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 PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTScrum Master - TechnicalNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- FTiOS DeveloperWA
- CCSeeking a Perl Developer for a 5-10 Day Project!NSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - BusinessQLD
- FTWeb Content WriterACT
- FTNetwork EngineerWA
- FTTelecommunications Provisioning LeadQLD
- TPMobile Application DeveloperVIC
- FTPHP DeveloperNSW
- FTWEB DesignerQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystACT
- FTApplication Support EngineerNSW
- TPIT Training OfficerQLD
- FTSenior IT Project ManagerSA
- FTSenior SharePoint Administrator. Location -ACTACT
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- TPSQL Database AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Front End Developer - BRISBANEVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTLead Drupal DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior PMO AnalystNSW