October 24, 2009

What Windows 7 Means for Business

I wanted to wait until all the hype around Windows 7 had died down before posting this entry, since it would be drowned out by the multitude of other posts and articles about this new operating system from Microsoft. However, after installing Windows 7 yesterday I simply got too excited to hold this back.

Firstly, I am by no means a huge fan of Microsoft – I fully support Open Source Software and thought Vista was a total mess. However, I can positively say that Windows 7 is exactly what Windows Vista should have been. The installation process was absolutely quick and painless, and although I had only used Vista for about 15 minutes before discarding it, I instantly got the hang of the new interface and taskbar in Windows 7.

I installed the 64 bit version, and am very impressed with its backwards compatibility support for older 32 bit programs. Each and every program I use installed and runs perfectly (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Winamp, Office 2007 all appear to run faster than on my older 32 bit XP).

Here is a list of my top 10 favourite things about Windows 7:

  1. It boots much faster than XP (by up to 20% in some accounts).

  2. Even with Aero, my system feels faster than XP! This may be due to the fresh installation, but its very responsive.

  3. It looks great, and its not bloated with useless eye-candy – its got the perfect balance between look and feel.

  4. The taskbar application previews save me time while switching between my apps and open folders.

  5. There are some amazing new shortcuts which I have begun using that make my workflow much faster.

  6. The search based start menu (which was in Vista too) is much faster to operate than the XP version.

  7. All of my inactive tray icons are neatly packed away in the corner of the taskbar, giving me more screen space.

  8. The fonts are amazing – even reading web pages is easier on the eye because of the great anti-aliasing.

  9. Jump lists, new to Windows 7, allow me to very quickly access recently used documents for a specific application.

  10. The Windows 7 PowerShell is great for I.T. admins that need full control from a terminal.

Even though I have only used it for a day or two, I don’t see myself going back to XP ever again.

What Windows 7 means for business

I believe an operating system should be so fast and intuitive that we don’t even know its there when we’re working.

Windows 7 achieves this concept brilliantly, as I find everything I do is much faster and more efficient. If I need to do something with my PC, I can do it with a keystroke or two or a couple of clicks – allowing me to focus on what I do best for business, which is strategy and planning, creating budgets and spreadsheets, and remaining connected through e-mail and I.M.

Obviously, Windows 7 won’t make you type out your document quicker, or make that spreadsheet more accurate. A business’s bottom line with respect to I.T.  is productivity and efficiency, and most of that is used in human tasks that will require the same amount of time regardless of the operating system used. But when it comes to speeding up multitasking and system administration as well as creating a great experience for the user, Windows 7 is definitely the way forward.

The cost is well worth the productivity savings you will achieve over several years of using this operating system, and I  highly recommend Windows 7 for business.

What have your experiences with Windows 7 been so far?

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