[ For complete coverage on Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system -- including hands-on reviews, video tutorials and advice on enterprise rollouts-- see CIO.com's Windows 7 Bible. ]
But Windows 7 is anything but new: for more than ten months now, brave users have been testing pre-releases of the new OS. There are dozens of reviews online, some positive, some negative, and some skeptical of Windows 7's potential to become as widespread as Windows XP did back in the day.
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I had a look at some of the mainstream reviews, and before you throw your own Windows 7 launch party, you might want to have a look at these.
As always, a good place to start is PC World's review of Windows 7 from Harry McCracken. He calls Windows 7 "hardly flawless," and mentions that Microsoft's new OS "isn't radically different from Vista," and that the company "took far too long to come up with a satisfactory replacement for Windows XP."
Bottom line: Windows 7 is "the unassuming, thoroughly practical upgrade you've been waiting for -- flaws and all."
On Wednesday, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue gave Windows 7 the thumbs up as well, despite the fact that "it's still copy-protected, it still requires antivirus software, and its visuals still aren't consistent from one corner to another." His bottom line: "looks like 7 is a lucky number after all."
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal had an early review on Windows 7 a couple of weeks back, and his bottom line is that "Windows 7 is a very good, versatile operating system that should help Microsoft bury the memory of Vista and make PC users happy."
CNET also looked into Windows 7 with a skeptical eye, noting that "strong design and Microsoft don't always go together, but they do in Windows 7." However, they say "performance is still hit-or-miss in Windows 7," concluding that "Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go."
In a review released on Thursday, the folk over at IT Pro had a look at whether Windows 7 is fit for business. Their verdict: they are "more than happy to recommend Windows 7 ... for business," especially as "the user interface is attractive and good for productivity."
Other noteworthy Windows 7 reviews published over the past months include Engadget, who says, "Windows 7 has patched up the holes and feels like a tight, unified mechanism," and Gizmodo, who call Microsoft's new OS a "great gain," in a review titled "You can quit complaining now."
Over the coming weeks, Windows 7 users will likely weigh in with their own reviews, and these are the people who will have the ultimate verdict on Microsoft's new OS. So don't hold back and let us know in the comments your thoughts on Windows 7, whether you already pre-ordered it or why you won't upgrade any time soon.
[You could also have a look at our video guide on how to install Windows 7, and if you are looking for a new Windows 7 PC, here are six great deals. If you are upgrading to Windows 7, check out our FAQ and the ultimate Windows 7 survival guide.]
This story, "Windows 7: What the Reviews Say" was originally published by PCWorld.