Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shock and Horror!

! sometimes misidentifies hardware and assigns generic drivers which don't unlock all the features of the hardware, leaving, for example, Ed Bott without a working microphone and no way to get mutli-touch, even with the correct drivers.

Ed Bott also doesn't like the new icon-only taskbar, so he re-enables text+icons.  It took him months to get used to the default icon combination strategy, instead of the "combine when taskbar is full" method he was used to from .

What about the file manager? Well, it now has an "insistence on using namespaces that aren’t tied to a hierarchy with some sort of disk device at the top." Does that sound familiar to anyone? It replaces this with Libraries, making the sidebar look remarkably like another OS I know of. If you thought I meant Nautilus, I was actually talking about OS X, but either OS will work. Bott says that Windows users will need to be trained to use Libraries because they represent an "initial conceptual hurdle of understanding."

Some (very few, apparently) of your legacy programs may not run in Windows 7 so you'll need to use a virtual machine running with some shared folders in order to get around that. Luckily, it has seamless mode, also available in VirtualBox.

This may have sounded like a rant against Windows 7 or even Ed Bott. It was no such thing. In fact, I am going to praise Ed. His opinion of Windows 7 is that it could probably be released as ready right now. "From a features and capabilities point of view, Windows 7 is essentially done." His final judgement?
Overall, I’m impressed with how reliable this Windows release has been. It also seems more than adequate in terms of performance. I haven’t taken a stopwatch to measure speeds and feeds, but overall, every common operation in Windows 7 feels snappy and responsive, even on old hardware. I haven’t seen significant changes in startup and shutdown times over on the same hardware.
How did he come to this conclusion with so much that's different and so much that needed tweaking?
Instead of that conventional review approach, I want to share my experiences after six months of using Windows 7 full time. My attitude over that six months has been to keep an open mind, learn how the operating system works, and incorporate its features into my work style. If you’re planning to evaluate Windows 7, I urge you to try the same approach: Keep an open mind, try to figure out how it works, and see if maybe some small changes in old work habits can pay big dividends in productivity.
Thank you, Ed Bott, for taking the time to review an OS properly. I wish more reviewers did that.


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