While Windows 7 officially releases October 22, 2009, I already have the Professional x86 edition activated and humming along on my PC notebook thanks to the MSDNAA benefits I get from my post secondary institution, and I’m thrilled to say that I’m rather impressed with Microsoft’s latest OS in a frank comparison to Vista.

While I used Vista for a little under a month, I found it became very unusable in short period of time. Some of my issues with Vista included but were not limited to things like the Task Manager not ending unresponsive applications/processes even when I clicked the “End Process” button numerous times, the UAC (User Account Control); which I ended up disabling because it was like having a babysitter controling everything you did in the OS, and the wi-fi toggle kept wonking out fairly often, which led to an OS I had to downgrade to XP even though the machine had Vista pre-installed on it.

Windows 7 changes this completely by correcting many of Vista’s issues while adding other new, but incredibly handy features to increase productivity workflow. Three of these great features are Aero Peek, Shake, and Snap, which allow you to quickly view the desktop to look at Gadgets (aka Widgets), click and shake the top of a windows to minimize/maximize all windows on the Desktop, and also allow you to drag a window to the extreme left/right of a screen to make it fit half the screen, or drag it to the top to maximize it.

Another major change in 7 is the Taskbar, which has been completely overhauled to display one icon which represents all the windows open to that application. I really love this feature as the Taskbar remains much cleaner while making it easier to navigate between windows in a particular application. Microsoft also cleaned up the System Tray hiding icons automatically unless you explicitly allow them to be shown in the Taskbar, another nice touch.

The biggest factor in Windows 7 for me has to be its stability. Since installing Windows 7 I haven’t run into any major issues that required me to stop what I was doing to fix a major issue. Applications haven’t crashed once for me yet.

Nothing is perfect however, but the only major annoyance I came across so far in my experience with it would be the UAC. Although Microsoft provided a slider to adjust what kinds of warnings it would prompt you about, I had to end up disabling it in the end because it wouldn’t let me load my iTunes Library from my ext. HD. This still needs to be fixed and adjusted accordingly or the security measures it imposes will be downright annoying to deal with everytime you want to open an application that “makes changes to your system”.

So in conclusion I’d have to give Microsoft a hand for doing this version of Windows right, and hopefully they won’t make a mistake like Vista ever again.

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