It been spending time with Windows 7 for the past two months. It all started when I was given a Windows 7 Early Access CD at JavaOne. I was busy and didn’t thing about it – but after a couple of months I installed it. Microsoft has hit a home run with Windows 7. My past experience with Windows (95, 2000, XP) has been sporadic and problematic. This release is very different. There are a number of things I like about this release. The combination of the Windows 7 GUI and Office 2008 is a very compelling proposition. I’ve also been using RDP tool (the tool is a killer) and it makes it very easy to deal with remote desktops transparently dragging and dropping files across remote desktops. I’ve lived in a Unix/StarOffice world (whether Solaris or MacOS) for a long, long time so the smoothness of Windows 7 and Office took me by surprise. Windows 7 is now part of my computer ecosystem – very good release. One thing I do miss is a virtual window manager. I suspect there is one out there. On Windows I’m spending some time looking at Tomcat. Just bought Tomcat – The Definitive Guide by Jason Brittain – which is a very good book on the topic. It seems there is a lot of Tomcat out there – my guess is that it massively dwarfs the other app servers ( I don’t make the distinction of full Java EE versus a JSP/JSF/Servlet engine – it seems like an artificial distinction that some like to make). I’ve seen a lot of Tomcat on Windows – so there is the intersection of the two interests. The other new release of interest and good news is the release of NetBeans 6.8 Beta. NetBeans is offering Java EE 6 support, Jira bug tracking support, JSF 2.0 (Facelets), more improvements in a scripting (PHP, Groovy/ Grails, Ruby), improvements in database support, better JavaFX support, improvements in Profiling to allow thread microstate details and quite a bit more. Check out the New and Notworthy page for 6.8. The NetBeans IDE 6.8 Beta Release Notes can be found here. More info here.