Over the past couple of weeks, Windows 7 has shaped up even more. Microsoft confirmed that many features in Windows 7 can be ‘removed’. Those features include Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, DVD Maker and other bolt-ons. Also revealed are more interface tweaks and some new photos and wallpaper.
They have made it even easier to create and apply themes, many new sound schemes have appeared and many of the applets have received new icons. In addition, the taskbar has been tweaked so you can add more pinned items, the ‘glow’ on the taskbar icon stays ‘on’ when you mouse over a live preview, the Start Orb glow is more distinct and the ‘Send Feedback’ link is now gone.
Comments from some of the reviewers include ‘it feels even more stable and responsive’ and ‘the interface is even better.’ I suspect, though, that many ‘normal’ users will not notice-or care-about them.
It would be nice if these changes make it into the next public release-an RC-due out this month or next. Even though the now ‘old’ beta that I am running is far more stable than any release prior to Vista, I would like to see for myself how much more it has improved-both under the hood and the coat of paint.
The one thing that still eludes concerns the so-called classic theme. Why include this thing now? It looks out of place and just kills many of the UI niceties that Aero and other themes contain. The battleship grey appeal is about 15 years out of date now. I really wish Microsoft would put the thing out of its misery. It is the computer equivalent of a pile of dog doo. And you can only make that look so pretty.
To put the Windows 7 ‘hype’ in perspective, I glanced through a couple of 1994 and 1995 era magazines that I still have left. One of them, a PC World magazine from 1994, quoted a NASA IT person as saying “Chicago’s not a step forward-it’s a leap forward” and “It’s a chance to soar with the eagles.” He was, of course, referring to Windows 95. Windows 95 received tons of pre-release favorable press. The interface, of course, was the biggest, most obvious change. It was called ‘handsome’ with slick looking icons and buttons. Well, yeah, I suppose it was then. Now, though…ugh. It is kind of funny to compare the press for Windows 95 and that of Windows 7. In a way, Windows 7 is the Windows 95 of this decade. Yeah, Vista was first and 7 is just built up from Vista. The difference, however, is that Windows 7 has more right about it at this point in its development than Vista. Seven is a reboot of Windows, much like the new Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the old. In fact, Windows 7 is just like that show: the old show was fun at times and, when new, looked fantastic. It did not hold up well. The new incarnation is very different while reminding you of where it came from. Windows 7 is just like that. Oh, both the new show and Windows 7 are getting lots of good press and that always help. The difference between 7 and Vista are striking as are the similarities of Windows 7 to Windows 95.