The PC World challenge: 72 hours of Windows 7!

The challenge: switch from Windows Vista to Windows 7 completely.

The Verdict

I phrase that last paragraph as I do, because it relates to my ultimate point. As it stands, Windows 7 is not a new operating system. It's SP2. Rightly, it's what Vista should have been, but I'm willing to compromise on this just existing as a significant, service-pack-worthy upgrade to the core Vista OS. A mainstay of the new experiences you will actually encounter are cosmetic in design or function: the new desktop functions are pretty, Windows gadgets are an exploded version of the Vista sidebar, Homegroup is just a rebranded way to set up network sharing, the Taskbar uses icons instead of icons and words, et cetera.

Truly novel innovations: an extensive Firewall system, a brand-new Backup and Restore tool that would actually keep me from buying an off-the-shelf solution, PC Safeguard... these are all neat applications. At its core, I really like the direction Microsoft has gone with Windows 7. There's no question in my mind about that.

But as a paying customer, I have to ask myself: when this OS hits the market, is there enough packed in there to warrant its $125 price (or thereabouts)? From XP to Vista, I definitely pulled the trigger and didn't look back. I don't believe that, at this stage in the game, the pretty functionality and intriguing applications are worth the eventual cost. I can mimic a lot of Windows 7's new functionality with common freeware applications. And while the graphics are pretty, I'm not about to shell out a ton of cash just so I can shift around my desktop windows and giggle.

156978-daveblog_W77_original

(To be fair, the new graphical elements like full Window transparency just by hovering your mouse over "Show Desktop" make up some awesome features.)

Had Microsoft the gall, it would release Windows 7 as a free upgrade for Windows Vista users. It's not going to, nor can I see the software giant doing anything but slapping a standard pricing model on this "brand-new" OS. It'll be curious to see what this does to Vista support, given the inherent similarity between the two platforms. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft officially killed Vista development and made Windows 7 its default, go-to operating system. Sounds crazy? Eh. So is the hype around this operating system.

As for me? I think I'll go back to Vista for now...

Tags Windows 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Murphy

PC World (US online)

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?