Microsoft Windows 7: One Year Later

Microsoft was in a bad state in summer 2009, just as its teams were putting the
finishing touches on Windows 7. The global recession had battered the company’s
revenues. Windows Vista, the company’s previous operating system, seemed
stigmatized in the wake of bad reviews and user complaints. If Windows 7 died
in the marketplace, chatter would start that Microsoft’s best days were far

Microsoft’s engineers worked to make Windows 7 less of a processor hog, with
programming tweaks such as a memory-management system that devoted resources
only to open windows. They also included Windows XP Mode for Windows 7
Professional and Ultimate editions, allowing "last mile"
compatibility for any XP applications incapable of otherwise running on the new
operating system.

new features seemed tailor-made for IT pros
. These included
OpenSearch-based Federated Search, for exploring local and network drives in addition
to intranet storage. In place of Vista’s constant security prompts–which drove
many a user cheerfully insane–Windows 7 offered User Account Control Settings
that could be adjusted for Never Notify, Always Notify and two in-between

On the security side, Windows
7 included AppLocker, which could be used for locking down certain
applications on an administrator level. An improved BitLocker gave users more
control over encrypting their hard drives, and BitLocker to Go did something
similar for external hard drives and USB

Windows 7 also included some shiny user-interface elements, including
Windows Taskbar–which reduced programs to thumbnail previews, with easy access
to shortened menus–and a redesigned Start button.

to analytics firm Net Applications, Windows 7 currently occupies some 17.10
percent of the operating-system market, behind Windows XP at 60.03 percent and ahead
of Windows Vista at 13.35 percent.

Microsoft claims more than 240 million Windows 7 licenses have sold to date.
Those sales seem good enough to solidify the company’s grip on the
operating-system market, even as it faces a substantial challenge–from the
underdog position–of penetrating the smartphone operating-system market with
its new Windows Phone 7.

Rumors are already swirling about possible
features in Windows 8

For more, read the eWeek article Windows 7 One Year Later: Win for Microsoft.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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