We now have a (finally) working Windows-based Media Center. It is great being able to actually watch HD broadcast using the native Windows Media Center application. Until now we were only able to watch Freeview HD with third party software, because of lack of H.264 support on Windows Vista.
Windows 7 changes this with built-in H.264 support and the experience is very pleasant. You can check some screenshots in my previous blog post about Windows 7 Media Center.
I have also replaced Windows Vista Ultimate with Windows 7 Ultimate Beta on my main laptop. At the same time I've swapped the original 160GB HDD with an Intel 80GB SSD. A lot of talk has been around about Windows 7 support for SSD technologies so I decided to try it myself.
You can see below the Windows Experience Index results for my laptop, an AMD Turion 64 x2-based Acer Ferrari 5000 with 4GB RAM and ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 video graphics:
The interesting thing is that this same Intel 80GB SSD showed a 7.9 index on another PC. Perhaps because of differences in controllers or drivers?
Anyway, with this laptop I am able to boot (after BIOS) into the Windows desktop in less than 30 seconds. And this is with Microsoft Office 2007, Live Messenger, Avast AV being loaded at boot time - real life experience.
Overall I am feeling a great improvement over previous Windows versions. Small UI things such as the ability to see previews of multiple windows for an application when hovering the mouse cusor over it in the Taskbar, and the automatic hiding of all othe windows so you can see it directly on the desktop make much easier to work:
Are you testing the Windows 7 beta? Just for curiosity, as a developer or IT administrator? What are your impressions?
Other related posts:
Windows 8 Mail app not hyperlinking emails
Are we seeing the death of Windows RT?
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
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