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I’ve been playing around with Windows 7 (build 7000) for a couple of days.

Microsoft bandies the “7” quite handily, but that does not change the fact that this is Windows 6.1.  If Vista was the most important release since Win95, then 6.1 will be the most important bug fix since Win98.  I would have named it Buena Vista.

I’m not one of those who hates Vista.  Anything to kill off Luna is a good thing in my book.  Vista had problems at launch, mostly graphics drivers…but those have been solved for quite some time…and SP1 fixed a lot of other niggles.  Vista has an image problem, and 7 has been built to be the anti-Vista, and–I think–succeeds.

You can look elsewhere for reviews and screen shots.  I only offer a few comments…

Getting rid of the side bar was a no brainer.  The new task bar can be reverted to the old…and thank goodness as the new one is fairly useless.

I don’t like the new panel in Windows Explorer, Vista’s was near perfect, let me decide what goes in there.  Meanwhile the new system tray is great, both functionally and aesthetically improved.

I expected more from media center, they just canceled a release and folded it into 7.  Seems like more gratuitous eye candy and not more features.  Media Center was a killer app when first released (no, actually with the second release dubbed Win MCE 2005).  Now it seems stagnant.  Like I said, I expected more.

There should be a (very) cheap upgrade path for Vista users, this is more of an incremental upgrade for them.  But I predict that 7 will help move people off of XP…it is pretty and there is obvious attention to detail.

I predict RTM in the third quarter of 09 and if they miss the back to school rush they surely won’t miss Christmas.  Build 7000 was compiled 12/8/08 but is not expected to get broad distribution until the second week of January…maybe a public RC in March.

What do you think of Windows 7?

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