So after the announcement of Windows 7 beta yesterday, here’s my take on the seven things that I just love about the product. Certainly not the official list, but after using Windows 7 on my laptop for about a month, these are the things that stand out for me. Below is my top 7 list.
1) Home Networking – I basically use one machine for work, but when I go home, the environment it has to work in changes. The printers are different, file shares, machines, domain etc, etc. I just love the fact that when I am at home, my default printer is always the printer that I have networked at home and when I am at the office, it defaults to where I am. For once, I feel safe that I am not going to send the confidential document by mistake to the office printer, which is going to sit there for 8 hours until I collect it the next morning ( if I am lucky enough to still find it ).
2) Intelligent docking – I love the fact that when I dock Windows 7 at the office or at work, it remembers my personal settings ( number of screens to project, resolution, keyboard ) for that particular location. With Vista it was more of a challenge. Every time I docked, I had to re-project to the correct screens and setup the resolution for each particular screen. Now with Windows 7 it just works.
3) Docking my machine – This could have just been my particular machine, but you were not always guaranteed to successfully dock your machine without a major reconfiguration or in some cases a restart. In the last month Windows 7 has never once let me down and just works.
4) Power consumption – I am shocked by how much longer the battery lasts on my laptop with Windows 7. I am sometimes in 2 hour business meetings, and in the past would have had to take my power cable to ensure that I could make the distance. Now after 2 hours, I look down at the battery status and I have plenty of juice to spare.
5) Performance and Reliability – Yep, this is one that people are placing on web sites, but when you install Windows 7, it is pretty clear, very quickly that this is a rock solid OS ( it have never blue screened or crashed in 1 month ) and that the performance change is significant. When I first installed it, I was walking around saying to people that I have a new laptop. A month on, I still feel that way. As an example - I was just about the read something from my smart card, and only on the first time occasion that I inserted the card into the smart card reader and ran a program to read it, did it decide to load up the device driver into memory. It seems that it only loads up device drivers when you need them – pretty dam smart.
6) Task Bar – Yep, if you have about 10 web pages open at the same time like me, the navigation between them can be a challenge. Now with the new task bar and the hovering view, finding the right page becomes easy for me.
7) Control Panel – Yep, I mess around with my machines quite a lot, and install, un-install quite a lot of software. Until now, I always had to run the control panel in classic view, as I could never find the configuration with the updated screens. It now a lot more simple all around.
There are lots of other things, such as projection support, networking simplicity, media integration. It just goes on, but this is my top seven list.
You can find a lot more from the product team and the evangelists at https://channel9.msdn.com/tags/Windows+7/ .