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.
This being an early beta release, we won't get too picky about the performance issues and minor functionality glitches we experienced during our first days with Windows 7. Let there be no doubt, however, that in the weeks and months to come the PC Advisor Test Centre will continue to put the new OS through its paces to see what it's made of.
Back in late October of 2008, we took an early look at some of the new features you can look forward to in Windows 7. Rather than reprising that, we'll delve into the question of how Windows 7's new features work, and we'll take a look at some other enhancements that struck me during my early hours with the OS.
Windows 7: Interface Enhancements
Windows 7's Desktop interface is even glassier than Vista's. So if you're not a fan of Aero, prepare yourself for Aero overload. That said, the new glassy Taskbar simplifies your view of running apps by using a unique icon — instead of the program's name — to represent each one.
The revamped System Tray is as unhelpful as ever, unfortunately, but having the option to hide some icons and turn off notifications from apps and utilities that you don't care about certainly reduces the aggravation factor.
One interface tweak we already love is the elimination of Windows Sidebar — a resource-hogging nuisance that we routinely disabled on every new Vista machine we encountered.
Without more extensive performance testing, we can't say for sure that the Sidebar-free gadgets in Windows 7 will be less detrimental to system performance than Sidebar was, but our first impression is that they're not quite as bad. Of course, they're no more useful than the old gadgets were, either. In fact, they're the same.
One striking interface update comes in the included Paint and Word Pad apps, both of which now sport a Ribbon interface à la Office 2007. Although the jury is still out on whether the Office '07 Ribbon menus constitute an improvement over previous menu layouts, the Ribbon format works exceedingly well for minimalist apps like these, putting all of the most useful features within easy view.
For instance, as we were grabbing and snipping screenshots for this article, we found Paint infinitely easier than Snipping Tool to work in because the selection, resizing and cropping tools were readily accessible from the Home menu bar. Thanks to the Ribbon, many users may discover that these two throw-away apps have gained a new lease on life. You work it out.
Join the newsletter!
Enter this months competition and you and friend could be heading to the movies. *T&C's Apply
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- 3 ASUS Zenbook Pro 15: A futuristic, exciting, imperfect, flagship notebook
- 4 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 5 LG SK85 Super UHD TV + SK9Y soundbar review: A richly-realised, albeit conventional, alternative to OLED
Latest News Articles
- Bitdefender unveils new 2019 product line
- Opinion: Is Microsoft already killing off Windows 7?
- Google bring SMS to PCs with Android Messages for Desktop
- WWDC 2018: Apple gives us a first look at an all-new Mac App Store
- Budget 2018: Government seeks to boost Australian AI capabilities
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Canon EOS 1500D: Full, in-depth review
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Dell G5 review: Full, in-depth review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?