It’s very eye candy (similar to vista in a way) yet light and fast. I still remember how it took me exactly 13 minutes to install, setup, and start running it.
The operating system is honestly feature loaded, but I specifically love it for the following:
Naturally! Nothing beats 64 bit trust me, I have previously written about this.
It is prettier than Vista AND much lighter and faster, you can feel the difference in speed running the same applications on the same machine with Vista first then with Windows 7. Vista is unbelievably resource hungry while 7 is somehow, convenient.
Windows 7 awesomely supports most of common and popular media formats out of the box. What does this mean?
Remember all those nasty codecs you had to install to run some video or audio files? Well, you don’t have to do that anymore. Media Player knows it all: 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, MPEG-4, WMV, and WMA are supported, it also supports most AVI, DivX, MOV, and Xvid files. You can even play DVD discs without needing to install any DVD playing software.
Funny enough, Windows 7 supports encoding and decoding quicktime files (.mov / apple format) in 64 bit, Apple still haven’t achieved that.
There is more, the OS is very smart. Say for example you plug in your mp3 player and you want to add music or videos to it. All you need to do is drag and drop the files there, windows 7 will automatically recognize the device and the formats it supports, converts your files on the fly to match them (both format and dimension) and then puts them in the player. All seamlessly.
The same “Windows Live Essentials” continue to be supported and free. You can download your free movie maker, photo editor, and writer from here.
These packages have just gotten better , movie maker is much easier and faster than before, photo editor has all the basic stuff a home user would need like fixing red eyes, cropping and resizing images, it even has a very smart panoramic image making tool. Just select the images and it automatically detects the connectors and creates a nice panoramic image for you. Tested it 3 times and the result was awesome each time.
The new shortcuts make life much easier. If you usually compare different windows or web pages, or say like to open windows side by side, you can either use windows button + an arrow button (right aligns your window to the right of the screen, left aligns it to the left of the screen, top maximizes it) and the trick is done. Example: (window + right arrow) for my blog on IE, (window + left arrow) for my blog on FF and there you go, quick comparison side by side.
Alternatively, you can drag the windows to the right edge, left edge, or top of the screen, that does the same thing. Microsoft folk call this feature: “snap”.
Rolling over any window title on the task bar (minimized windows) will show you a small preview of the content of that window, rollover on the preview and you get a large preview of the screen, no need to click anything. Microsoft dudes call this: “peek”.
Similarly, if you roll over the edge of the task bar (next to time and date at the far right) then all windows are minimized temporarily and you get to see your desktop, roll away and they are all back.
My favorite one is what Microsoft guys call: “shake”. Say you have 5 windows open at the same time; however, you want to keep one and minimize all the rest; usually, you would need to minimize all windows then reopen the one you need. No need to do that anymore, just grab the window you want to keep open and shake it (right and left) All other windows will be minimized while it stays open. Do that again and the other windows will be restored.
On windows media player library view, you will see a new “stream” menu. This menu allows you to enable streaming of your media library content online so you can access it from anywhere using any machine with windows 7. The beauty is that it is linked via a live ID, hence your MSN id for example, no need to go through all the trouble of stream setup, this is more like stream on demand service.
You can also allow other users on the network to control the player on the machine remotely, or to control a whole media device remotely. This is very useful in case you have multiple machines or devices around the house. You can customize a play list on the machine you are at, then right click and say “play on the other machine” or another device which could a wireless player or stereo.
I am a geek and I usually find myself in need of virtual machines (mostly to run other operating systems). Get this, windows has a free virtual PC software which you can download from here. You can also download the XP package for it again for free from the same link.
I am currently running Windows Virtual PC with XP on it and it is superb. Full control on settings, resources, drivers, etc. No need for 3rd party stuff or expensive wares.
If you are a musician, a video editor, or a DJ and you’ve used Vista, you would have experienced first hand how frustrating and painful it is to record or edit music at your home machine. Apparently, Vista used to share system resources between video and audio which caused stutter in many cases and small lags and delays in others during the recording / editing process.
Windows 7 is much smarter; it completely isolates the resources for each, so regardless what you do that is video (VGA) related, it won’t affect or influence your audio processes performance. Great for home musicians
Those are the things that make me really appreciate Windows 7 in addition to the obvious basic stuff of course like stability and security. To be fair to vista, windows 7 carried on many good things from it like drive access speed (copying and moving files) and network speed and what have you, it was the lab rat that led to 7.
A couple of things would have made windows 7 even cooler:
This time Microsoft got it right trust me, and that is largely due to the fact that they launched Windows 7 beta ages before they released the OS full version.
Have your tried it yet?