The Seventh Coming

It was with trepidation and anxiety that I pressed the Install button on the Windows 7 setup screen. It's futuristic blue hues and user-friendly language did nothing to assuage the mounting tension I felt as I remembered the last time I installed a new OS. I Vista-ed my computer last time (sort of like "bricked my computer" but worse). That was when I lost my faith in computing humanity. After suffering through the despotic ruler that was Windows Vista, the Seventh coming of Windows has arrived, and I have received it and it's legal license key.

To be specific, I have a Win7 Professional 64-bit OS running on my system, and now I want to talk to you about it.

I was impressed from the get-go. When I first logged in, I expected to put aside 3 hours of my valuable time to clear the OS of bloatware like Norton's ubiquitous deal with Satan 30-day trial and ebay web links. Instead, all I got was the Recycle Bin on the desktop. I did a double take. Did that really just happen? Did Microsoft really just provide me withe clean OS? Something horrible must have happened. It must be a virus. Or Something. This just felt awkward. Like if your parents actually did buy you a car for your birthday. What are you supposed to say? Thank you? Words can't contain the gratitude I felt a that moment.

After that, everything seemed sorta the same. Yes, yes, yes, the taskbar is different. But nothing like "OMG,OMG!!! THE TASKBAR IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD!!! IT WILL CHANGE THE WAY WE PUT TASKS IN OUR BARS!!!! YAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!" It's definitely a slick improvement, but it's nothing revolutionary. All the changes I've seen thus far from a user experience standpoint have been small things that make stuff easier to find and do. Which is great. But it hasn't wowed me in any big way yet.

A lot of people are saying that Windows 7 is like a big service pack to Vista. I would use a different analogy. I would say it is what Windows 98 was to Windows 95. From a user experience standpoint, nothing was all that different. The foundations of the desktop environment are still there. It's the stuff under the hood that made 98 a much more stable, and therefore longer lived, operating system. I haven't had enough time to get into the nitty gritty yet, but I'll let you know when I do. Maybe I'll host a launch party!

Smile moments: Powershell 2.0 included, speedy wake-up from standby, trippy backgrounds, small improvements to explorer interface, the library system.

Frown moments: Powershell was surprisingly slow, actually liked the vista look better, still not so speedy startup, not sure if homegroups will really take off, nobody came to my launch party.


Benjamin said...

1. A Windows installation CD never comes with pre-loaded bloatware. It never has and never will. You only get the bloatware when PC manufacturers load it on as part of the image they put on their machines. A store bought copy of Windows is just that---a copy of Windows. Nothing more, nothing less.

So I dunno why you got so excited...

2. I disagree with your Windows 95 to 98 comparison. Not that it's necessarily wrong, but that you're focusing on an aspect of it that's not factual.

Windows 98 didn't really do that much with regards to stability. It just changed the driver model that was used (to be same as NT), but it didn't make it more stable, per say, just made more drivers/hardware compatible. It was built on the same kernel as 95 was. The major differences were in FAT32 support, Internet Explorer integration into the desktop shell, and some UI changes. It wasn't more stable--far from it. It crashed like crazy. But it was somewhat faster. I'd use the 95 to 98 analogy with regard to speed. Not stability. But that's just me.

Benjamin said...


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