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.