Windows 7 Beta

by on Jan.13, 2009, under Windows

I have to say, Microsoft really did a great job here. The beta version of Windows 7 (Build 7000) is far more usable at this stage than Vista ever was. All my issues (see here and here) with Vista are not present here.


  • Wireless worked immediately; during setup, no less! (screenshot)
  • All my hardware was detected and drivers automatically downloaded from Windows Update, without my intervention. (screenshot 1: All drivers installed; screenshot 2: Installing my SATA card)
  • User Account Control is 100% less intrusive, and doesn’t hang while blanking the screen.
  • Aero is Beautiful in this release.
  • Paint got a complete overhaul (screenshot: menu) and can do something similar to Word’s AutoShapes.
  • Progress bars in the taskbar. (screenshot)
  • Calculator now has a “Programmer Mode.”
  • It’s fast, in both setup and use.

Minor Issues

  • Address bar icon in IE8 doesn’t support PNG transparency properly. (screenshot)
  • Folders no longer display the size of their contents unless the contents are selected. (screenshot 1: Windows 7; screenshot 2: Windows XP)
  • Paint uses the Ribbon Interface (not an issue, just hard to get used to). (screenshot)

While the beta expires in August of 2009, I foresee great things for Windows 7.

2 Comments for this entry

  • Nick

    DHowett, nice details, helpful, I am still deciding whether or not to install it on my Brother’s computer. I have it ready to install on a disc I am just hesitant.

  • Dustin

    I’d recommend you go for it, as long as the computer has nothing on it you need. See, the beta will expire 08/2009, and you’ll have to upgrade or downgrade (or pirate ;)) to gain access to the PC again.

    The best way to go might be to dual-boot whatever is already installed.

    Also remember, this is a beta version; there will be bugs-
    In fact, Build 7000 (the version they released) has a bug where, if you use Windows Media Player to manage your MP3s, they will get a few seconds cut off the end.

    Be wary and you should be fine… Good luck!

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