Windows 7 forum

General discussion

Re-poll: Windows 7 users, well, how is it?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 26, 2010 8:47 AM PDT

This is re-poll on the same question I did a while back in November 2009, but given that quite some time has past and many users have gotten use to the new OS, it would be interesting to see how people like this far.

Windows 7 users, well, how is it?

- It's just awesome! (Please explain.)
- It's better than I had expected it to be. (Please explain.)
- Not great, not bad. (Please explain.)
- Not going so well. (Please explain.)
- It's not as good as I had expected it to be. (Please explain.)
- It's terrible. (Please explain.)
- I'd tell you, but I can't get it installed. (Please explain.)
- Not sure yet; give me more time with it. (Please explain.)
- Other. (Please explain.)

Here are the previous poll results and discussion on it:

Poll results:

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Mac vs Windows 7
by jdlaser / March 26, 2010 10:55 AM PDT

I bought a iMac 3 years ago and last year a new iMac with "Snow Leopard" and a new desktop with Windows Vista and it didn't take long to need to move on to "Windows 7 Home Premium". Now after 6 months my iMac is the secondary system in the far-awayyyy Den. My windows 7 system is here next to me where the iMac used to be. Bottom-line Windows 7 does everything the iMac could and even better. 1 thing still bad, I can't get a virtual XP running on this system.

I think we all need access to "Windows XP Mode" in "Windows 7 Home Premium" where from the start it should have been. Microsoft slapped us in the face and some didn't feel it. I don't hear the outrage there should be. Most uses of Win 7 is "Home Premium". Windows 8 will never darken my door.

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w xp mode in w7
by anton.vanwamelen / March 26, 2010 6:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Mac vs Windows 7

use VM instead...

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Don't Fall for this hype
by Kzac Hawk / March 26, 2010 10:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Mac vs Windows 7

I tested windows 7 when it was offered as beta, back during the summer. I found it was not much better than any other windows product. Still prone to virus attacks, still using the clunky interface common to windows. My personal assessment, Windows 7 is no more than improved vista, and it still retains Windows famous backward computability issues. I had hoped for a system based on linux which would have solved many windows issues, instead, Microsoft plows ahead with Vista II. Not at all bad, but not great either.

I have a mix of systems around my home. Both windows based (2) and Mac (3). The mac computers get the most use. The windows systems sit idle or are running magic jack. I have never experienced software failure issues on the Macs, nor virus issues. The Macs are solid, reliable machines and the software is always backward compatible.

Here is a situation for you. My neighbors 5 year old got ahold of his sisters mac. he locked up the hard drive where she could not access the machine, She had no password and he deleted files or changed settings where the machine would not boot into the software (nobody knows what he did). She could not find her original boot disk for the machine and all my Macs are intel, hers is a G4. I was able to firewire my mac min into her G4 and use my mac mini as the boot drive.... it gets better.... I was able to install my leopard boot disk in the mac mini and run the leopard restore on her G4 back up drive, which restored her machines number 1 hard drive to its configuration. Within two hours, I had here desktop back up and running and she lost nothing. This just simply cannot be done with Microsoft products.

For those who are on the fence about switching to windows 7, I personally don't see any advantage in it. The software improvements are not worth the hassle of the move. You will be saddled with incompatibility issues, transfer issues and the like, and yes there are some new bells and whistles, but in the end, there is nothing in Windows 7 that actually improves your ability to compute which your don't already posses in XP or Vista.

For the life of me I cant figure why the person that posted this Mac vs WIndows 7, did not use boot camp and install windows 7 on to his iMac. The iMac will boot and run on both systems. The graphics on an iMac are 10 fold cleaner than any PC I have ever used. He buddy I will trade you a brand new windows 7 box for that iMac that you have sitting in the Far-awayyy Den. No use in it taking up space and collecting dust.

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Do not like it
by reli37 / March 26, 2010 11:13 AM PDT

Frequent blue screen crashes. Software doesn't work and replacement software is poorly designed and expensive.

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Ummm... wrong....
by N3M37H / March 26, 2010 12:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Do not like it

You must have a terrible system (hardware). I ran the beta (7100) from Aug till Oct and then I installed 7 Pro (x64) on a Compaq Presario CQ50-100CA. I have not seen a BSOD once. Worse problem I've had so far is 2 or 3 programs didn't work, and only 1 so far has been because of windows 7, rest were 64 bit issues.

If you've got a dual core or a fairly fast Single core (2.6 Ghz or higher) with at least a gig of RAM windows 7 will run fine.

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Compatibility issues with WIndows 7
by Kzac Hawk / March 26, 2010 10:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Ummm... wrong....

Here is a prime example of what I was talking about. This person switched to Windows 7 and now one of his/her programs is incompatible with the software. If this is the system you base your lively hood off of and find out after installation that your prime software is no longer compatible, then you have just lost the ability to back up and migrate back to XP or Vista, and your business suffer as a result.

If your use your computer for business or you have many emails and family pictures you don't want to loose, give this a lot of thought prior to making the switch to Windows 7. You should study the web and ask friends if the software you run is compatible with WIndows 7.
I would vehemently suggest backing up your old configuration to a bootable second hard drive (mirror image), prior to switching to windows 7. That way you do not loose your business or your personal data if you find Windows 7 switch is not compatible. The cost for a second hard drive as bootable backup, is minimal opposed to forever lost data or business compatibility issues.

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Window 7 is useless
by Tuggerofhearts / March 26, 2010 11:14 AM PDT

When XP loses support, I lose Microsoft. I still have to use my XP machine to get on the internet.

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Not overly enthusiastic about Win 7
by lrrp6 / March 26, 2010 11:40 AM PDT

In my opinion, Windows 7 is Windows 98 spruced up a bit. I just purchased a new machine with Windows Home Premium (64 bit) pre-installed. Problems:
(1) Software that is more than 2 years old will not run. This includes Microsoft Office. Some software (Such as Adobe Acrobat) even in the newest versions Adobe sells, are not fully compatible.
(2) Rather than getting the "Blue Screen" of death, the programs freeze. Solution is to hit "Ctrl/Alt/Del" and then restart the software. This includes a fresh download of the latest version of Firefox and Thunderbird.

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MS Office Pro Plus Edition (French) on Win 7 Pro (English)
by FrenchyHey / March 27, 2010 2:55 AM PDT
Happy all work great, steam gaming download work great, I make sure that I read the spec for the games, Windows Virtual PC, upgrade of Virtual PC 2007, free XP pro 32 bits on my OS Guest 64 bits work great also?.

No BSOD what so ever.

Full daily backup with Windows Home Server (Windows Server 2003), we have 4 PC desktop ranging from dual core AMD to Quad 2 Core Intel all upgrade from XP Home Premium, all my PC are dual Boot and triple boot OS ranging from XP to Vista to Win 7 Pro all are been backed up daily and no issues what so ever, Brother Printer bought in summer 2005 maybe 2004 can't recall work like a charm on the network on all the OS included my very dear devoted Win 7 64 bits Pro one of the PC (Son's PC) is Win 7 Pro 32 bits), no problems for him but because his PD was limited to 2GB Ram decided that 32 bits would be optimal for him and less tweaking if running only 32 bits programs but mind you I was alble to run all my devoted essential program for productivity on my 64 bits anyway.

For me it just has been a bless.

So for the one that are here just to spit on a obviously superior product of MS, you are just full of Sh...

Granted Apple are easier and it always has been but not ready to settle for less or pay way more for same result at the end.

If you don't want to tweak and are not good with outside of turning on and off a PC go with Apple but if you are just in the job of doing email surfing and doing Excel and Access and love gaming for relaxation go Windows is my personal commonsense of the two OS that are Apple and Windows
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After a rough start it's working now.
by Dango517 / March 26, 2010 12:06 PM PDT

Window 7 is slightly better then Vista and much better then XP. I had problems with programs and updates running in the background slowing my machine to a crawl at times and causing hesitations while online with Windows 7. I reset a few alerts and updates to manual, instead of auto start and it has straightened out nicely. I think I'll keep it. Happy

I also dumped IE8 and went to FireFox which was a huge improvement. Unfortunately I still need IE8 for some online videos, damn! Plain

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Better than XP in some ways but annoying
by Roth99 / March 26, 2010 12:23 PM PDT

I have been using PCs since 1984. I find Windows 7 better and nicer than XP in a lot of ways. "Search" in the Start button is fantastic, and many things seem easier. I like the new Gadgets and the new Taskbar, and being able to hide icons in the Notification Area. I have turned off most of the Aero effects, which I found distracting.

Despite liking the OS, some things drive me crazy. I write my own software for mathematical modeling, and it's quite difficult to put anything into the "Program Files" directory because of permissions. I tried to edit the "hosts" file and ran into the same issue. (It can be edited, but only by opening an editor as an Administrator *and* opening the file through the file menu, the most tedious way.)

Many things are made easy, but it is difficult to figure out what is happening behind the scenes. For example, networking happens almost automatically, but I still haven't figured out exactly what settings Windows is applying behind the scenes.

Some things made "easier" are annoyances. For example, if I look at "My Documents" in a file manager, it says the name of the directory is "Documents", but it always shows up in Explorer as "My Documents." So I never know where to look in alphabetical order. And the idiotic long preset names with spaces -- like "Program Files (x86) -- are irritating when I have to type them in. MS has changed the filesystem layout again (e.g., for things like Application Data), which makes it tricky keeping both a W7 and an XP computer set up similarly.

So far, though all my programs work fine, and the OS seems to be a bit more robust than XP. So I would vote, "better than I thought, but not a major step forward."

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I'll help you with one of these, maybe
by Dango517 / March 26, 2010 12:49 PM PDT

This one

"and it's quite difficult to put anything into the "Program Files" directory because of permissions. I tried to edit the "hosts" file and ran into the same issue. (It can be edited, but only by opening an editor as an Administrator *and* opening the file through the file menu, the most tedious way.)"

First, for my disclaimer: Should you use this suggestion you do so at entirely your own risk.

Search for UAC in 'help and support" once you know what it does then you could disable it. I'm not telling you too do that. This is entirely your decision it does have some valuable security value in some environments and in these it would not be advisable to disable it. Understand? Please sign here ......................... that you have read and understand the preceding information. Happy partly I'm joking here yet partly I am not.

The how-to, Start > control panel > user accounts > choose your account > choose change account control settings, change the slider to your desired settings.

You use this PC for your livelihood should you proceed, do so, only if you feel it is worth the risk.

Dango517-aka DEG 3/26/2010 10:41 PM EST US

This thread is untracked.

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by mwooge / March 26, 2010 3:38 PM PDT

I suppose a very few people will need to control user access. For most computers, it's a total waste. Easily the worst problem I had when I got this machine.

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Turning off UAC
by Roth99 / March 27, 2010 2:50 AM PDT

Thanks for the tip! I did know that UAC can be turned off, but figured that since MS puts it into the OS, I should leave it on. However, after using PCs for 26 years with never a virus, I am sorely tempted . . . .

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Re 25 years without a virus, Great
by FrenchyHey / March 27, 2010 11:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Turning off UAC

I know I wasn't the only one that don't get a virus the others are perfect candidate for a Mac because they will never understand update critical files etc and have an anti-virus.

They just want it to work and get their email also and just surf the web and maybe a home video, well you could do all that with windows also at the fraction of the price if you have the latest update and the anti-virus turned on and don't go for the kaza and porn site were they have the latest trap lay for your PC.

I download on Utorrent on a Quad 2 core with 4 gb ram 2 HD and triple boot, doing surfing, recording a TV Program and chatting and reading this forum, working on MS Office, all at the same time as we speak right now, doing alt-tab to alternate from my games in Steam to Firefox to I.E. depending of the taste of the day Wink having installed i.e. 9 preview for testing, Live mail on, 24 inches display monitor that is just gorgeous with the themes available in Win 7 (desktop) that alternate the background once in a while.

No slowdown what so ever on this machine if I am ever tired will just add another drive and try Unbutu but honestly you will not get a MS bashing in me, the only one I consider worth of my attention are Linux and MS and it will never be a closed proprietary box like Apple that want to think for me like MS but also impose me all their hardware and their taxes to have the privilege to use their "marvelous OSX" that is just at the end a open source copy.

You know what community, if it wasn't of all the junk PC that lay around here, there will not be a healthy Linux community because both benefit from each other even if both side will never admit it publicly, Linux has forced MS to get better and better and vice-versa, because anyone here could make a box that will never crash and is just secure also but at the price of connectivity and flexibility also, so as the time go forward I might one day when Linux become as easier as MS or Mac just switch and go Linux without the surtaxed OSX because you can't get a OSX w/o Apple Hardware that is just at the end a well build PC, but Linux yes Happy as they don't care what kind of brand you have as long as you are in the spec it will run period like Microsoft.

So for me I need Linux and MS as they are the real alternative for budget family oriented, specially if you want more then one Computer at home to gave you freedom like we have in my home.

Also Win 7 64 bits is cools, yes you heard me it is very cool to use that and a Linux box also.

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Windows 7
by BillEade / March 26, 2010 12:36 PM PDT

I recently bought the Windows 7 Home Edition Pro 3 pack.

First, let me state that I have been working with computers for over 40 years. The first one had more than 10,000 vacuum tubes and programmed with IBM punch cards. I had my own design company for over 20 years. I have programmed in everything from Basic to Ada - including in Machine Code. I think that qualifies me as computer literate.

After a clean install on a freshly formatted hard drive (to "upgrade" from win XP) every time I wanted to do things it asked for administrator approval (I am the ONLY authorized user on this machine) and sometimes even refused to let ME change configurations.

All my data files are on two hard drives SEPARATE from the boot drive. All of my files on the Three hard disks became "Read Only" and I subsequently actually LOST some of the files in trying to work on the machine. I would go through the procedures to remove the "Read Only" lock on the files and next time I addressed the files it was AGAIN "Read Only."

I contacted Micro$oft (I INTENDED to spell it that way) I spoke to a service rep (probably from somewhere in India) who attempted to walk me through solving the problems. Even after I followed all the instructions I STILL had numerous frustrations.

After wasting a week trying to get this software(?) to work I finally RE-FORMATTED the hard drive and re-installed Win XP. In case you haven't guessed by now, I AM NOT IMPRESSED.

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Same old windows to me.
by Rmiami225 / March 26, 2010 10:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows 7

MY company has 4 laptops. I had a similar experience with 7 and ended up re-installing Vista on two of them. Even now the one laptop I have that has 7 on it ... its OK but I still have to deal with the same crap I do with Vista. I have Vista installed in Virtual on my Macbook Pro. It runs smoothly but most of the time I just fire it up to run updates now.

I don't want to get into a PC vs. Mac here because its not worth it. I would not trade this Mac for three PC's! PC fans seem to like all the tinkering and complication. I just want my computer to work. Snow Leopard takes like 28 seconds to load up ... no defraging or registry cleaning or UAC ... and other issues not worth going in to! OSX just works!

When I replace the PC's ... it will be with a Mac!

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Another prime example
by Kzac Hawk / March 26, 2010 11:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows 7

Folks, like this man, I started out using punch cards in computer programming in college. I have owned a personal computer since they were initially offered to the public. I remember paying over $1000 for a 80286 turbo 10 mhz machine, when VGA first came on the scene, this was during the DOS age, prior to windows, when you had to type in commands to get programs to work. I have migrated with every existing Microsoft software system that was available. With every Microsoft offer I started to learn of the quirks of compatibility. And as you see here on these pages it remains a strong issue related to updating a Microsoft based system.

Heed these warnings well my friends! These are not stupid people.

If you are not a computer tech with 20 plus years of experience, I suggest you make a bootable backup on a secondary hard drive of your existing system. If you don't know how to do this pay someone to do it for you and verify it is working. Do this BEFORE switching to any new windows operating system. It will save your Butt in the end. Also remember that Microsoft products are machine specific at their installation, you will not be able to take your mirror image backup and use it on a different PC, so don't throw out that old computer just yet! Wait until you have proven all of you software and data to be compatible and fully working. I suggest 90 days as a good trial period for new software and the maintaining of your old hardware.

Sure some day in the future Microsoft will stop supporting windows XP, and they will force you to migrate to windows 7. However, put it off as long as possible and make sure you have solid backups of your data that are backward compatible in the event your migration goes bust.

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Windows 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by Elljl / March 26, 2010 12:46 PM PDT

Windows 7 is the best Windows version I have ever used. I've used 98, XP, Vista, and 7, and 7 is easily the best. On my laptop there used to be Vista, and I upgraded to Windows 7, and Windows 7 is the most responsive, quickest, and best laid out. What I like best is the slide show background and themes.

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better than I had expected
by netsiu / March 26, 2010 1:10 PM PDT

Going from Win2000Pro with a brief encounter with XP I expected a real hassle, but installed smooth, setup easy and runs dog slow.
Had to upgrade Motherboard. 7 wouldn't install to EIDE on the Socket 939 MSI that Windows 2K loved.

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7 Is just so-so
by john3347 / March 26, 2010 2:49 PM PDT

Windows 7, while being leaps and bounds ahead of the disaster that was Vista, is FAR from an ideal OS. Many frustrations from Vista and XP have failed to be corrected and many new frustrations have been added. Windows 7 is generally more stable that either Vista or XP, but still lags well behind the stability demonstrated by Windows 2000. Windows 7 is unnecessarily complicated and requires many third party fixes to make things work that should work "out of the box". Libraries is a disaster in itself that was supposed to fix another disaster that was Windows Explorer.

What is it with Microsoft developer's vocabularies? "Way back when" we had Program Manager and had Internet Explorer. Then, for no obvious reason, they decided to rename Program Manager to Windows Explorer so we could confuse it with Internet Explorer. That was not bad enough! Now we have Windows Explorer Favorites - not to be confused with Internet Explorer Favorites which is confusing enough because everybody else calls them Bookmarks. This whole Windows 7 is developed by people with no more vocabulary and no more imagination than illustrated by these examples.

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Windows 7 poll comments.
by romaurie / March 26, 2010 4:18 PM PDT
In reply to: 7 Is just so-so

I have been operating windows 7 along side Xp pro and Ubuntu for 6 months.I still find Xp easier to work with with some functions on 7 like video editing with moviemaker or the 7 equivalent problematic.I use Xp as my default system but will return to 7 periodically to see how it is going.I suppose a lot of it is user experience.If you have time to persist and discover how to do it on 7, you will eventually crack it.But if you just want to get on and complete the task at hand it is tempting to return to the system you recognize.
University of Life:
Reading; "The Bleeding Obvious"

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I'd have to say "it's terrible"
by tekchallenged / March 26, 2010 5:55 PM PDT

I have issues with the system constantly losing the monitor settings and resetting the resolution. I've contacted my retailer for a refund, but it's in the hands of Microsoft at the moment and I'm waiting for them to get back to me as to whether it will be fixed or not. If it's not fixed, the OS is unusable as far as I'm concerned. I'm very disappointed.

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Windows 7, Not bad, Not great
by dayman / March 26, 2010 7:56 PM PDT

Well it's a big improvement on Vista, but that isn't saying much, now is it? Is it an improvement on XP? Well overall, I have to say yes!
I have been running it on 3 machines for over a year, including betas
1 single AMD, 1 dual Intel and 1 dual 64 bit AMD. I still get the occasional crash, but the 64bit version seems extremely solid, it hardly ever gives problems. The one thing that does annoy me is that the error reporting and recovery still leaves lots to be desired! The dual Intel machine seems to have an intermittant networking problem! It just looses all of its network capability, but the OS doesn't even notice apart from all network activity ceases? IPCONFIG shows no network at all. The only recourse seems to be a reboot? I must say
that I have had much fewer spurious crashes than on XP, I put this down to se7en having much more in the way of internal drivers for
most MoBo's and periherals.
In all it's getting better, but it still isn't as good as it could, and should be.

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Windows 7 Trial Problems
by telemind / March 26, 2010 8:07 PM PDT

Win7 trial will not upgrade from XP. It only comes as the highest edition and not home edition. After Win7 install you find out that you lost all your programs from XP. No Outlook mail. Your internal and external speakers will not work unless you have a sound card seperate from onboard sound (motherboard). You can install using XP compatability mode but unless you install a premium version of 7 before the trial ends you will loose all of your programs that you reinstalled designed for the XP system, and you can only run programs intended for use with Win7 operating system. The graphics etc. are great and organization is great in Win7. You need more RAM and a higher processor, hence a new computer purchase. It has more security features but it is always asking you to confirm things before running them (will not remember your choices). You are forced to purchase a new Win7 that has XP compatability when the trial ends and those editions are more expensive to purchase.Remember to have your original XP or Vista install disks and your work saved on a CD or DVD data disks before you install/remove Win7.

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Found Solution to Audio Problem Win7
by telemind / March 30, 2010 1:56 AM PDT

I installed Driver Genius Professional and I searched for newer system board drivers. After I installed the Realtek High Definition Audio drivers my speakers will now work with sound on board. I did not have to install a seperate sound card and drivers. This will work with Win7 trial (Ultimate Edition)in XP mode. Use XP mode so that your programs meant for XP will work in the Win7 operating system. One major problem with the trial is that you must re-install all your programs and mail services. Another problem with Win7 and XP is that you must use a more expensive version of Win7 (Ultimate)in order to use the XP compatability mode. The "Ultimate" version costs about $150.00 more for the XP mode and the extra features in Windows 7.

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Not brilliant
by edwardsroy / March 26, 2010 9:03 PM PDT

I tried Win7 RC (64) and it worked fine. When I went to 'upgrade' to WIN7 HP it advised me that I hadn't enough memory to run the 64 bit system and it wouldn't upgrade! I had to do a clean install! Then it wouldn't READ some of my program discs- 'Not suitable for this system'- luckily I found that the same programs were in the Windows.old folder and they DID run, (but not all). Other programs which had run well suddenly wouldn't - they couldn't find a suitable.dll (missing or corrupted error). I couldn't replace the .dll because I hadn't high enough permissions- I had to be ' TrustedInstaller' which I wasn't.
Other minor points- the search engine canNOT find everything! I am looking at an item which the search says ' cannot be found'!!! Removing the 'arrange' button in the documents folder (or is that the My Documents folder?) is another unnecessary change. As for memory needs! Once again Microsoft have said they have produced a new 'Ferrari' of an operating system, but once again they have tied an even BIGGER horse-box on behind!

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Better than Vista, but just barely.
by vintagebrass / March 26, 2010 9:32 PM PDT

I have been using Windows 7 for a few months now on a few different machines and my opinion is that it was a decent upgrade from Vista, but still has problems. I have a new (Sept '09) core-duo desktop, a new (Feb '10) dual core AMD all-in-one, and an older 32 bit laptop. When first installed on the desktop I had a number of blue screen issues that seemed to happen at random times. A few patches later those seem to have disappeared. I still don't like the interface as well as that on XP. The icons and graphics just don't seem as sharp to me, and it is hard to customize it to get as much on the screen as I want. Many older programs, especially games, lock the system up and require reboots, but this is less frequent than on Vista, which was a nightmare.

The laptop is slow as molasses, even though it is only about a year and a half old. I am planning to go back to XP on it just because it is almost useless the way it is. Fortunately I rarely use it and the laptop supplied by my employer uses XP, because the standard there has not changed, and it's not clear if or when it will.

I don't like the "Homegroup" feature at all! It can't be used to network anything but Win 7 machines, so that leaves any of my machines with older operating systems out. It is also difficult to setup through a non-windows supplied firewall. I was able to get it to work through my firewall, but it takes some custom configuration. The homegroup setup function is designed to be idiot proof, which means that you have very few options when configuring it without resorting to tricks to get around Microsoft's wizards.

Overall, Windows 7 is an improvement on the mess that was Vista, but still seems to be designed as a paternalistic system, primarily useful for neophytes. It is designed to be easy to use, but consequently makes it more difficult to customize.

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Hidden files - configuration files
by OttifantSir / March 27, 2010 1:06 AM PDT

I haven't used computers as long as some in this thread, but I have used computers for about 20 years. First PC was an 80386 SX 16 MHz with 4 MB RAM and 42 MB harddrive.

My mom bought a laptop with Vista Home Premium on it. Apart from the general learning curve, where I learn from doing once, and she learns from me repeating it 15 times to her... I have never seen so much trouble with a laptop. She bought an upgrade DVD which I installed for her. A week later, I had to do a complete re-install of her system. Next week, I had to spend 5 hours reading information on the Net about how to get her network to work in 7. A few days later, I had to do maintenance. Next week, she had problems with IE8. Another 2 hours reading on the Net. The week after, the "Genuine Windows crapdate" came, and her legal system was flagged as pirated. Took me 8 hours to sort through. A few days later, I had to do a re-install of Thunderbird for her, and went to find the e-mail files and configuration files. These are hidden files. I spent 3 hours researching the Net for how to view hidden files and folders. You CAN'T! Even following a Microsoft Knowledge Base-article didn't work! I downloaded a free file manager program, and 5 minutes later it was done. UAC keeps popping up when you least expect it. It won't accept anti-virus software without giving a BSOD.

During the XP-years I migrated my six computers to Ubuntu and haven't looked back since. I am debating whether or not I'll even do any assistance for Windows anymore. The ONE thing I have found that Ubuntu can't do, which I coincidentally find to be a feature, is play DRM-ed video. Everything else, it does as good or better, as fast or faster, as Windows XP/Vista/7.

And the best part of Ubuntu over Windows, IMO? I USE THE SYSTEM, I DON'T MAINTAIN IT! Once a week I install updates (for ALL my programs), and that's it. Takes anywhere from 2 minutes to 20 minutes. With any Windows version out there, I use at least 6 hours a week doing CCleaner, defragging, virus scans, malware scans, updating definitions files, install updates (for Windows only!), search for updates to programs I've installed, and so on and so forth.

And networking in Windows is a joke. I did 3 network-setups on 3 computers, side-by-side by reading a Knowledge Base-article. It took me 2 hours. The only difference I did on them, was give them separate names, as is proper. After 2 hours, I found that 2 of the computers could share ONE folder on each machine, and the third couldn't see or be seen by the network. In Ubuntu, from an empty (or Windows-infested) PC to interconnectivity to all six machines, I use about 1 - 1 1/2 hours, depending on the speed of the machine. That's from inserting the CD, boot it, install the system, remove programs I don't need, install everything I DO need, set up network connection and join my LAN, set up file- and foldersharing and setting the shared files and folders to automount as drives upon start-up.

I spent about 8 years with Windows, routers and several PCs, without EVER getting network to function properly, even when following manuals. It took me 6 months to learn to set up a network in Ubuntu by rote.

And the price tag on 7? Boy, that's a great sales pitch! How can you justify spending 1NOK on a CD-R to burn a Linux distro when you can spend 1200NOK on a DVD filled with bugs and annoyances and "fancy graphics"? And you can even spend more if you feel like it! Ultimate only costs 2500NOK! All you need to run Ultimate is a computer priced around 8000NOK, and you're good to go! Who wants to re-use their old computer anyway? I must be the dumbest person ever to think I can do anything with a P3... Who would want to save money when all you really need is a browser, mediaplayer, and a text-program? And how can you beat Microsoft's support-system priced at 800NOK for 3 e-mails, 1500NOK for 30 mins of live person-to-person phone calls (not including cost of phone call)? Who, in their right mind, thinks other users actually knows anything and can help you with your problem? And noone minds it when we make your system "phone home" to tell us what you've been doing since yesterday. Who would want to control their own system when Micro$oft does such a great job of doing it for you? Who wouldn't mind getting a message saying you can no longer use your system because Micro$oft found out that you used their system to make a movie criticising them? (The End-User License Agreement, which you don't get to see or read before inserting the installation disc in the computer, and having opened the package, already have accepted, actually gives them that "right")

Now, seeing as this poll was about Windows 7, I've bashed Windows and Microsoft. But most of what I've said here actually applies to every member of the Business Software Alliance. Haven't heard of them? They're the MPAA and RIAA and IFPI and BPI and so on and so forth, for software companies that insert DRM in their products, sue for patent infringement because they patented the idea of "tabs". They never used it, but they patented the idea, so you better pay up, or else! (Tabs is just an example, but their patents are actually that stupid)

To round this all off: I've used EVERY version of Microsoft OS and Office product from DOS 5.0. The last OS Microsoft released that actually was any good, was DOS 6.22. With it, I managed to expand the abilities of my 80386 so much, I could fit nearly 750 MB worth of software on that 42MB harddrive, and I managed to tweak the settings such that I could actually run games made for a Pentium 90 (not without SOME lagging, but it was playable).

The last time I had a similar experience was when I first used Ubuntu on a (then) 7-year old laptop, a Pentium 366MHz with 192MB RAM and 6.2GB harddrive. It ran XP, but took 10 min to boot. It had no network card, and was one of the first laptops to have a CD-drive. After I installed Ubuntu, I did a speed test alongside an XP-system, clean install except for OpenOffice. The XP-system was a P4 1GHz with 1.5 GB RAM and 200GB harddrive. After clicking to open OpenOffice Writer, the XP-system took a little over a minute to start it. The same OpenOffice Writer-version on Ubuntu took about 45 seconds to start. And I managed to get networking on it by hooking a USB-cable to my cable-modem and ticking off in Network Manager that the (single) USB 1.1 port was a network port. When I tried the same in XP, I had to install a driver for 20 minutes, fail, remove, re-install, fail, search the Net at a friend's house for instructions, download a newer driver, install, and fail. Wouldn't work.

There are so many reasons why I don't think Windows is worth the price of the cardboard box, regardless of which version it is. But as a "newer and better" version of Windows comes out every now and then, I have to test it because I am my social circle's computer-guru. And every time a new version comes, I get bigger and bigger headaches. Literally. After my sessions with my mom's computer, you can find me in a dark room, lying down, crying after having taken painkillers to get rid of the headache. You may ask why I'm crying? I'm smart, I'm computer literate, I have played with computers for over 20 years, and up until Vista, there wasn't a problem I couldn't figure out. Now, a simple thing like locating and looking at hidden files and folders are beyond me. In my Ubuntu machines, it's two mouse-clicks or two key-presses. In W7 I had to search the Net for an alternate file-manager and learn a new program's quirks before I could do that.

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I do not like the libraies and other filing structure
by snodinn / March 27, 2010 2:34 AM PDT

You have to be very careful when you transfer files to Windows 7 as the directory structure, in my opinion, has been screwed up. In XP I tried to explain to my adult students, some who are in their 80's, that they should look at the hard drive like a file cabinet. There is a program drawer which also has the system file in it. Then there is the personal document drawer in my case Sheila's File Cabinet. Then inside that cabinet are many separating folders, I.e. documents, pictures, vidos, music etc. It is a good idea to make sure that all of your personal files are filed appropriately in these sub folders. Now when I want to back up my personal data all I need to is back up Sheila's File Cabinet, and all of its sub-folders.

The problem with updating to windows 7 without thinking about the directory structure is that you can end up with more then one documents folder. For people who haven't much of a background in managing folders and files this can become a nightmare.

They have also changed how you find folders, and I believe it is more confusing. LOL at least for me and I have been doing this for over 12 years. Well writing about it isn't going to change it.

I do not have 7 yet, but work with students who do have it. I appreciate this time of learning before I get 7 as I should be able to avoid some of the pitfalls. Some of the features are really great, but some things they should have kept the same. Just my two cents. LOL at least they put start on the start medallion so those first using the computer might have a chance on getting started.

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