After much anticipation and speculation, Microsoft has finally released its long awaited Windows 7 operating system. Aiming to make it easier for users to “do the things they want to do on a PC”, Microsoft’s successor to the largely ill-conceived Vista brings a host of new features to the table.
Among the changes are a simplified user interface and an overhauled taskbar, with Windows 7 promising improved security, faster start up and shut down times and easier networking of multiple PC’s. “Shake and see” allows a user to click on a window and shake the mouse to minimize all other open windows, while a new device storage function means easier synchronicity between cameras, mobiles and the like.
Users are able to stream digital content such as music and photos to other PC’s or devices such as an Xbox 360. Windows also makes its multi-touch debut with the widely reported Windows Touch software, and several PC makers have recently developed multi-touch ready devices shipping with Windows 7 including Dell, Toshiba, HP, Gateway and Getac.
Microsoft has taken into account the feedback of PC manufacturers and millions of beta testers over the past 18 months. It’s hoping that this operating system will prove to be a bigger success than Vista and not only assist it in making up lost ground, but kick start sluggish worldwide PC sales in the process. While early reports are favorable, only time will tell if Windows 7 is to become the hugely successful simplified PC experience Microsoft knows it will need to be to reclaim the lost ground caused by Vista.
Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium will retail for US$199.99 with an upgrade option from US$119.99 and an upgrade Family Pack for upgrading three PCs available for US$149.99 . Meanwhile, Windows 7 Professional retails for US$299.99 for the full version and US$199.99 for the upgrade, while Windows 7 Ultimate retails for US$319.99 for the full version and US$219.99 for the upgrade.