Old 17th May 2009, 10:30   #1
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Soo, Windows 7

I know GD isn't the nerdiest bunch, but I'm surprised there hasn't been any threads about Win7 yet. (I'm pretty sure I've talked about it before in the Games Center and nobody cared, but whatever.)

Short version: BLAH BLAH Win7 is fast and stable, BLAH BLAH, get it now, BLAH.

Unabridged version: I've been using the 64-bit version since MS released the beta in early January and it's been amazing. To start, it has rock-solid stability; I've been using it as my primary OS since installing it and I haven't ran into a single slowdown or blue screen. Compatibility is great too: upon first installing the beta (as well as the lastest RC), Windows update immediately found and installed drivers for every single device on my PC, something that can't be said for XP in my case (on XP I had to download and use resource-hungry software to get all the special buttons on my mouse and keyboard to work, but in Win7 that's not necessary).

As for speed resource usage, MS did it right in this category as well. Win7 x64 RC uses 800MB of my 4GB of RAM, which is 450-ishMB less than Vista x64 and about the same as XP. Boot time from POST to desktop is about 35 seconds, and my most commonly used programs start almost immediately after I click their icon. Games run great too. "Bloat" is essentially non-existent.

Usability is improved as well. The new taskbar somewhat looks like it borrowed its design from OSX, and it takes some time to get used to. Once you get the hang of it though, it proves to be quite intuitive. This time Aero isn't completely pointless; you'll actually want to have it on because it improves usability, especially with the taskbar. Taskbar grouping, for example is a lot easier to navingate with Aero enabled (like if you have a bunch of windows open, you can see a full-size preview each one individually when hunting for the right one). Simple but effective additions, like the ability to snap windows, and open a program's recent documents simply by right-clicking on it's icon make a huge difference.

The Explorer menu is another great addition. Click it, and it'll take you to your "Libraries", where you can organise content from multiple folders into one "virtual folder". I have music spread across three hard drives, but I am able to organize everything into the Music Library, so I can access my entire collection ithout having to open a bunch of folders. And if you right-click the Explorer menu it'll give you a list of your most frequently accessed folders. This new menu is a simple feature, but a nice one indeed.

Overall, Win7 is the best MS OS to date. It's what Vista should've been in the first place. If you guys want some screenshots of the new features I'd be glad to take some.
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Old 17th May 2009, 11:38   #2
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I'd like that.
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Old 17th May 2009, 11:43   #3
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Meh... pirating Windows is pretty passé these days. Maybe you're an official beta tester, but whatever the case, I say "meh".

I guess I'll upgrade from XP at some point over the next few years, but I'm not about to rush out and get Vista/Win7/??? just because it's awesome. XP still works.

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Old 17th May 2009, 12:21   #4
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Yeah, too bad you can't upgrade your XP to Win7... Fresh install if you have XP.

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Old 17th May 2009, 15:31   #5
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So, no screenshots?
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Old 17th May 2009, 17:38   #6
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I've been using windows 7 x64 for as long as I could. It's amazing.
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Old 17th May 2009, 19:39   #7
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@widdy http://images.google.com/images?q=windows+7
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Old 17th May 2009, 19:57   #8
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ill prolly upgrade my vista laptop to 7, but not my xp machine.
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Old 17th May 2009, 19:58   #9
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Uh..er..Thanks ryan. I kinda thought maybe he'd show some of the apps on his computer. I went to Windows Official site thingy and they kept wanting me to download stuff.
(I really do know how to use Google, though..a little)
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Old 17th May 2009, 20:24   #10
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http://windows7news.com/windows-7-sc...=14&gallery=28
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Old 17th May 2009, 21:21   #11
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*Paws Up* *whoops*
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Old 18th May 2009, 08:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Widdykats
So, no screenshots?
I'm working on it, Widdy. I'm stuck with shitty 256k DSL for the time being so please be patient.

Those screenshots suck.

Last edited by Psythik; 18th May 2009 at 10:49.
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Old 18th May 2009, 09:06   #13
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So long as the release version is as good as the betas (Which apparently is not what happened with Vista) I think I'll give it a go.

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Old 18th May 2009, 10:30   #14
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IMO the most representative screenshots of a product come from someone who actually uses it on a day-to-day basis (rather than some tech site that just installed it). So without further ado, lets get started (BTW I changed all the thumbnails to direct links for your viewing pleasure. Also, the taskbar is on the bottom by default, but I put it on the left because it makes more sense to me there.):

The login screen gets a visual refresh.



The new Explorer menu makes accessing your files easier. Click it, and it'll open your virtual folders I mentioned earlier (Libraries). You can create a Library for anything (like the Downloads one I made). Here you can see how I have all my music from multiple locations all in one place.



...and when you right-click the Explorer menu, a list of your most frequently opened folders pops up.



If you right-click a program's icon in the taskbar, it brings up a list of your recently opened files from within that program.



See the arrows on some programs? Click it and it'll bring up a list of either your most recently opened documents, or a list of "Tasks", as seen in this screenshot. Not a whole lot of programs support this yet.



The "Hide Inactive Icons" feature gets a slight update. When you click the arrow this happens instead.



The sidebar is gone, but the gadgets remain. I don't use this feature but here's a screenie for those who might.



Win7 comes with a free full copy of XP Pro SP3, which is used for the new "Virtual XP" mode (a.k.a. XPM). So any program that runs in XP will run in Win7. Here we see Firefox running in XP alongside Win7. This is definitely one of the coolest new features.



Say you have a bunch of windows open and can't find the right one. Well all you have to do is click the program's icon in the taskbar, then hover your mouse over the window's preview and it'll isolate the window from the chaos. Click on the preview and it'll focus it. This doesn't work if you disable Aero.



The snap-to feature in action. Makes placing 2 windows side-by-side a breeze.



The Windows Experience Index now goes up to 7.9 and is a lot more accurate.



You can now manually adjust the size of image previews in Explorer.



Here's the taskbar with small icons...



...you can also revert to the classic XP/Vista layout.



Some built-in programs adapt the "ribbon" style seen in the latest version of MS Office. Paint now has more features, like cropping.



The Action Center replaces Windows Security Center, and it doesn't bug you like the security center did. Only when you click on it's icon does it show you its notifications.



Here's the new Control Panel in classic view. You can either double click on the icon as normal, or single-click the text itself.



Whoever designed the wallpapers must've taken a few tabs of acid before doing so



Minimizing a window in action. It's very quick and almost unnoticeable, but it looks cool.



Here's what things look like when you disable Aero. Note that the start menu is slightly less user-friendly with the window previews being gone.



If anyone wants more screenshots of any particular feature (or of anything I missed), let me know.

Last edited by Psythik; 18th May 2009 at 10:45.
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Old 18th May 2009, 11:13   #15
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^I'm speechless!
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Old 18th May 2009, 11:36   #16
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I hope that's a good thing 'cuz I stayed up way late to take all these screenshots.

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Old 18th May 2009, 12:04   #17
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Impressive, a GUI from MS that dosn't induce the vomit reflex and has innovative features that are not just clones of OSX or Linux ones.

Also the full copy of XP is a damn good idea, wonder if there's a "moron mode" where you can make it boot XP at the start so you can have idiot users running a virtual machine rather than a real one. Might make things easier to repair.

Not sure how much I like the new look myself, I'm still fond of the OSX look personally, but its a lot better than anything else thats come from MS for years.

[edit] Gha, any way of reverting it back to XP style menu placement? ie have the file edit etc menus just under the title bar rather than underneath the address bar, always hated having it the new way around looks wrong.

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Old 18th May 2009, 13:07   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Psythik
I'm stuck with shitty 256k DSL for the time being so please be patient.
dude, we are in the 21st century! where do you live?
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Old 18th May 2009, 16:20   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Psythik

Win7 comes with a free full copy of XP Pro SP3, which is used for the new "Virtual XP" mode (a.k.a. XPM). So any program that runs in XP will run in Win7. Here we see Firefox running in XP alongside Win7. This is definitely one of the coolest new features.
Only Win7 Pro and above get XP mode for free, you also will need a processor that supports virtualization.
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Old 18th May 2009, 16:22   #20
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Nice pictures.
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Old 18th May 2009, 21:49   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Psythik

...and when you right-click the Explorer menu, a list of your most frequently opened folders pops up.
http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/5878/frequent.jpg
Pr0n definitley falls into this category xD
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Old 19th May 2009, 00:43   #22
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The reason why my internet sucks is because I lost my job last month and had to move in with my Nana until I get back on my feet. I can't convince her to upgrade because it's "fast enough" for her. Oh well, it's fast enough for gaming and 7, and if I configure Firefox to cache everything the sites I frequent the most load almost instantly.

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Last edited by Psythik; 19th May 2009 at 01:21.
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Old 19th May 2009, 06:39   #23
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I can't stand how much of the taskbar the icons take. I like the tiny quick launch icons a la windows 98/ME/XP/Vista.

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Old 19th May 2009, 08:02   #24
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I'm sticking with "meh".

Thanks for taking the time, Psythik.

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Old 19th May 2009, 08:07   #25
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Definitely unimpressed with the visual and the new features shown here.

Anything exciting going on under the hood? New file system features, more intuitive network config (having to download a third party program to manually edit upnp because windows can't understand that it should ask the router to forward a port being listened to by a program actively connecting to the internet, just so that I don't have to configure my flatmates router which I don't exactly have the right to do...)

Why can't XP be upgraded to 7? Is it fundamental under the hood changes or and attempt to make more money? Is it a completely new kernal type, not NT based? If not, why does it need to run an XP virtual machine?

And as for being exactly as resource friendly as XP, it makes me wonder if they didn't intentially release vista as a shit OS, force people to buy that, just to drive up demand for windows 7 when it's released.
I wish windude was still around, he'd have the answers!
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Old 19th May 2009, 08:16   #26
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I just look at Vista as another Millennium Edition. It has probably been one to skip for many users.

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Old 19th May 2009, 08:30   #27
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Windows accumulates shit and slows down. Stupid people (i.e. the masses) take this to mean they need a new computer. With vista it's already shit, so it takes less time for people to think they need a new computer. Oh hey, windows 7, a great new holy savior for the masses.

Makes me wonder if microsoft predicted the recession. Or even caused it in order to try and sink competitors, while they ride it out because 'people need their new software'.


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Old 19th May 2009, 08:45   #28
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So far I'm not hating the Windows 7 RC. The only thing I had to install was the drivers to my sound card. So far it just feels a bit more like a polished version of Vista. I've also only had it running for 20 minutes.

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Old 19th May 2009, 10:21   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
I can't stand how much of the taskbar the icons take. I like the tiny quick launch icons a la windows 98/ME/XP/Vista.
Quote:
Originally posted by Psythik
Here's the taskbar with small icons...


...you can also revert to the classic XP/Vista layout.

I just hope the fix the icon spacing before the final release.
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Old 19th May 2009, 13:00   #30
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well, the icons seem to use a lot of space right and left to them on the last screenshot. i never use the quick launch area so i would turn it off anyways.
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Old 19th May 2009, 13:11   #31
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I'll agree with that thought. The icons need to be skinnier on the taskbar. They currently have too much wasted space between each one.

My thought is that it might be possible to keep the buttons to appear the same size, they would still use the same amount of space for event notifications and for simply activating or selecting an icon; but their edge space would overlap instead of each button being distinct. The overlapping zones would still be able to function as if only button was there based on basically a concept of the overlapping parts making multiple layers that can be scrolled through by clicking on the overlapping space as opposed to the actual button.

While we are being speculative here, why not make the icons combine able as well? I currently have two separate icons to launch two separate games, why can't both applications dock into one icon and launch from a single icon? It'd be really nice to be able to manage something like that easily by dragging and dropping the icons on the bar.
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Old 20th May 2009, 06:40   #32
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You can write a simple .BAT file to run two applications at once, from a single Quick Launch icon.

Of course, it's not ideal to have to rig up such a workaround, but it does work.

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Old 20th May 2009, 06:42   #33
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It's good to know some stuff from the days of DOS.

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Old 20th May 2009, 06:44   #34
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Did someone call for a bat?

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Old 20th May 2009, 07:11   #35
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Old 20th May 2009, 07:40   #36
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Good news for you nostalgic folk -- I figured out how to recreate the old-style quicklaunch:

Before


After


1. Create a new folder anywhere and name it QuickLaunch (or whatever)
2. Put all your shortcuts in said folder
3. Right-click Taskbar > Toolbars > New toolbar...
4. Navigate to QuickLaunch folder
5. Unlock the taskbar (if needed), put the newly-created QuickLaunch where you want it, then right-click it > View > Small Icons
6. Right-click again > uncheck Show Text, Show Title
7. ???
8. Profit!
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Old 20th May 2009, 16:12   #37
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that looks quite good, nice find!
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Old 20th May 2009, 21:45   #38
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Its funny all the things in Vista people complained about is now the bees knees in Seven. Public perception for the win, I guess.

Microsoft won't care just as long as people move from the 10 year old XP. And you just can't upgrade from XP, the amount of changes between Vista and XP was enough alone to require a clean install.

Vista users however will have a smooth upgrade since not much under the hood has changed between the two.

Though I wish Windows 7 had a smoother window transition like in Vista. The animation 7RC1 is still pretty jumpy.
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Old 20th May 2009, 21:58   #39
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one thing that annoys the hell out of me on my vista notebook is the explorer. you cant sort by name + group (which was extremely helpful in big lists).
also it always gives me that list view, and doesnt show as tiles like xp did when there are only a few files.
and then when i copy paste something in the same folder it first places it at the end of the list and then when i scroll up the view autoupdates and its placed under the original.
seriously, i dont need no shiny transparent windows, just give me my xp explorer. vista's is not user friendly at all.
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Old 20th May 2009, 22:58   #40
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Vista can sort by name + group.

However, it won't (for me at least) remember the type of view that I closed the window with the way XP did, even though it's supposed to.

Vista's drop down menu in windows explorer sucks balls too. I'd rather navigate up there rather than on the side where scrolling gets to be a pain in the ass. 7 isn't much help in this area.

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