This is just a quick overview of some of the changes I’ve seen with Windows 7.
I’ll be adding more as I work with it more.
1. The installation is FAST !!! From start to finish took just under 20 minutes. With all the applications I needed to install and approximately 300 megs of updates it still took only another hour and half. Never had that much speed doing a complete install before.
2. Boot time is fast. On the same computer, Vista booted in approximately 80 seconds. Windows 7 booted in 50 seconds. That’s about a 38% fast boot time with Windows 7.
3. Applications load faster. I used my slowest loading program, QuickBooks. With Vista it took approximately 30 seconds. Windows 7 loaded in in 20 seconds. Again about 30% faster. Other programs showed a similar increase in how much faster they started.
4. The operating system uses far less resources than Vista. For example, the memory Windows 7 used on a 32-bit computer was under 700 megs.
5. A lot of services you may not need (like Tablet PC, Secondary Logon, Remote Registry just to name a few, are not loaded by default. In fact, many of the services I would manually have to turn off for customers with Vista to help with performance, are already off with Windows 7.
6. The sidebar does not get installed by default. Since this is not necessary, why have it install as a default. Another change to the sidebar as that there really isn’t one like with Vista. With Vista, the sidebar often prevent you from access icons that were underneath it. With Windows 7, it is more like the individual Gadgets are on their own. There is no sidebar per se any longer. You simply add Gadgets and place them where you like.
7. The Start menu has pretty much a similar look. The nice addition is then instead of the somewhat cryptic icon for shutdown, it now shows the word “Shutdown”. That is also the default setting for the icon. With Vista it was Standby which is typically used far less frequently.
8. A minor point performance wise, but one I liked seeing, is that now with Aero, maximized windows have a transparent border . With Vista they more or less turned black.
9. The Quick Launch menu is not there separately. It’s there by default. If you want to add an item, a new option is to right click on a program’s icon, and select Pin to Task Bar. This is a lot faster than dragging each icon to the Quick Launch Menu. You can then move the icon wherever you like on the Task Bar like before. To remove it, right click on the icon and Unpin it.
10. On the taskbar, when you have a program open,, and hover over an icon, it will show a thumbnail of the program as it would appear running.
11. If there are multiple instances of that program, for example if you have multiple Windows Explorer sessions open, it will display each one. Then you can select the one you want to access. This is a much fast way to access open program that the Flip3D.
12. The System tray is much less cluttered than before. You have the option to select how you want icons displayed if at all.
13. In addition to the clock, the date is also shown in the System tray
14. To the very right of the clock is an open area. Clicking on this toggles minimizing all programs, showing the desktop. Clicking again restores all the programs.