Windows 7

Currently testing out the beta of Windows 7. I downloaded the 64-bit install version – a 3gb download, more or less. After one failed burn to a DVD, I finally got it burnt and installed to a spare hard disk (I disconnected my main Vista drive so that it didn’t put a boot menu on the disk).

The install was fairly painless – the whole thing took around 20 minutes from booting off the DVD the first time until starting Windows 7 for the first time! I think it restarted three times. The only problem I found was that it did not have a 64-bit driver for my Belkin wireless USB stick, so I had to boot back into Vista to download the driver.

I’ve only been using it for a couple of hours but the main things I’ve noticed are: –

  • Taskbar has been redesigned; you now share active windows with shortcuts. Interesting. Also no text on the taskbar icons by default.
  • Media Player has been revamped – the default play screen is much simpler now, and the tabs are all gone. You can get to media library etc. by single-clicking an button on the player.
  • Documents/ Videos/ Pictures etc. in your profile are now also virtual folders in that you point them to other locations and all results are collated in that folder. Nice touch. If I remember correctly, this also syncs up directly with your Media Player library.
  • Window handling in generally has been spiced up – you can dock windows to a side of the desktop just by dragging them there.

Will see what else I find in the coming days…

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