Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 7 for the first time at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles three weeks ago. That public unveiling and the widespread availability of a pre-beta release of the Windows 7 code (build 6801) inspired a slew of first looks (including mine). But after that initial flurry of activity, most of the interest quickly subsided.
Since returning from PDC, Iíve been installing and using Windows 7 on a variety of hardware platforms (eight distinct desktop and portable systems so far). My immediate goal is to learn as much as possible so I can begin writing Windows 7 Inside Out. And thereís plenty to learn. The deeper I dive into Windows 7, the more I discover, including subtle changes and tweaks that arenít obvious in a first look. In this post and its accompanying image gallery, Iíll share some of those details with you.
As I work with the new OS, Iím finding myself paying much more attention to small details. In fact, Windows 7 is the first Windows release Iíve ever used that looks like it was designed and not just bolted together from projects built in parallel by disconnected development teams. In the two-plus years since Windows Vista was released, critics have noted its many user interface inconsistencies Ė Long Zheng even put together the Aero Taskforce web site to highlight the most egregious examples. Many of those flaws have been fixed in Windows 7. In many cases, you have to compare the two systems side by side to notice the difference. Iíve highlighted many of those examples here.
The first wave of Windows 7 coverage included plenty of praise for its stability and polish. Thatís true, but itís also an incomplete picture. The more I work with this early release of Windows 7, the more I see the little glitches, the unfinished pieces, and the bugs. Despite its impressive stability and polish relative to other Windows projects at similar stages of development, this is truly a pre-beta release. Given that this build was locked down three months ago, those little flaws donít bother me too much.
The purpose of this post is not to review Windows 7. Itís way too early for that. Rather, my objective is to call attention to the changes and design decisions that have gone into the product so far and to highlight features and changes you might not have noticed in the flurry of initial coverage. Iíve done no performance testing, and have no plans to do any, at least with this build. Any publication that would devote more than a paragraph to benchmarking an early build like this one is guilty of journalistic malpractice, in my opinion.
For this deep dive, Iíve taken a closer look at five areas of Windows 7, all of which are significantly changed in this release.
Troubleshooting and hardware
Security, backup, and recovery
Read extensively about this here A deep dive into Windows 7 (build 6801) | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com