Product Type: Microsoft Operating Systems
Newest Review: ... ability to create a great operating system. Despite having a completely overhauled GUI from XP everything just seems to be where I... more
Windows 7 - It truly is life without walls
MS Windows 7 Ultimate
Member Name: Coolchris330
MS Windows 7 Ultimate
Advantages: Much faster and more reliable than Windows Vista. Lots of features
Disadvantages: Features leave a bit to be desired
Now that we have stopped arguing over who's darned idea it was, I feel compelled to write a review for Microsoft's latest operating system, specifically the Ultimate edition.
Microsoft's previous operating system effort left a lot to be desired, Windows Vista was crippled in many ways. Performance lacked, slow copying of files, overuse of RAM and CPU and a downright drop in gaming frame-rates. I'm happy to announce that with this version of Windows, many of the issues that plagued its predecessor have been greatly overwhelmed.
Performance was one of the big problems with Windows Vista, people found that their newly bought computers ere stuttering, stalling, error producing messes. This resulted in many people switching back to Vista's predecessor, Windows XP. For a while, there were doubts on whether Windows 7 could live up to its massive expectations.
It did. Windows 7 is by far one of the best performing operating systems I have recently used, apart from the archaic Windows XP, which is lacking many features that users of computers may want to see. From installation, only six hundred and thirty two megabytes of RAM were used. That is approximately 25% of my overall RAM. Vista started off using 32% of my RAM.
An improvement from the word 'go' it seems: I was happy to find out later that everyday tasks had been greatly streamlined by Microsoft's latest efforts. Booting applications was now near instantaneous and gaming became a greatly pleasurable experience, with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 boasting an extra sixteen frames per second from the previous iteration of Windows.
These are all very important factors, and performance is one of the things that people really want from an operating system, because after all, a computer is there to make your life easier, not bog it down with more problems. I was happy to notice that the performance in Windows 7 was brilliantly improved from its near-abysmal predecessor.
Users of Windows Vista may be all too familiar with the Blue Screen of Death. A blue-screen, although rarely more than an annoying hinderence of your workflow, is generally regarded as one of the worst things to happen to your computer, as it stops everything abruptly and generally leaves any work that you were doing unsaved. Since I installed Windows 7 seven months ago, I have not had any problems with the Blue Screen of Death that were even remotely the fault of Windows 7.
Windows 7 is also more likely to do what you want, when you want it done without suggesting that you want to do something else. One of the issues that annoyed me with Windows Vista was the fact that the UAC or 'User Account Control' would nag me while I was trying to do things that were extremely important and needed to be done fast. Now, with Windows 7, its still here, but it has been tweaked to not treat you like an accident-prone child, a great relief in my opinion.
So less crashes, less blue-screening and less nagging than your average operating system, I was incredibly glad that these fixes were implemented, as it makes Windows 7 more of a pleasure to use than Vista, which by the end of its lifespan (about two weeks) was giving me severe grief (I switched back to Windows XP).
==Is it pretty?==
Yes, yes it is. Windows 7 features once again the Aero system that was in Windows Vista, but it has been highly optimised so that it no longer has a detrimental effect on the performance of three dimensional applications and the use of the computer as a whole.
There is no a task bar along the bottom (which is referred to as a Superbar) where items are laid out for your favourite applications and then stacked on top of each other so that you can hover over the application that you want and select the window from within that application. Not only does this free up additional screen space, it also makes the user interface more intuitive. Sure, when you first try it, it may feel like an annoying gimmick, but after time - you become considerably more used to it than before and then it becomes something that you want to see in every operating system.
The swishing of windows also appears quite good as well, windows float down to the bottom of the screen when minimized, fluently maximise to the screens vast expand when maximised and quickly swipe away when closed. It's a very pretty operating system, and even if you don't like all the effects, it can all be turned off to look like previous iterations of Windows in aid of performance or personal preference.
==What features are there?==
Microsoft have done what they usually do and have included many different applications and things that may be useful to the users of their operating system. Windows 7 includes a movie production application, a picture viewer, a basic picture editing application, instant messaging software and an internet browser.
The movie making application, Windows Movie Maker, was poor in my opinion. It lacked more advanced options and generally crashes a lot. The exporting of movies was also a downside, as you cannot export in any high-definition resolutions, which doesn't compare well to the Apple alternative iMovie. That's not to say that Windows Movie Maker is entirely bad. It contains a reasonable amount of transitions and effects, especially considering that the application is free.
The picture viewing application hasn't changed an awful lot since the release of Windows XP. It does what you expect it to do, it shows picture that you tell it to open, as well as some mild photo-correcting tools - nothing major, but you can do Red Eye Removal and correct some Contrasting issues on your photograph, a nice addition to a software meant for just viewing photographs.
Now that I am getting to it, I am wondering whether or not I should have called Paint an image editing program. It doesn't have anything to do with transparency, has no filtering options and cannot change lightness, hue or saturation. There is no anti-aliasing on the lines that it has created, and there is very little that has changed from its XP iteration that the Ribbon interface that Microsoft is now sporting on their latest versions of Microsoft Office. It looks nice, but in practise there is nothing new and nothing particularly useful here, apart from maybe a child that wishes to draw something. I'd much recommend free editing alternatives such as 'Paint.NET' or 'The Gimp'.
The instant messaging application, Windows Live Messenger, is perhaps one of the most widely used applications bundled with Windows. It allows you to communicate live with other people (and their email addresses) on your 'buddies' list. There is video communication, voice communication, file transfer and a range of emoticons and theme options. These are all very well, but I found the video communication to be a little bit dodgy, the emoticons to get extremely annoying after a short while and the voice communication a little hazy and stutter-y. Not really a problem though, because nobody is forcing you to use options that you don't want to see, and they can all be easily declined or turned off.
Perhaps the application that comes with Windows that I dislike the most is Microsoft Internet Explorer - a web browser that has been featured with Windows for as long as I can remember. There is a reason that that this is my least liked browser, and that is that it is created in such a way that it feels unresponsive, it loads webpages slower than all of its competitors, has ActiveX Controls which could in turn lead to a malware infection and is generally unsecure with its phishing warnings and data protection. The only use I had found for Internet Explorer was to download Mozilla Firefox.
While the applications that came with the operating system may be a little dumb-founded, it was still a redeeming touch for Microsoft to include them.
This is essentially Windows Vista, but everything in it has been drastically improved. Old problems are now nowhere to be found, games run smoother, applications boot and load faster and file transfers are like lightening compared to previous iterations of Windows.
I give Windows 7 five out of a possible five stars, because after all, Windows 7 was my idea.
---Copied from my Ciao account of the same name---
Summary: A brilliant iteration of Windows from Microsoft
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