Today is finally the day that Windows 7 is released. It’s definitely been a long time coming. 8 years late if you don’t count Vista and its reputation. I’ve had Windows 7 installed since it went RTM and I feel its time to give my 2 cents on my experience with the OS.
Let me first off say that when I first used Vista I thought it was great. Yes it did have its share of problems, but I’m a programmer and I can figure it out, right. So I go for 2 years using Vista thinking its a great upgrade from XP. I was tired of XP with so many years of use, I just wanted anything new. And here comes the Apple fans bashing Vista. I didn’t understand their angle. I’m not a Mac user and I can’t say prove or disprove how the Mac is. But all I knew was Vista and it worked fine for me.
Then comes Windows 7. When I first installed and used Windows 7 it clearly opened my eyes into what was wrong with Vista. It was as if an “ah ha” moment struck me. Everything was so natural, everything was so easy, everything was 2-3 less clicks, everything just made sense. And then it hit me, this is an OS that my mom can use. Thats when it made sense to me that Vista was definitely a flop when it comes to usability, a feature that always seems to be lacking on the design of Windows applications.
I already wrote about the install experience in a previous blog post. It was definitely the easiest windows install I’ve ever done. And yes I upgraded from XP to Windows 7 on one of my machines. While it is a bit more effort to upgrade, its definitely worth it. Windows 7 seems to run so much better on older machines.
But now for the user experience. Everything that the Apple ads hit on. I can honestly say that everything just works. Everything is easy. Everything is smooth and somewhat faster than before, especially on a multi-core machine. For example, it used to take 3-4 clicks just to lower the system volume. Now it only takes one click and system volume fader pops up; simple! Things like networking are so much easier as it can sense the routers settings and it will ask you to connect instead of the user doing the work. The Task bar is my favorite. I’ve setup my programs to stay pinned to the task bar even when the program is closed. This is kinda of like the Mac in that sense. Let me say that this makes life so easy. And Aero peek; say good bye to flipping through many windows of the same app to find the one you want. Aero peek gives you enough hint to see what your looking for.
Its a no brainer that for the home this is truly the way to go. Non technical users will find that its easy to learn and things “just work”.
But what about the business side of things? Well, at my company we have installed Windows 7 on several machines to test out the OS in our domain. The OS performed amazing when joining on the domain. My work machine is actually faster now which previously had XP. My apps are faster, start up time is faster. I work in Visual Studio .Net and this app is significantly faster. The multi core and memory manage improvements shine in this app. Things that would take 30 seconds to execute now take 5-10 seconds.
There are some compatibility issues as far as Virus scanners go, but according to our IT pro, the Virus scanner software is upgrading this month to support Windows 7. And so it looks like our company will move to Windows 7 for all new machines. I am pushing for our developers to all be on Windows 7 64bit environment.
We recently had a consultant come in and she came over to my desk to see how an internal application works. I went screen by screen through the application, and she asked me “What OS is this?” not recognizing the Windows 7 environment. I told her this is “Windows 7” the new OS from Microsoft. She was amazed at the look. I showed her some of the feature of the OS, but she was truly floored when she noticed my task bar and all the pinned apps on it. She said “this looks just like the Mac”. She left amazed wanting to install this on her own machine.
Without any more talks, trash talking and demos, lets open our arms to Windows 7!