Windows 7 is everything that its predecessor, Windows Vista, was not.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

Latest version of Windows is the best ever

June 21, 2009

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2009, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2009, The Post-Standard

   Microsoft has come up with a spectacular new version of Windows, called Windows 7. If you act soon, you can get a preview copy for free.
   Windows 7 is everything that its predecessor, Windows Vista, was not. It has a friendly interface borrowed from Apple's Macs, yet outscores Apple with a self-healing mode that fixes problems automatically. I'm convinced Windows 7 is the best version of Windows yet.
   Users have much more control over security alerts in Windows 7. Networking is simplified and a fast search system locates items within seconds.
   Windows 7 has dozens of other improvements, including a new Taskbar that works like an improved version of Apple's Dock.
   The new Taskbar can show static icons of launchable programs and dynamic icons of programs already running. These dynamic icons show miniature live views of their windows with a brief hover or full-size live views when your mouse lingers longer.
   Unlike the Mac Dock, the Windows 7 Taskbar works as well at either side of the screen as it does on the bottom. This is a welcome feature for netbook users who want extra vertical screen space.
   Home networking has always been chancy with previous versions of Windows, but Windows 7 makes it easy with a system called the Homegroup. It lets you connect with a few clicks to PCs and Macs ln your local network.
   Here's a list of all the new features of Windows 7.
   Officially, Microsoft says Windows 7 will go on sale Oct. 22. But you don't have to wait to try Windows 7. Microsoft is making a time-limited version of Windows 7 available as a download until Aug. 15. Windows 7 will run normally until next March, when you'll start seeing reminders to upgrade to the paid version. In July, the free version will stop running and you'll have to buy Windows 7 to keep using it.
   You can download Windows 7 here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.aspx?ITPID=mscomsc.
   The download is a very large ISO file. To turn the downloaded ISO file into the Windows 7 installation disk, you burn it on your PC's CD/DVD burner using a blank DVD.
   If you'ver never burned a disk from an ISO file before, Microsoft has these tips: "There are free (ISO burning) programs such as ISOBuster and Active ISO Burner. To find one, go to a site such as Download.com or Tucows and search for 'ISO,' 'DVD,' and 'burn'."
   You need a fairly modern PC to run Windows 7. It should have a 1 GHz or faster processor and at least 1 GB of memory. I installed it on an Acer Aspire One netbook (a book-size laptop) with excellent results.