With the release date now set for October 22, you might want to start thinking about a move to the new version of Windows. Although some industry tech-types claim that Windows 7 is simply a re-tooled Vista, others claim that there is enough substance in the new version to justify the upgrade. The overall look and feel of Win7 matches Vista, but I feel that there have been enough changes and improvements to the core group of applications and utilities to favor an upgrade.
The major difference in the Desktop is the taskbar. The Win7 taskbar has been called the “SuperBar” because it combines the dual role of the old Windows taskbar and Quick Launch bar into one. Previous versions of Windows had a Quick Launch bar that you could enable which gave you one-click access to your favorite apps, and once these apps were running, another icon was presented to show that they were active. With the Win7 SuperBar, you can “pin” applications to the taskbar, and when the applications are activated, there is a subtle outline around the icon that indicates the app is running. Also, if you hover over the icons of running apps, you will get a popup showing a representation of the screen that is currently showing in the app’s interface.
The major core apps that were upgraded include Windows Media Player, MS Paint and WordPad.
Win7 will be available in several different editions:
- Windows 7 N Starter- 32 bit only and is only available as a preinstalled option
- Windows 7 Home Basic – only available in emerging such as Bangladesh, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand.
- Windows 7 Home Premium – This will be the “normal” retail version that will be offered with everything except for enterprise networking enabled. Windows Media Center will be included.
- Windows 7 Professional – geared towards professional users. Works with Windows Server domains.
- Windows 7 Enterprise – Volume licensing only. Contains enhanced security features for enterprise users.
- Windows 7 Ultimate – contains the same features as Windows 7 Enterprise, but available to home users on an individual license basis.
Prices for the 3 home user versions will be as follows:
Home Premium – Upgrade: 119.99, Full Retail: 199.99
Professional – Upgrade: 199.99, Full Retail: 299.99
Ultimate - Upgrade: 219.99, Full Retail: 319.99