Windows 7 Up Close and Personal

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 20 2009 10:54 AM

When Windows Vista first hit the scene, it was quite a departure from Windows XP. It had been a while since a major desktop operating system release from Microsoft, and consumers along with many businesses, were slow to adopt. Add to that the new and sometimes cumbersome security features, plus reports that Vista was slower as a gaming platform, and you had an equation for low initial adoption. Even as service pack 1 was released adoption was still less than stellar, prompting Microsoft to launch new marketing campaigns in an attempt to sway public opinions (think Mojave).

As news about Windows 7 leaked to the public, many wondered what type of improvements it would offer. That curiosity changed to a fervor when Microsoft announced the first public beta of Windows 7 was to be released. The scheduled release date was surrounded by such anticipation that when it was time to deliver, Microsoft could not handle the download demand for the their latest version of Windows. After a small delay the public finally has access to the first beta of Windows 7. We here at HotHardware have been experimenting and testing it and have compiled a first look, replete with plenty of screen shots and benchmark comparisons between Windows 7 and Vista as installed on the same hardware platform...

Windows 7 Up Close and Personal



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peti1212 replied on Tue, Jan 20 2009 6:10 PM

Thanks for the overview of Windows 7. I actually have the Beta, but I haven't tried it yet. Didn't have time to try it out. Will do so soon, once I get my new Quad-Core system. :)

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ice91785 replied on Tue, Jan 20 2009 7:46 PM

So I haven't heard or looked it up yet....but does WMP/WMC have built-in H.264 support?

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SSinChina replied on Tue, Jan 20 2009 8:50 PM

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kid007 replied on Tue, Jan 20 2009 9:44 PM

I cannot wait to see that final production of windows 7 :)

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replied on Tue, Jan 20 2009 10:05 PM

ice91785 - Yes it includes H.264 support. When you download the beta there is a notice as follows:

NOTICE ABOUT THE H.264/AVC VISUAL STANDARD. This software includes H.264/MPEG-4 AVC visual compression technology. MPEG LA, L.L.C. requires this notice:

THIS PRODUCT IS LICENSED UNDER THE AVC PATENT PORTFOLIO LICENSE FOR THE PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL USE OF A CONSUMER TO (i) ENCODE VIDEO IN COMPLIANCE WITH AVC STANDARD (“AVC VIDEO”) AND/OR (ii) DECODE AVC VIDEO THAT WAS ENCODED BY A CONSUMER ENGAGED IN A PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERICAL ACTIVITY AND/OR WAS OBTAINED FROM A VIDEO PROVIDER LICENSED TO PROVIDE AVC VIDEO. NO LICENSE IS GRANTED OR SHALL BE IMPLIED FOR ANY OTHER USE. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM MPEG LA, L.L.C SEE HTTP://WWW.MPEGLA.COM

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Its beginning to look like a sold OS, the likes of which have not been seen since Win98.

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SSinChina replied on Tue, Jan 20 2009 11:32 PM

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Drago replied on Wed, Jan 21 2009 12:53 PM

Sorry but Windows 7 looks very unimpressive. If they still are using the NTFS file system, then it is a complete and utter failure just like vista. The WinFS was supposed to be part of longhorn till it got scrapped due to time constraints cause MS dicked around for 5 years...go figure. All that vista did was kill legacy support and do some lil fancy things to the desktop, and actually made it perform worse than XP in everyday tasks and gaming. Windows 7 just looks like Vista with a fancier coat of paint, but still the same old crap underneath.

MS needs to get their act together and release a real operating system, not this foo-foo frilly crap they keep trying to pawn off as a real OS.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jan 22 2009 12:38 PM

It's not all frills, didn't you see the media playback statistics? That proves one thing:

Apparently they spent a lot of their time optimizing the DRM - given that there was no change in gaming performance.

Yay?

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Drago replied on Thu, Jan 22 2009 8:20 PM

3vi1:

It's not all frills, didn't you see the media playback statistics? That proves one thing:

Apparently they spent a lot of their time optimizing the DRM - given that there was no change in gaming performance.

Yay?

oh and what good is media playback when your computer tries to open a file and blanks everything out and asks you if you really want to open this file, then it BSOD's just cause you took to long to click ok and were ignoring it.  Optimizing DRM....uh that is not something done with an OS, that is something done to files in which a program will then have to use special algorhythms to decrypt/encrypt or use keys or whatever to play the file depending on what kind of DRM  is being used.  Sounds to me like they just got a patch for a media play back software not the actual OS on that one, that or someone is talking about crap they dont understand or know fully about.

Painted crap is still crap, just a diff color.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jan 22 2009 8:21 PM

>> Optimizing DRM....uh that is not something done with an OS, that is something done to files in which a program will then have to use special algorhythms to decrypt/encrypt or use keys or whatever to play the file depending on what kind of DRM is being used.

Au contraire mon frere: MS integrated DRM into the OS starting with Vista so that programs could restrict the resolution (i.e. go into low-rez mode if your monitor doesn't support HDCP so that you won't be able to get a high-quality output), and force the audio output path (to stop you from ripping the tracks from the audio card).

Do a quick search on "Windows Vista DRM" and here's the first link you'll find: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/02/drm_in_windows_1.html. It's interesting reading.

And they're going to cling to DRM, even as others abandon it: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/245859/qa-microsoft-defends-return-to-drm.html

It doesn't stop any pirates, and it just forces you to buy the same thing over and over for every device you use.  That's why I use Linux and don't buy any DRM'd materials.

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replied on Thu, Jan 22 2009 9:06 PM

Drago:

oh and what good is media playback when your computer tries to open a file and blanks everything out and asks you if you really want to open this file, then it BSOD's just cause you took to long to click ok and were ignoring it.  Optimizing DRM....uh that is not something done with an OS, that is something done to files in which a program will then have to use special algorhythms to decrypt/encrypt or use keys or whatever to play the file depending on what kind of DRM  is being used.  Sounds to me like they just got a patch for a media play back software not the actual OS on that one, that or someone is talking about crap they dont understand or know fully about.

Painted crap is still crap, just a diff color.

Actually in 7 you can turn off that annoying prompt for permission with the user account control settings I wrote about. Check the image on the second page.

 

 

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Nice write up. I have Windows 7 on my main computer and my Girlfriends and those are the only PCs running Windows right now.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Jan 23 2009 8:44 AM

>> you can turn off that annoying prompt

It looks like you have to turn it off completely, for everything you run? Why didn't they set it up like the firewall so that you can turn it off for that one annoying program from that vendor who won't update their code? Uh.... that idea now patent-pending. :)

I think Microsoft should have stuck to their guns on this one. Too many people will still turn it off for minor apps they run, completely negating the benefit.

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digitaldd replied on Fri, Jan 23 2009 9:25 AM

As far as I'm concerned here is my pro/con list.

 

Pros

  1. Wordpad opens office 2007 .docx files natively and rather than munging the files if you change them it saves as RTF.
  2. divx/xvid and h.264 video opens up in Windows Media Player, you may have to associate .mov files with WMP but they do open.
  3. New taskbar improvements are subtle but nice.
  4. new calculator, well its similar to the Calculator Plus that MS has as a free download for XP.
  5. Problem steps recorder revolutionizes how help requests are sent.

Cons

  1. still has too many background processes running like Vista does.
  2. mp3 corruption issue patch if you haven't
  3. Windows installer issues. it seems like its too easy to break it.
  4. software compatibility is better than in Vista but there are still lots of 3rd party apps that need updating.
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replied on Fri, Jan 23 2009 2:45 PM

The user account control is not easily accessible for the novice user so this may somewhat discourage them. You really need to be looking for it and understand what it does to want to change it.

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I am on it at the moment and it seems nice. Much faster than Vista, but its also a clean install on its own HD. So its really hard to tell the speed diffrence...

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Jan 24 2009 6:51 PM

Calculator Plus looks like it was created with MS Paint and VisualCobol.

Anyone that wants a really good calculator should try SpeedCrunch (http://speedcrunch.org/en_US/index.html), which is freely available for all OS's and is the default calculator in Kubuntu 9.04.

SpeedCrunch Image

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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