This evening I decided to whip out my Evaluation Copy of Windows 7 RC that I downloaded a while back. Considering Windows 7 is now released to the public, I suppose it’s time to post a few thoughts on it.
When I first tried it out a few months ago I was quite impressed with the responsiveness of it. The installation was quick, startup and shutdown was no-nonsense, and the UI seemed to be far more refined than Vistas. Most of this review will be in screenshots, but I do want to primordially emphasize that Windows 7 is definitely a step in the right direction for Microsoft. I think they are finally starting to understand that its all about being implicit, not explicit. It is about putting interface elements where they should be, not paragraphs of text telling the user where they are, that is, where they shouldn’t be.
Windows 7 cleans a lot of the pitfalls of Vista in this area. I think my frustrations with Vista source from the fact that they moved everything around in the Operating System. Suddenly I was stuck when I needed to find an IP address or get to the device manager, or even just to get to My Computer. Everything was renamed and hidden in menus and it was impossible to find what you needed. Windows 7 on the other hand, is just like Vista in that it is the same underlying technology, More
If you keep up with the latest processor and hardware technologies you know that 64-bit is the next big thing. For more than 15 years 32-bit has been the architecture of choice for almost all computers and devices, but as the limitations (in particular in the area of RAM) begin to be more apparent, the move to 64-bit becomes more and more important.
One of the problems facing Microsoft is the slow adoption rates of x64 Windows XP and Vista. If you listen to Security Now!, you may have heard of the important security features that x64 Windows brings to the table, and essentially restructuring Windows during this transition. While some people seem to disagree with me, 64-bit Windows just doesn’t seem to be compatible enough for most users, most often running into hardware issues or just plain incompatible software, despite the fact that 32-bit apps are supposed to run just fine in the 64-bit environment.
On the Mac side, things are a bit different. Not necessarily better, but definitely different, and it will be interesting to see how things play out in 2009, as it is suspected that next year will be that of 64-bit Apps (Notably Adobe CS4, and potentially some “legacy” Carbon-coded Apple applications like Final Cut).
AppleInsider has an excellent series on the history, present, and future of 64-bit, that, while focussed primarily on the Mac platform, has an excellent overview of the Windows perspective. Check it out, it’s an excellent read.
It's been about a year since I've bought a Windows PC, and things always change.
I often help people buy their computers and equipment, and today I had the opportunity to help someone setup their new Vista Laptop. Now, I'm no expert, but wasn't Vista supposed to be easy to setup? Wasn't that the idea?
Here's the play by play.
Weird Toshiba What language are you? Win 2K looking Wizard.
All of the sudden it goes into this bizarre Default Factory Restoration Procedure for like half an hour. I have absolutely no clue what's going on (and I know my PCs) it's writing the hard drive back onto itself? There's no CD it's reading from, it's literally just sitting their wasting electricity. After that's done, it does another odd CV key generation of some sort for a couple minutes, and finally reboots.
Annoying and ugly console telling me Windows is getting ready to run for the first time. Sure. 5 minutes.
Loading progress bar in quasi-GUIness.
Finally I see the chubby white cursor for Windows Vista. Black screen otherwise, waiting.
A few Toshiba BIOS's later, I get the Vista Welcome. Language, Country, Username password, and then more waiting. Somehow Vista still hasn't finished installing it's Files, and needs to force me into watching and endless looping slideshow of what Vista's new features are. That's great Microsoft, would you hurry up the progress bar?
Boot up, login. Good. Time to get started.
Windows alerts me UAC is off. I'll turn it on. Whoa nelly all of the sudden my screen flickers, changes resolutions a couple of times, even gives me a blinking console windows for a split second, then returns back to Windows Desktop, but only to start Shutting Down. A little notice next time Micosoft?
Boot up, login. Uh oh, a weird Installer is covering everything up with it's giantness. Please wait in very unVista like hard fonts face me. Waiting fr 10 minutes, nothing has happened but blinking HDD lights. Fine. Ctrl alt Delete. It's been an hour of nothing so far and I already have to give it the three finger salute.
Task Manager, end weird task. Oh! Bye Windows! It decides to Shut Down again. Fine.
Boot up, login.
Finally I get the privilege of running Windows Update, and then rebooting again.
Boot up, login.
Install Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, and a couple of other programs. Anti-Virus? Of course you need to reboot!
Boot up, login.
Finally, I can start downloading Firefox.
Total Reboots: 8.
Now, I'm not talking about Upgrade here people. I'm talking about Open Box, turn on new computer. How hard is this? Really? What were the Toshiba people thinking when they came up with this? Now, I hate to be an Apple Fanboy, (ok I love being the Apple Fanboy) but I left WestWorld Computers with my MacBook on Day 1, and by the time I got to the Whitemud Freeway, I was already in Mac OS X playing with Safari and iPhoto. Now, for those unfamiliar with Edmonton, that's about 5 minutes.
Honestly, I was expecting Vista to be more streamlined, less of this insane setup processes and whatnot. I'm afraid I am mistaken. I guess I won't be out of work setting up PCs after all.
(No, I'm not making this up.)
EDIT: Just to add to this, Futureshop wanted to do this whole process (basically standing and waiting) for my client for $200 (CAD). Yes, that's right two hundred dollars. Good thing I do it for $30.
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Well it was just a matter of time before this showed up, and as predicted, it’s terrible. Honestly, what were they thinking with all those bubbles and crap? And this was the business ad. You’d think the business ad would be the best one. Sigh I’ll wait for more…
As we approach the launch of Windows Vista this January, I just thought I'd let you know that analyst expect Microsoft to spend an outrageous amount of money promoting it. Most of you know
that Win 2K/Win95 are my most favorite versions of Windows, and as you probably don't recall (you were 3-4 years old) Windows 95 had a huge launch with millions spent promoting it. First off, there's a
couple of videos on YouTube from those days, most noticeable this one:
What I found hilarious was the Compaq 486 that get's flashed for a second which I used to own.
Of course, there were also some who hated of Windows 95. Like this video:
(even more hilarious if you know the real songs)
Now, the question is, even with all this money that Microsoft will be putting into promote Vista, will we really end up with some cool videos like this one that will be a memory of my childhood
for as long as I live:
Or, will we end up with a ad's like this one, still featuring that common Flying Around theme. I noticed that it showed a lot of features in XP that don't actually work. Send photo's by email? As
if. Windows Movie Maker 1 (also shown) was a nightmare, and when they did update it, old projects weren't compatible.
Either way, please Microsoft, don't use Madonna songs in your commercials.