Watching the rollout of Windows 7 Beta, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of friends and colleagues (outside Microsoft) that have asked if they should try it. Generally they’re a mix of XP and Vista users and new to the “beta craze” seen during the Windows 95 days. It this Win95 redux? No, I don’t think so (it was a different time) but as consumers are looking to get more value out of their existing purchases – from buying tracks for Rock Band and Lips, to keeping that car going a little longer – Windows 7 is seen as having the promise of doing the same for your PC. That said, Windows 7 will also present a great opportunity to upgrade for many after trying out the beta on an older machine laying around. If it performs well, just imagine what it can do on a new PC.
So, my guidance is this: If you have an older PC sitting around that you don’t mind turning into a weeknight/weekend project – go ahead and download the beta. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- How to Get, Install and Play with Windows 7 (Gizmodo)
- 10 Really cool Windows 7 Media Center features (Gizmodo)
- Using Touch with Windows Media Center 7 (The Digital Lifestyle)
- Windows Live Essentials – must have download for Win7 (Live.com)
My prediction – touch interfaces are here to stay, and will be most impactful on a PC. Just looking at the buzz Microsoft Surface generated a few years ago, followed by the iPhone/iPod Touch ushering a new generation of gestural interfaces. Windows 7 will be able to support touch as well as a mouse and keyboard. Just keep those fingers clean ;).