Official announcement from Microsoft about the release of Windows 7 beta is still a week or so away but the beta seems to be available through unofficial channels. This review from Adrian Kingsley-Hughes over at ZDNet Hardware 2.0 gives a brief review of the beta. The ZDNet review includes a screen shot gallery that will give you an impression of what Windows 7 beta 1 looks like. The beta 1 has the build number build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400.
A while back I read a blog entry by Mary Jo Foley that points out the similarity between Windows 7 (pre-beta at that time) and Apple’s Mac OS X. I must admit I have not spent much time with the Mac OS X and the little time I have had with the Mac tells me of an efficient and certainly functional user interface but it does have some rather puzzling characteristics. Most annoying is the Dock which Windows 7 seems to be emulating with the new Taskbar.
With the Dock on the Mac, it is difficult to tell which application is currently running and which one is not. Even if there is some way of distinguishing the running application from those that are not running, I prefer to have my screen real estate to do with as and when I please. The Dock quickly becomes user unfriendly (if there is such a thing) when you are running a couple of applications at the same time.
This new taskbar in Windows 7 is going to require some getting used to.