Thursday, January 15

What's new in Windows 7

Greetings. The following link on the new Windows 7 First Look is taken from the Blind Cool Tech podcast where Rick Harmon reviews some of the new things and differences in the upcoming Windows 7 version which is said to be out later this year. We'll see if that stays on track and if Windows 7 comes out on time. Several things to keep in mind here:

1) This is a beta or unsupported version of Windows. Though it may sound "cool" and neat, unless you happen to have a computer sitting around and want to take a spin with it, or unless you know what you're doing, it's best not to tinker with it.

2) If you do have an extra machine sitting around or if you do know what you're doing, and you're blind/low vision, currently no AT software is supporting the upcoming Windows 7 version. Some software may run, such as JAWS and S.A. to Go, as Rick demonstrates, but these packages are NOT (previous word in all caps) supported under Windows 7.

3) If you have any problems with said AT software and try to contact the vendor for help, you likely won't get any since, as stated in the previous bullet point, the software is not supported. Does this mean it will never work with 7? Absolutely not. But be patient, give it some time. I expect that we'll begin hearing much more about support for Windows 7 in the coming months and at some of the different conferences, such as ATIA and CSUN.

All that said, here are some notes on Windows 7 that Rick mentioned, but for full details, listen to the podcast, linked above. Also, note that things may and probably will change from what you hear on the podcast to the full release of Windows 7, so don't count on everything you hear being the same or included.

* There's no email client currently in Windows 7.
* Internet Explorer 8 is included.
* There are fewer security alerts and U.A.C. messages, for better or worse.
* And more.

The link above is a direct link to either play or download the MP3 file of the podcast that Rick does. Even though this appeared in Blind Cool Tech, I expect that Rick's podcast is apart of the series that he offers from his Blind Geek Zone website.

I know things will change and the support from AT people through JAWS will change from now till the release date. However, it's always fun hearing what's coming soon to a computer near you. Enjoy, and to those that may still try Windows 7: good luck.

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