Since I got back from PDC, I’ve been doing two things: working as a volunteer in this year’s election campaign (including 14 hours at the polls on Tuesday) and shifting among five separate Windows 7 installations to see exactly what’s new and different. And I still have two additional installations on my to-do list.
I’m mostly recovered from the double whammy of a PDC followed by the end of the world’s longest Presidential campaign EVER. (Sleep is a marvelous thing.) Next week I begin posting some of my Win7 discoveries. Meanwhile I’m curious to hear from you all. If you’re using the pre-beta PDC build of Windows 7, what do you think? If you’ve read about Windows 7 but haven’t used it yourself, any thoughts, reactions, and questions? Is there anything you’ve heard about in Windows 7 that makes you want to upgrade?
I’m especially interested in hearing from XP users who plan to skip Vista. Is there anything you want me to look at it in more depth so you can decide whether it’s worth upgrading?
The comments section is open…
21 thoughts on “What do you want to know about Windows 7?”
I’ve definitely got questions.
* Startup times and battery life using XP vs. Vista vs. W7 on the same hardware.
* Default memory usage and default services, Vista vs. W7 on the same hardware.
* Reliability index(es) for W7, updated over time.
* h.264 performance of W7 in Media Center. Do 1080p videos play smoothly on your systems?
* Does W7 Media Center have a built-in interface for playing Blu-Ray movies?
* Sleep mode in Vista is still a little unreliable on home-built systems. Any idea if there are improvements in this area? Any sleep/wake problems on your systems?
* Everyone is happy about the new UAC silder control, but how do the different settings affect security?
Thanks in advance. I’m really looking forward to using the new features Microsoft showed at PDC.
I’m not interested in Windows 7, don’t plan to spend time on it at all in the foreseeable future. I’ll consider trying it only after I read tons of rave reviews all over the place for weeks. I was bit by Vista badly, wasted too much time. I’m on the verge on going back to XP, have a missing boot\bcd problem that’s nagging me right now. Have to boot on Vista DVD every time, then repair boot, then restart… It’s only the latest problem… I’ll figure this one out too eventually, but with Vista it has been problems after problems after problems. I’m tired of wasting my time fixing them.
So, I (personally) do not plan on even trying Windows 7. Been reading articles about it every now and then. Very skeptic. MS will have to outdo themselves big time on that one to get me on board. Windows 7 is a no-go until proven outstandingly great, and I am sure as heck not doing the proving part. Count me out on that one. This is the first Windows version I am not trying ahead of time since win2k.
I was an MVP from Win98 right up to Vista. Once they stripped all the interesting things out of Vista I got out of the MVP program and though I’ve installed Vista I’ve never used it, nor do I support it in my work as a desktop/network admin.
The thing that bothers me most about Windows is how hard it is for the late adopter users (meaning the opposite of early adopters) to manage the user interface. Will Windows 7 decouple screen resolution from icon/text size? XP has almost no ability to control icon and font size independently of screen resolution and Vista is not much better. When will users with high resolution screens be able to decypher complex icons and read their email text without squinting? I know the technology is available and even has a name that escapes me now, but when will we have it?
Will Windows 7 network diagnostics/management improve over XP and Vista? I have heard that Vista does a better job than XP on wireless networks, but when will ordinary users be able to effectively diagnose even the simplest wired connection issues, such as DHCP failure, default gateway failure, VLAN issues, wireless security parameters and even something as simple as finding a shared printer? When will a user that uses an application that relies on a network drive be able to understand that the network drive is not available or lacks certain permissions? The tiniest of network misconfigurations is always a complete stumbling block because the users have no useful network concepts and Windows provides no useful error feedback. Of course, I myself love hexadecimal digits but my users can’t even say “hexadecimal” without their heads exploding.
Codecs. Don’t get me started on codecs. Codecs is the main reason that online video adoption has stagnated among late adopters. They have no mental model of a codec and they get no useful feedback about missing or misconfigured codecs.
Computing won’t get interesting again until the late adopters are able to get onboard the personal computer train. Anything that helps them helps everyone. Let’s get simple(r).
@Carl: Apparently, Windows 7 is on par with XP for boot time: http://lifehacker.com/5076370/windows-7-preview-boots-20-faster-than-vista
Gotta admit I’m a little cynical about Seven.
Might even let my Tech Net subscription run out and let others fool with Seven till it shakes out as a Really Good Product.
The potential is there, based on my favorable experiences with Windows Server 2008 running as a fast and stable workstation.
Microsoft must resist the temptation to add needless “features” and “experiences”.
“Will Windows 7 decouple screen resolution from icon/text size? XP has almost no ability to control icon and font size independently of screen resolution and Vista is not much better.”
“Will Windows 7 network diagnostics/management improve over XP and Vista? I have heard that Vista does a better job than XP on wireless networks, but when will ordinary users be able to effectively diagnose even the simplest wired connection issues, such as DHCP failure, default gateway failure, VLAN issues, wireless security parameters and even something as simple as finding a shared printer?”
To me, these seem quite complex issues for ordinary users. I struggle to see how you think these “ordinary users” will understand DHCP failure or VLAN issues. I’d argue that both of these problems ought to be kept well out of the way of end users of desktop operating systems.
“Codecs. Don’t get me started on codecs. Codecs is the main reason that online video adoption has stagnated among late adopters. They have no mental model of a codec and they get no useful feedback about missing or misconfigured codecs.”
The codec problem seems to be dying these days. Almost any video that I need to play is supported natively by Windows Media. If you don’t like that, there’s a whole Internet of other options.
I think you’d find that if you’d bothered to use Vista, some of these problems may well have already gone away. I’m also not entirely sure what you mean by “late adopters.” You imply this means “less experienced computer users,” but it doesn’t. I’m also unsure about your statement that “online video adoption has stagnated among late adopters.” There’s this very popular thing called “Youtube,” you know.
Do games perform better under Windows 7 than under Vista?
Using Vista’s power saver profile and with the screen fully dimmed I’m squeezing 1 and a half hours from my 3 month old battery… Windows 7 is giving me well over 2 hours with power saver, that’s a huge improvement!
Also Vista is incredibly slow with power saver and explorer crashes a lot, in Win 7 it performs fantastic on power saver.
I always like Vista, but of course there are always issues, what I love about Windows 7 is that it fixes/improves on just about everything in Vista which annoyed me, it’s a great upgrade, will definetly be buying it when it comes out and that’s a first for me, always just get the OS with the computer.
oh @mgo… I’m someone who like the ‘features’ and ‘experiences’ however I also agree people should have the choice, I think more installation customisaiton might be coming later on in Windows 7?
I ran Windows Vista constantly while writing “Windows Vista For Dummies.” But Vista was so obnoxious I rarely booted it up again until last week, when I upgraded to Windows 7.
Sure, Windows 7 is only a “pre-beta,” with few features. But it’s a heck of a lot better than what Microsoft dumped in our laps in two years ago.
I’m a little skeptical, as Windows Vista changed drastically between each beta. But if Microsoft doesn’t screw it up from here, I’ll retire Windows XP and move on to Windows 7.
UI flexibility is key for me. I’ve been using Vista for 3 months (forced to by a laptop purchase following a desktop system failure) and will downgrade to XP on the new desktop because I can’t work with the way Vista changed Explorer defaults and (simple as it might seem) doesn’t allow a WDS taskbar search that opens the ui with file previews. Search is actually much less useful in Vista. I have over a quarter of a million files so it’s a big deal.
Ed have you installed Windows 7 in a Pentium 4 HT system just to see if the performance is better than Vista.
TJ, I no longer have a Pentium HT system available for testing. I sold it some time ago. By the time 7 comes out, that would be a six-year-old technology, hardly a worthy target for an upgrade. So I’m not too interested in that scenario.
Carl Campos asked about H.264, on my desktop I see a strange thing.
The new Media Player plays a full HD QuickTime movie just fine but I can’t really say if it uses the HD4850 GPU acceleration or not.
The Task Manager shows a series of spikes in the CPU from 0% to 100% that seems lika a bug somewhere in the playback pipeline.
I’ve installed Win7 on a MacBook that has the Intel X3100 video chip and on it clearly there’s no GPU acceleration and the Task Manager shows a regular CPU usage between 20%-30%.
So can you investigate the GPU issue and tell us something more?
I’m a content Vista user, and I don’t have Windows 7. I’ve scanned all the screen captures and read the Super Star Bloggers’ Web sites to learn as much as I can. I have to say Windows 7 looks to be evolutionary, at best. Seeing it in action might help, but I haven’t seen any video of the interface being used. I’m certain I’ll participate in any public beta and upgrade to the RTM of Win7, but I’m not jumping out of my skin about this like Paul Thurrott.
Thanks for the info. I saw that boot time comparison on Lifehacker, but it’s only a single data point. Microsoft has talked about improving boot time in W7, but I’d like to see other people (Ed!) confirm the boot time improvement on the same hardware.
As Mary Jo said, some people will be put off by the Windows 7 touch screens, but what amazed me is what She pointed out which Microsoft probably will ignore, this is to improve Windows 7 by combining touch on a notebook trackpad or innovate a mouse replacement that includes touch features. if Microsoft could incorporate that, they could leave Apple behind, if Microsoft dont look into this area of replacing mouse with a touch device then we mey yet see Apple developing that feature.
If i were a Microsoft advisor, i wouldnt hesitate to reccommend the touch as a replacement on a mouse, if Microsoft could replace a mouse with a touch pad feature, that will sure off put heavy pressure on Apple.
At this Moment Microsoft doesnt want to talk much about Vista, they were even critisized by Apple of not fixing Vista, i doubt the next Vista SP2 will fix perfomance issues. Microsoft are known to be tickled like a small baby on their future products.
Vista wont even run on most netbooks and Microsoft maybe they need employ better advisors because they have lost lo much on low cost laptops and other entry level PC’s.
High Rez Album Art in My Music Media Center???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
1) VISTA will make me upgrade when XP runs out of life.
2) Is W7 going to be a stand alone OS, meaning no IE8 (or whatever #), no windows media, no other MS add ons that are “integrated” as the EU as told MS not to do.
3) Stability verses XP
4) Any chance MS can skip the VISTA type TV commercials that are well lets just say “c__p” and spend the money on making W7 better?
5) Better browser handling?
6) Registry updates? more stable, easier to work with for us less minded nerds, better ways to edit the registry?
I have noticed a big improvement in H.264 playback picture quality in windows 7 compared to the free codecs on the web for vista.
Will you elaborate on the play to feature in media player 12. I was unable to get this to work between 2 windows 7 PCs.
When I read about Win 7, the only significant thing I notice is yet more loads of ‘eye candy’ and yet more shuffling around of the way too complicated user ‘experience’. I don’t CARE about any of that – my XP is set on ‘classic’, and will stay that way.
Now if it would boot faster, search faster, and get rid of most of the registry, that would be interesting!
Comments are closed.