It looks like Microsoft Windows 7 will have its gala release before the Christmas sales season approaches. The first “release candidate” has been made available for authorized beta testers, which usually occurs around five months before the relase of the final product. In this time frame, we could be seeing Windows 7 released around October, just in time to hit all those Christmas-purchase laptops.
A couple of new things were added to the release candidate, one of which has sparked a lot of interest in the tech community. Windows 7 will include a “run in Windows XP mode” function that will allow the use of older software that may not be Vista or Windows 7 ready. In addition, Windows 7 will make available a function to allow you to access your computer running Windows 7 from any other computer running Windows 7, as long as it is online. I’m leery of the security of that function, but if it works and is secure, then it could be a real time-saver for many. No more carrying around flash drives or other portable devices for presentations, as long as you had access to your machine back home, you’d be good to go. I’m trying to dig up more info on this functionality as it becomes available.
It does appear that Windows 7 will require the same beefed up hardware as upper-end Vista needed, so we aren’t going back to less bloat (ala XP) at this point. But, most new hardware is made to accommodate the more powerful needs of Vista, and Windows 7 itself runs better, with less bloat, on higher-end machines, than Vista did. Windows 7 will not likely be pared down enough to run on Netbooks, which still leaves that market clamoring for XP or Windows alternative that can run on those lower-end machines.