The pros and cons of Windows 7

The pros and cons of Windows 7

Initial impressions of the release candidate are positive

There’s no denying the Windows 7 release candidate (RC) is one of the most significant software releases in a long while. Over the past couple of months various news sources have debated the pros and cons of the operating system in depth.

However, one thing that is certain is with so many organisations running the Windows platform, Microsoft needs to get this one right after the debacle that was Vista.

And according to most accounts, it has.

The new operating system promises to nag users far, far less than its predecessor, and unlike Vista, the user’s desktop or notebook won’t need to be a powerhouse to run it at a reasonable speed either – Windows 7 runs comfortably on minimal-powered netbooks and Intel Atom chips.

To be sure, there has been a lot of interest around the Windows 7 release, which Microsoft’s channel partners got their hands on before everyone got a chance to have a play with it this week.

Of course, many people had already tested Windows 7 well before the RC, with numerous leaks of the software hitting the Web since the vendor first handed out previews in October 2008.

The good news for anyone following the developments? The reception for Windows 7 has been generally warm.

That said, there are concerns about the new RC. Thanks to Vista, a number of organisations are wary of Microsoft’s ability to get things right with Windows 7. Plus, a few of the touted features in the new operating system, such as the tool that allows users to run Windows XP applications in a virtual machine, have been heavily criticised by analyst firm, Gartner.

There have also been questions raised about the number of separate versions of Windows 7 that will be available, and whether that number is too many.

And what of the Microsoft’s older operating systems? Windows Vista and XP enjoyed a love-hate relationship that Microsoft never full resolved – and many are wondering what approach the vendor will take this time.

Although tight-lipped about its plans for Vista following the full launch of Windows 7, Microsoft has confirmed it will not be dropping support for Vista until at least 2011.

Acknowledging that many users skipped Vista completely, the vendor has also announced a one-year transition period for XP-to-7. However, Microsoft has previously warned organisations that the migration path from XP to Windows 7 is not going to be a particularly easy process.

Interested in trying Windows 7? Download it here: Windows 7. And don’t forget to let us know what you think of it!

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