I’m using Windows 7 for about a month now and would like to give you an impression of how it feels to me.
Windows 7 is Microsoft‘s new weapon of choice. They went back from implementing in C# (–> Vista) to pure old C, as the performance losses of this political descision were accepted with the thought that “hardware becomes faster anyways”. They didn’t think about smartphones and netbooks back then. And got hit by really bad sales. Well, I’m using this platform for about one month now, therefore I thought I should share my experiences with you.
Speed: Its not as fast as XP, but MUCH faster than Vista. The boot process is faster, though a bug slows it down for my machine at the moment. Glad you can hibernate. You should.
Its New!: It looks shinyer than Vista. Well, its REALLY shiny. It has all the drivers. If it hasn’t got the drivers you need, you usually get an URL where you’ll find it. But a system thats new also has some few bugs. But the approximately 50 updates I got so far made everything run very stable. Atm my boot process is very slow due to a bug, and sometimes I don’t have the “txt-file” in the “create new”-context-menu, but thats about it. And as its new, it also supports features that you won’t use now, but that you may want to use in the future, such as multitouch. Homegroups make easier network-sharing possible, even if it won’t help much till other devices use the feature.
It has a good search: As I didn’t use Vista, I’m not sure if Vistas search features were good, but 7’s search is really nice and was officially stolen adaped from OSX‘es spotlight. Just type and you’ll have what you were looking for really fast. If you need something from a not-indexed location, you can declare the location as indexed and will find everything there faster next time.
Taskbar: The taskbar is now merged with the quick launch-bar. This means, you can have quick-launch-links and “open-programs” in the same bar. Well this wouldn’t be a good thing, but if you have a quick launch-program open, you just have a rectangle drawn around it. This also prevents opening programs that are already open accidentally. While you hover over open program-rectangles, you get a small preview of the windows. Shiny. O, besides, the tray: You can define which tray-icon-programs may bug you with annoying messages, and which may not. That a nice feature.
Good feeling: I especially like the gesture-stuff you can do with open windows. Especially dragging a window to the upper border of the screen to maximize it and being able to un-maximize it by dragging the window away from there is a feature I use everyday without even thinking about maximization anymore. I don’t use the “shake-window-to-minimize-all-others” and only seldomly find a use for the drag of a window to the left or right border of the screen, which makes it maximize to that half of the screen. That might be a usable feature when you don’t have two monitors, but you can’t use it on the left side of the right monitor for example – which should be fixed.
Good overview: The system-properties are pretty cleaned up and you can find everything pretty fast. Smart guesses help you finding something you might have looked for that is related to the settings you’re just seeing. Hovering taskbar items gives previews of the respective window. If you have place at the right from the windows explorer, content of chosen files gets previewed (as long as its text, pictures or microsoft-stuff like wordfiles). All pictures and music get shown up in virtual folders called libraries. The desktop widgets now can be dragged around on the desktop, as I have found out just today, when I firstly used a yellow sticky note as ToDo-list. Or am I mistaken and this is an office 2007-feature? Well, perhaps my overview here is blurred.
All in all, Windows 7 doesn’t make me freak out. Its nice, futuristic, and has got a lot of nice new stuff. Thinking about what I don’t like I only can mention that I like to define myself, which are my “my pictures” folders and such, but I don’t have any really negative points to say. Well. Make it cheaper, but I guess that doesn’t count. That said, I would definitely advise EVERYONE running Vista to upgrade. XP users who like their interface don’t need to switch by all means, but eventually, XP will be outdated some time, so wrap you head around something new. Something shiny.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Lifehacker’s Complete Guide to Windows 7 [Windows 7] (lifehacker.com)
- Windows 7: Is it for you? (cbc.ca)
- Pogue on Win7: It’s not from Apple, but it’s not bad, kinda cool, sorta, whatever, blah blah bla (fakesteve.net)
- Windows 7 – Watch Out For HomeGroup, Clean Installs From Upgrade Media and Setup A Network Printer (lockergnome.com)
- Windows 7 Keeps the Good, Tries to Fix Flaws (nytimes.com)
- Windows 7: like Vista, but good (guardian.co.uk)
- Windows 7 install base overtaking OS X (crunchgear.com)
- The Best Windows Tweaks that Still Work in Windows 7 [Windows 7] (lifehacker.com)