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Windows 7: Second Impressions

June 7, 2009

image-thumb.pngI’ve been doing a lot of examining on Windows 7 lately. It’s extremely popular, it seems to be the talk of everyone these days, and everyone seems to be offering first impressions (I did as well).

It seems as if Windows 7 is perfect, or at least as perfect as Microsoft can possibly make it. It is a definite improvement over the previous versions of Windows: better than Vista, and better than XP, in my opinion.

However, it isn’t perfect, and in order to find these imperfections, you must use it for a while. Installing it on my test machine wasn’t enough, so soon I backed up my files and put it on my main computer, something I didn’t think I had enough willpower to do.

Now that I am using it, however, I can really appreciate the OS fully. It’s definitely, in my personal opinion, extremely close to production status.

However, I have found a few small nitpicks:

It’s easy to mis-click on the new taskbar.

One stray click will launch an instance of Adobe Premiere Pro, an application that takes half a minute to load before I can close it. What is the most important in this case is that I meant to click on my already-open instance of Dreamweaver.

This is probably a problem that Mac users experience with their dock, especially when there are a lot of applications. But one single click launches an application on Windows, and even with just five icons, it bugs me crazy.

Aero Peek is only useful with a lot of applications.

This was probably meant to happen, but Aero Peek is only useful with a lot of applications. But by a lot, I mean a lot. Think this way: assume you have six applications.

The time it takes to hover over a button on your taskbar, hover over the picture of the window (even though there’s only one window… Microsoft???) and then wait for about a second before it comes up.

No thanks, I think I’ll Alt-Tab or click on my button.

Microsoft should improve legacy driver support.

So I know my scanner is old, and hasn’t gotten any driver updates since XP. Does that mean that Microsoft should forget about it?

Maybe this is a controversial debate, but Windows 7 targets the people who expect it-just-works simplicity from applications. These are people who don’t know enough about installing drivers, virtualization… in fact, even placing the disk into the drive is probably a push, in my opinion.

Manufacturers will also need to pick up on the new Device Stage, although some manufacturers never seem to have likened to these measures, HP being a prime example: never uploading their drivers to Windows Update and instead placing them on disks that force installs of application suites.

The upgrade needs to be worked on.

Not the upgrade itself, but the after-effects of the upgrade. The Upgrade Advisor should list programs like Logonstudio Vista as being inoperable after upgrade, so users will not launch the application and be presented with a runtime error.

Specifically, printers, applications, and hardware are the main targets of these problems. Printers perfectly functional in Vista suddenly lose usability in 7, making users stumble.

Overall, it’s still a great OS.

No matter the shortcomings, Windows 7 is still an amazing improvement over Windows Vista, in all areas. The OS seems incredibly usable, and I think that the technically-challenged people (in comparison with programmers, etc) such as elderly and children will have no problem with the OS.

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