3. Internet Explorer 8 features. In my post last week, I noted some of the cool new features in IE8 that I thought would improve the browsing experience. These include InPrivate browsing, Web slices, and accelerators. I can see people using Web slices for eBay updates and so forth, and this will save them time having to navigate to oft-visited sites. Accelerators are already saving me time because I can quickly select a word and get a translation or definition. With new accelerators I've loaded, I can also select any celebrity name I come across and get the full IMDB list of movies or shows they are in. (Granted, it's not a timesaver at work, but good nonetheless.)
2. PowerShell 2.0. You have to be a command-line, PowerShell-loving nut to put this one in the top 10, but I yield to my sysadmin side on this one. It is a great thing to have the new command line included within the OS. In fact, I'd like to see Microsoft take the next step and remove the CMD.exe application altogether. PowerShell can perform all the same commands and much, much more.
1. Windows XP Mode. Yes, I know it seems odd that this would be my No. 1 feature. It's actually somewhere around six in my mental list of interesting Windows 7 features, but I've moved it up for a couple of reasons. First, the fact that Microsoft is even including a virtual XP mode shows on some level that Microsoft is aware of the fear on the part of the enterprise to deploy any OS that might not allow their existing applications to function the way they currently do under Windows XP. Second, Microsoft will give it away for free both Windows Virtual PC 7 and the Windows XP Mode drop-in. (Note: It is free for those who have Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, or Ultimate Edition.) For those of you who rallied to save XP -- well, this will do it! My third reason for making Windows XP mode my No. 1 reason for liking Windows 7 is childish. XP mode seems to really irk my colleague Randall Kennedy (who seems to be irked by most things, even picking on Ubuntu recently). Randall, whom I like to call a 'tech tabloid journalist', has some good points about how Microsoft could have handled the XP application compatibility issue, but I think Microsoft deserves a nod for acknowledging the need, providing a working solution, and doing it for free (for the most part).
So there you have it, my top 10 reasons Windows 7 is a winner. What are your reasons for liking the new Windows 7? Not sure? You are welcome to steal mine. It's great for some light party conversation -- well, if you are at a Star Trek gathering, TechEd 2009, or something along those lines.