Saturday, August 15, 2009

7 things I like about Windows 7

As we are all holding our breath for the RTM release of Windows 7 (22 October), I thought I would list the 7 things I like about Windows 7. Keep in mind that my points are based on Windows 7 RC (build 7100) and not RTM.

1. Speed. There is no denying it, Windows 7 is fast. Lightning fast. No matter what you throw at it, it just keeps going. You no longer need to go make yourself a cup of coffee while you reboot. Log-in time is just phenomenal. And once you get going, there seems to be no limit to the number of apps you can have open. I tend to run heavy applications, such as Visual Studio, along with everything else I do and I don’t even notice it as I did on XP. And games just cruise. My daughter agrees that everything is faster, and she can play Sims3 without growing old at the same rate as her Sim :)

image2. Libraries. Truly one of the best time-savers in Windows 7, and one that I have noticed others overlook until they start using it. With a simple click, you can add folders you access regularly to a library – either one of the existing ones, or your own, custom one – and you can add multiple folders to one library, making it easy to access your (scattered) files in one location. You can also share your libraries, which is great in a home/SOHO network environment – and if you have an Xbox360.

image3. Search. I know that search was included in Windows Vista, but it is much better in Windows 7. Indexing no longer consumes all your processing, and finding apps/files is just a click away. And search is integrated everywhere, from your start menu to explorer windows to compatible applications. And it is awesome. Especially if you suck at filing, as I sometimes do.

image 4. Three words: Windows key P. If you have to swap between screens and projectors on a regular basis, you will absolutely love this as much as I do. And it works, every time.

5. Mobile. My husband and I agree, it would seem as if Windows 7 was built for more mobile devices. It is just easier to simply close your laptop lid, bag it and open at your destination again imagethat before. And moving between networks is no longer a pain. And and and.

6. Old stuff. I like playing old games. I am talking really old. Like Caesar III old, not quite Space quest old. And they just work. As does my old scanner, that XP struggled with and Vista refused to even greet. I haven’t yet found something that didn’t work when I plugged it in.

image 7. Purdy. There is no denying it, Windows 7 is pretty. But it doesn’t feel like pretty that got up at 5 this morning to apply the layers and do the hair, but rather like pretty that drinks enough water and does yoga and rolled out of the bed this morning fresh and natural. And randomising wallpapers (another new built-in feature) every 10 seconds makes no difference to your performance.

(All my current wallpapers are from Interfacelift.com)

I have never been a great fan of the desktop operating system until now. Finally, like with Office 2007, Microsoft has produced a desktop offering that I enjoy using at all times. I am looking forward to seeing RTM in production.

9 comments:

Emm said...

Oh wow. I'm really looking forward to 7 now. Maybe I should preorder from Amazon.

Juan said...

Funny thing, all these qualities are possessed by most linux distros since forever.

Emm said...

I think I will. The normal price is £149.99 and it is on special for £63.99.

Inigo said...

I don't see how that makes him a troll. He's just mentioning an alternative.

Vanessa said...

@Inigo: No, I am sorry, he didn't mention an alternative. He made a statement with no facts behind it to elicit a response without understanding the author's perspective. This makes him a troll.

I have used many Linux distros over the past 10 years. Funny thing is that none of the features I mentioned specifically have been available in 'many linux distros' for ever - some similar features, especially the prettyness, yes, but certainly not all...

Chem said...

You mentioned that Windows 7 seems faster. This is good to hear indeed. With every version of Windows running more slowly than the one before, I'm glad to hear that 7 has reversed this trend. What about memory usage? One of my biggest beefs with Vista is that it takes up a good half gig of memory when I'm doing nothing. Has Windows 7 made any improvements in memory usage? I shouldn't have to sacrifice half a gig just to keep an OS running.

Vanessa said...

@Chem: So with you on the Vista and memory thing! Windows 7 only uses memory when it is working, and it only allocates memory to applications that are active. Even when you minimise an application, Win7 'parks' it, so it uses less memory.

John said...

Actually, it uses a gig if you dump the paging file (big difference in speed). So what? 2 gb of memory will run you $50. And again, it is so much faster you don't even have to worry about processor speed or memory. I recommend a dual processor machine though. I've been running it on a $600 Gateway lap for over a year now, and it is still running as smooth as when I installed it. Hate to tell you this, Juan, but it has a very Linux like response time and clean file management. Where it blows Linux away is in it's smooth handling, which Linux never quite got the handling of.

John said...

skifree 16 bit (1991) runs on the first try.

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