Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Windows 7 a winner?

For several months I’ve been playing with the Windows 7 beta, and quite honestly, I like Windows 7 better than XP. Yes XP is like an old pair of comfortable shoes that just feels great. However Windows 7 will make you want to trade up.

Microsoft’s goal with Windows 7 was performance, performance, performance. That’s really a no brainer! Which begs the question what happened with Vista…I aint gonna go there. Windows 7 needed to be as fast as XP, with all the best features of Vista. Windows 7 needed to run on less powerful hardware, and have better driver support. The bottom line is Windows 7 is what vista should have been.

The first thing I noticed about Windows 7 is that it was extremely easy to install. The best part was that after the install…everything worked! Sounds silly doesn’t it? If you had the painful experience of installing Vista…then you know not to take for granted that the installed operating system will work on acceptable hardware.

I love the new Windows 7 user interface…ok it seems to be a rip-off from Mac Expose, but who cares; I couldn’t afford a Mac anyway. The user interface makes every open window transparent except the window with focus. Now finding what you’re looking for is much easier. The task of maximizing and minimizing windows to find stuff is gone. Now you just let the windows exist as they are; which allows you to juggle them easier. I my opinion this kind of user interface is better suited for real multi-tasking. The old ways of Alt + Tabing or maximizing/minimizing windows to find stuff is obsolete with Windows 7.

Windows 7 is less intrusive than Vista. O.K. we know Microsoft’s intent is to provide a more secure environment, but working with Vista was like working with a nagging, micro-managing boss hunched over your shoulder! Well Windows 7 is still watching, but it does not interfere nearly as much.

The Windows 7 search features are more logical and faster. If you’re like me and have a boat load of music files, you will enjoy being able to easily search for music by artist, genre, or album…yes! Windows 7 also has some nice file previews. However the media player still sucks.

The Windows 7 networking has more to be desired. It’s a little easier to connect to a wireless network, but the whole networking and sharing stuff is really not very intuitive. I think it should be a much easier to share stuff on your own network with friendly computers. That’s what the home networking concept is supposed to be about. However it’s not as easy as it should be.

Explorer 8 is weak. O.K. Explorer 8 is better than Explorer 7, but you’ll still be downloading Firefox, Opera or Chrome.

Windows 7 is clearly better than Vista, and is has a more efficient user interface than XP. I honestly think Microsoft has done a very good job with Windows 7. I just wish Microsoft released Windows 7 instead of Vista.

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