Windows 7 is complete, but before we begin, this isn't the exact version of Windows 7 Ultimate that you'll get on a new PC. That's because there are still content deals for Media Center to lock down and it doesn't have the Windows 7 web browser ballot scren that users in Europe will see when they set up a Windows 7 PC (new or upgraded).

PC builders and laptop manufacturers are also busy creating their own Device Stage interfaces for some PCs and many more peripherals will have Device Stage interfaces by the release on 22 October.

But this is the final code you'll be using from day to day - the last few bugs and the debug code of the Release Candidate are gone - and it's the first time we can tell whether Microsoft has delivered what Senior VP Steven Sinofsky promised last autumn: "Making Windows 7 compelling and easier to get used to."

Windows 7 desktop

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Windows 7 has to woo Windows XP users who have resisted Vista by offering performance and compatibility as well as extra features, and it has to entice Vista users who feel they should have had the performance and compatibility all along by convincing them that it's more than a service pack.

And given how many people have tried out the pre-release versions of Windows 7, the RTM has to dot the i's, cross the t's and feel truly finished.

It's a tall order. Can Windows 7 deliver all that, compete with OS X Snow Leopard and stave off the attack of Android and Chrome OS at the low end? Is it a Windows you'll actually want to use?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré (Twitter, Google+) has been musing and writing about technology since 1997. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, developing an uncanny attraction for anything silicon, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro.

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