I am like most business users, I imagine, in that I can no longer personally get all that excited about the launch of any new technology, unless that technology promises to make my life somehow easier. For example, if somebody were to announce that the release of a fully functional word processor that actually knows how to save documents in simple, clean HTML, I'd be ecstatic. You know, the little things.
However, folks who know what they are talking about have formed a veritable choir as they sing the praises of Windows 7, Microsoft's latest OS that's due for broad release Thursday.
At the very least, the new OS promises to not make your life any harder, which by all accounts is what Microsoft did with the release of Windows Vista. Everybody pretty much hates Vista, in case you haven't heard.
Frank Ohlhorst offers a great walkthrough of notable feature enhancements in Windows 7 over at our new CTO Edge site. Of the new bells and whistles Frank discusses, the one that most interests me at this point is Libraries, which allows users to create virtual folder views of designated types of files that may be (in my case, definitely are) spread all over your PC's storage. A little deeper dive at Microsoft's Windows Blog indicates that libraries can be defined by file type, date or author, properties that Windows will index for any file by default. Sounds like a start, but I'll get ecstatic when I can build libraries around other meta that I can apply to files, either through the Windows Properties dialog or some Office interface.
The other positive that I keep reading about, mentioned here by David Tan over at CTO Edge, is that Windows 7 runs more efficiently on the hardware you currently have running Windows Vista. Thing is, nobody is running Windows Vista (remember the "hate" thing?). This piece at Computerworld says Windows 7 is actually faster than XP SP3, which is darn impressive. However, there is the caveat that those speed figures are based on running Windows 7 in true 64-bit, which might require some upgrades for businesses that have been clinging to older hardware right alongside XP.
But, all in all, Windows 7 sounds like the best OS news to come out of Redmond since Windows XP SP2, which will go down in operating system lore as one durable platform -- so durable, in fact, the Windows 7 has a virtualization-based XP Mode.
Here's are a few more high points from our ongoing coverage of the Windows 7 release: