What it is that makes this upcoming Windows version so special. Strictly speaking, it's just a fine-tuned versions of Windows Vista, a fact that should make people who are already on the fence about Vista a little nervous. But in use, Windows 7 is Vista done right. It's smaller, faster, lighter, and prettier than Vista. It's much less annoying, with much fewer UAC pop-ups, yes, but also fewer other interruptions, thanks to an effort to keep tray notifications under strict control. It will run on systems as unimpressive as a netbook--yes, yes, it really will--and scale up to systems with 256 processor cores. What makes 7 so interesting, ultimately, is the surface stuff, though. It's just nicer looking. And it works better, thanks to hundreds of little UI tweaks that just delight people. Again and again at PDC, I watched as jaded and weary developers moused around with Windows 7: As they discovered a little feature, like Aero Snaps, where dragged windows latch onto to the edges of screens, or the pop-ups on the new taskbar, their faces would just light up with instant smiles.