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 RC1: Other changes
There are plenty of other changes in Windows 7 RC1. Microsoft claims that RC1 includes faster start-up and shutdown, faster resumption from standby, faster searching and indexing, and quicker recognition of USB devices. I could not confirm all of that, but on my laptop, Windows 7 did resume from standby noticeably faster, and start-up and shutdown seemed quicker as well.
In addition, there has been a small attempt to make Windows 7 greener. When you click the battery icon in the notification area, you'll see only two power plans: "Balanced" and "Power-saver".
The high-performance plan, which generally consumes more energy than the other two plans, doesn't show up. However, you can make the high-performance plan appear by clicking the battery icon, selecting "More power options" and then selecting "High performance".
There are a number of security tweaks, including some minor changes to User Account Control (UAC). Most notably, the UAC prompt now blacks out the desktop. In addition, AutoRun has been disabled when you use USB flash drives and other nonremovable optical storage as a safety precaution, because worms can use AutoRun to sneak malware onto your PC.
Internet Explorer has gotten several minor tweaks as well. You can now launch an InPrivate browsing session via IE's Jump List, and you can open new tabs from the Jump List as well.
Windows Media Player has also received a minor makeover. Previously, Media Player had a "Lightweight Playback Mode" which took up far less real estate than the full-blown Media Player. That mode has been renamed "Now Playing Mode" and is even smaller and more compact.
Windows Media Player also now supports .mov files recorded by digital cameras. There's also a Remote Media Streaming feature that lets you stream media to other PCs.
Finally, there have been some changes of note for enterprise use. RC1 includes changes to the DirectAccess feature for connecting to corporate networks remotely, including adding smart card support. Folders can be deleted and renamed when in offline mode. And AppLocker, which allows IT staffers to control what applications can be run on PCs, has gotten some tweaks as well, making it easier to administer.
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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.
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