Well, I’ve finally managed to get a look at a beta copy of Windows 7. My initial thoughts are that I quite like the look of it. I don’t use Vista on any of my own PCs – what I have seen of it made me want to avoid it – it seems unnecessarily flashy and annoying. It seems to get in the way of what you want to do and asks everything that you might want to do. I can understand why it was made that way, but I think it is a pain in the neck.
Windows 7, on the other hand seems to have been designed to be very unobtrusive. As far as I have seen so far, it tries to put what you want in the easiest places to get to it, and lets you get on with what you are trying to do without getting in your way. I can’t help thinking that Microsoft might have been taking notes from the way Google Chrome has been designed in some respects.
Comparing it to Windows XP, Microsoft have ditched the classic user interface and start menu (I think they actually did in Vista), which I have always turned on (one of the reasons I have avoided Vista). I think I’ll finally have to get used to a new shell interface for the start menu, taskbar etc., but it looks fairly easy to use and find your way around so that should be ok.
I like some of the little things like windows locking to the side if you drag them there, and the new “show desktop” section on the task bar. I also noticed the ability to have multiple clocks, which I haven’t tried, but it looks useful if you work with people in different time zones.
I’m not sure about the way that Control Panel has been reorganised, but it doesn’t look too bad – I think I prefer it to the Windows XP default. They’ve probably done a good job of it, but it is hard to overcome people’s natural resistance to change.
I’m going to have to have more of a play with it when I get the chance, but that was my initial review.