I got a chance to play with Windows 7 earlier this week. In case you haven’t heard, Windows 7 is the next OS from Microsoft, following in Vista’s footsteps quite literally – it’s based on Vista, and it looks almost exactly like it.
I’ve skipped Vista myself. I’ve heard so many bad stories about it, and never got around to using it at work either. Frankly, the problems with Vista are probably a bit exaggerated, as you can for example disable the UAC system which causes all the annoying popups asking for permissions.
A couple of nice things that caught my eye were mainly user interface related. For example, when alt tabbing, you could directly click the icon to go to that window. This is already in Vista, though.
Also, if you took a small window and dragged it to the very top of the screen so it goes a bit off it, it would maximize the window if you dropped it there. You could also drop the window to the very left or very right sides of the screen to have it maximize the window to 50% of the width and full height.
This adds a very nice way to organize windows on bigger screens. There are some tools for Windows XP to achieve this, such as GridMove, but none of them work nearly as well. This maximizing feature seemed to also work with window resizing.
Paint as also got a major UI overhaul to the new user interface already seen in Office. The fun thing about this is that I think they haven’t really touched Paint since… well, since ever. Paint has been pretty much the same since the days of Windows 3.1 except for some icons being replaced.
It also seems to come with Windows Powershell by default, which is a nice upgrade from the good ol’ command prompt.
These are the main things I noticed. It worked pretty well on my PC in VMWare 6, and I think it actually looks very promising, as this is not even a beta build yet.
You can find more general features and information about Win 7 from the net, for example from this Windows 7 post on Gizmodo.