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Microsoft releases Windows 7, beta version

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January 8, 2009

In February of 2007, Microsoft released its new Windows Vista operating system.

Originally dubbed as Long Horn (if you can believe it), Vista has been met with quite a bit of resistance since its inception. For one, Vista needs about 3 to 5 times the amount of RAM memory to operate, and it also needs a lot of CPU muscle if you are to have a computer that will be about as fast as when it was running Windows XP.

Additionally, Microsoft's Vista wasn't a very pleasant operating system to use early on its lifetime either. It was full of security holes, was slow and sluggish, many bugs were rampant and it also had various software and hardware compatibility issues on top of a few more problems.

To "throw even more fuel on the fire" Microsoft even decided to offer a multitude of different versions of Vista, and with even more not-so 'descriptive' names to boot. The lower-cost versions had features removed on a seemingly arbitrary basis, and the full version was far too expensive for most people, leading them to look at other options such as Mac or Linux.

To make matters worse, it was very easy to miss the important changes Microsoft had made to Windows' inner workings at the outset. Windows Vista delivered a completely new network stack, a reworked audio stack, a new graphics engine, system-wide search (to better compete with Google), a vast list of security features and some other improvements.

In 2007 and 2008, Microsoft has worked diligently in an effort to improve Vista, and the company delivered performance improvements and some bug fixes. Additionally, it tweaked the hated User Account Control to show less prompts, which made a new Vista installation a little less combersome.

Some users thought that Vista was an infrastructure release, on which Microsoft would build future versions of Windows. Vista was the cut-off point, the sour apple they had to bite through in order to modernise the Windows platform.

Details regarding Microsoft's Vista OS's successor soon emerged, but they were far in between. The new Windows chief, Sinofsky, kept a very tight lid on what information came out of Redmond regarding the next Windows release version, having learned from the Vista debacle where Microsoft promised more than it could in fact deliver.

The sketchy details that did go out made it clear that the software giant wasn't planning yet another massive restructuring of Windows.

Windows 7, as it would then be called, would build on top of Vista and offer some refinements to its users...

Well we're now in January of 2009, and the first public demonstrations of Windows 7 have been met with some fairly positive reviews (at least so far...) in the media, and the enthusiast crowd was rather eager to get their hands on the first Windows beta, version 7.

It will be interesting to see how all of this unfolds and how the general public perceives Windows 7 as if it's merely another cosmetic make-shift change or if it's really a major improvement over Vista.

As always, time will tell and OS Today will be here to keep you posted.

Source: Microsoft.

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