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Performance, reliability, security, and compatibility are core tenets of this Windows release, which is based on the secure foundation of Windows Vista

  IMPORTANT NOTICE

Update: Microsoft has released an update that's pretty much the closest thing you can get to Windows 7 SP2.

Building on the innovations brought by its predecessors, Windows 7 is the operating system that takes everything one step further. Microsoft released the successor to Vista in order to provide users worldwide with a completely new experience that takes reliability, compatibility, performance and security to a whole new level.

Several SKUs to match buyers' needs

Catering to the needs of both regular users and IT professionals, the operating system comes in several flavors, ranging from 'Starter' up to 'Ultimate'. The difference consists in the number and kind of tools that are available for each edition.

The list of new and changed characteristics is way larger, but a few important ones can be mentioned here. Windows 7 consolidates the features introduced by its predecessor and brings to the table a much improved boot performance, native support for VHD (virtual hard disk) images, a revamped taskbar with many enhancements.

New options to boost desktop functionality

If the familiar 'Quick Launch' is removed, in comes the ability to pin items to the taskbar and create 'Jump Lists'. 'Aero Peek' and 'Aero Snap' are among the most noticeable visual enhancements that change the way in which users look at opened windows and maximize or restore them.

The emergence and expansion of Windows Live Essentials suite made some applications present in Vista to be no longer included in Windows 7. These are Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Calendar and Windows Movie Maker.

DirectX 11 and more advanced tools for developers

Developers have not been left aside and this iteration of Microsoft's operating system includes heaps of new and improved functions, with support for more hardware devices and better globalization. Closely related to the development area, but also to rich multimedia handling and gaming experience, Windows 7 comes with an evolved DirectX, version 11.

Windows 7's default browser can also be updated to Internet Explorer 11, which in its turn comes with more tools for developers, but also with a more secure and fastest browsing engine that rivals with the other popular apps in this particular software category. Internet Explorer 11 is available via Windows Update and is automatically installed together with the other patches rolled out by Microsoft.

To sum it up

The only way to discover and explore all the features of Windows 7 is to try it first hand. Installation can be done either as an upgrade or side-by-side to an existing OS, just as most users are already accustomed from previous Windows versions.

Windows 7 was, is, and will probably remain one of the fastest, most secure, and reliable version of the operating system released by Microsoft, coming with the essential feature package, but also with a very familiar UI which retains, and improves at the same time, traditional Windows tools supposed to help users get things done fast.

Windows 7 SP1 was reviewed by Olivian Puha
5.0/5
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Windows 7 SP1 - An overview of the desktop, with the active Start Menu, Windows information screen, and Internet ExplorerWindows 7 SP1 - The built-in image viewer which can handle popular picture formats, navigate through the whole folder, and run a slideshowWindows 7 SP1 - Date and time settings make it easy to change values, or simply browse through monthsWindows 7 SP1 - An overview of the Task Manager showing all running applications, status, and actions you can takeWindows 7 SP1 - The Task Manager lets you keep an eye on resource consumption, with real-time updating graphs and info fieldsWindows 7 SP1 - File sharing is enhanced by creating homegroups on LAN, with detailed descriptions of benefitsWindows 7 SP1 - Entire operating system can be backed up so you can restore it later on in case functionality is heavily affectedWindows 7 SP1 - A preview of the Windows Media Center feature and the set of playback controlsWindows 7 SP1 - Sticky notes can be added to the desktop to store useful information you find over the webWindows 7 SP1 - The basic image processor and drawing tool with a customizable canvas, and various drawing toolsWindows 7 SP1 - Choosing to view All Programs in the Start Menu displays a neat list of installed applicationsWindows 7 SP1 - The first step to start creating a CD/DVD with your personal files, songs, and picture collectionsWindows 7 SP1 - Various Gadgets can be added to the desktop to view more system info, weather, and moreWindows 7 SP1 - Bluetooth device communication allows you to send or receive files to and from linked devicesWindows 7 SP1 - Instances of an application are shown in the taskbar on mouseover, and desktop preview and location
15 screenshots
LAST UPDATED ON:
July 7th, 2014
RUNS ON:
Windows 7
FILE SIZE:
1.9 GB
FILENAME:
7601.17514.101119-1850_Update_Sp_Wave1-GRMSP1.1_DVD.isowindows6.1-KB976932-X86.exewindows6.1-KB976932-X64.exewindows6.1-KB976932-IA64.exewindows6.1-kb972813-x86-ar-sa_210ccc96338a1ff683803eb4034e5f53d6d54c97.exe
CATEGORY:
C: \ System \ OS Enhancements
DEVELOPER:
Microsoft