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Windows 7 Beta Review

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How exactly do you test an Operating System? There are no pre-made benchmarks. There is no FPS. There is no set of numbers to use in a graph. How do you test an Operating System in order to compare it with another? The answer to this is to use it and the programs that came installed with it, in order to see how you like it. The only problem with this method is that everyone will get different results. Some will love it, others will hate it, and some will be irritated by just a few things. So how do you decide if an Operating System is right for you? Simple, you read what other people liked and what they criticized. Then compare it to the things that you would like and the things that would pretty much irritate the hell out of you. I will attempt to use Windows 7 as an ordinary user would. Then I'll try to give accurate descriptions of the things I liked, as well as the things I could care less about.


Testing Setup:

  • Processor: AMD 4800+
  • Motherboard: ASUS 780A Crosshair
  • Memory: Corsair Dominator DDR2-800 2GB
  • Video Card: eVGA GTX 260 SSC edition
  • Power Supply: Corsair 750W
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 750GB
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

Microsoft has had the "Show Desktop" button for a while now. It was a relatively useless way of minimizing all your windows at the same time. Once again Microsoft has implemented this in Windows 7. At first I thought it was really, really cool. I thought wrong. Instead of being located in its usual spot (bottom left-hand side), the button has migrated to the bottom right-hand of the task bar. Upon moving your mouse over, it will turn all your windows invisible. If you click it, then you of course minimize all your windows.

This sounds pretty cool, but it got very irritating, very fast. I have a habit of quickly moving my mouse aside whenever I begin to write anything. Of course the mouse cursor usually goes to the bottom right-hand corner. This just happens to be where the new "Show Desktop" button is located. For the first several hours of using Windows 7, I'd suddenly be writing into a window I could not see. Luckily you can easily disable this feature. However, in doing so you lose the ability to minimize windows by scrolling over their miniature window counterpart. This probably won't happen to most people, but for those that have the same habit as me, it's something you may have to deal with by retooling the way you do things.

Internet Explorer:

Many people do not even use the default browser provided by Microsoft, but for those that do, there are a few things you should know. Like all previous versions of this browser, it is extremely easy to use and makes for a great default. That's pretty much the only good thing about it, but that's not to say it's full of problems. The only two annoyances I actually had with it can easily be fixed by Microsoft before the final OS is released. The main problem I had was that clicking on the icon would not open a second window. It would bring up the one I had already opened. The only reason this irritated me was because IE crashed on me twice. Normally I would just reopen the program, but clicking on the icon would bring me to the already-opened browser window, thus greeting me with a non-responsive window. The solution to this was to just end the process.

The second problem was that tabbed windows were very slow to open. It would take about 12 seconds to open a link in a new tab, whereas opening in a new window would take only a second. I'm going to forgive this one though, as it is probably a bug.

Just as in previous versions, Windows 7 will provide warnings if any updates are available or if your computer is not secure. For instance, if you do not have an antivirus installed on your rig a warning message will show up prompting you to download one. Clicking on this warning will bring up a page in Internet Explorer with links to antivirus software supported by Windows 7. From there you can click the link of your antivirus of choice, and as long as you don't open in a new tab, you'll be able to download the software fairly fast.


Paint, Calculator, Folders, and all other software included with the OS ran as they should. Occasionally, however, I would encounter a crash. Shall I assume that this is due to it being a beta version and will be fixed before the final version is released? I hope so, as I really enjoy this OS, and if you can get past the RAM usage, I think most people will as well.


  1. Introduction & Getting Started
  2. First Impressions
  3. New Features
  4. Performance
  5. System Requirements
  6. Testing
  7. Conclusion
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