Windows 7 made its public debut on May 5, 2009 in the form of RC1. Surprisingly, we had no problems getting our hands on both the 32 and 64 bit versions on the very first day. Once downloaded, we burned the ISO files to DVD and began installing RC1 on a Windows Vista machine that was no longer in use. The installation itself took under twenty minutes and we soon booted into the new Windows environment for the first time and realized it was…wait for it…Windows Vista.
This isn’t the Windows Vista most people despise, however. It has been cleaned up and not only appears leaner, but it runs amazingly fast. The speed of this new Windows Operating System will become its trademark. While Windows XP wasn’t horribly slow, Vista became known as the resource hog that required four gigs of RAM to run respectably. Our test machine ran okay with Vista with two gigs, but in comparison, Windows 7 loads and runs much faster than Vista.
We have no idea whose fish this is, but it is the first thing you see when you boot into the Desktop. The desktop itself is sparse. Aside from the fish, there is a single, empty trash can. There are no silly gadgets cluttering up the desktop (but you can add them with a click of the mouse).
Even the taskbar has faded into the background, choosing to be less prominent than its predessors glossy black finish. This taskbar only contains the Start button, an IE icon, an Explorer Folder and a Windows Media Player icon.
We did notice right away that there is no Quick Launch area. Apparently, you can pin and unpin items to the taskbar, which makes the Quick Launch obsolete. The absence of all of those icons down by the Start button makes for a cleaner look. No longer will applications be able to secretly insert their shortcut icon to your taskbar. Users will need to add it manually if they want.
Another quick thing we noticed was Paint. Yes, we looked. Paint has always been that hard to use utility in Windows that served as a very basic graphics editor. The new Paint looks much better and will allow users to actually create graphics.
There is a lot more to Windows 7 for this, we’re sure. Just opening the control panel and noticing all of the fluff they removed from Vista tells us Microsoft went through Vista and scraped out the garbage that made people turn their backs on Windows.
This epic public release of RC1 is Microsoft’s way of getting the word out on this great new OS. Since anyone can use and it, people will be anxious to purchase the full version when it launches sometime this year.
To download and install Windows 7 RC1, you’ll need to register, have the ability to burn a .ISO file to DVD and maybe have Vista drivers on hand. Even though Windows 7 found most of the hardware and automatically installed their drivers, we did have one issue with a sound card on our test machine. But that was quickly resolved.
If you have any questions or comments about Windows 7, be sure to visit our computer forums today!