Insight look on Windows 7 for UMPCs and Netbooks

This is a quick review on Windows 7 on how it performs on UMPCs and Netbooks alike. I am not going to get into the details of what’s new in Windows 7 and such. But there are some important stuff that I like Windows 7 which is useful  on UMPCs and netbook.

Firstly , lets get a general view on Windows 7. Windows 7 is basically the fixed up version of Vista. Windows Vista was such a failure for Microsoft , as I do think that we know the reasons. For instance , in Windows Vista the system would lag suddenly out of no reason (despite having 4GB RAM and a speedy dual core processor) and from time to time it gives you some weird error and random crashes on many programs. This is one of the reasons why people still prefer to stick with Windows XP (especially gamers) because it has low memory footprint and it doesn’t have the annoying UAC (User Access Control) which pop-ups every now and then asking for conformation. One word – its annoying. There are other Vista annoyances as well – its just too much to list’em. In other words , Windows Vista is just like Windows Me – a total disaster from Microsoft !
This is where Windows 7 kicks in. Microsoft realized what made XP  popular (combination of Windows 2000 and Windows Me). They used the same ol’ trick again with Windows 7 (you combine the sweetness of Windows Vista {such as its GUI , search functionalties and Windows XP performance) and voila you have Windows 7. I wasn’t impressed at first when people talked about Windows 7 – I thought it was just going to be the same ol’ Vista style with a new look. Apparently , I was wrong and Windows 7 is indeed a new Windows (well I wouldn’t say its a new Windows , its just Windows Vista 2.0). Anyway lets just take a look on what’s soo great about Windows Vista 2.0 aka Windows 7 !
I installed Windows 7 on my Fujitsu U1010 (netbook/UMPC) . It runs on a 800Mhz Intel A110 (pre-atom) , 1GB DDR2 RAM , 40GB HDD , 5.6″ Touchscreen. To tell you the truth , Windows 7 ran fine , in fact way better then Vista did on this PC (it came with Windows Vista pre-installed). I was impressed with the speed and the performance of Windows 7. For once , Microsoft did something right !
Firstly , lets take a look at the new interface. It looks pretty cool to be honest with you. The newly designed task bar is friendly on the eyes (it gets bit of getting used to at first). If you’re on a small screen PC/netbook , you’ll notice that the taskbar is great as it doesn’t get overcrowded. I am seeing more of it as a MacOSX Dock style rather then Windows Taskbar. Anyway here is the look of the new Windows 7 desktop (both in landscape and potratait (tablet mode) )

My Desktop
My Desktop - It looks great. Just take a look at the new redesigned task bar - It looks great on small screen PCs such as netbooks and UMPCs as you don't have to strain your eyes

Another thing which I’ve noticed an improvement is Ink Functionality and Keyboard Functionality for Tablet PCs have been upgraded. Its one step closer to perfection. If you’re using Windows Vista , you may notice any major changes but if you’re upgrading from Windows XP Tablet PC Edition – You’ll notice a major change , especially there are other gestures that you could use to earse , correct and it seems to be more natural. Just like how you would cross out with a pen if you made a mistake !  Anyway here is a sneak peak of it. I am not going much in details on it , just a glance. You could read other reviews meant for Tablet PCs such as this one if you’re really intrested to know the changes in details !
In Tablet Mode (portrait) , the new user bar seems to be nice as once you have written the word , it shows it up there as opposed to last time !

Okay ,that’s for the Desktop in general. Just to add , the tablet user input panel hides automatically (when you’re using the mouse and it only shows up when you use finger or the stylus provided). I find it useful as it saves my screen space whereas in Windows XP/Vista , it would be just there even though i am using a mouse and such (I find that bit annoying)
The New Start Button !
The New Start Button ! (or whatever you call that thing)

The new taskbar and the taskbar buttons are cool in deed. For instance when I select a program (i.e MSN Messenger or Windows Media Center/Player , Microsoft Office applications) . I have couple of options such as which documents I’ve opened/edited recently (Office) , or sign in/out or change status (MSN Messenger) or which songs which I’ve listened to recently ( Windows Media Player). These are just some examples.
Oh yeah ,  just take a look at the new taskbar. Its so much easier to switch windows when you’re using your hand to do so. The picture says it all
Taskbar in Action - Windows 7 makes it possible for you to switch between windows by using your finger. This is great for Tablet PC owners and UMPC users as they don't have to use their stylus to switch between Windows

Another thing which I’ve noticed is that its much more easier to connect to WiFis. Windows 7 follows (a la MacOS X Style). If you have used MacOS X  before you’ll know that its very straightforward to connect to a hotspot. Anyway , this is how it looks like when you wish to connect to a hotspot. Simply tap (or click) on the WiFi signal strength indicator and it shows if you’re connected to the Internet or not (a la Windows Vista style) and it shows you a list of available wifi hotspots. If you would like to connect to one of the hotspots/Access Points , just simply click on them and hit connect !. This is way better Windows Vista user prompt and Windows XP WiFi setup. It makes it even easier for the computer illiterate as well ! Unlike Vista whereby you’ll have to wait couple of minutes before it really connects
Connecting WiFI made seamlessly with Windows 7 - All you have to do is just click on the WiFi icon , select your network and enter its password (if any) and voila you're connected !

Well , thats about it. Basically , my first impression of Windows 7 is good. In fact I’ve been using Windows 7 Beta for nearly a month already and so far I don’t have any major issues with it. Its just that Windows Explorer crashes from time to time and some applications would refuse to install on Windows 7. I can’t wait for Windows 7 release and hopefully , Microsoft wouldn’t screw it up on the Final Release. There are more other stuff for Windows 7 such as its new Windows Media center , Windows Media player (which plays back DIVX files without any external codec) and new Windows tools !

6 thoughts to “Insight look on Windows 7 for UMPCs and Netbooks”

    1. Yep its a bit small , its just 5.6″ . You’ll have to strain. However its nice for you to chat , or just do something quick. You have a full blown PC in your hand. Now that’s better then say using a Pocket PC !

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