What’s the big deal about Windows 7

Windows 7 ProfessionalIf you have been watching any TV lately, you have probably seen the new Mac ads or the new Windows 7 ads and you are wondering what’s the big deal.  Hopefully this post will answer some of your questions.

After the debacle that was Vista, Microsoft had a lot to prove and I think they did it.  I’m not the only one who thinks so, according to a lifehacker.com poll posted this morning a large percentage of their users are fans see actual numbers (from 2:00 pm on October 28th, below)

  • Love it – 59% (8,681 votes)
  • Like it – 27% (3,956 votes)
  • Indifferent – 5% (804 votes)
  • Not Thrilled – 4 % (590 votes)
  • Hate it – 2% (290 votes)
  • Ambivilent – 2% (251 votes)
  • Other – 2% (242 votes)

So roughly 86% of the people who responded like it so they must have done something right.  Here are a few of the reasons:

As stated above, I have loved my experience with Windows 7 to this point.  I installed the Release Candidate when it came out and was really impressed.  I have since upgraded my Release Candidate copy to a fully licensed copy of Windows 7 Professional (upgrade).  Here are my three favorite features.

Windows 7 Taskbar
With every previous version of Windows, I would do one of two things, either overload the quick launch bar with icons or download a Mac OS X style dock for holding application icons.  I don’t need to do that with Windows 7, take a look at my taskbar (cropped to fit)
Everything is right where I need it, I don’t have to go to the start menu at all.  To get an icon onto the taskbar, from the start menu or file explorer right click on the program icon and click Pin to Taskbar that’s it (see below).
pin to taskbar

Rotating Desktop images
As you can see from the backgrounds of the two images already posted in this blog my desktop background has switched and here’s the cool thing, I didn’t  have to switch it by hand.  I just told Windows 7 to monitor a folder and then tell it how often to rotate.  To get there, right click on your desktop and choose Personalize.  Then, in the bottom left, click on Desktop Background.  Click the image for a full size view.
I know this is a minor deal, but for me it is a productivity issue, I can’t stand having the same desktop background all the time.

Window Snapping
One of my favorite features of Ubuntu while I was using it was the ability to grab a window and drag it to another screen or part of the screen and have it snap to the side.  Windows 7 has implemented this and done even more.  First, for you mouse users, you can grab a window by its title bar and drag it to either the top of the screen (this will maximize the window), the left side, or the right side (snapping a window to the left or right side will make the window 50% of the screen width and the full screen height.
In the screenshot below you see two windows snapped to the sides of the screen, this is great for side by side viewing.  (click on the image for a larger view)
snapped windows

For those of you who are keyboard users, the windows key is your friend.  (look to the left of your spacebar)
By using the keyboard shortcut windows+left arrow you can cycle a window to the left through its different snap modes, windows+up arrow you can maximize the current window, or with windows+right arrow you can cycle a window to the right through its different snap modes.

My other favorite feature is that is just runs well, runs fast, and is pleasing to the eyes.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  If you found this blog helpful, use the Share/Save button below to share this blog entry with your friends.

Get your own copy by clicking a link below:

Also, if you need help installing Windows 7 contact Chris at Robson Computer Technologies, tell him Jeff sent you.