Windows 7 RC, Snow Leopard

Posted by Minnaar Pieters 21 Feb 2009
windows 7 logo

While I have always been a fan of Windows Vista, I have been feeling its lack of speed in the last few weeks. I am currently running Mac OSX and Windows 7 Beta. Both of these OS's are what modern OS's should be - bleeding fast, never mind what the feature set. Windows 7 addresses this situation with aplomb - things react quicker, the user is constantly reminded that the system is ready for your next move... I am pretty much getting the feeling that these two operating systems are constantly playing catch up. After many years of "look at the monkey!" features (like Time Machine - while brilliant, common, is that big zooming supernova really necessary?), the developers are finally starting to look at speed and general usability that doesnt necessitate very expensive fast hardware.

Snow Leopard is supposedly going to take this approach to the Mac - it is not going to be a big feature set upgrade (not that Leopard really was) but is going to be a big upgrade for what is going on in the background. Features that are definately coming is built support for Exchange (no more having to deal with Entourage), smaller footprint in terms of memory and storage and more efficient handling of multi core CPU's. OpenCL will also give developers the ability to harness the tremendous processing power in GPU's nowadays for more mundane tasks.
It is set for release in the second half of 2009.

Windows 7 will take a similiar route - not a lot of new features in terms of front end. Users get a new taskbar, new nifty control schemes that are actually quite intuitive and vastly improved speed. So Windows 7 will actually run decently on a Atom powered netbook.

Windows 7 is set to be in release candidate pose by April 10 2009, which means it will probably be released by July 2009. But the honest truth after using Windows 7 Beta is that the product feels finished. It might be in Beta, but it is remarkably stable and a absolute joy to use.

For excellent resources on Windows 7 (amongst other things) give winsupersite a read.

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I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.