Feb 042009
 
Authors: Glen Pfeiffer, Ryan Gibbons

Windows Vista is probably/the most hated Windows operating/system since, well, Windows XP. We’ve all seen the many flaws in the OS – things like/incompatibility, poor speed, and those silly warning messages. Issues like those, coupled with the many others in/existence/have led many users to stick with Windows XP or even switch to Mac OS X – indeed, even some CSU computer labs downgraded their new systems from Vista to XP.

So what is Microsoft doing differently with Windows 7, which is set to debut within a year? Well, we went ahead and downloaded the free beta of 7 and booted it up. We found something that looked a lot like Vista but ran much smoother, plus a dash of Mac OS X (for flavor)/and most amusing, a background image of a Beta fish, to match the OS’s status./

/The first fixed problem in 7 is that it’s/scheduled/to be released without a five-year gap since its predecessor. One reason that Windows Vista was so/incompatible/with printers and software is because it had to make giant steps/forward due to the years between Vista and XP. The leap caused Vista run so differently than XP that our/peripherals/and software/couldn’t/function.

As for speed: In/Microsoft’s/defense, Vista was built to run on speedy (aka, expensive) computers. If you shelled out the cash, then you had no problem. But for places like school and bargain laptops, Vista ran slowly. So slow that it would seriously cramp one’s computing style ññ none of us are happy unless we can open Facebook, play Solitaire and pretend to do homework at the same time. Addressing this, 7 now runs much faster than Vista; something we quickly/realized when we were able to start opening applications mere seconds after logging in./

Now what about those pesky little warning windows double-checking everything you do? Once again, we’d like to stick up for Microsoft here and say that it’s the users’ fault that those pop-ups exist. Normally, we don’t like to/verbally/abuse our readers, but when you navigate to pages that promise a FREE -fill in the blank-, or sexy singles in Fort Collins who want to hook up with you, you end up with a virus, and then unfairly complain that Windows is full of viruses. That is what is known in the business as operator error./

However, some of us are smart and/realize that while we might be super cool geeks with our own technology column in the student paper, not all those Internet girls want to hook up with us and, therefore, we don’t need those/annoying/pop-ups to tell us so. Luckily/in 7, you can set a security level and choose to lower the/occurrence/of warnings or eliminate them altogether./

Now while 7 looks a lot like Vista you will notice some aesthetic/changes (at least in the beta, its obviously not finalized). For example: the/task-bar/along the bottom of the screen has changed now and now looks like the “dock” on a Mac. Application windows minimize as small squares/displaying/only the/application’s/icon rater than a rectangle showing both the icon and name.

Our final consensus: It looks promising; Microsoft made a lot of mistakes in Vista and has put a lot of effort into trying to solve them, perhaps so much time that they forgot to add a little innovation./

If you’re interested in trying the beta yourself, it is still available for download through Tuesday. As always, we suggest that you know what you’re doing before you upgrade your OS on your own. Also note that CSU’s network does not support the beta, so you could have problems getting online. But if you’re feeling bold, then head over to/http://microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/.

Columnists Glen Pfeiffer and Ryan Gibbons cannot be reached anywhere. Except under the cover of darkness.

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