It's way way way too early to call Windows 7 a success, but I will say that the post-PDC buzz about 7 has been more positive than I had anticipated.\u00a0\u00a0Cool screenshots and specs from the pre-beta release are all well and good, but there does seem to be a general vibe that Microsoft is fiercely determined this time to undo the damage done by Vista, to pay serious attention to details. And they are getting it right. So far at least.\u00a0Accusations that Windows 7 will just be Vista SP3 run rampant, but really, isn't that what is needed? A better version of a flawed thing? It seems that Microsoft is taking chubby, undisciplined Vista to rehab, putting it through psychological counseling and physical training, and returning it from exile months later smart, clean, sober, thin and tan as Windows 7. Windows 7: The Biggest Loser.\u00a0How's that for an analogy?\u00a0But still, the trail of fear and mistrust left by Vista is on par with the Bush\/Cheney administration. Much like the new president taking office in January, Windows 7 has a colossal task on its hands. But unlike the new president, Windows 7 doesn't need to be something completely new and different. It just needs to be better and easier.\u00a0First looks at the Windows 7 pre-beta reveal that the\u00a0fat that has\u00a0weighed down Vista and driven users crazy has been trimmed.\u00a0Windows 7 will of course be adding new features, such as touch-screen capability and slider controls that make UAC more controllable and less intrusive. But in addition, many bloated Vista features have allegedly\u00a0been cut or streamlined.\u00a0\u00a0Some of the streamlined features reported to look sharp in the Windows 7 pre-beta include: a Windows backup program that is about 10 clicks faster than Vista's; much easier connection to a wireless network and organization of a digital music collection; Quick launch\/task bar integration with new mouse hover features; a major overhaul of the Network and Sharing Center for simpler set up and management of small networks.\u00a0Most of these features are small business\/consumery. For enterprise customers, Windows 7 features are mostly untested, but two main features sited in the pre-beta are new troubleshooting and administration tools in the PowerShell scripting language and the ability to encrypt the contents of removable storage devices.\u00a0More testing of enterprise features is scheduled for the next few months.\u00a0Microsoft has made a public pledge that the hardware\/software incompatibility that plagued Vista will not happen with Windows 7.It sure better not happen. Windows 7 needs to be the fitter, happier, more productive older brother to Vista's screwed up middle child \u2013 or else it's back to rehab.