Testing a new version of Windows is like getting the keys to your brand new car and ride it for the first time… all shiny outside and spotless inside, with that unmistakable new car scent that only stays for a few days. After the first impression, you make yourself comfortable in the driver’s seat and begin looking at all the buttons, lights and knobs on the dashboard. After adjusting the wheel and buckling up, it’s time to start the engine!
This is when Windows 7, our new car in this short story, leaves the garage and hits the track. That is, it leaves Microsoft’s labs and factories to become part of our daily lives. And it’s our turn, as users of this operating system, to pay attention to every single detail about it: any hardware problems? Is it difficult to get used to? How does it behave under the harshest conditions? An in-depth analysis with one main objective: to get to know an operating system that will become an essential tool in our work.
This post gathers our first impressions of Windows 7, the latest version of the Microsoft operating system. Just like each driver has a different driving style, each Softonic editor has also a different personal perspective when it comes to test a new operating system. And this is what Softonic editors from very diverse nationalities and backgrounds think about it.
Vista was not that bad, but Seven is not that good either”
I’m a positive person, so my first impression was kind of hopeful. But as soon as the system loads – much faster than in Vista, I must say – this initial hope vanishes. My dear old classic Start menu is gone and UAC is still up to its old tricks. These two things, together with the system’s overall design and behavior, make me think about Seven as Vista in disguise: a new appearance, but no really outstanding new features. Of course, there are also positive elements, like a seamless compatibility with software and drivers. In short, any improvement to Vista is more than welcome, but Windows 7 doesn’t seem to be a truly revolutionary new operating system. It’s just what Vista should have been from the very beginning.
I hope Seven doesn’t have as many bugs as Vista”
Windows 7 looks very similar to Vista: there are transparency effects everywhere! It doesn’t seem that different from its predecessor, but at the same time, you can tell usability and performance have been greatly improved. Windows Media Player 12 is very similar to version 11, but includes new functions: now it’s a complete multimedia suite with which you can not only listen to your favorite music, but also browse photos, watch videos, rip CDs, sync data with portable devices and much more. I hope Seven doesn’t have as many problems and bugs as Vista.
It’s the true heir to Windows XP”
The first impression is one of lightness and speed. And also, during the first few tests, stability. The interface has been redesigned – though not in a very revolutionary way, which I like. Besides, those repetitive and annoying Vista security warnings have fortunately been reduced to a minimum. There may be some redundant services launched by default, but generally speaking I’m quite satisfied with Windows 7. It’s the true heir to Windows XP. In short, it’s all that Vista should have been – and wasn’t. Windows 7 runs fine even on older machines – unlike Vista, where hardware was a key element to the OS’s overall performance.
Solid as a rock!”
7 is the lucky number! Windows 7 is like Vista on steroids: fast as lightning and with a clean, fresh interface. You can notice all the security improvements from the moment you start using the system, and all those annoying UAC notifications are gone. Besides that, Windows 7 seems to be very stable, even when you run it in a virtual environment; it was really difficult to get a blue screen of death! Another interesting feature is Paint: this new version makes it a useful tool again, after being consigned to oblivion for so many years. Oh, and we do like the red fish 😛
My only ‘wow’ was when I saw the new Paint”
When launching Windows 7 – upgrading from XP – the first thing that caught my attention was the new appearance: clean and stylish. But then I thought that it was less usable, and that I would change it back to XP’s style. Hmm, not good for starters. Going into detail, the Start menu is very similar to Vista’s. I like the new embedded search engine (mental note: add this to my XP). Control panel is bloated: too much stuff in it. Where are my documents? Having the system organizing them for you is nice, but I prefer to organize them my way. Is that zoom tool really necessary? As an avid fan of Paint, I launched it straight away and this is when I let my only ‘wow!’ out. It’s as fast as before, but also features loads of improvements: full screen, rulers, grid, zoom, redo, a new menu… (mental note: add this to my XP). Maybe Windows 7 just isn’t made for users like me.
Well, it’s not bad, but…”
Installing Windows 7 on my virtual machine was quick and easy. That’s a positive first impression. The interface is very similar to Vista’s , though a bit simpler and lighter on resources. The new window management options are nice, but I still think Mac OS X Exposé is more powerful. Preview and Jump lists, on the other hand, look really interesting. My expectations were not so much focused on interface design as on stability and speed – two aspects I haven’t been able to test yet. Besides, I think I found a bug: when I move the taskbar to the top of the screen, a blurred area appears on the left side of the desktop, and it only goes away if I move the taskbar back to the bottom of the screen. Annoying!
Windows is learning from Apple… again”
The first thing I thought when I launched Windows 7 for the very first time was “Man, this is the same as Vista!”. Honestly, it was a bit disappointing. But then I saw the new toolbar with those large icons on it and noticed something had really changed… for the better. Even if it’s not obvious at first sight. System start-up is faster and the OS is generally lighter and less frustrating to use than Vista. I remember I also thought that Windows 7 seems to have copied some ideas from Macs: the new taskbar and a much improved USB device management system, to name a few!
This was pretty uninspiring overall. While it looks more elegant and slicker than Vista, there are no surprises. I didn’t like the shake windows control. There doesn’t seem to be anything really radical, and some things surprised me. The applications selection is pretty much the same, meaning we still get Paint, and it’s still pointless. Some of the Aero effects are nice, but these are not game changers. The only difference seems to be that it’s smoother, but otherwise it’s business as usual. While there are rarely revolutions in operating systems, Windows 7 has been hyped so much I was expecting more. Or, “MEH” in short.
Windows 7 is like Vista Light”
Versions x.1 of Windows seem to be the stable branch in the OS development, and Windows 7 (6.1, in fact) is no exception. System start-up is the fastest I’ve seen so far, which probably means Microsoft has get rid off loads of useless stuff that slowed the system down. The most outstanding features are undoubtedly the new taskbar and Windows Explorer – specially the new Preview function! And there’s one important absence that all Vista users (including me) will be happy about: UAC is quieter than ever!
Bear in mind that these are only our first thoughts about Windows 7. You can’t judge a book by its cover, that’s true, but the first impression definitely counts! Now it’s your turn: what do you think about Windows 7?
[As prepared by OnSoftware in Spanish]