My Experience with Windows 7 So Far

John Storts
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Seven Security Improvements in Windows 7

These features may have the most impact on security in the newest version of Windows.

For almost a year now, I've been pointing readers to our helpful resources on Windows 7. But, other than taking a spin around the desktop or on the laptop of a friend who'd upgraded late last year, I hadn't really gotten a feel for Windows 7, other than the academic one gained by reading about new features and the anecdotes of others. My first impressions were that it looked a lot prettier (in fact, a lot more like Mac OS X than even Vista) and seemed a good deal more stable.


My company is taking a piecemeal approach to migration from venerable XP to the latest version of Microsoft's operating system; just this week, my workstation was upgraded. After a few days of working with 7, I've far from mastered it, of course. But, I do have a few early kudos for the OS. While they aren't earth-shattering in importance or necessarily profound, they are time- and effort-savers that matter to me in what I do.


I'll call the early praise in this mini-review the "It's the Little Things" edition:


  • Aero and Peek-The Aero interface is much like that of Mac OS X, but it's a great improvement in terms of seeing open applications and documents. It and the Peek functionality allow you to get a clear view of everything running or quickly get "X-ray" vision to see the desktop behind it. Pretty and useful.
  • Renaming files-This procedure is much improved. In previous versions of Windows, renaming a file took extra steps to prevent you from deleting the file extension. I could have used a renaming tool, but that often took more effort than it was worth.
  • Zip files-The drag-and-drop functionality is much appreciated. It saves time when populating Zip archives with files.


I realize that some of these were present in Vista, but I never used that on a daily basis after beta and gold candidate testing to check driver functionality. It just wasn't adopted by the companies I worked for, even though it turned out to be better than first reported. It seems like early, loud complaints regarding UAC and software compatibility issues severely curtailed interest in businesses and consumers.


As I continue to get acquainted with Windows 7, I hope to have more good things to report. I have to admit that this is the most excitement I've ever gotten from getting to know a new MS offering. My suspicion is that it has something to do with Windows getting increasingly Mac-like, but, regardless, I'm happy.


These resources helped me get up to speed on Windows 7 changes more quickly:

Microsoft Windows 7 Reference Guide

Windows 7 Pocket Guide Excerpt

Windows 7 Features Checklist

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