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Microsoft Windows news, reviews, and analysis
  • Review

    Windows 7 on multicore: How much faster?

    Posted October 20, 2009 - 3:32 pm

    Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is receiving raves in its pre-release testing. While much of the kernel that lies at the heart of the operating system is based on Vista code, several key advances have been made that get rid of Vista annoyances and greatly improve the user experience.
  • Review

    Using Link Shell Extension with Windows Explorer

    Posted October 1, 2009 - 11:28 am

    If you're unfamiliar with hard links, junctions, volume mount points, or Vista's symbolic links, skip the rest of this review--Link Shell Extension (free/donationware) is not for you.
  • Review

    Windows 7 Performance Tests

    Posted September 30, 2009 - 10:45 am

    Improving performance was one of Microsoft's design goals with Windows 7, and while Windows 7 makes some performance strides over Vista, the overall improvement isn't dramatic.
  • Review

    Testing out Microsoft Security Essentials

    Posted September 29, 2009 - 2:02 pm

    Microsoft's new free anti-virus program, Microsoft Security Essentials, does the job, but it also snoops into your business and it's s_l_o_w.
  • Review

    Windows 7 Review

    Posted September 29, 2009 - 12:31 pm

    Windows 7 is hardly flawless. Some features feel unfinished; others won't realize their potential without heavy lifting by third parties. And some long-standing annoyances remain intact. But overall, the final shipping version I test-drove appears to be the worthy successor to Windows XP that Vista never was.
  • Review

    Seize the Command Line With Take Command

    Posted September 23, 2009 - 4:57 pm

    Don't you love it when you hunt for a program that you need to perform one function, find it, and then discover that it does a whole lot more? I found Take Command ($100, 30-day free trial) after being frustrated with the poor command line in Windows. I discovered it gave me what I wanted, and a lot of stuff I hadn't known I wanted--but now I definitely do.
  • Review

    Customize Windows 7 With Jumplist-Launcher

    Posted September 14, 2009 - 11:18 am

    One of Windows 7's niftier features is Jumplists, which offer a variety of pre-determined actions that can be taken when you right-click an icon in the new, redesigned Taskbar. Freebie Jumplist-Launcher attempts to power up that feature, but succeeds only partway.
  • Review

    Windows 7 touch: Dead on arrival

    Posted September 14, 2009 - 8:58 am

    Integrating touchscreen technology into the OS sounds revolutionary -- until you try to use it
  • Review

    Microsoft's two new operating systems: A win-win

    Posted June 2, 2009 - 4:01 pm

    Implementing Windows 7, Windows 2008 Server and Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) requires careful planning and attention to detail. But this trifecta offers a significant payoff in terms of virtualization and administrative policy controls.
  • Review

    Hands on: Windows XP Mode works -- but is it worth the trouble?

    Posted May 12, 2009 - 10:57 am

    Windows 7's much-touted XP Mode will let you run legacy apps, but only if you've got the right hardware and the patience to set it up.
  • Review

    Speed Test: Windows 7 May Not Be Much Faster Than Vista

    Posted May 7, 2009 - 11:02 am

    Tests of the Windows 7 Release Candidate in PC World's Test Center found that while Windows 7 was slightly faster on their WorldBench 6 suite, the differences may be barely noticeable to users.
  • Review

    Windows 'XP mode': The new DOS box

    Posted May 5, 2009 - 11:45 am

    With 'XP mode' Microsoft takes a page out of Apple's playbook to entice Windows 7 fence-sitters. The results are disappointing.
  • Review

    Windows 7 RC1 adds speed, UI improvements

    Posted April 28, 2009 - 4:32 pm

    Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1), prematurely available on BitTorrent file-sharing sites and due to be more widely available on May 5, is a polished piece of work, ready for prime time. This hotly anticipated version arrives with a variety of nifty new changes to the interface and some important refinements under the hood.
  • Review

    Running Windows 7 on a netbook

    Posted April 24, 2009 - 10:45 am

    Microsoft has said that any version of Windows 7 will run on a netbook. We try it with Windows 7 Ultimate.
  • Review

    3 disk-cleaning apps declutter your PC's hard drive

    Posted March 24, 2009 - 4:18 pm

    It's no secret that computers slow down with age: Disks fill up with the detritus of use, browsers retain old images and cookies, and Windows itself scatters files in diverse places. Sure, there's a disk defragmenter and a disk cleanup utility built into Windows and your browser will clear out old Internet files. But to use these functions, you have to know that they exist, and you have to make the time to perform each task when you think it's needed. A more convenient solution is to use a package that does much of the thinking for you.
  • Review

    Top 10 tiny, and awesome Windows utilities

    Posted March 23, 2009 - 12:43 pm

    It's the little things that make a Windows system great - like utilities that use less than 10MB of memory to make life easier. Here's a list of 10 from Lifehacker.
  • Review

    Windows 7 Public Beta: First Impressions

    Posted January 9, 2009 - 12:06 pm

    PC World has been running its own evaluations of the forthcoming replacement to Microsoft's much-derided Windows Vista for some time now, and we just couldn't wait to take this new version for a spin. Here's one editor's take on the latest Windows 7 user experience.
  • Review

    Windows 7 beta shows off task bar, UI goodies

    Posted January 8, 2009 - 11:00 am

    The just-released Beta 1 version of Windows 7 is a solid, fast-performing, stable operating system that appears to be just about fully baked and ready for prime time. It is much further along than Windows Vista was during its initial beta phase, and it appears to be feature-complete.
  • Review

    Run Windows on a Mac with VMWare Fusion

    Posted December 26, 2008 - 10:18 am

    If you need or want to run Windows (or other operating systems) on your Intel-powered Mac, the leading products in the segment are Parallels Desktop for Mac and VMware Fusion (plus, there's also Sun Microsystems'

  • Review

    Windows Vista SP2: Second time's the charm

    Posted December 9, 2008 - 5:49 pm

    Good news, Vista users: Microsoft finally seems to be getting a handle on the Windows code base. First we learned that Windows 7 would not introduce any new performance hits. Now, preliminary testing shows that Vista is actually getting faster, courtesy of the upcoming Service Pack 2.
  • Review

    Windows 7: This time Microsoft gets it right

    Posted November 12, 2008 - 10:51 am

    Microsoft may call the newest version of its operating system Windows 7, but you may want to think of it as Windows 6.5. In overall look and feel, it mimics Vista, although there are enough changes to make it far more than just a juiced-up service pack.
  • Review

    Windows 7 first look: A big fix for Vista

    Posted October 29, 2008 - 10:40 am

    What if Microsoft waved a magic wand and everything people hated about Windows Vista went away? That's what Microsoft appears to be striving for with Windows 7.

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