September 25, 2023   6:55pm

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Windows 7 is on it’s way this year.  NY Times tech writer David Pogue tells you all about it …

Check out the Windows 7 review in The New York Times, “Hate Vista? You May Like the Fix” by David Pogue, January 21, 2009.  Here are some highlights below:

“…The company wants to put Vista behind it as soon as possible. In fact, the next version of Windows is almost here already. It’s called Windows 7 … It looks and works a lot like Vista. In fact, what Microsoft seems to be going for in Windows 7 is “Vista, fixed … Windows 7 is expected to arrive within a year.

Windows Vista is always popping up warnings and messages … In Windows 7, you can tone this down — eliminating the warnings, for example, when you, the human, are the one making changes.

… Ten categories of low-urgency alerts no longer appear as taskbar balloons … A tiny flag icon appears on your system tray to let you know that new nags are waiting there.

Even in the test version, you can feel that a lot of things are faster: starting up (40 seconds on my three test machines), shutting down, reconnecting to wireless networks, copying files and inserting flash drives, for example. It’s no Windows XP, but even with months of fine-tuning still to go, 7 feels snappy. (On a Mac, paradoxically, it’s positively supersonic.)

Windows 7 is also supposed to be less bloated. (“Memory usage was reduced in hundreds of places,” says the reviewer’s guide.)

A big part of the Vista misery involved incompatible software and drivers. There’s no greater headache than updating your PC and finding out that you can’t use your printer, scanner or favorite program. …“If it works in Windows Vista, it will work with Windows 7.”

In Vista, a lot of things got moved around or renamed, often with no discernible purpose. There’s even more of that going on in Windows 7.  Among other changes, the Pictures, Documents and Movies folders have been replaced by something very cool — but very confusing — called Libraries. They’re virtual folders. Click the Pictures library, for example, to see all the pictures on your entire PC or even your network, no matter what folders they’re really in.

NOTE FROM SNOETY:  Read the following BEFORE you Download: The core accessory programs for an operating system these days — e-mail, address book, calendar, photo management, movie editing and instant messaging — won’t come with Windows 7. Unless you buy your PC from a company that preinstalls these programs, you’ll have to download them yourself from a Microsoft Web site.

… Not all of Windows 7’s features are intended to address Vista’s deficiencies. Some are all-new.  For example, the Windows 7 taskbar looks and works like Mac OS X’s Dock: a row of big, square program icons representing your favorite programs, whether they’re running or not. It has taken over the launching functions of the old Quick Launch Toolbar. You can turn this feature off, but don’t; it’s very nice.

Other Apple borrowings: desktop wallpaper that changes at regular intervals. A yellow sticky-notes program. A simple menu of available wireless networks. “Private browsing,” in which your adults-only Web exploits leave no tracks in the History list or anywhere else. Jump lists (useful shortcut menus that pop out of the taskbar icons). And, on what Microsoft hopes will be a new generation of specially equipped laptops, multitouch gestures modeled on the iPhone’s. That is, you’ll be able to rotate an image by twisting two fingers on the screen, pinch to zoom, and so on.

There are new versions of Internet Explorer, Paint, WordPad, Calculator and System Restore and a much better backup program. The Windows Firewall now protects you from both inbound and outbound evil Internet communications.

… you can maximize and minimize a window just by dragging it up to, or away from, the top edge of the screen. (There are keystrokes for this, too.)

Battery life is supposed to be better on laptops …

HomeGroups are fantastic. Type the same one-time password into every Windows 7 computer, and presto: instant, automatic home network, without having to fool around with accounts, permissions and so on. Every PC can see the other computers’ pictures, music, movies and documents, and folders that you specify, as well as share one another’s printers. Even in the test version, it works like a charm.

… with one click, you can now enlarge the type, everywhere, in all programs, without affecting the rest of the screen picture.

[Windows 7] is Windows Vista — with a whole heck of a lot of refinement.”


What’s New Now from Ziff Davis and Lance Ulanoff are saying:  Inside the New Windows 7 Taskbar
“We often say that Windows 7 is Vista that works, but that’s an oversimplification. Windows 7 is different from its predecessors, and one of the most significant and visible changes is the new Taskbar. It has a new look and a host of new features, all of which are useful and, in my opinion, very well thought out. ExtremeTech (click here) has also been playing with Windows 7 beta 1 and offers an in-depth look at the brand new Taskbar. “

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