Not to be overlooked in the announcement is the branding shift by the company, moving away from Vista and onto Windows 7. With the name change come some new features that the Redmond crew is hoping to dangle like shiny objects to help everyone who lived through Vista forget the past and just focus on the, hopefully, more pleasant times ahead.
Microsoft is touting the fact that they think Windows 7 will streamline the tasks that people do most often with improved navigation, a fresh taskbar and a new user interface. Part of the streamline operation involves moving things to the Web.
You might've heard that the next version of Office is taking significant steps toward the Web.
In addition to sharing and editing documents on the Web with Office, Microsoft is looking to integrate its Live Services platform into Windows 7. Live Services are tools like Hotmail or Web Mesh that the company hopes will synch information across devices and between business and recreational functions.
Gadgets Cameras will have expanded support; phones and printers were spotlighted as in line to get an interoperability facelift; and, multi-media devices like music and video players will help customers personalize their PC, according to Microsoft.
So what? The specter of Vista is still lurking in broad daylight as a glaring reminder of what Microsoft has foisted on customers before.
Microsoft counters by pointing out that they have substantial reduced disk I/O in Windows 7 that occurs when reading the registry, boosted power saving, boot speed and responsiveness. Those upgrades shouldn't be overlooked.
But in the next breath Redmond points out what some might consider to be more cosmetic changes. Windows 7 gets rid of the sidebar, allowing users to place gadgets directly on the desktop. Two windows can be viewed side by side. There are Jump Lists for easier file search and Libraries that perform searches across a variety of data. Taskbar got a graphical update.
MS Paint got an update. That little program which seems to have never change got its own recognition as one of the selling points of the next version of Windows.
The Web integration looks like the way to go. The boot times might be quicker and overall the OS might be more responsive. But whether those improvements -- and the MS Paint upgrade -- are enough to make users forget Vista still remains to be seen.
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