Major benefits of Windows 7?

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bouliche_70

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Hi there,

I switched to Windows 7 beta a couple of weeks ago.
So far I am not impressed.
I like very much the ability to shift the location of the different icons in the taskbar.
But other than that I do not see a lot of major improvements.
What are the main advantages you think Windows 7 bring to the table?

I might have missed some...

Thanks!

 

cjl

Splendid
The big one is speed, but overall, it just feels more natural than Vista or XP to me. It's hard to describe exactly what it is, but after using 7 for a while on my laptop, my desktop just doesn't feel quite as smooth or intuitive. It also added a solid 20-30min to the battery life of my laptop compared to vista.
 

mford66215

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Major benefit to Windows 7 is that it allows you to use your hardware for something other than bios post watching........

minor benefits include - it's going to be supported for a while, not like XP (which I'm gonna miss) and the ability to load your favorite...um...what is your favorite?

/edit - yes, it's called sarcasm. happen to have it in supply, kinda overstocked - gotta move it out while it's here.
 

Jake_Barnes

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Nice reply - I like the battery life advantage :)
 

stoner133

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I'm no expert so I have no idea how an operating system would effect power use in your laptop, so I wouldn't even try to address that. But I did a clean install of Windows 7 64 bit on a spare drive. I have a hot swap cage in my desktop computer. I pulled my Vista Ulitmate 64 bit drive out and put in the drive with 7 installed and I see no increase in bootup speeds over Vista. I have yet to try any games on 7 to see if it benifits them. But so far I agree its just a repackaged Vista, but that is still just my first impression.
 

Scotteq

Splendid
http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/ff.asp

Accessibility improvements. Microsoft has revamped the accessibility features in Windows 7 with improved speech recognition and a new Magnifier utility with full-screen and lens-mode views.

Action Center. While previous versions of Windows included a feature called Windows Security Center that monitored the various security features of the system, Windows 7 takes this functionality to the next level with Action Center. In addition to monitoring security, Action Center also monitors the OS's maintenance features and consolidates alerts from numerous Windows features into a single interface.

Aero Peek. This replacement for Show Desktop in Windows 7 lets you "peek" behind all of the open windows on your desktop and easily view and Windows Gadgets or files on your desktop. You can also peek into the contents of specific open windows.

Aero Snaps. By dragging open windows in certain ways, you can "snap" them to the edges of the screen, maximize, or minimize. This obviates the need to click tiny onscreen elements, making these features more accessible to users.

Backup and Restore. Windows Vista's stellar backup and restore features have been streamlined and simplified in Windows 7. Like its predecessor, Windows 7 supports both data backup and image-based system backup, but now the UIs are more segregated.

Bitlocker To Go. The full-drive encryption feature that first debuted in Windows Vista has been updated in Windows 7 to support removable USB storage devices like flash memory drives and portable hard drives.

Blu-Ray support. Windows 7 natively supports Blu-Ray optical discs and enables you to write to Blu-Ray recordable media.

Calculator. The Windows Calculator utility inexplicably receives a major upgrade in Windows 7 with calculation history, unit conversion, calculation templates, data calculations, and other new features.

Device Stage. This Longhorn-style user experience will be made available for multi-function devices such as smart phones, multifunction printers, portable media players, and the like. Through this UI, you'll be able to access the features that are unique to each device. Each Device Stage page can be extensively customized by the device maker.

Devices and Printers. This activity center provides a central location for interacting with any hardware devices--digital cameras, mice, displays, keyboards, and the like--that may be attached to your PC.

DirectAccess. This feature is aimed at business users who need to securely access corporate network resources while away from the office. Essentially a simple replacement for VPN connections, DirectAccess requires Windows Server 2008 R2 on the server-side.

DirectX 11. Windows 7 includes the latest version of the DirectX multimedia libraries.

Display improvements. Windows 7 includes numerous improvements related to computer displays, including integrated display color calibration, improved high DPI support, ClearType, and improved support for external displays. A new Windows Key + P keyboard shortcut helps you easily switch between connected displays.

Getting Started. This replacement for Windows Vista's Welcome Center no longer appears the first time you boot into the Windows desktop, but it still provides a central location for discovering new features, personalizing the system, transferring data from your previous Windows PC, and discovering and launching other common tasks.

HomeGroup. Microsoft has consolidated the most common network-based sharing tasks into a single simple interface called HomeGroup. Computers in a HomeGroup can easily share documents, digital media files, and printers over a home network.

Internet Explorer. Windows 7 ships with the latest version of Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer 8.

Libraries. In Windows 7, Microsoft has realized a long-term goal to replace the static special shell folders from previous Windows versions and replace them with virtualized shell locations that aggregate content from a variety of physical locations. Libraries are implemented as virtual folders and the views they present are the results of search queries. Libraries are also the basis for HomeGroup file and digital media content sharing.

Location-Aware Printing. Windows 7 utilizes different default printers for each of the network locations you've configured on the system so you won't mistakenly print a child's school project to the work printer. When you're at work, you'll print to the work printer, and when you're at home, you'll print to the home printer.

MinWin. The componentized core of Windows 7, which includes both the traditional operating system kernel as well as the minimum necessary surrounding support technologies to create a bootable (and, for Microsoft, testable) system. Note that, in Windows 7, MinWin isn't a feature per se but is rather the foundation upon which the rest of the OS is built.

Paint. The Paint utility that's been in Windows from the very first version receives its first significant upgrade in decades, and now sports the new Scenic Ribbon toolbar.

Parental Controls. The parental control functionality that debuted in Windows Vista is updated in Windows 7 to support multiple games rating systems and parental control providers.

Power Config. Windows 7 includes a new Power Config utility that provides reports identifying problems, settings, applications, and other things that may be reducing the power efficiency of your PC.

Problem Steps Recorder. Windows 7 includes a new utility called the Problem Steps Recorder that captures screen shots of the steps a user is taking so that help desk personnel can provide a fix without physically having to visit the desktop.

ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost first appeared in Windows Vista, providing users with a way to cheaply and easily improve the performance of their PCs by utilizing a USB memory key as a memory cache. In Windows 7, ReadyBoost is improved in numerous way: It supports multiple memory devices, can work with USB memory keys, Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, and other internal flash devices, and supports over 4 GB of storage.

Scenic Ribbon. Microsoft has evolved the Ribbon toolbar from Office 2007 and made it part of the operating system in Windows 7. This new version of the Ribbon, called the scenic Ribbon, is used by two Windows 7 applications, Paint and WordPad, and can be used by third party applications going forward as well.

Sensor support. Windows 7 includes support for hardware-based sensors, including GPS-based location sensors.

Start Menu (Enhanced). The Windows 7 Start Menu is an enhanced version of the Start Menu that debuted in Windows Vista.

Startup Repair. While this useful tool did debut with Windows Vista, it wasn't installed on PCs by default. In Windows 7, it is installed into the OS partition automatically and appears automatically when the system can't boot properly, fixing any problems and returning the system to its normal booting state.

Sticky Notes. The Sticky Notes utility loses the bizarre Windows XP-style interface from previous Windows versions and supports ink and text input.

Styles. In Windows 7, Microsoft combines various system preferences--including the desktop background, the Aero glass window color, the system sounds, and the screen saver--into styles you can customize, save, and share with others.

System Restore. The Windows 7 version of System Restore works as before, providing a way to non-destructively return a PC to a previous point in time, but is more reliable, predictable, and effective than its predecessors.

Tablet PC. After making Tablet PC functionality available more broadly in Windows Vista, Microsoft is improving this technology in Windows 7 with better handwriting recognition that has improved accuracy, speed, and support for math expressions, personalized custom dictionaries, and 13 new languages.

User Account Control. While much reviled by certain users, the User Account Control (UAC) feature that debuted in Windows Vista played a huge role in making that system the most secure Windows version yet. In Windows 7, UAC is extensively updated to be less annoying, and the overall system has been fine-tuned to minimize the number of UAC prompts that interrupt users.

View Available Networks. Windows 7 includes a new Jump List-based utility for finding and connecting to Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, dial-up, and VPN connections. Unlike the similar UI in Windows Vista, this utility, called View Available Networks, does not require you to navigate through a series of dialogs and windows.

Virtual Hard Disk support. Windows 7 allows you to mount a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) as a drive in Explorer so that you can navigate its contents like a physical hard disk. It also supports the ability to boot from VHD images.

VPN Reconnect. Windows 7 users who still need to make traditional VPN connections will benefit from a new VPN Reconnect feature that automatically reestablishes a VPN connection when you temporarily lose Internet connectivity.

Windows Anytime Upgrade. This utility debuted in Windows Vista but was found to be too confusing for most users, so the electronic upgrade capability was removed. In Windows 7, Windows Anytime Upgrade returns to electronic upgrading and Microsoft promises you'll be able to upgrade from one version of Windows 7 to another in about 10 minutes now.

Windows Defender. The malware and spyware protection utility from Windows Vista continues in Windows 7 with a few changes: It's been integrated into the new Action Center and its centralized notification system. But Defender also drops the useful Software Explorer feature, so users will have to look elsewhere for a way to prevent unwanted applications from running a startup.

Windows Easy Transfer. The Windows Easy Transfer utility that debuted in Windows Vista has been substantially updated with a new user interface and new capabilities. As before, Easy Transfer helps you transfer files, folders, and program and system settings from your previous Windows install to your new one. This time around, however, the process is simpler and more streamlined.

Windows Explorer. Microsoft has significantly updated Windows Explorer yet again in Windows 7, this time with a new toolbar, a resizable search box, and a new navigational pane.

Windows Gadgets. The Windows Sidebar disappears in Windows 7, but the Gadgets continue on and are integrated with the desktop.

Windows Live. Windows 7 integrates with a growing collection of Windows Live services, including Windows Live Photos, Windows Live Profile, Windows Live People, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Home, Windows Live SkyDrive, Windows Live Groups, Windows Live Calendar, Windows Live Events, Windows Live Hotmail, and more.

Windows Live Essentials. Available as an optional download, Windows Live Essentials is an application suite that includes a number of new versions of classic Windows applications, including Windows Live Mail (email and calendar), Windows Live Photo Gallery (photos), Windows Live Messenger (instant messaging), Windows Live Movie Maker (video editing), Windows Live Family Safety (enhanced parental controls), and more.

Windows Media Center. Microsoft's ten-foot UI for digital media content is improved with a slightly enhanced user interface, multi-touch support, HomeGroup integration, and various global broadcast TV standards.

Windows Media Player. Microsoft's media player received a major makeover in Windows 7 with several new features, including enhanced DVD playback, a new lightweight playback mode, dramatically improved format compatibility (including AAC and H.264), Windows Taskbar Jump List customization, PC-to-PC and media streaming, and a new Play To feature.

Windows PowerShell. Windows 7 ships with the Windows PowerShell 2.0 scripting environment and the Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE).

Windows Search. Windows 7 comes with the latest version of Windows Search, and unlike the version that first shipped with Windows Vista, you can now obtain instant search results from network-based file shares as well as local hard drives. Microsoft has also improved the performance of local searches, sorting, and grouping.

Windows Taskbar (Enhanced). The Windows Taskbar has been dramatically enhanced in Windows 7 to minimize clutter. New Taskbar features like Jump Lists, fly-over and full-screen icon previews, and more.

Windows Touch. Windows 7 builds on the Tablet PC and touch capabilities from previous Windows versions and adds pervasive support for multi-touch. All of the major UI components, including the Start Menu, Windows Taskbar, and Explorer, are touch-friendly in Windows 7.

Windows Troubleshooting. This new Windows 7 feature diagnoses and resolves common operating system and hardware issues. It works automatically, or you can visit the Troubleshooting control panel to find problems to troubleshoot. Windows Troubleshooting integrates with Action Center so you'll be notified when relevant new troubleshooters from Microsoft and third parties are made available.

Windows Update. Microsoft's utility for downloading and installing system updates has been enhanced in Windows 7 to take advantage of changes in the security model and to better expose optional and featured updates.

Wireless Device Network. Finally, Windows gains a way to use your wireless-equipped laptop as a wireless access point for other PCs when you're connected to a wired network.

WordPad. The simple word processor continues into Windows 7 with the new Scenic Ribbon UI and several editing improvements.

XPS Viewer. While Windows Vista users are forced to use Internet Explorer to view XML Paper Specification (XPS) documents--essentially Microsoft's PDF knock-off--Windows 7 gains a dedicated XPS Viewer application.
 

badge

Illustrious
M$ has a much improved 'BETA tester' network these days. When Windows XP was released it took until SP2 to get a Security Center. The five people used as BETA testers were ignorant of the 27,356 instances of virus and spyware present on their machines. M$ engineers blew them off as nOObs and XP haters. Dude.
 

randomizer

Champion
Moderator

I was being sarcastic. In any case, while there are differences, it is not like going from XP to Vista. I think it was a good move, but I certainly hope the next Windows is not built on the same kernel but with more glass.
 

cjl

Splendid
I agree, it wasn't like the XP-Vista transition. I would argue though that XP-Vista was a more drastic transition than usual - look at 95-98, 98-2000, or even 2000-XP. None were as significant a change as XP-Vista was.
 

keither5150

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I went back to Vista 64 bit. Other than the cool taskbar I see no benefit to upgrade at this time. New users will find the UI easier to navigate.

It doesn't boot faster for me. I ran gaming benchmarks and found that 7 does not perform as well as vista. This is most likely a ATI driver issue.

Many users will find it too pretty to resist.
 

bouliche_70

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Thanks everyone for all your feedback, I have to admitt I get used to it.
Of course there are still a lot of bugs.
I will have to look into the battery like improvement...
 

techdeuce

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Ok here is the things I hate.

1. windows is a menu, I don't need/want a 10gb menu.
2. the network center still sucks. Sometimes you can still ping a dns name and get replies but still not surf the internet. How are you supposed to
support that.
3. I don't care about fancy neat looking themes. win2000 was fine.
4. Speed was touted in the press releases, and it is a tad faster than vista, but 2000 is still a lot faster.



The things I like:

puppy linux
ubuntu
Dos 5 with dosshell
novell 3.12
openoffice
staroffice
win2000 with nothing but sp4 added.

 

techdeuce

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MS should have taken win2000 after it got stable at sp2 and started making it smaller and faster. You know, increasing the speed of the code and making it smaller. What they did now is take a computer of today that is 5-10 times faster (hardware wise) than the one that is 4 years older, add vista, now it is 2-3 times slower than the older computer is with XP or 2000. Doesn't make sense to buy it if it is slower. Do an experiment, see if you can put window 95 on a newish machine, see how fast it runs now? if you can get it to load. How about window 3.1?

Its like this. If I have a sports car with a fast engine, that car likes to go fast and I want to drive it faster. I want to put it in a race. As I make my race plans to change the car, instead of making improvements to the car for speed I took the body of the car off and gave it the body of a tour bus. Sure the bus is painted all fancy with OZZy pictures and its got a fancy water bed inside, but it sure ain't gonna win no races.
GIVE ME SOME REAL SPEED, not "SPEED" FROM THE PR dept.

As far as fancy goes however, it should be a widget. You could have the theme programmers as a seperate class of job. The graphic designers would have had another place to work on. Build the theme like a webpage as a whole seperate element to windows. Somone wants AERO? they could go download the aero theme from the APP STORE for WINDOWS for $2. Someone actually wants the firewall that MS has? get it at the APP store for $.50. Want to change your theme? just drag the widget for the new theme onto the desktop and it changes. ALL seperate functions. Dunno about you, it just makes some sense to me.

Sorry to junk up the OP's thread, I felt the need to rant. I didn't think vista or 7 were improvements on anything except 7 is somewhat faster than vista when you click to open an explorer window.
 

incurablegeek

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-------------------------
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Not knowing just how to post a reply since this forum is a bit different from the others of which I am a member, I shall post my limited comments here:

1) The fellow who commented that some members/posters need to get a life was SPOT ON. There's too much posturing.

2) As a Newbie to computers with only 25 years experience, I so dislike the Rubix Cube circular speak of some members, the sarcasm, ie "repackaged Vista" and the oh-so-clever' technobabble of the no-nothings, ie "my rig", have a hot swap cage", etc.

Sorry but I am desperate for clearly stated info about Win 7 RC. My business depends on it.

3) The contributor to whom I am responding has made a REAL CONTRIBUTION. In philosophy we say it is more important to ask the right question than to get an answer. To that end, this member, as with the fellow who commented about extended battery life with Win 7, are to be both APPRECIATED AND RESPECTED.

4) By way of conjecture, XP is dead, 32 bit is dead -- and will not be supported. My opinion: MS's best OS have been Win 3.11 for workgroups, Win NT 4.0 (couldn't kill it) and now Win XP Pro (dead and buried).

5) THE WORLD IS MOVING TO 64 BIT. Accept it or continue to teethe on your rattle.

6) Why? 32 bit only can address 3.45 GB. of RAM.


Happy days to all - and thanks for the meaningful and most helpful posts. Dennis@ incurablegeek@yahoo.com
 

frozenlead

Splendid



1. Get lives? What are you talking about? No one has mentioned anything of the sort. Not that I read, anyway.
2. 25 years experience and you didn't know that hot-swap is a technical term? The rest are just jargon. This is a public, non-professional forum. If you need answers that have words larger than 30 letters, find yourself a PhD in CS. This forum is not required to give you information, don't expect it to. We all talk here for fun and help each other because we want to.
3. The person you quoted didn't make a contribution, they simply copied and pasted some facts from a site. They inserted someone else's ideas, not their own. I didn't know anyone that was disrespecting anyone here, but apparently you think so.
4. You say that 3.1, NT, and XP were the best OSs, and I disagree. I think Vista is their best finished OS, and 7 will likely take that position when they come out with it. I don't know how you can say such outdated technology is the best ever. Those OSs can't do half of what the newer ones can.
5 & 6. I don't believe anyone was talking about 64/32 bit OS support pros and cons. What are you getting at?
 

badge

Illustrious



Very, very good points. You did fail to mention his acute ability to make random stabs at composition appear as a review of a public online tech forum.
 

incurablegeek

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1) Re "get lives", I was referring to a prior comment that I found both funny and to the point:

"The more I read the forums, the more I feel that a number of individuals would be well served by skipping their next GPU purchase in favor of a little "Stress Relief" from the local Working Girls

2) Yes, I know that was a a collection/listing from elsewhere - but I found it very helpful in prompting me to ask the right questions in the future.

3) Re: "I think Vista is their best finished OS"

All I can, son, is you are in a herd of one. Btw, Vista is dead, actually never was alive.

4) I don't know how much you hammer an OS in your daily work/use but I can say from experience that 3.11 for workgroups, then 3.51 --> 4.0 NT were bulletproof OS.

If you assert that Win 98 was quite the Gold Standard, then I can rest assured that your knowledge is truly well founded.

5) All I was wishing and hoping for is:

A) Let's separate our evaluations/advice/etc. into 32 bit and 64 bit Win 7. Please.

B) No more cryptic, cutesy comments ending with "Oh, I was just being sarcastic". Please let's be serious and try to avoid jargon that only obfuscates and confuses, ie the KISS method.


6) MOST OF THE POSTS HERE ARE DARNED HELPFUL. As you can tell, I am an unabashed newbie to Win 7 64 bit. But then a MS tech rep said I was one of the only few who could make NT 3.51 load and work - when that was a scary cutting edge OS.

7) Just luv the deep water of the future in computers, ie 64 bit. Please kindly refrain from retorting that the 32 bit OS, Vista, and the internal combustion engine are here to stay? To that I shall not reply.

8) I wish all the best and especially thank those who POST SERIOUS AND HELPFUL EVALUATIONS AND COMMENTS on their experience with Win 7. JUST PLEASE BE SO KIND AS TO SPECIFY WHICH YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT: 32 BIT OR 64 BIT.

In conclusion, I know a lot about computers -- which is to say that in this Brave New World of 64 bit I know absolutely nothing about computers. I am quite barefoot and stupid. But then I am from Tennessee. (We don't wear shoes, as you know.)
 

Scotteq

Splendid
I guess I'll revisit this one with a simple observation:


IMHO, it's more valuable to take a little time and identify/copy/paste/link valid information which answers someone's question than it is to spew half thought out commentary.

I'll leave it to others to decide which is which.
 

Zoron

Splendid



Win 2K doesn't support a lot of the new hardware out there... SATA support being a big concern. It was never designed to be a mainstream OS, it was meant to be strictly used as a business OS. Now it could be used for gaming and multimedia... but again, that's not what it was designed to do. It's great on old computers, but it would definately suck on modern hardware. Much like Win 9x, 2K doesn't have a great deal of support anymore.

Of course, you're not a big Windows user anyway... so I can see how your opinion would be slanted away from XP / Vista / Win 7. There is software out there that you can use to trim "unnecassary fat" from all of them before you install: nLite and vLite. I'm sure a similar software suite will be available for Win 7. You complain about features that could easily be left out of Windows, but I can assure you of one thing: there would be many more complaints if MS left them out. People practically had a fit when they realized there were no fax functions in Vista Home Premium. Enthusiasts like yourself are an extremely small minority... the majority of people want those features left exactly where they are. Others wouldn't mind having them left out as long as it was easy to add them later... and paying for them wouldn't fly with a lot of those people. Basically, if someone is buying "Home Premium"... they expect a lot of features to be there... considering the Premium tag at the end.
 

Zoron

Splendid



Vista is far from "dead". Considering that Windows 7 is merely an incremental release with a bit more polish, any positive opinion of Windows 7 must also be shared with Vista. Just because you don't like it or use it doesn't make it dead. The only thing that might interest you as a business user is the fact that you get a Windows XP Pro virtual machine license with Business and Ultimate versions. (Yeah, there's DX 11... but again as a business user, you probably wouldn't care). Other than that, there will be little difference between the two OSes.
 
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