The most exciting new version of the popular Microsoft operating system software, Windows 7 Home Premium, is currently in beta testing. Previous versions included Windows Vista, XP, 2000, 98, 95 and 3.1.
The current build in testing lists the following as minimum hardware requirements for installation of Windows 7 Home Premium: 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 1GB of system memory, 16 BG of available disk space, and support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory. Also recommended are a DVD-R/W drive and internet access for ease with installation methods.
Installation is a much simpler process than previous Windows incarnations, requiring less than thirty minutes for a typical install and providing most of the drivers along with the operation system. Windows Vista required installation of the drivers from the manufacturer’s disc.
Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional are the two main editions of Windows 7 currently in development. While there will be a total of six editions, most marketing efforts will be focused on the two main editions. The Windows 7 Home Premium edition is slated to ship with the Aero interface, Windows Media Center, handwriting features, and DVD playback. Additional hardware can be installed to allow the capability of watching and recording live television broadcasts from the PC. Less expensive versions of Windows 7 will not include all of the features of Windows 7 Home Premium.
One of the most thrilling new features is the Superbar which replaces the familiar Start button and taskbar. Thumbnail previews of open applications, while introduced in Windows Vista, are now greatly enhanced with the Superbar. While the Start menu itself remains a dynamic and user-friendly interface, it has also undergone some much needed improvements.
The Desktop alternate menu (right-click) in Windows 7 Home Premium advances Microsoft’s trend of putting the ability to personalize the Windows experience at its user’s fingertips. Changing the screen resolution is now immediately available from this shortcut menu. Users will no longer need to wade through menu after menu of options in order choose selections. Pre-packaged themes are also immediately available, each with a desktop background, window colors, screen saver, and sound theme.
The connected Devices and Printers interface is also available right from the user’s Desktop. All drives, printers, peripherals, and external devices can be viewed and accessed from this interface. Troubleshooting problems is easy straightforward with the new graphical depictions of the computer system and installed components.
Industry professionals estimate that Windows 7 Home Premium edition will reach the United States market in the first quarter of 2010, however, Microsoft spokespeople have yet to issue any solid release date at this time. While the Vista edition has been a huge upgrade over XP, many users were less than impressed. Industry professionals and computer experts currently involved in the beta testing of Windows 7 Home Premium edition anticipate a high level of user satisfaction.