Although it was supposed to be released in December 2008, Windows 7 beta came up on the market a couple of months later. When we first lay hands on the installation files, the first important question was: Will Windows 7 demand more PC resources than the former Vista?
The answer came as a shock in favorable way: system requirements for windows 7 Beta are quite modest compared to what we expected. Here are the system specs for Windows 7:
• 1 GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)
• 1 GB of main memory
• 16 GB available disk space
• Support DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (if you want the Aero interface)
• DVD-RW drive
Compared to Windows Vista, Windows 7 “should boot more quickly, have longer battery life, and fewer alerts,” stated Steve Ballmer at CES 2009, adding that Windows 7 has improved support for networking and multimedia content, as well as its touch-screen capabilities.
After installing the Beta copy on medium system (Intel P4 2.7 GHz, 160 Gb HDD, 2 Gb DDR 2, Nvidia 256 Mb Video Card) , we found out that it only took 7,5 Gb of HDD space while using 5-600 Mb of RAM, before installing third party applications.
Since the resemblance to Vista is obvious, we will only insist on the new features or improvements put into Windows 7 by the Redmond developers.
The Desktop is slightly different than Vista’s desktop: the taskbar and Start Menu suffered a few modifications in design while the Sidebar is pretty much the same. There are more ‘Personalization’ options and the ‘Alt+Tab’ key combination brings up all windows in a new and different display. Windows Explorer remains pretty much the same, only with redesigned icons for the drives. The Aero GUI is also available for those video cards that support it.
A brand new Internet Explorer is now available for Web browsing: Internet Explorer 8 Beta’s highlights include a feature that gives users a thumbnail view of open browser tabs when the mouse hovers over the Explorer icon.
Another new feature exclusive to Windows 7, called Jump List, allows users to open IE8 and navigate to a specific site in a single step. A right clicking on the Explorer icon brings up a customizable list of sites to which you can jump directly.
Explorer 8 adds standards long ignored by Microsoft. Among other things, IE8 will feature default compatibility with Web standards such as CCS 2.1 and HTML 5. It also promises improved support for the Ajax language, and W3C compliant standards.
Windows Media Player 12 is a standard component of Windows 7; it only brings slight modifications to the former Media Player 12.
The Control Panel has been enriched with quite a few new items: ClearType Text Tuner, Display Color Calibration Wizard, Gadgets, Recovery, Troubleshooting, Workspaces Center, Location and Other Sensors, Credential Manager, Biometric Devices, System Icons, and Display.
Windows Action Center (Windows Health Center and Windows Solution Center in earlier builds) is actually the former Windows Security Center. Here, one can find the tools necessary to perform computer maintenance as well as manage the Windows Firewall, Windows Defender and other security related issues.
Obviously, since this is a Beta release, features and components are subject to changes and improvements as a result of a constant development process.