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Windows 7 RTM : One Year Already

It's been exactly one year since Windows 7 RTM came to the market and since then, we've been using Microsoft's latest operating system both on personal and work computers without any major glitches.

The transition from Windows XP to Windows 7 has been an "unchallenging" and surprisingly easy one considering the fact that 10 years separate the two OSes.

Overall, Windows 7 has been a massive boost for Microsoft with latest data suggesting that more than 150 million licenses have already been sold or installed. This means that Windows 7 will almost certainly surpass the installed userbase for Windows Vista during its first year of sale.

I've moved to Windows 7 Ultimate and it is refreshing that how simple things like driver installation and compatibility checks are now fully managed by the operating system. We did not transition via Vista which means that the change in working environment was massive - make no mistake, Windows 7 IS completely different from Windows XP even if the UI hasn't significantly changed.

True, there are some nagging issues remaining; I can't use my 3 UK Huawei dongle for some reason, there are some annoying sound issues from time to time and Windows 7 randomly crashes due to faulty Intel graphics driver issues.

This could also be due to the fact that I'm connecting two external full HD monitors to my laptop via USB and might be asking too much from the rig. There's also the debate over the negative impact of Windows 7 on battery life which Microsoft says may be solved by deploying more up to date BIOSes.

Ultimately though, Windows 7 is possibly Microsoft's most polished operating system yet and many may rightly think that this is what Vista should have been in the first place. Windows 7 SP1 will hopefully iron out a few of the remaining kinks when it comes out next year and cement the operating system as one of the very best that came out from Microsoft.

Windows 8, which should be released in 2012, is likely to be Microsoft's most ambitious to date as the software giant tries to bring together paradigms like the cloud and mobile computing while fending off the challenges of Apple, Google and Linux.

Where does that leave us? Well we foresee that Windows 7 will gradually take over Windows XP as the main operating system, eclipsing Vista by the end of the month and becoming for the first time in the last few years, Microsoft's most popular OS is its latest one as well.

Internet Explorer 9, Windows Live 5 and the raft of cloud based services that the company expects to launch by the end of the year will need a stable and modern platform to thrive and Windows 7, not Vista or Windows XP, is fast emerging as the OS Microsoft's desktop empire will be built for the next decade.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.