After twenty plus years, Microsoft finally got it right. In a movement that has stunned developers, awed users, and just generally thrilled the heck out of the general IT community, Microsoft has released the Windows 7 operating system. And it kick some righteous butt.
What makes Windows 7 different is that it isn’t just another piece of Microsoft gobbly-gook technology that supposedly makes things easier, faster, better, and can improve your life a thousand fold. I mean, oddly enough - it actually does that - but what makes Windows 7 really fantastic is that, even in the beta, the technology was so stable that it ran better than the current versions of Vista, and perhaps even more stably than XP. The key to the Windows 7 technology is that they have incorporated both the AERO desktop features, as well as the user account control, in such a way that the UAC actually feels natural, and you don’t feel like you’re taking a mallet to a square peg in a round hole.
What remains to be seen with Windows 7 is whether or not the success of the release candidate and the beta will compare to the actual release. More often than not, Microsoft has been known to mess up operating systems just before their release - like what happened with Windows XP, but the community at large seems to think they learned their lesson.
The next big piece of the puzzle is what Windows 7 is going to do to the professional world. Will there be tons more certifications? We’ve already seen two certifications emerge in the market. Chances are that more are to follow. But the trouble is that with an operating system that is as simple and efficient as Windows 7, certification may not play as big of a role as it did with Windows XP, Vista, and just about any other home iteration of Windows technology. However, instead of seeing the disappearance of Windows training, we might see an upswing in training as training starts to become less focused on certifications and achievements, and more focused on skills and appliance.
Some of my favorite features of Windows 7 upon first testing are the “shake” feature, which lets you angrily shake a window and make the others automatically minimize, and the new super-improved start bar technology. This thing is slick. Not only can you launch programs, but you can launch associated files of programs straight from the start bar. And if that isn’t enough, Windows 7 technology lets you launch an application by pressing the windows button, plus a number of a correspondingly “pinned” program to your taskbar.
Your Microsoft Outlook is the first thing pinned on your taskbar? No problem! Click Windows and the number “1” at the same time, and outlook launches! Seriously cool stuff. Seriously cool technology. Seriously cool Windows 7.