Microsoft stole attention very early this year with the release of Windows 7 Beta 1. Actually I am running it on all my PCs desktops, laptops at work and home. I guess I am considered a bad source for a review since I still think Windows Vista is much more better than Windows XP while a lot of people think otherwise. The Beta 1 is extremely stable and and it looks great. This time we will have performance and great user experience, guaranteed! A friend of mine who is an “apple guy” has been going ecstatic about Windows 7 while a few months ago he was mocking Vista and praising Apple. People keep thinking that Windows Vista was just a cosmetic upgrade to XP that went wrong and I am listening to similar comments about Windows 7. Reporters are really damaging the products reputation so I think I need to contribute on informing people. So here is a quick list:

  • Kernel code has been going threw lots of clean up and optimisations in order to separate the operating system in multiple components. Specifically, the Windows team mentioned that they found lots low level functionality making calls to high level functionality and they had to do something about it. So the 7th Windows Kernel is cleaned up and polished.
  • Have you got more than one processor? Step in! Windows 7 is the first edition of Windows to really take advantage of multiple processors. In more detail, the Task Scheduler (not the admin utility xD) can now schedule processes per physical or logical CPU. That means Windows now takes full advantage of your hardware.
  • Boot/shutdown speed. this is highly connected to the previous bullet point. The kernel can now load drivers and services in parallel in contrast to previous versions. Oh wait! What services? If you run multiple services on your machine and have them to automatic start-up, Windows 7 wont load them unless you ask for them!
  • Built in virtualisation. What? Yea you can now mount and boot from a VHD as if it was a local hard drive. So in other words Hyper-V is included although you cant virtualize from your desktop.
  • Mount VHDs. You can now mount your VHDs using Disk Management.
  • GDI What? I am not sure if the entire operating system has been changed, but most components now utilize DirectUI instead of GDI+ (including Windows Explorer). So what is DirectUI? DirectUI is a DirectX based UI framework which is hoping to replace GDI soon. DirectUI is more robust than GDI+ and also looks much better. DirectUI is used by applications such as Office 2007, Windows Live Messenger and others. WPF is actually a managed wrapper for DirectUI.

These bullet points are shouting: “Not just a pretty face!” and we haven’t even covered any of the end user features yet! Also, machine score scaling finally moved up! I am tired of sharing Vista’s maximum of 5.9 with less powerful machines than mine :D. Here’s my score: