At this point, I don't think so.
by Josh Hill - 5/28/09 6:15 PM
In Reply to: Buying Windows 7. by Kees Bakker
I've been playing with the RC for about a week now, and I'm afraid that my initially positive reaction has been tempered by experience.
Which is to say that if I were still running Vista, I'd give an unqualified "yes." Windows 7 is, really, Vista that works, which is to say that it's no longer impractically slow.
But -- I switched back to XP some time ago. And I'm afraid that Windows 7 has given me no good reason to upgrade. I've read that it's faster than XP, but in practice, dual booting the same programs, I haven't found that to be the case. Programs and boot time are roughly comparable, but even though I'm running the x64 version many OS functions that I use all the time take much longer than they did under XP, e.g., system restore takes forever to make a restore point, a real annoyance since I like to make a restore point every time I install a new app. (Yes, Win 7 is doing more -- who cares? XP's system restore worked fine.)
What more, to my surprise, MS hasn't fixed some well-known Vista flaws, e.g., I had to turn off User Accounts Control despite the presence of the fancy new protection level slider. UAC required confirmation every time I moved an executable file to a new directory! Not system files, not system directories, just software like Firefox that I'd downloaded and installed and that I wanted to slide into a "done" directory. That's impossible and ridiculous.
Even worse, they've ruined the interface. There are some nice new features, such as the ability to quickly tile two open windows by dragging them with the mouse. But the new task menu DOES NOT WORK unless you're a little old lady who runs only three programs. There isn't enough room to pin your frequently used programs to it without scrolling(!), and you have to go through several steps to do what, in XP and Vista, take only one -- put your mouse on the icon, then choose between several windows that pop up, possible waiting for a full-sized preview to allow you to distinguish them. And I don't want to do that every time I switch back to my tabbed web browser, something I do many times a day, or alternate between open programs that I'm too lazy to tile. With a bit of tinkering, you can return to something sort of like the classic start menu and quick start, but it's a kludge that isn't as good and doesn't work as well.
Also, Win 7 retains and worsens other annoying changes Vista has made to the interface -- replacing easy-to-understand menus with incomprehensible icons, burying important commands and information deeper than an Iranian uranium reprocessing facility.
Forgive me for being literate, but I understand what "file" and "edit" and "view" mean, whereas I don't have the foggiest notion what "=:" and "%~" and "&^" represent, which is kinda the best I can do to imitate the incomprehensible squiggles that now appear on the likes of IE 8 in lieu of "unfriendly" English. (Oh, says MS, you can turn the menus on! Yeah, and I can go buy a steering wheel for a car that doesn't come with one, but I think I'll buy a normal car instead.)
There's a reason we replaced hieroglyphics, you know. And the sort of person who needs a picture of a keg to recognize a pub went out with the Middle Ages.
So, alas, no. I *wanted* Windows 7 to work, just as I wanted Vista to work, but windows XP is reasonably solid and a lot easier to use than 7 and I'll stick with it. Not to mention that it has better driver compatibility, and makes better use of RAM . . .
Sorry, MS, but next time around, you're going to have to think about those of us who aren't computer idiots, and apply some genuine thought to the interface design.