Windows 7 is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s series of operating systems, released in July of 2009. Many consider Windows 7 the proper successor to XP, whereas Vista was plagued by compatibility issues and inefficient resource usage. Microsoft’s latest OS release follows the trend of user friendliness that has become very prominent in consumer technology over the past few years. In this regard, simplicity and speed have become some of the most attractive characteristics of Windows 7.
With Windows 7, Microsoft has focused on simplification in an effort to compete with rivals such as Apple, which tend to dominate the market for casual PC users. The digital world has become central to our every day lives, and new technologies need to appeal to casual users if they hope to achieve any mainstream success. This is exactly what Microsoft has done. Windows 7 has undergone a complete visual overhaul from its predecessors, with a streamlined interface and new customizable display options.
Along with the updated interface, the actual windows which contain your files now re-size and snap into place automatically, so you can view multiple documents without constantly having to resize and move them around. It might not seem like much, but it makes the whole Windows experience a lot more fluid. Hovering the mouse pointer over document icon now shows a full sized preview of the document, so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. Windows 7 also boasts impressive load times, booting up and shutting down more quickly than its predecessors. Networking has also been simplified, allowing users to easily add multiple computers (or printers) to the same internet connection, both wired and wirelessly.
Another innovative new feature is the ability to watch TV and record your favorite shows (like DVR) right on your computer, making the 7-equipped PC a great media center.
The included Internet Explorer 8 features “web slices,” which can be set to notify you whenever a website is updated – allowing users to easily keep track of auctions, game scores, weather reports, or anything else that you’d like to track for updates. For gamers, Windows 7 supports the new Direct X 11, which increases the visual processing abilities of the system.
Windows 7 is what Vista wanted to be. It simplifies and quickens day to day tasks in many ways, which ends up saving a lot of time. Searching for things is now much easier and has replaced the traditional Start-menu function that Microsoft has been using for years. The new media options have turned my PC into a great media center, practically eliminating any need for a traditional television. Windows 7 is simply the best version yet, combining the power of the Windows OS with a new technological paradigm of user-friendliness. The whole experience is just great: driver downloads are automatic, searches are more effective, and navigating the interface feels much more responsive than ever before.
A retail version of Windows 7 Home Premium will set you back about $199, but, if you don’t mind buying the OEM version (identical besides the packaging) you can knock that down to about $119 – a great value for all the impressive new features available in Windows 7.
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