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Mon, 13 Jul 2020 01:40:15 GMT

Feature: Windows 7 beta in screenshots

By Imraneo
Published on Friday, 06th February, 2009

I've always been a Microsoft fanboy, using Windows all the way. I might get flamed for this, but I kinda like the way Microsoft monopolized the PC market with their Windows OS. Frankly, there's nothing wrong with the OS series. In fact, Vista runs perfectly on my current system with speed and all, but then again I've got a 10K rpm WD Raptor hard drive. Despite that, I do feel that Vista should run lighter and faster, instead of just improving design and functionality. Just think about processors and graphic cards. They keep going faster..

MS recently released the beta of their next OS, Windows 7. I tried it and I am pleased with what MS has to offer. I installed it on my secondary aging 250GB hard drive, so I cannot comment on the speed right now. Other reviews around the web state it's blazing fast, comparing to Win XP speeds! I've gathered some screenshots for ya guys to see and expect from Windows 7. Click on the image itself for a bigger image.


Instead of having Vista's security centre, W7 has the action centre. It contains all notifications and also means to troubleshoot your system easily. Lets just say all the notifications are compiled into one area.

I love this feature. When you drag a window beyond the screen left/right edges, it fills up that half of the screen. This is especially great if you have a nice wide screen and need to multi-task.

Like I mentioned earlier, here's the end result of the window. Perfectly sized to fit 50% of your screen. If you happen to drag the window off the top if you screen, it will maximize that window 100%.

I find this unnecessary, but worth mentioning. You can tune cleartype to suit your display in W7.

Vista control panel was a shock to many Window users as there was alot of change in terms of naming and grouping. Most users will choose classic view to have a similar layout as Win XP. In W7, it's the same as Vista, except that there are more tools (not gonna mention here). The items shown here are tiled, with some differences in layout compared to Vista.

Here's the overall desktop. The taskbar has undergone a number of changes. Other than that you'll notice that theres no more sidebar. The gadgets can be placed anywhere on the desktop.

Every program link has associated tasks easily accessible. They're called jumplists and they're available at the start menu, taskbar and possible more places.

Upon right-clicking the icon at the taskbar, you can bring up jumplists as well. Over here, the "frequent" list is associated with Windows explorer. Also note that you can choose to "pin" the application onto the taskbar. That means it will permanently stay on your taskbar, very much like the quick launch tookbars in Vista and Win XP.

Adding gadgets is pretty much the same as in Vista. Right-clicking the desktop will allow quick access to resolution, gadgets and styling.

Getting your PC ready for sharing has never been easy. Just select the items you want to share.

Its called HomeGroup and uses similar pairing method to Media centre extender connection. It's as simple as bluetooth pairing with the passcode provided.

Similar windows are grouped into a single taskbar button as with previous Windows, but in W7, you can view thumbnails of every window. By leaving your mouse pointer over to the specific thumbnail, it hides the other windows (leaving only the outlines) and focuses on that specified window. It's like taking a peek at the particular window, which vanishing other items that get in the way.

W7 comes with a built-in notes software, which adds "post-it" notes on your desktop. I wonder if you can synchronize these notes with your Windows Mobile.. hmm.

MS Paint software has finally been spiced up with the ribbon menu (debuted in Office07). This menu is also found in Wordpad, kicking out the "cheap feeling" while adding more functionality.

The start menu looks very similar to the one in Vista, except that the sub-menu (under "All Programs") has a nice fade-in/out transition. It also can contain jumplists as mentioned earlier. The Windows start orb now looks like it's been induced with lots of energy when clicked on.

The system tray is now very much cleaner and has a sub baloon to hold all of them. You can also override what icons you need to display and what to hide.

Not many changes here in the system info, except that my 4GB RAM shows 4GB here, compared to 3582MB in Vista. Also note that my Windows experience index score is 2.0, which is the lowest component of my system, the HDD. My primary HDD has a score of 5.9 in Vista. One more thing I noticed for other components is that W7 scores are slightly higher than in Vista, which clearly shows W7 is more efficient than Vista in using system resources.

This screen is similar to the one in Vista, except that it colours your glassy taskbar as must as your other windows. This is as opposed to Vista where the colour shade is just slightly coloured over black. Also to note that the taskbar nor windows do not turn opaque when windows are maximised. This is kinda cool and gives a more overall glassy effect!

The troubleshooting section is new and helps a novice user be a one-stop solutiuon to solving system problems. I didn't spend much time on this, and I feel that it might just be a gimmick.

The irritating UAC (User Account Control) can be tuned to bug the user much less. At the default setting, the user will ONLY be notified if a PROGRAM were to make system changes. MS really listened to customers on this one..

I feel that the Media Centre only looks slightly different but works pretty much the same. Nothing big in here.

Here's a shot on media browsing. Has a more clearer and cleaner view.

Well, that's all I got for ya guys. I'm sure there's alot more that Windows7 has to offer. If you have a spare system, do give Windows 7 beta a try. From the reviews so far, it should work fine even on older P4 system.

For discussion on this article, click here.

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