and beta bits from every version of Windows, including obscure bits like Windows Neptune). I've ridden the roller coaster through the highs (Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, and now 7) and lows (Windows ME, Windows Vista's initial release) and I couldn't be happier that I've stuck it out.
Enter Windows 7.
Windows 7 is amazing. There is no other way to put it. It's being hyped as, "Vista done right," or something of that nature. Well, Windows 7 is soooo much more than that. True, the user interface may resemble Windows Vistas, but only at first glance. The single-most revolutionary aspect of Windows 7 is the new task bar. It has provided so much additional functionality that you would never know you wanted (or needed). The ability to pin tasks, the ability to move items around on the task bar, the privacy of not having titles of your windows down in the task bar for anyone to see, the new interactive thumbnail previews, the new placement of the show desktop button... I could go on. It may take you a bit to get used to the new task bar, but trust me... you will and you will absolutely come to love it. Going back to anything less just won't feel right.
Next on the docket is HomeGroups. Look, file sharing between home computers has never been easier. NEVER. I have Windows 7 on my desktop and on my laptop. The desktop, I recently built, so while awaiting my wireless card for it, I wanted to see if I could tether my laptop's internet connection. In the past, it wasn't exactly difficult to set it up, but it was much more involved than it is now. All you need is a regular ethernet cable, connent one end to your laptop and the other to your desktop, give permissions to share (made simple through HomeGroups) and voila! I can use the internet on my desktop via my laptop's internet connection. And not only that, I was able to set up the laptop and desktop to share files between one another via the same cable... and it was incredibly simple! I won't walk through the steps here since this review is already getting a bit lengthy, but the long and the short of it is that file and resource sharing between Windows 7 computers is RIDICULOUSLY intuitive.
Lastly, are you still on XP? Are you one of those business who decided way back when that you would just skip Vista and roll out Windows 7? Well, guess what? Windows 7 is here and it's time you make good on your decision. As the title to my review implies, Windows 7 bests both Vista and XP. There is no longer any excuse for you to stick with XP when Windows 7 performs EVEN BETTER. The only learning curve for XP users will be getting used to the new user interface and the change in location of certain files/folders (which admittedly irked me at first, but those changes came about in Vista, so I've been long used to them). Bite that bullet. It's worth it, trust me. Oh, and cost? Windows 7 is worth its weight in gold. It's an operating system. Think about everything it does for you, all the applications it allows you to run, the tasks it allows you to perform... in the grand scheme of things, the cost of Windows is one of the best investments you can make for yourself, so go ahead and treat yourself to Windows 7. Seriously. Don't buy into the stupid Mac hype videos of, "more of the same" and pay no mind to the Microsoft commercials where people say Windows 7 was their idea. Go try it for yourself. Download a free evaluation copy, install it, and give it a whirl. See for yourself.
Since Amazon removes links from posts now, search Google for Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Evaluation. You will need a Windows Live ID and though it's an evaluation of Windows 7 Enterprise, it looks and feels like every other SKU.
MSFTKitchen (Google it)
I thought about placing this review on all the SKUs of Windows 7, but since I use Ultimate on a regular basis and not the other SKUs, I think it's only appropriate to leave it here, as-is. Thanks for reading (if you made it this far, that is)!