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: desktop gadgets
Microsoft has also introduced a couple of easy-to-use window management features that users may find helpful. If you want to work in two windows side-by-side, dragging the second window to either side of the screen snaps them both into place so that each takes up half the screen. If you drag a window to the top of your display, it snaps to the top, taking up the width of the screen. UAC: let's try that again
Windows XP's reputation for shaky security stemmed in part from the scary possibility of hackers worming their way into your PC and launching applications or changing settings at will. In Vista, Microsoft responded with User Account Control, a safeguard which tries to protect you by asking, in effect, "Are you sure?" before executing a wide variety of system actions.
The problem was that those actions are intentionally initiated by the user in the vast majority of instances. Telling Vista that you know what you're doing gets old quickly. But Vista's UAC essentially has only two settings: on and off.
Windows 7 still lets you opt for full-tilt UAC or no UAC at all. It adds two useful intermediate settings though: one notifies you to attempts to install software or change settings without making you click to continue, and the other notifies you only when a program tries to change settings. Both of these options provide a happy medium — you'll be alerted when potentially dangerous actions transpire on your PC, but your work won't grind to a halt nearly as often as it does with Vista's version of UAC.
The UAC settings reside in a Control Panel section called Windows Solution Center, which replaces Vista's Security Center. It's home to a bunch of features for adjusting security settings, using Windows Update, and backing up data. And it also lets you turn off various Windows notifications, such as the ones that warn you about security settings. Turn off every nagging notice that Windows 7 lets you disable, and you could wind up with the least intrusive edition of the OS in a long time.
Did we say that Windows 7 is longer on substance than style? For most part, it's true. But the new features for applying Themes to the Windows interface are nicely done. As before, they let you choose collections of wallpaper, colour schemes, sounds, and screen savers that provide Windows with an instant makeover. Windows 7's version lets you see a full-screen preview of a Theme's effect on the OS with one click, however, and it's easier to create and save your own Themes than with Vista's antediluvian Theme controls.
(Microsoft, incidentally, says that Themes will be renamed Styles before Windows 7 ships: that's a classic example of the company renaming a familiar feature without any clear purpose.)
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
- Google Assistant branches out, supporting third-party hardware and smarter features
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTICT Transformation Integration ManagerNSW
- CCICT Security Systems AdministratorNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTDeployment Analyst / Customer Service - Minchinbury NSWNSW
- FTNetwork Deployment ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Process ModellerNSW
- FTCustomer Support Team LeadNSW
- CCJunior Security System AnalystQLD
- FTBusiness Analyst- Wollongong, Loftus, Sutherland ShireNSW
- FTScrum Master - TechnicalNSW
- FTPrincipal Consultant / Account Delivery Executive.NSW
- FTChange Manager, Agile, WealthNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence DesignerNSW
- TPTrim Helpdesk AnalystVIC
- FTSecurity ConsultantQLD
- FTDigital ProducerNSW
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - RELOCATE TO CANBERRANSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerQLD
- FTJava Technical Team LeadVIC
- TPSystems EngineerQLD
- FTSenior Network EngineerNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- CCProject ManagerNSW