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By Mike Joubert 3 February 2009

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The general opinion on Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system is that it’s a bit like a vacuum cleaner, meaning it sucks. So what to do to get back some of that good old lovin’?

Release a new version in record time. Windows 7 has been available for public beta download since January, and ­feedback on it is very positive.

This new version seems to perform much faster than Vista and is also less hardware intensive. One of the main talking points is the new taskbar. It is jazzed up thanks to nice big icons and contains both your already running applications, and programs that are available to launch. If you own a Mac you pretty much know what we’re talking about here. Overall the feeling is that Windows 7 is exactly what Windows Vista should have been.

Windows 7 is available to download until 10 February. But if you think you’re in for a free upgrade think again, your downloaded version will expire on 1 ­August 2009.

PROS
The beta was very powerful and stable.
CONS
The beta expires on August 1st, 2009.
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