Microsoft presents Windows 7 Ultimate

Microsoft is offering steep discounts on Windows 7 upgrades for the Home and Pro versions of the software - but not Windows 7 Ultimate - up to July 11.

Users can "preorder Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional at roughly half the list price, but the Ultimate version is offered at the full $219 price," CNET News reports.

Windows 7 is the first Microsoft operating system that feels like a worthwhile investment in almost eight years.

Unlike Windows Vista, 7’s new features add both functionality and form to the user-interface. The updated OS is a whole lot more than just an “under-the-hood” update to Windows Vista. The new interface, in one word, is “stunning.”

The new taskbar is something to be experienced first hand. The traditional “Start-Menu” is now just a circular icon and is relatively unchanged, but the rest of the bar is new and is much more efficient at helping the user multi-task. The bar functions like an ergonomically efficient take on the “Dock” from Mac OS. Programs are now represented with a small icon instead of text. When the user puts the mouse over the icon, miniature copies of every window open from that program appear above the icon. This new function is called “peaking” and after experiencing it, you’ll never want to go back. Navigating through the operating system has never been easier, Northern Star Online reports.

Microsoft said when it announced the October ship date for Windows 7 that it would have to finalize the code and get it to computer makers by the second half of July.

To meet that goal, Microsoft is no doubt doing long-term regression testing on any builds it thinks could be the final one, CNET News reports.