Windows 7 M1: Nothing to get excited about

I have been lucky enough to get an early peek at Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 7.

But if you were expecting dramatic visual changes and a departure from Vista, Milestone 1 truly disappoints. But then, M1 has a different purpose, it is not intended to provide eye candy. Here's what you could expect from M1 - in the very unlikely case you'd come across the installation DVD.

No matter how you slice it, Microsoft surely has an interesting ride with Vista. It is this OS that has cost several billion dollars to develop and was intended to revolutionize the way we work with computers. It didn't quite happen and Vista probably has drawn more criticism than any other of the firm's OSs before. But, of course, it isn't quite what you would call a failure, since more than 100 million copies have been sold in a year or so.

I am wondering: Where does Microsoft go from here? Vista SP1 is the traditional one-year check-up and patch for OS, but are Vista's ideas here to stay? The talk about 7 is already beginning to gain traction – and of course I was interested in what ideas Microsoft has for the Vista successor. Lucky me, I am in the right spot to actually take such early software for a test drive. And here's my impression.

I was able to obtain a Windows 7 M1 DVD image (2.7 GB in size) to create the disk necessary for install. This M1 version actually is not a standalone Windows version, but requires Vista as a foundation. To be exact, Vista isn't enough, you will need Vista SP1, which you will be able to get in mid-March, but which has been available to Microsoft's partners for several weeks now. On my standard Core 2 Duo-based PC, M1 actually installed on top of Vista Ultimate SP1 without any problems.


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