Seven things about Windows 7 Also: ■ PC reviews at Costco
By Marc Saltzman
OK, SO IT’S NOT the sexiest of product names,
but Windows 7—Microsoft’s next computer operating system, coming out October 22—is looking
to win over skeptics disappointed with the much
hyped but often maligned Windows Vista.
The following is a look at what you can expect
when it launches this month.
Faster performance. From super-fast start-up times to quicker program launches and overall
performance, Windows 7 addresses many of the
speed issues found in Windows Vista. I tested
Windows 7 on a six-year-old laptop and it ran
quickly and efficiently. It’s also a lot faster and easier to search your computer for files.
Digital hub. Sharing data across all of your
PCs and mobile devices is now a lot easier, including logging into your home PC from a laptop while
traveling, accessing your music or adding a contact
to your smartphone and having it immediately
synchronize with your computer.
Improved navigation. Finding programs
and hardware compatibility: Many programs wouldn’t work until downloadable
“patches” (updates) were available.
Windows 7 will be compatible with the
same accessories and applications as
Windows Vista without download-ing patches.
A touch of class. Windows 7
will have built-in support for multi-touch gestures, handwriting and
voice, for those computers built to
support alternative input options.
Expect “touch,” such as zooming in
on a photo by expanding your finger
and thumb on the screen, to be incorporated into many desktop and laptop
PCs in the future.
Internet Explorer 8. Windows 7 will be bundled with the improved Internet Explorer 8 Web
browser. “IE8” is faster and safer than past versions, and features many handy extras such as a
Favorites bar (to quickly access frequently visited
sites) and Accelerators (which open relevant programs when text is highlighted).
Better security. Finally, Windows 7 improves
greatly on the security and privacy foundations built
for Windows Vista, and has improved the way the
operating system handles User Account Control, a
feature many Windows Vista users have disabled
because of its many security permission windows.
One feature of Windows 7 is an easier way to
work with multiple windows on the desktop.
and files—especially the ones you use often—is a
lot easier with Windows 7. The streamlined user
interface includes a cleaner desktop and task bar
(which now lies along the bottom of the screen)
and gives you a preview of what’s inside when you
hover your mouse above the icons.
Better compatibility. Microsoft took a lot of
heat over Windows Vista when it came to software
PC reviews at Costco.com
Anyone who has ever bought a new computer
knows how confusing the process can be. What
kind is the best for you? Desktop, laptop, netbook?
Adequate research is always a good idea for the
smart shopper. I find one helpful tool is reviews by
experts and other users. Costco is now offering
reviews by the experts at PCMAG.com of some
models that are available in the warehouses. PCMAG.
com, an online source of tech information, is the successor to the former print PC Magazine.
These are very thorough reviews that do a good
job of discussing various models in laypeople’s
terms. You can see them at Costco.com; just enter
“PCMag” in the search box. C
electronics or computers
you purchased at
Costco? E-mail them to:
Or send them to:
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
Or fax to (425) 313-6718,
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected ques-
tions in this column. We
regret that unpublished
questions cannot be
More in archives
On Costco.com, enter “connection.”
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The Costco Connection
A variety of computers, from laptops to desktops,
featuring the new Windows 7 operating system
will be available beginning October 22 in all Costco
warehouses and online at Costco.com.
a leading high-tech
reporter, contributes to
more than three dozen
prominent publications, appears on radio
and TV, and is the
author of 14 books.