The Windows 7 Reviews Are In
We’ve all heard positive anecdotal buzz about Windows 7. But what do the technical “experts” have to say about Microsoft’s new operating system? Here’s a sweeping look at reviews from CNet, PCMag and several other sites that have evaluated Windows 7. Here’s what the high-tech critics had to say.
CNET gave it 4.5/5 stars, saying that Microsoft finally hit the form and function mark, but noted there were still examples where XP showed better performance than Windows 7. They end on an upbeat note, but they wonder if it’s enough to make people leave XP and move to Windows 7.
PCMAG.COM gave it a 4/5, and out of a super-lengthy review, ended on the note that “It’s far and away the best OS we’ve ever seen from Microsoft.” They were upbeat, and loved the fact that it’s low system requirements were a huge departure from Vista’s resource-hungry code.
David Pogue, of New York Times fame (and a notorious Mac lover) had good things to say. The biggest compliment he paid was that “Windows 7 represents a departure from Microsoft’s usual “success is measured by the length of the feature list” philosophy. This time around, it was, “Polish, optimize and streamline what we’ve already got.” (Of course, he compared it to Snow Leopard). Pogue was happy about hardware compatibility, but felt there was a few issues were touch-technology felt clumsy. He complained that there was still copy-protection, the need for anti-virus, and some of the visuals were quirky (but I’d expect no less from a Mac enthusiast.)
PCGamer.com ran a funny article calling Windows 7 the cure for the “Vista Hangover” and detailed all the features important to gaming enthusiasts. An interesting point made was that Windows 7 turns services on and off when they’re needed, so squeaking out extra RAM by manually turning off services isn’t an issue anymore. PCGamer gave it a unanimous “Yes, absolutely upgrade” but said if you’re happy with XP, there’s no pressure.
Maybe to catch your eye, Reuters ran and article saying that Vista got good reviews when it came out, too. But the article is anything but negative or downplaying Windows 7. Reuters actually claims reviewers often glossed over tiny issues that later bloomed into big problems whereas reviewers on Windows 7 have recognized the leap forward and learned from the Vista mistake. Former Editor-in-Chief of PC World Harry McCracken said that he should’ve held Vista testing to a “higher-standard” and did more hardware testing.
Finally, it’s important to note Microsoft has underplayed the Windows 7 launch just a little bit. I know what you’re thinking — it doesn’t seem possible. But, a lot of the “I’m a PC” TV commercials (the ones that have little kids using computers) have slip-streamed Windows 7 reviews in them without being overbearing. When Vista came out, I remember seeing billboards on the highway, and whole “commercial-free” hours on Comedy Central sponsored by Windows Vista.
It feels like Microsoft grew up a little bit, and it’s about time.