Today is the official release of Windows 7 across the globe and from my own experiences of using it as my primary OS at work and at home and from the many reviews it has received over the last couple of months it is clear that Windows 7 is a great operating system that should restore the faith of many maligned Vista users and become a real alternative to the now archaic but robust Windows XP. It is reliable, visually appealing, fast and full of new components to make this the best version of windows yet and the OS of choice for your school network from here on in.
Speed to Burn and Reliability you can bank on: Most users who upgraded from Windows XP to Vista instantly were disappointed that there computers performance dropped off for no apparent reason. Whilst this has been a common trend when upgrading an OS in the past both Apple’s Snow leopard and Windows 7 will actually buy you a few more years out of your current hardware as I can attest to on My Atom Powered Low Specced Netbook and an old Pentium 4 PC here at school that run windows 7 quickly and responsively. For those of you with a new quad core and a beefy new video card Windows 7 flies under Direct X 11 to produce the best gaming and multimedia performance currently available on any platform.
Windows XP doesn’t really understand what a quad core or an i7 Processor is and offers practically no performance benefit for them. Windows 7 has been designed from the ground up to capitalise on these processors.
I have not yet sighted the Blue screen of death under Windows 7 after 12 months but I will cross my fingers saying that.
Considerable Power Savings: windows 7 is the greenest Microsoft OS ever and this will not only make you feel a little better about our planetary demise but in the case of notebook and netbook users dramatically increase your battery life to get through a day at school. Microsoft claim as much as a 40 percent increase in battery life over XP and a slight increase for Vista users. Some large corporations have justified the power savings made from switching from XP to cover the cost of upgrading to Windows 7. For large schools with hundreds of desktops and notebooks this might be a consideration for you too.
Your New Digital media Hub: Windows 7 Now supports multitudes of video and audio formats straight out of the box including AAC and H.264. I have not yet had to download a codec pack to play a video or audio file although I am sure they are out there. Plug and Play compatibility to 3rd party devices has been dramatically increased and you should now expect your camera, iPhone or USB device to work straight up under windows 7 without fishing for discs or trawling the net for drivers.
Windows 7 allows streaming of high quality video and audio across a network with fuss and Windows Media Player 12 kills iTunes in every department which looks slow, ugly and is still riddled with bugs it has carried for years now. Apple I love what you do but iTunes is sorely in need of a makeover.
Best Windows Interface Yet. Windows has long been the ugly sister of Mac OS in terms of its look and feel and Windows 7 has worked hard to improve this area. It’s slick Glass Aero interface is bright and colourful and fonts look a lot sharper and clearer which will be a benefit on interactive white boards and students that have trouble with their sight and of course those poky netbook screens look a great deal cleaner.
As I said earlier it is quick sharp and and the new toolbar allows you to put more your frequent apps and tools at the ready and you simply hover for animated thumbnail of the window running with no slowdown.
You asked for it: Yes you did, let us now put Vista and its many misconceptions and genuine flaws behind us and move forward with confidence to the best enterprise OS available. As I said I have used it for over 12 months on gaming, multimedia and networked office rigs and I cannot put it any simpler that this is the best version of windows ever. I would not recommend the average classroom workstation bothering going 64 – bit just yet as it is simply not worth it for the vast majority of apps. But 32 is super fast none the less So when you are forward planning in regards to your schools network infrastructure I can see absolutely no benefit in staying with Vista and XP considering most educational facilities will have windows 7 included as a free upgrade under your current licensing agreement with various Education Departments and Microsoft.