Microsoft Windows 7 RC1
Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is a polished piece of work, ready for prime time
- Early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista
- Too soon to make a proper assessment of the operating system
It's way too early to make a proper assessment of Windows 7, but Microsoft has made its intentions clear: Windows 7 is intended to right the wrongs Vista wrought, but retain that operating system's good points. And at this point, we can't argue with that. Our early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista, which can only be a good thing. We'll be updating this review as we get more information on and time with Windows 7, so be sure to bookmark this page.
Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1), prematurely available on BitTorrent file-sharing sites and due to be more widely available on May 5, is a polished piece of work, ready for prime time.
This hotly anticipated version arrives with a variety of nifty new changes to the interface and some important refinements under the hood.
Most of the changes in Windows 7 RC1 are not earth-shaking, but in general the operating system has been tweaked in numerous small ways to improve productivity and overall usefulness. In this review, we'll look only at changes made between the beta that was released last January and RC1.
Windows 7 RC1: Windows XP Mode
Perhaps the biggest surprise — and for Microsoft, possibly the biggest boost — is a feature that has been announced but not yet available: Windows XP Mode, which will run XP applications in an XP compatibility box, but make them appear as if they are running directly in Windows 7 itself. In this way, Microsoft hopes to give users the best of both worlds — the compatibility of XP and the shinier new Windows 7 interface.
The feature sounds underwhelming until you dig into the details. According to Microsoft, you won't actually have to manually run Virtual PC to run those XP applications once you've installed them; instead, they will appear to work directly within Windows 7.
You'll just have to run Virtual PC the first time and run the application — from that point on, it will appear to be just other application running directly in Windows 7 (at least, that's the promise). And you won't have to buy XP separately — your Windows 7 EULA (end-user licence agreement) includes XP as well. In essence, you get two operating systems for the price of one.
This solves one of Microsoft's biggest problems with XP very cleverly — it's such a solid, stable operating system that people simply don't want to give it up to move to a newer operating system. Now they don't have to — they can run XP as if it were a part of Windows 7.
Microsoft says Windows XP Mode will soon be ready for download, and as soon as it is, I'll follow up with a report on how well it works.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- New Microsoft beta lets workers build their own apps without coding
- Intel is on the verge of exiting the smartphone and tablet markets after cutting Atom chips
- 5 (more) reasons to be a data scientist
- FCC wireless auction hits spectrum target, paving way for fast, reliable 5G
- IBM offers advice on how to secure blockchain in the cloud
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCProject Specialist - Contact Center and Unified CommunicationsVIC
- FTData AnalystNSW
- CCMS Biz Talk ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Technical WriterVIC
- FTAGILE Training Manager/CoachNSW
- FTSystem EngineerACT
- CCSr. Iteration ManagerVIC
- FTPMO AnalystNSW
- CCSr. Project Manager - Six SigmaVIC
- FTSenior Storage Systems EngineerACT
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCIT Network SpecialistVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCSystem admin with SQL server experience | Defence-wide project | NV1 neededACT
- FTWeb DeveloperSA
- CCApplication Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Oracle/Unix) 160509/AP/395Asia
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- CCSql Server Database Administrator (SAP)QLD
- CCHealthcare Test SpecialistSA
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence ConsultantSA
- CCSolutions Architect - Network and InfrastructureNSW
- FTNV2 Defence Project Manager | Prince2 & PMBoK shop | Huge project pipelineACT
- CCSCRUM MasterNSW