First Impressions: Windows 7 RC1 (7100)

2 minutes

I am back again after a long sojourn! While I was down and out, I did get the chance though, to play around with Windows 7 RC1. I am flummoxed at this release from Microsoft. Windows 7 comes as a whiff of fresh air to the souls stuck in the Vista purgatory. It is a huge step forth, even for those who claim Microsoft could never better XP.

For all practical and day to day purposes, this is a complete OS. Let not the RC1 moniker fool you. Apart from some bells and whistles (Movie Maker etc), the version available is complete. Digo (my brother) is using it as his primary OS.

I remain a steadfast Mac fanatic and never would I make Windows my primary OS, or install it on my beloved MBP. I did however install it on my Media Center PC (albeit with a couple of hitches along the route – more later). The first impression on viewing the UI on my 42″ 1080p LCD was – Wow. It looks gorgeous and is packs a punch! RC1 features a number of improvements over the previous Beta release, most noticeable – Windows Media Player, and a number of Aero Tweaks. Windows Media Player has been reworked to emphasize the Album Art, and the UI is simply gorgeous. Music sounds just amazing with SRS Digital Audio built into WMP – rich, deep sound with pronounced bass/treble. I hate to admit it really does put iTunes to shame.

The installation process wasn’t a breeze however. My Media Center PC had an old integrated graphics card the GeForce 6100. Windows 7 just didn’t seem to recognize it, and kept crashing during installation, returning me to the Error Recovery Console. The only way I could go further was to pop in my powerful GeForce 9800GT.

Those niggling problems notwithstanding, I do recommend this release to everyone. It will be made public on 05/05/09, and though the tubes will be jammed with demand, make sure to be one of the crowd. BTW, if you did find it elsewhere and can’t wait, old Beta keys work fine.


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