Watching an operating system evolve from a small, worthless lump of Vista, to becoming a unique, beautiful chrysalis of Sevenness, will probably be nothing like watching my godchildren grow up to be young adults, but probably a lot more fun. I love them to bits, like I couldn't possibly describe in words, but my God they wear me out.
People have accused me of jumping ship; from hating Microsoft to loving Microsoft, having someone cover for me who writes about Mac's, and even yesterday when I said, "forget the client, hit the server" instead. Windows 7 is taking shape, and for those who can't stand Vista for all the reasons they have, will find it difficult to hate Windows 7.
For those who hate anything Microsoft related because its Microsoft related, well you can't please everybody.
To quickly run through what it has and doesn't have (because I really want to go to bed):
- It has stability. It may be a pre-beta but it's been running brilliantly with little memory usage, minimal disk usage and no slow-downs.
- It has style. There's no doubt it looks good, and it feels good when using it. It's swish, swift, smooth and suave.
- It has features, here there and everywhere. With sticky notes on the desktop, an XPS viewer which lets you read portable documents outside Internet Explorer, and it has updated every element of every application so far.
On the other hand, let's face it; it's not a finished product.
- It still doesn't have online awareness. There's no element of Windows Live anywhere, except maybe the odd clue which could give us an insight into online services and how they connect in.
- It doesn't have a timeframe of completion. It'd be nice if they'd have it done by next Christmas in time for the holiday season; new laptops for students, perfect time for buying, but we just don't know yet.
- It doesn't let go of the negative Vista commentators. Even though this new operating system feels so independent from its predecessor, there's still a nagging voice in the back of my head saying, "it's Vista, just dressed up a bit."
I must say, the student-related features are on the increase. Forget the fun and the media side; those were and are still expected. The calculator is revamped with a new interface and adding support for real-life calculations and conversions, like weights and length converters. Not only that, for those using tablet functions, the math tablet can be used to transcribe math functions.
I know I keep mentioning these sticky notes, but no longer is my actual monitor littered with Post-it notes stuck all around it, reminding me of all the important things to do. Now they sit on my desktop, and I'm being a little bit more environmentally friendly as a result. Saving trees is what I do in my spare time, by not crumpling up paper and throwing it out straight away.
The way you can store your credentials for networks (available from XP upwards, but defined much better in Windows 7) allows you freedom to have essentially single-sign-on from your own computer. The touch features, allowing you to type almost normally onto your touchscreen device, with a vector-scalable on-screen keyboard is excellent, and has never been better in any other Microsoft product.
I would say, from this point on, it's coming along nicely, and am looking forward to the "beta phase" (there's no Beta 1 or Beta 2, just "beta").