Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pros and Cons of Win7 thus far

I've had Win7 up and running for a few weeks. Here's a few things about W7 I really like, but were surprising:
No more crappy Documents and Settings.
Honest to God, I think that the directory setup for WinXP was designed by drunks. Documents and Settings was such a mess. Now it's under "C:\Users", which is so much better. Plus, all of the Application Data is in one folder...even if I don't understand "Roaming" and "Local."
The Win7 taskbar.
Yeah, I know that it was really "Ooh! Ahh!" when it came out, but I've been thinking, and I do think I might like it. Most of the time I only have one window of a program open, so I just need the icon to identify it. Plus, there's the whole preview and ability to close the window from such. But then if I want, I can switch back to the old-fashioned type. And you can finally drag to reorder.
Win7 Taskbar uses shortcut icons.
This is amazing: I have several Firefox Profiles and I have a different icon for each. Instead of each browser having the same icon, the Win7 taskbar actually uses the shortcut icons! That's amazing! It's a wonderful feature, but it's just....well, honestly not something I'd expect from Microsoft.
The Start Menu search.
This is basically what I wanted from Go!, which I wrote for WinXP.

"Peek"/"Shake"/"Snap".
I kind of like them, but I'm not sure yet. Hovering over a window or the "Show Desktop" button shows only that window, shaking a window minimizes everything except it, and you can snap the windows to certain parts of the screen. It's really, really nice, but it's hard to use the dragging feature because I have two monitors, so one half of the screen won't work.
Alt-Tab.
I'm still up in the air about this, but I like how it shows the preview and how you can use the mouse. It does seem a bit more cluttered though.
Smooth Wallpaper change.
Nice little fade effect.
But of course, it's got some things I don't like as much.
Having to grant Admin access.
I realize it's trying to be safe, but seriously....I have to allow Admin to copy to a folder? To write to the registry? To launch AdvancedDiary? It's just kind of pathetic.
Still no workspaces.
I already wrote another post about it, but seriously. Get off your butt and just write it, Microsoft.
Not as snappy.
I've noticed this kind of recently, and it definitely does not help that I keep moving data around and not defragging, and only have 4Gb of RAM. But it can tend to be slower. But then what do you expect? Moving from Windows XP with a minimalistic bbLean to Windows 7 with Aero is bound to have some consequences. I think once I upgrade my RAM it will be better (still working with 2GB DDR2).
Games don't run as smoothly.
I've noticed this for Steam games. Even Overlord, which I don't think is a very demanding game. This is probably caused by (a) W7 compatibility with my GPU, (b) Running 32-bit Steam on a 64-bit system, or (c) my hardware is failing. I'm not really going to get upset about it since I'm betting it's C. Lord knows I need a new GPU, and a CPU/Mobo combo aren't far behind that.
Overall I'm pretty happy. Win7 seems to just be alot simpler than XP, and that's not a bad thing. It means it can be customized more. (I loved Windows XP because it could be customized, but that's not the way Microsoft wanted it.) Plus, it looks nicer, and it's nice to know that now if someone asks me for help on a Win7 system, I won't have to ask "Where is the _____?"
-Bry
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