Microsoft Windows 7 RC1
Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is a polished piece of work, ready for prime time
- Early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista
- Too soon to make a proper assessment of the operating system
It's way too early to make a proper assessment of Windows 7, but Microsoft has made its intentions clear: Windows 7 is intended to right the wrongs Vista wrought, but retain that operating system's good points. And at this point, we can't argue with that. Our early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista, which can only be a good thing. We'll be updating this review as we get more information on and time with Windows 7, so be sure to bookmark this page.
Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1), prematurely available on BitTorrent file-sharing sites and due to be more widely available on May 5, is a polished piece of work, ready for prime time.
This hotly anticipated version arrives with a variety of nifty new changes to the interface and some important refinements under the hood.
Most of the changes in Windows 7 RC1 are not earth-shaking, but in general the operating system has been tweaked in numerous small ways to improve productivity and overall usefulness. In this review, we'll look only at changes made between the beta that was released last January and RC1.
Windows 7 RC1: Windows XP Mode
Perhaps the biggest surprise — and for Microsoft, possibly the biggest boost — is a feature that has been announced but not yet available: Windows XP Mode, which will run XP applications in an XP compatibility box, but make them appear as if they are running directly in Windows 7 itself. In this way, Microsoft hopes to give users the best of both worlds — the compatibility of XP and the shinier new Windows 7 interface.
The feature sounds underwhelming until you dig into the details. According to Microsoft, you won't actually have to manually run Virtual PC to run those XP applications once you've installed them; instead, they will appear to work directly within Windows 7.
You'll just have to run Virtual PC the first time and run the application — from that point on, it will appear to be just other application running directly in Windows 7 (at least, that's the promise). And you won't have to buy XP separately — your Windows 7 EULA (end-user licence agreement) includes XP as well. In essence, you get two operating systems for the price of one.
This solves one of Microsoft's biggest problems with XP very cleverly — it's such a solid, stable operating system that people simply don't want to give it up to move to a newer operating system. Now they don't have to — they can run XP as if it were a part of Windows 7.
Microsoft says Windows XP Mode will soon be ready for download, and as soon as it is, I'll follow up with a report on how well it works.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- 2 Moto G7 review: The new gold standard for budget buyers
- 3 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- Parallels 15 lets you turn an iPad into a Surface tablet
- Bitdefender refreshes consumer cybersecurity offering
- Apple Music is now streaming on Alexa in Australia & New Zealand
- Windows Lite: what it is and when it might be released
- Freeview relaunch 'FV' website
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Happy iPhone Day: Here's everything Apple just announced
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Australian review (2019)
- Best true wireless earbuds: Jabra vs Sony vs Beats
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies