Windows 7's Pre-Beta is "Safe, Solid - Exciting?"

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As a counterpoint to InfoWorld blogger Randall Kennedy's controversial review of the Windows 7 pre-beta , we bring you a contrasting view from The Register' s Tim Anderson:

During the press briefing for Windows 7 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), corporate vice president for Windows product management Mike Nash insisted Microsoft had learned from the Vista experience.

Judging by early Windows 7 code released at PDC, the signs are that it really has....Windows 7 feels more polished than Vista, even in the preview, and performance is good.

Some of the high points Anderson noted include:

  • A revamped taskbar featuring jump lists and recently opened documents
  • A customize option for the system tray area
  • Adjustable UAC options
  • Better window management
  • Sidebar's gone, but gadgets remain (now on the desktop)
  • Libraries, which collect multiple physical locations into a single logical folder for searching
  • Multi-touch display support (though Anderson says some icons are too small for finger control)
  • Device Stage control center
  • Improved Paint, WordPad (both with ribbon UI)
  • Souped-up Calculator
  • Windows Media Player's been updated with new codecs and support for DNLA media streaming
  • BitLocker to Go encryption for removable media drives
  • Direct Access for easy IPSec access to internal network shares on a Windows Sever 2008 R2 system
  • Action Center replacement for Security Center

Anderson praises Windows 7 head honcho Steven Sinofsky (senior VP of the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group) for what he calls "a methodical and disciplined approach" to developing Windows 7. Anderson doubts that there will be "a repeat of the Vista debacle, in terms of slippage, bugs and massive code rewrites."

Have you tried Windows 7 pre-beta? Hit Comment and tell us your favorite features - or features Microsoft still needs to fix.

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