Things are looking up… Windows 7
Windows Vista has had its fair share of ups and downs, the lack of success whether perceived or genuine has made Microsoft reflect on its mistakes, not only putting them under pressure to improve their software, but also the way in which they market core products. Microsoft seems to be realising that this improvement isn’t just in terms of code and features but with how they present this to the public, Windows 7 to anyone who has been following its development puts back the confidence in Microsoft.
Windows 7 is the seventh Windows if you fail to count most of them. Nevertheless, it’s a catchy name and it strays away from the pretentious names of the recent years and reverts back to the days of Widows 2 when names were numbers.
Windows 7 is to Vista what XP was to 2000, tightening all/most of the loose ends. Operating systems in general have moved into a stage of maturity, even Apple which prides itself on innovation will be simply perfecting its next major release of Mac OS X. Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution is reaching maturity with version 8.10 of its operating system, named by its creators (Linux geeks) Intrepid Ibex. Essentially Windows 7 will be what consumers wanted Vista to be. Speaking to non-techies, they seem to believe that Windows Vista is plainly Windows XP with some fancy effects. In actual fact, Windows Vista was a major update, completely altering the underpinnings of the operating system, componentizing it essentially.
One of the interesting things about Windows 7 is the way in which it’s being and is being developed. “I live to code” is a quite Microsoft project, their ethos states,
“It’s about solving problems, not cutting corners. It’s about finishing what you started.“
Behind ilivetocode.com is also Surface, one of the innovations that Microsoft is pushing into the public eye in order to sell it to every person who owns a surface in a few years time when it’s commercially available. Surface will most probably be based upon Windows.
Thanks to the messy work that was completed when componentizing during Vista development, when developing Windows 7, code that hasn’t been completed is left separate from the operating system, when it is completed it will be added to the operating system. Which essentially means that Microsoft can package and ship Windows 7 whenever they want, they just need to decide how much they want to include.
We’ve managed to get our hands on one of the first Windows 7 builds, 6801. Essentially everything that is in this build should be finished, which in theory should mean that the operating system could be used for everyday use at this very moment even though its still in pre-beta.
The taskbar you see above is the shiny new enhanced Windows taskbar, nicknamed by some the ‘Awesome Bar’ because of its similarity to Apple’s dock, the ‘Awesome Bar’. This feature plus others were actually hidden/locked from the average user excluding those close to the development, however there is a quick fix, it takes a little fiddling and it seems to work better in safe mode. Paul Thurrott has posted the specifics.
This feels like a new beginning for Windows, things are looking up.