By Noah Garrett, Innovation Exchange

Editor’s note: The "Innovation Exchange," a regular feature in Local Tech Wire, is written by Noah Garrett, former director of communications for the North Carolina Technology Association, a creative spirit, from writing music to news stories, and now owner and operator of The focus of the Innovation Exchange is just that creating a Web community through which people can exchange ideas and foster creativity. You can reach Noah directly at

CHARLESTON, S.C. – I wonder what would have been without Vista?

As I’m installing the trial version of Windows 7 Ultimate edition set for public release on Oct. 22 and sent to me compliments of a very nice PR girl in Michigan, I can only wonder if it can accomplish everything expected of it.

Probably not, I utter to myself while backing up my hard drive and taking inventory my applications that will need to be re-installed after testing this puppy, but we’ll see and keep an open mind.

Flash forward 30 minutes or so, my first inclination is to say Windows 7 is what Vista should have been. After playing around a bit, it would be fair to note that if you’re coming from Windows XP (my preferred OS) you probably will be pleased with what you find in Windows 7.

It has a much better user interface than Vista, but not many actual new features. In a nutshell, it doesn’t really push any boundaries.

Speaking of new features, the Aero Peek feature is great. This actually changes the way you use Windows. This gives you the power to peer past all your open windows straight to the Windows 7 desktop. It is included in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate editions of Windows 7.

But, here again, it’s not that innovative since Linux and Mac users have been using something similar to this for quite some time. Really, the biggest thing missing from Windows 7 is innovation. Take the good in Vista, fix what people complained about, and you get Windows 7.

It may or may not be a hit next month given the economy and the state of the industry, but Windows 7 delivers what PC users want and need right now. Of course, it will need some liposuction once you install the full version, but that’s typical with any edition of Windows and the excess bloatware that comes with it.

On a side note, to promote Windows 7, Microsoft is encouraging people to throw house parties. I’m serious. Think of it as a modern-day Tupperware party.

Party hosts receive a free "Windows 7 Party Pack" with free party favors, and a chance to win a free PC. Check out this video. It’s a video on how to properly throw a Windows 7 party and features four people standing around in a kitchen.

Check out the

Seriously, who at Microsoft actually signs off on these commercials?

Also, potential party hosts can But, surprisingly, the response has been overwhelming. Microsoft announced this week that host finalists already are being notified via email.

If you do throw a Windows 7 party, the Innovation Exchange would love an invite. I have to go now; time to re-install all my apps on XP. Enjoy the new Windows when it comes out next month.

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