All new products have a killer feature - the one function in new technology or software that stands out and sways you when it comes to parting with your hard-earned cash. We look at the killer function in Windows 7 - it's not what you think.
In the case of Windows, there have been precious few versions that included a truly killer feature.
Windows 3.1 was a killer version because it allowed PCs to finally break (or at least reduce the impact of) the dreaded 640K barrier.
Windows NT was a killer version (at least for power users) because it introduced the concepts of client/server security and true, hardware-based memory protection to the environment.
Windows XP was a killer version because it bridged the gap between the consumer (Windows 9x) and business (Windows NT) computing spaces.
Which brings me to my main point: Windows 7 is a killer version - but not for the reasons you think. It's not because it fixes Vista's many faults - it doesn't. Rather, it glosses them over with fresh paint and behavioural tricks.
It's also not because of the new UI. Although I'm a huge fan of the new task-bar-driven interface, much of the underlying concept is merely a rip-off of the Mac's ageing dock metaphor.
And it's not because Windows 7 is somehow lighter than Vista - testing shows it takes up about the same amount of RAM when executing an identical workload.
No, the real killer feature of Windows 7 is scalability. Simply put, Windows 7 does a better job of taking advantage of the available hardware resources than its predecessors. This scalability edge manifests itself in the form of better performance under complex, multiprocess, multithreaded workloads.
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- More about the killer feature in Windows 7