Monday, January 26, 2009

Windows 7 Rocks

I must confess, since installing Windows 7 on my MacBook a couple of weeks ago, I haven't booted to Mac OS X at all. It's not that I don't love Mac OS X, but I've been so happy with Windows 7, that I am using it as my main operating system and don't plan on changing things until August 1, 2009 (when the beta expires). I was experiencing major problems with wireless connectivity under Windows XP on my MacBook (using the Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter built in to my 13", 2.4Ghz black MacBook running Windows XP under Boot Camp). Wireless connectivity under Windows XP would be intermittent and slow. But, these issues now seem to be mostly resolved with the new drivers that come with Windows 7.

Okay, driver issues are one thing, but what's so neat about Windows 7? One of the nice things that I've noticed about Windows 7, for example, is how it treats recent documents. In prior versions of Windows (including Vista), there is a Recent or Recent Documents item under the start menu. With Windows 7, you simply right-click the program icon on your taskbar (whether the program is running or not), and it instantly displays a list of recent documents that you opened with that program. I'm finding that I am using this feature all the time now!

Having gone from Windows XP straight to Windows 7 beta 1, I am very happy with the slickness, nimbleness, and overall robustness in this beta release. Windows 7 beta 1 does not feel like a beta release, but we have to remember that it still is. Getting used to the new taskbar took me a day or two, but I actually prefer it over the old format with textual labels (even though you can still turn the old taskbar format back on if desired). I have had some issues with iTunes in Windows 7. I get some screen flicker and have had my screen black out while syncing my iPod touch under iTunes. As developers work on new releases of their programs for Windows 7, these issues will be resolved in time. For a beta release, Windows 7 is promising, and will likely give Microsoft some extra traction. Windows 7 beta will be available for download until Feb. 10, 2009.

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