Microsoft Windows 7

As of April, 2010, these pages are outdated and in the process of being updated.

Windows 7 Beta
Latest Stories:
Mar 26, 2009: Microsoft Talks Touch and Gestures in Windows 7
Mar 25, 2009: Samsung Netbooks/Mini-Notebooks and Windows 7
Mar 7, 2009: Windows 7 – Turning Features On and Off
Feb 20, 2009: 10.1-inch Acer Aspire One Review – Windows 7
Feb 17, 2009: Asus Shows Off Windows 7 on Eee PC T91, 1003HA, Announces 1000HG

What is it?
It’s the sequel to Microsoft Windows Vista. An emphasis has been placed on areas of key interest to laptop users, including: better performance, faster start-up and shut-down times, better handwriting recognition, and touchscreen enhancements.

As of this writing (February 17th, 2009), it’s still in beta testing. It’s expected to be available in the second half of 2009.

Hardware requirements:
– CPU: 1GHZ or faster
– RAM/Memory: 1GB
– Hard drive: 16GB or more
– Graphics: DirectX 9.0 or better
– Windows Aero: 128MB graphics memory

Advantages/benefits over previous versions of Windows:
– Windows Shell and the new taskbar work much better with some smaller resolution displays.
– Performance improvements. Microsoft has worked to improve the performance, especially in areas of booting up and shutting down, and going into/out of standby and hibernation. This is especially important for those of us on the go and who are using ultraportable devices.
– Better power management – more options and settings that don’t require the use of third party software
– Upgraded device management: One of the best features (in our opinion). The interface for managing your hardware, including USB peripherals, mobile phones, printers, etc., has been simplified and everything is available through one main screen.
– Handwriting recognition has been improved a great deal.
– Improvement on multi-core computers.
– Better window management, including on smaller displays
– Some applications have been moved outside of Windows and are available through “Windows Live Essentials”. This allows you to only install/deploy the applications you want to.
– Better system notices/messages. The wording has been improved in many areas, as well as the interface for accessing any potential problems.

Windows 7 Versions:
Note: Each higher/better version will contain all of the features of the previous version(s).
Windows 7 Starter: No Aero Glass, only 32-bit, can only run three applications simultaneously. Expected to appear on many netbooks. Will only be available as a pre-installed option and won’t be available through normal retail channels.

Windows 7 Home Basic:
Available only in certain areas (what Microsoft is calling “emerging markets”). Will not be available in Europe, the United States and Canada, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. Runs unlimited number of applications. There will be some Aero Glass functionality, but not full.

Windows 7 Home Premium:
Contains all of the above, plus full Windows Aero, Touch-screen controls, and Windows Media Center

Windows 7 Professional (Windows 7 Pro): Meant for enthusiasts/small business use. Adds Windows Server domain capabilities (being able to join). Also has the ability to operate as a Remote Desktop server, has full location aware printing, file system encryption, and a presentation mode (for dealing with projectors, etc.).

Windows 7 Enterprise: Volume licensing – won’t be available through normal retail channels. Supports BitLocker drive encryption, some unix application support. It also has more support for Virtual Machine (VM) abilities (including running multiple VMs). Has Virtual PC functionality.

Windows 7 Ultimate: Has all of the above, but will be available to home users through retail channels.

What does it support:
– Microsoft claims Windows 7 is full compatible with computers/devices that are Vista-compatible.
– In our experience, we have found this to be the case. In some instances, we’ve had to install drivers in Vista compatibility mode because of the installation software itself having an issue with Windows 7, but it is still in beta, and the software was able to be installed. We have also found it to run very well on systems originally slated to run Windows XP, provided you have at least 1GB of RAM.

Windows Touch:
– Windows 7 includes enhanced touchscreen functionality. It has support for multi-touch (two or more fingers), including scrolling around in a window or resizing the window, as well as media manipulation (fast forward, zoom in and out, panning).

What version is right for netbook/notebook/laptop users?
At this point, it looks like Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional, due to the touchscreen features, the location aware printing, Aero, file encryption, and presentation. Most will be fine with Windows 7 Home Premium.

Microsoft Windows 7 – official page
Windows Team Blog
Windows Live Essentials
All Windows 7stories on

Windows 7 and Netbooks/Ultraportables:
Jan 23, 2009: Microsoft – Netbook Owners to Test Windows 7?
Jan 12, 2009: Windows 7 Beta Limits Lifted, Impressions w/Lenovo S10
Jan 9, 2009: Windows 7 – Public Beta Today
Jan 7, 2009: Windows 7 Beta 1 for Public Testers – This Week
Nov 10, 2008: Netbooks a “Headache” for Microsoft – Microsoft Senior Vice President Jon DeVaan on netbooks and Windows 7: “People will be pleasantly surprised and excited…….We’ll do well on those kinds of machines.”
Nov 6, 2008: Windows 7: Faster Booting, Better Battery Life, Dual-Core Atom Asus S101? – Engadget posted some videos of pre-beta Windows 7 (direct link to videos)
Oct 28, 2008: Windows 7 details galore (Engadget)

Asus Eee PC 1000H:
Oct 30, 2008: Eee PC 1000H Runs Windows 7 well – LAPTOP Magazine

HP 2133 Mini-Note:
Nov 2, 2008: Windows 7 Pre-Beta on HP 2133 Mini-Note: HP Mini Guide

Lenovo S10:
Nov 16, 2008: – Lenovo S10, SSD, Windows 7 –, some SSD versus HDD Benchmarks with Windows 7.
Oct 28, 2008: Windows 7 on Netbooks (LAPTOP Magazine)

MSI Wind U100:
Oct 30, 2008: Video of Windows 7 on a Wind

Other links: