Looking Ahead to Windows 7
This week I met with Intel and Microsoft to discuss the upcoming Windows 7 launch. I’ve been testing out the latest release candidate for sometime now, and have been very impressed. Certainly, the new UI changes are spiffy, but what has impressed me most is how fast and responsive the OS feels – more so than my experiences with Vista, and even Windows XP. Granted, I am using a Core 2 Duo 3.06ghz system, which although already a year old, it is still considered to be a pretty fast processor.
At the meeting, Intel told me that they have worked very closely with Microsoft so that Windows 7 could maximize the potential out of Intel’s processors. Unlike in previous Windows Operating systems, Windows 7 truly knows how to utilize every single core in your system. There have been core kernel improvements made in Wind0ws 7 that increase the performance of apps running on multicore CPUs. Is this part of the reason why I’ve noticed that Windows 7 is snappier to use than Windows XP and Vista? Definitely.
Windows 7 also promises to be more energy efficient than its predecessors. An average of 10-20% in extended battery life has been reported on systems running Windows 7. Windows manages this by automatically turning off devices like graphics cards and storage devices that aren’t needed depending on the task.
For businesses or individuals who will be upgrading to Windows 7 Professional, they’ll be able to benefit from virtualization. In this case, they’ll specifically have the ability to run software in Windows XP mode. Running software in virtualization is great for security purposes, and of course having a virtualized XP mode available will make it less painful for those dependent on legacy software which is only compatible with XP.
At this point, we’re pretty confident that Windows 7 won’t be the bust that Vista was. Intel also told us that there will be a lot of new powerful processors unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum this week in San Francisco. We hate to say to wait when it comes to buying a PC, because there will always be something bigger and better that comes along. But between the launch of Windows 7 and the new processors coming out, it looks like the next few months are going to be exciting times for power users (geeks) and regular consumers alike, who are bound to benefit as well.