Friday, July 17, 2009

Windows 7 Available on New Computers!

Or more accurately, free upgrade to Windows 7 once it becomes available. I've even seen this made available to users who purchase computers with an XP Downgrade.

What's so cool about Windows 7?
  • It's faster than Vista. If your computer runs Vista, this will make it run faster. If you use a computer that is more than three years old it will be sluggish if you upgrade it from XP.
  • It will run your old programs. That popular time and attendance application that hasn't been updated since 1994? Worked fine from Windows 3.1 to to Windows 95, NT4 to 2000 to XP, then POW, it won't work on Vista. The camera view zooms out. Snow falls silently. Crouched at the edge of the bamboo is . . . XPM. XPM is XP Mode, and it is here to help you. I haven't tried it out yet, but as a fan of Microsoft VirtualPC, I'm willing to believe the hype.
  • The cool effects are actually useful and make sense in their various contexts. You're just gonna have to trust me on this one.
  • It's easier to support - my job will be much easier with the new Problem Steps Recorder, which allows the user to record a video of what is going on in their computer, add comments to it, then save it to a file that can be emailed to the support tech. Rock on for thinking about me, Micro$oft!
What sucks about it?
  • It's an incremental upgrade, not a radical rethink (despite what Microsoft says about it) - it's like Windows ME was an upgrade of Windows 98, but this time it won't suck. As bad. We hope.
  • It looks like Vista. You know how caterpillars have distinctive colors to let birds know that they taste bad and might be poisonous? The bird eats a pretty caterpillar, gets sick, and remembers what they look like so they don't do that again. Humans can be like that bird - I cringe at the Vista interface not because it's a bad interface but because Vista sucked.

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