What’s up with Windows?
Windows 7’s (beta) installation was solid and easy, and finished within nearly an hour. One of the first things you realize is the impressive clean and pure feel. There’s also a load of new features. It also doesn’t have that annoying lag which Vista just about associates with anything. It’s also good for first time Windows users, as it is easy to use and read.
Other than that feel I just talked about and the ‘fish’ background, you’ll probably notice the taskbar at first too. It’s fatter and bigger; it also views programs a lot more easily and has quick previews. Its icons ‘sit in’ the taskbar and they look much more futuristic. Microsoft has also added in jump lists, so you can get to useful and handy info (such as recent Microsoft Word documents).
Device management has also improved measurably. You have one single screen to control hardware, instead of multiple pages. It also has a new handy feature known as HomeGroup. HomeGroup helps you set up home networks, share files and printers and connect to wireless networks. Much easier then before, and much less confusing too!
There’s also actually a lot of different types of Windows 7.
Windows 7 Starter
This is the most simplest version, but it’s unlikely you’re going to use this.
Windows 7 Home Basic
There won’t be a retail version for this, so don’t bother searching…
Windows 7 Home Premium
This is the default version and ‘normal’ version. It comes with most of the features.
Windows 7 Professional
This has everything Home Premium has, but it’s got extra booty such as presentation mode, remote desktop(s), advanced printing, backup options and data encryption.
Windows 7 Enterprise
Made for businesses… large company businesses. You’re only going to want this if you’re going to install it on a few hundred computers. Has extra stuff like booting from a virtual drive and a Bitlocker drive encryption, everything else is the same as Windows 7 Pro.
Windows 7 Ultimate
It’s got everything Enterprise has but this is a rare product, so you won’t be able to walk into a retail shop and buy one. It will be offered as an upgrade to other versions.
How will this affect gamers?
Windows 7 has been tweaked around and it’s meant to improve performance. This is good for all you Vista users, because games usually run slower under Vista than XP. Programs load faster and the lag is less than Vista’s when you have about 20 programs opened at the same time.
However, Windows 7 can’t stably run two GTX 295s in SLI (what a shame ;( ). Instead, you’ll have to run it singularly. There is only a small increase of performance. It had decent improvements in Far Cry 2, containing a few more frames per second but it didn’t have more in Crysis.
Windows 7 is also going to be used as one of the platforms for Direct X 11. There aren’t many GPUs which can run DX11 yet. It’s also going to be released on Vista (but who’s going to use Vista when there’s Windows 7?)
The extras in DX11? There’s tessellation, Computer Shading and multi-threading.
Tessellation is the process where games (or graphics) are made up of triangles. The more triangles, then the better detailed. This’ll help quality and graphics.
Multi-threading allows games to have better advantage of multiple CPU cores for video hardware, API and games.
Computer Shader allows programs to directly access the GPU shader pipeline for general computing. This’ll help game designers (for physics calculations) and a lot simpler for programmers to write software.
So what’s probably gonna happen next? All the Windows so far all have the same style and ‘architecture’ as Windows 98. Apparently, Microsoft had released some news about a new OS called Midori. We don’t know a lot about Midori yet, but it’s different to Windows (so they (always) say…). It’ll use x86 hardware but the thing is you’re not going to be able to own it! It doesn’t have an official release date yet.
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