Technology analysis of the latest gadgets, consoles, and computer architectures.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Windows 7 Touch vs. Chrome OS

Many of you may have already seen the Windows 7 Touch demo shown by a CNET commentator; for those of you who haven't, I highly recommend watching it, just to get an idea of what using Windows 7 on a touch screen would be like. I'm not traditionally impressed with Windows GUI enhancements; I used Windows 2000 until up to a year after Windows XP was released primarily because I felt it was silly and resource inefficient, but I eventually had to give in. The primary Windows Vista feature I have enjoyed is the instant search (just hit the Windows key and start typing for applications and files, etc., then hit to launch).

Windows 7, however, brings many features that make Windows are much more useful than Microsoft has introduced since Windows 95. The Apple Dock-like grouping of running windows/applications in the former quick-launch area is really nice, especially given its quick-preview capabilities (first introduced with Windows Vista). The Sidebar widgets can now be placed anywhere on the desktop, and with the desktop quick-look feature on the lower-right corner of the taskbar (just hover to see your desktop), widgets become as useful as Apple Dashboard has made them.

I'm sure Chrome OS will be bringing a unique WebOS-like interface to using a touch-based netbook. Native Client would allow Google to bring the advantage of running applications natively to Chrome OS, and Chrome OS will properly manage web pages more as processes running that can be left open while the netbook is in use. I would say Chrome OS is more appropriate for a netbook than running a traditional UI-based Windows or Linux has been.

But if you take a look at this Windows 7 touch demo, you'll see where Microsoft will excel. Many people already use Windows and are familiar with it; what is a nice touch is that Microsoft ensured that the new GUI features introduced into Windows 7 will also make touch navigation native to the OS. So without further ado, watch the below youtube clip and feel free to leave comments on any additional information you find about either OS.

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