At last, you can put your Vista woes behind you. Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 7, which drops today, takes what's good about its predecessor—especially security and good looks—and eliminates the parts that drove users bonkers. Windows 7 isn't just substantially faster and more compatible with users' machines, it also dumps Vista's awful habit of "freaking out about every potential security threat," David Pogue finds.
Instead of the "alarmist" dialog boxes that popped up in Vista for even the most trifling actions, Windows 7 collates all warnings into a quiet "Action Center." It sure isn't perfect; you'll need good antivirus software, and it comes with almost no programs, not even an email client. Still, "Windows 7 is mostly great news," especially if you're in the market for a new computer at the holidays.