Now that I’ve been using Windows 7 for a couple of weeks, I thought it would be a good time to write up a couple of thoughts that I have.
The thoughts are overwhelming positive so far. In fact, to be honest I don’t have a single bad word to say about Windows 7! (Shock!! Horror!!) Actually there are one or two little things, but aren’t there always! Here are a few bullet points, because I like bullet points:
- The user interface is more refined than XP. Not just in a cosmetic way – lots of thought has gone into the design to make it easier to use. I like the fact that the taskbar doesn’t distinguish between quick launch applications and running applications – they’re all just icons, easily ‘docked’ to the taskbar if you so wish. The only thing wrong with this that I have found is, if you want to start a new instance of (say) Firefox while another instance is already running, Windows just thinks you want to minimise / maximise it. No biggie, just one little niggle.
- I like the way multiple windows of one application are handled – only one icon on the task bar, but little preview windows open up when you hover / click on it.
- My printer was installed and ready to use about ten seconds after plugging it in. As has been the case with every single other USB device I’ve plugged in. (It took a while to get the printer working in Linux because of driver issues.).
- Another thing about the taskbar. I find this incredibly cool: when you’re copying a large file and then minimise the window, the icon background then becomes a progress bar. It’s a little difficult to explain, but it’s a great way of showing you how far along your file copy is without you having to open up the window!
- I don’t know how good it is for compatibility with older apps, but everything I’ve tried so far has worked. Including Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, which is almost ten years old!
All in all, I have been very pleasantly surprised by Windows 7. It does seem to be a real step-up from Windows XP in terms of usability, and the things I’ve highlighted are only a small number which have particularly struck me.
I’m still no fan of Microsoft as such, but Windows 7 has won me over … for now 😉