Windows 7

windows-7

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Microsoft were trying to confuse us.

The approach for naming Windows appears to change with every release.Back when I first started using Windows we were running 3.11 which we then upgraded to Windows 95 (although NT 4.0 was also available).Next we switched to Windows Millennium Edition (although a rather similarly sounding Windows 2000 was available) then we moved on to versions named after aspirational monikers such as XP and Vista.

It seems confusing as to whether they wish to name the Operating System after the version number, year of release or an alternative name but thankfully they have decided to make it ‘simple’ by settling on Windows 7 for their next release.This however is the point where the confusion arises once again; Windows 3.11 was obviously a later release of version 3, Windows 95 was commonly considered version 4, Windows 2000 was version 5 and Vista version 6.The more astute among you may notice that Windows XP, possibly the most common Operating System on the market, doesn’t seem to feature in this numbering system so I am therefore assuming that Windows XP must have either been considered unworthy of its own version number or that Microsoft cannot count.

Anyway, back to the point, Windows 7 (although I argue it should be called ‘Windows 8’) will be the next Operating System release from Microsoft.Penned in for a Beta (test) release in early 2009 with the final product becoming available in 2010 I thought it would be worth looking at some of the features they have planned:

Sensors – Windows 7 will include the ability for applications to obtain information through a number of different sensors and act on the information accordingly.An example would be using a GPS sensor so that the OS could establish that you were at work and change your profile accordingly or a proximity sensor that could determine that with no one close to the machine that it could enter power saving mode.

Multi-touch – Windows 7 will include integrated support for multi-touch displays.Conventional touch screen has never particularly excited me but with multi-touch, rather than simply allowing you to crudely point at something you want to click you are able to use multiple fingers from both hands.An example of a practical use would be to select multiple items on screen simultaneously or select an item with your left hand whilst flicking through windows to find somewhere to drop it with your right.Alternatively you could use it in a photo application to resize an image by pulling or pinching either side of it with the index fingers of either hand until you get it to the size you desire.

Speech and Handwriting Recognition –Unfortunately speaking to your computer is embarrassing and writing by hand is usually slower and more laborious than typing although there is the very real need for speech recognition to continue to improve for those with disabilities who cannot use a keyboard.That said, there are those that do see a future in these technologies so they will no doubt be delighted by their inclusion.

The graphical interface has reportedly been tweaked and the user interface is very much customizable with support for ‘gadgets’ (small lightweight applications) that can be added to areas of the Operating System such as Windows Explorer or Media Centre.Of course, a lot of what is being planned is ‘under the hood’ so to speak with Microsoft claiming that Windows 7 will have improved performance on multi-core processors, improved boot speeds and extensive kernel improvements.I will bring you more information as and when I get it.

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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