Some overview about the new release of Windows 7
Ever since Microsoftís PDC two weeks ago there has been a lot of Windows 7 news floating around the web. Microsoft has a lot of the OS on display and they even let select parties have access to an early build. This early build, number 6801, is pre-beta, but have some features (locked and unlocked) that are in the later releases. Windows 7 will not officially beta until some time in early 2009, but we have been playing around with it for a little while now and wanted to put up some video of it in action.
In this article we will just be focusing on certain aspects of the OS. For a great overview of Windows 7 you can check out this FAQ. In case you are curious, we have been testing with Windows 7 Ultimate.
First off, there are some UI changes. The Ribbon UI (from Office 2007) has been added to Paint and Wordpad. Additionally, the calculator was upgraded. So nothing too huge, but some nice incremental updates.
So far the change in Windows 7 that has generated the most press has been the Superbar. This is actually locked in build 6801, probably because itís still in its very early stages, but someone figured out how to unlock it. Once itís unlocked you can see that itís flashy and functional, but not that different from the standard taskbar. The version on display at PDC was improved and it should be even better before the beta, once itís closer to being finished.
Everyone has also been talking about Windows 7 landing on netbooks. After all, Microsoftís solution for netbooks has been to put XP on them and that just wonít do once the new OS is out (XP will be about eight years old at that point). So we loaded 7 up on Lenovoís IdeaPad S10. The installation went extremely smoothly, but I had a bit of trouble with WiFi down the road, some tinkering would probably solve this, but more examination is necessary. Aside from this, preliminary testing went through without incident. At idle there were 33 processes running and physical memory usage was 41% of the systemís 1GB.
Here are videos of the netbook booting up and shutting down:
As you can see, itís not breaking any record but the times were reasonable. The computer navigated the operating system without any major slowdowns and though it felt sluggish during the installation of Flash it played Hulu.com videos perfectly, with CPU utilization floating between 30-40% (tested over ethernet). Windows 7 worked even better on the Fujitsu P8010, which has a bit more power under the hood.
Windows 7 is still in pre-beta so itís much too early to make any judgement calls. Casual use of 6801 does not reveal many signficant changes from Vista, but they are there. Some are locked, most arenít noticeable during general activity, and some we probably donít know about yet. We do know that that we have an interesting year ahead of us! We should have some more testing and video one weíve spent some more time with it.
Mentality of school children.