Students and the Windows 7 release candidate

Students and the Windows 7 release candidate

Summary: For many, Windows 7 has become a bit of a bore, with little news and nothing more than speculation due to Sinofsky's Gestapo marketing tactics. Over the last week, the Engineering 7 blog, the official blog behind the next generation operating system, gave a detailed outline of all the finalised features.

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For many, Windows 7 has become a bit of a bore, with little news and nothing more than speculation due to Sinofsky's Gestapo marketing tactics. Over the last week, the Engineering 7 blog, the official blog behind the next generation operating system, gave a detailed outline of all the finalised features. But which features are important to students?

Newly installed programs

Students will often have to install new applications to ensure they are getting the best out of their studies. Whether it's an application directly related to studying, such as Microsoft Office, SSPS or Java NetBeans, you'll end up using it quite a bit.

The release candidate (the "set-in-stone" version of Windows 7) will ensure newly installed programs won't be automatically added to the taskbar, but will be temporarily added to the bottom of the Start menu for quick use.

Quick change to other power configurations

As most students use laptops to get around and about, study and research with, watch videos and play games on, having multiple power plans available to the user is of essential importance.

You can be working on a really important essay just before a deadline, ready to print and your laptop runs out of charge. Being able to modify the power plan with an-almost flick of a switch is important. This has now been changed to add the "High performance" in the taskbar to give better balance.

Multi-touch keyboard

For the lucky ones with a multi-touch enabled machine, the ability to use the on-screen keyboard with natural touch has been added. No longer do you have to single tap the Shift key then move to a function; now you can touch and hold the Shift key whilst pressing another key to bring up a shortcut or extra character. Whilst this may seem like a simple change, this will greatly improve how you interact with your computer.

Better native support for multimedia formats

The amount of times I've downloaded a video to watch and was unable to view it because of a dodgy file type. Windows 7 will now support more filetypes, including the .mov filetype - the main Apple Quicktime, format which could well see Quicktime becoming a format of the past.

Device Stage now supports more devices

I've taken the time to write about Device Stage before and the potential it has, and with the release candidate just around the corner, you'll find more and more devices supported. Hardware makers and OEM's are being drawn in to make sure more hardware devices are recognised, customised and ready for Windows.

To view the Device Stage screenshot gallery, click here.

This, of course, will make things easier when walking into the university library and are presented with half a dozen networked printers at your disposal.

These are only a small handful of improvements which will benefit the student in the long run. You can read more about Windows 7 through my coverage, and both the ZDNet Microsoft bloggers here and here.

Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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9 comments
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  • As a consultant, & once again a student

    I find Windows 7 to be of utterly no interest.

    I am not fond of any of the changes that Vista or Windows 7 has brought.

    I do see the power function changes as useful, so that's 1 useful change.

    BTW, do you have a touch screen? I have yet to see one actually in use, or for sale.
    chrome_slinky@...
    • Touch Screens...

      Er.. They've got these things called TABLET PCs... You know - laptops that can be convertible to extra large PDA mode.

      Just because you don't personally have one doesn't mean other people don't. They weren't really super popular (mostly due to the high cost) when they came out a few years back, but this kinda thing might make them more popular.
      Wolfie2K3
      • Two different technologies.

        Nope, they are two different technologies.

        [b]Tablet:[/b] [i]Requires[/i] a stylus (can't use finger), uses electromagnetism that detects if the stylus is near the screen but not touching it (called "hovering"). Allows the stylus to "click" the screen when the screen is touched.

        The nice thing about tablets is that you could control mouse position by "hovering" and could command clicks by touching the screen. You don't get that with current touch technologies. Everything is basically a click with current touch technologies.

        [b]Touch:[/b] Can only detect if finger or stylus is actually touching the screen (no "hovering"). In recent years, now allows detection of multiple fingers/styluses (multitouch).

        The new touch stuff is not quite as nice as the Tablet PCs, but cheaper. I think price is what really killed the Tablet PC technology.

        . . . a former Tablet PC owner and current Palm device owner.
        CobraA1
        • No

          Not really, no. Some TabletPCs use integrated wacom tablets, others use resistive touch screens. I've seen and used both kinds- my current laptop has a resistive touchscreen.
          jepzilla
    • New touch

      Here's a link to a newly released touch screen.

      http://venturebeat.com/2009/03/02/demo-always-innovatings-touch-
      book-sounds-amazing-can-it-deliver/

      As for Windows 7, I'm running the beta on a Lenovo S10 netbook and it's
      great. It's better than Vista and hugely better than XP.

      I can't wait for the official release, and that's saying a lot because I'm a
      Mac user primarily.
      clarnT
  • WTF????

    WTF - "..due to Sinofsky?s Gestapo marketing tactics."

    Are you smoking anything this week Zac? And why, oh why do you resort to such gutter statements like the one above?

    Please explain what 'gestapo' tactics Sinofsky has rolled out.
    Martin_Australia
    • ditto

      Zack's ultra-hyperbole is both excessive and exaggerated . . .

      Hey if Sinofsky is Gestapo what does that make Jobs?

      eggmanbubbagee@...
  • Students . . .

    "As most students use laptops to get around and about . . ."

    Maybe at MIT or some other expensive college. Although I do see a lot of laptops at college, it's nowhere near "most." It's more like 5-10%, maybe a bit less. Most people are still using the classic pencil & paper.

    "For the lucky ones with a multi-touch enabled machine"

    Extremely lucky. I don't think I've ever seen one.

    . . . and in all honesty, I prefer a physical keyboard. The touch screen should be used with a stylus for handwriting and drawing diagrams.

    If I *ever* get a laptop with a touch sensitive screen, I'm getting one that also comes with a physical keyboard. There's no way I'm going with a PC with no keyboard.

    It's too bad the Tablet PC never caught on - that device was very nice to use. I eventually had to sell mine, though, as I was tight on money.
    CobraA1
  • RE: Students and the Windows 7 release candidate

    I agree. That was an odd statement and seemed uncalled for without justification.
    DevStar