Every small business owner in America knows that reliable computer systems and smoothly functioning workplaces go hand in hand.
If your team doesn't have an operating system they can count on for all of your business' applications and devices, your company is dead in the water.
The release of Windows Vista left a resounding thud in the business marketplace. Instead of improving usability and performance, Vista introduced a glitch-prone and awkward system into office computing environments. Competitors like Apple jumped on the opportunity, producing a series of Mac vs. PC that painted Microsoft as an aged and unresponsiveness operating system.
In response, Microsoft expedited the release of Windows 7. Windows 7 resolved many of Vista's issues and re-established Microsoft as a viable business solution. If you haven't tried Windows 7 yet or if you've put off an upgrade from Windows Vista, here are some of the features you'll find in Microsoft's most recent release.
- Taskbar. The Windows 7 taskbar is a cleaner and more intuitive user interface. Instead of trying to cram a lot of small icons with text into the taskbar, text has been removed for a cleaner appearance. Icons can be rearranged easily (click-and-drag) and you can see a preview of what each program looks like when running by dragging your cursor over it. A faint box outlines active programs so you'll know which programs are running at any given time.
- System Tray. The system tray has traditionally contained icons of programs that are always running. This continues in Windows 7, but unlike previous versions, Windows 7 gives users much more control over the system tray. Users have the ability to configure the tray to minimize the clutter and completely eliminate system tray pop-ups – one of the more annoying features of Windows Vista.
- User Account Control. Windows Vista introduced a User Account Control (UAC) feature that was intended to make the system more secure by displaying constant prompts for user permission to run applications or change settings. In practice, it was more annoying than useful. Windows 7 maintains the UAC feature, but allows users to set general security settings via a convenient slider with four levels of security instead of relying on an endless stream of prompts.
- Applications. Microsoft realized that their operating systems included several applications that were rarely used, but bogged down performance. So they eliminated Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker (you still have the option of downloading them for free), but retained and improved popular applications like Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center.
- Device Manager. Windows 7 makes it easy to work with device connections (e.g. USB and Wi-Fi) through an updated control panel section and highly accessible taskbar features so you don't have to drill down into the system for device management functions.