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back to article Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying

Today, Microsoft will start official downloads of the Windows 7 Release Candidate. It's the last-planned release of Windows 7 before Microsoft sends the polished code to OEMs and starts boxing up the bits as product. It's been nearly four months since Microsoft released its only Windows 7 beta, and it's likely that further …

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Stop

XP just runs applications?

I want an operating system that runs my applications without getting in my way. XP does this more or less fine so why do I need a new windows? What does it do that XP cant do? Companies dont upgrade only for the reason of compatibility to old software, its mostly the cost of doing it versus the benefit gained. Most companies find XP is fine and upgrading thousands of machines to a new windows is more than its worth.

In the end most company users use Word, Excel, Outlook and the web, even then they dont use more than 10% of the features.

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Flame

£160 for...

>Windows 7 is mostly the same as Windows Vista, but it is an unequivocal improvement<

Yea, the Wow! starts here. And they wonder why piracy is rife, perhaps consumers are tired of getting ripped off.

Heh, my motherboard fried so I updated, new MB, CPU and HD, reinstalled Vista and it wouldn't let me activate. Phoned up my friendly local Microsoft who said the activation code was tied to the old MB and basically tough titties, buy a new copy of windows.

So, screw MS, time to try something different.

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Flame

Too late

I've already moved to MAC OS X because I want to just work and not fight with my OS everyday. I would have moved to Ubuntu but it's not quite filling all my requirements yet. Also I'm furious at Microsoft for producing Vista and selling it to me for £200, then admitting it was basically a piece of crap, nice one - wankers!

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It is soooo last century

When will you be able to do this???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5izPf2f40Q

or shall we compare

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC5uEe5OzNQ&NR=1

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Stop

But what about...

But what about VSync option back in for 3D, and a way to lock the wallpaper or Theme!?

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Linux

Windows 7

"Aero Peek, which displays a full-screen preview of an application before you switch to it,"

Eeek, that sounds terribly annoying. Perhaps it will be better than it sounds in practice.

"It depends [...] on what Microsoft calls online IDs"

In other words it is infected with some with some manner of user controlling DRM. No thanks. There are open source equivalents that dont you require users to give all their base to Redmond.

"In the beta, you could drag a folder to Libraries in Explorer and it would automatically be added as a new library. What you then have is a link to that folder in a central location[...]. Microsoft then figured that some users would not appreciate the difference between links and copies and would delete the original folder, thus losing their stuff"

Good greif, are Windows users really that dumb? No wonder Windows is so bloody nannying all the time.

"If you try to add certain kinds of network drive to your library, such as a Linux appliance stuffed with MP3 files, you get a bewildering message stating that the drive cannot be included because it is not indexed."

Well, colour me shocked. A Microsoft product that doesn't play well with other peoples products, who woulda thunk it? Microsoft are the software equivalent of Sony really.

"Underneath, Windows 7 is mostly the same as Windows Vista, but it is an unequivocal improvement."

Really? It sounds like it would be more ethical to release it as a Vista Service Pack instead of making Wintards go and buy it again after just having been gypped with their Vista purchase.

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Gates Horns

When will they ever learn?

People don't want a semi-transparent taskbar (KDE 4 rip off!) if the OS it's running on is insecure and built on the same old Windows "any website or application can have write access to the core system" bullshit.

Either Microsoft copies the Unix security model or it goes down in history as the biggest "POS toy sold as a serious tool" ever.

I just do not know how they have the nerve to use the words "improved security" in the same sentence as the word "Windows". They could be forgiven for Win95 and maybe 98, but everything that's come since then should be in the Museum of Corporate Crimes and Rip Offs.

What is reveals of human psychology is most interesting. People are actually prepared to pay for a product they KNOW is broken and insecure and that they KNOW will require constant attention and more money spending on it to help it be more secure and that even that is not enough to protect against new and effective threats (blaster worm anyone?).

This is way beyond Stockholm Syndrome.

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"The wow starts now"

Hey I hate to rain on the parade here, but honestly.. After the Vista farce, is rebranding the same OS really going to fool anyone? I for one am considering a MacBook Pro as my next laptop purchase

Two quotes that I found hilarious

"Windows 7 also eliminates a Windows Vista feature whereby every GDI window was held in memory twice, reducing memory consumption and speeding performance." -- What a step in the right direction, congratulations Microsoft for fixing a monumentally large f*ck up! No wonder Vista consumed over half a GB of RAM at the desktop

"the wow starts now." -- The wow never started, the only "feature" was the windows-tab, the UAC was a farce and made the O/S unusable.

I do like the authors writing style, seems to be more unbiased than most Microsoft writers

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Boffin

That's great but what does it have the XP doesn't?

The return to 'core competency' may be all well and good but what exactly does Windows 7 have over XP? Don't bother quoting latency improvements in the GDI layer because whilst I know what you're talking about the vast majority of Windows users couldn't give two hoots. If it looks like XP, tastes like XP, then they will wonder what is the point in upgrading? With all the mess that Vista brought with it the end users are going to be quite rightly sceptical and with nothing tangible to gain in upgrading to Windows 7, they will stay away in droves. A couple of little tweaks such as small versions of windows when task switching is just a gimmick and a minor improvement. As a geek I remain unmoved by the changes as they've essentially taken a step back from the nice looking but very poor performing Vista. I'd just like someone to explain to me how it's all perfectly possible in a relatively slow PC in Linux (compiz) but they managed to totally guff it up in Windows...

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Finally

Finally I can get away from Vista.

It's trying to to turn me mad.

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Anonymous Coward

It's like Vista, only less annoying

my experience of the beta was that it was vista only *more* annoying. Maybe it was just me, but the removal of all of the configurable bits really made it a pain for me to use.

I'm one of those odd people who actually likes the classic start menu, and find the xp & vista versions nearly impossible to use. I also found the removal of simple things to be annoying, i don't want the explorer to automatically go to my user area unless i use a menu option, i happen to want it to go straight to my list of drives, or as currently have seperate links on the quick launch bar for each drive, as i have bucketloads of the things that store all my data.

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Feature

"polished code"

That's new - perhaps they could use it in their PR. It would be about as accurate as 'the Wow is now'...

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release date

Seeing as Microsoft have set up windows 7 showcase roadshow Dates (in the UK) as starting from 14th of May I think we can safely say it will be here very soon.

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Jobs Horns

Just as long as...

There is an option to disable that crap new taskbar!

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Go

But...

But...

The question is:

Will it blend?

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder if this is like new coke....

Nothing could be as bad as Vista so "7" looks good.

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am I the only one

who looks at a lot of the new features in an os and thinks "how can I turn them off" I mean I am sure they are fun and pretty but how many of them are useful?

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Jobs Halo

So Vista customers get a free upgrade?

For suffering Vista for several years before this fixpack came.

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Gates Horns

Windows 7.....

So- in short Windows 7 is eventually making a stab at where Vista *should* have been. Its almost disingenuous of Microsoft to sell it as a wholly new operating system- its Vista built from the bottom up- with many (but not all) of the annoying flaws minimised, mitigated or removed.

What will be really interesting is upgrade pricing for those of us unfortunate enough to endure Vista for the past few years- personally I think the ethical thing to do would be simply roll out Windows 7 as SP3 for Vista (SP2 due out imminently anyhow).

Microsoft gives all monopolies a very bad name :(

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Anonymous Coward

"media streamer" "online ID"

A whole Windows 7 article and no mention of DRM? Just hints of things that might - just might- be DRM-related? What gives?

Vista was all about protecting high value assets, preventing any kind of copying of HD content, stuff like that, and consequently it had massive effects on system internals and perceived performance.

Has Bill *really* given up that ambition in Windows 7, or is it still the same as Vista under the hood in that respect?

[ElReg hung while attempting to post this, sorry if this is a duplicate]

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FAR less annoying

I have found Vista intensely annoying on every system I've used it on.

The WIndows 7 beta I've found pleasant to use.and it has been almost exclusively used on a system I was planning to run linux on, and I've been using a second system with it too (one which would otherwise have probably been given away - 512MB RAM 850 P3).

The thing that I'm concerned about is re-installing a system that is actually working very nicely..

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64bit?

So if you get the 64bit version of Windows 7, do you get the 64bit version of XP?

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Less annoying than Vista?

Well, that's a fairy large territory to move into. I've seen a large move towards the fruit-folk of Cupertino driven solely by the frustration of watching Vista grind its gears going nowhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Why?

So, um... Why bother?

What's the gain over XP?

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Start Menu

But it still has the hideous Vista style Start Menu and no option to revert to a Classic Style Start Menu. With the Classic Style and a little drag dropping you can arrange to have every program accessible within 2 clicks and they are always where you left them. But with the 'improved' Vista Style items jump about documents get mixed in and it's generally a mess.

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Exciting stuff!

I am thrilled to learn from the article that microsoft have competency again. I cannot remember when it had it last, but i am sure someone will remind me. Was it dos 3.3? That was pretty good back in the day. Until you wanted a partition over 32MB. Anyway, I am now saving up for windows 7 to replace the Ubuntu on my OptiPlex GX260. I can hardly wait.

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Joke

company's core competency.

HA!

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N
Bronze badge

Yet another

shining example of "The Emperors New Clothes"

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Anonymous Coward

So much for testing..

"synchronous calls in the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) can cause "a frozen desktop anywhere from 100msec to several seconds".

So now we know one of the reasons why Vista was so bad. But wasn't it rigorously "tested" before release? How can something as bad as this apparently slip through testing? Actually how did so many of the "features" in Vista sneak through (like the freeze if you select a complex folder structure for delete) when it got so much testing.

AS W7 seems to have had much less testing than Vista how do we know that another huge glitch like this isn't just waiting in the wings to bite us when we least expect it?

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Virtual XP

I still think this feature is utterly pointless. If your applications only work stably under XP then why would you upgrade your systems to W7, only to run them in a virtual machine? Surely the best solution would be to leave the things with XP "proper" installed. From the sound of it, security patches will continue to be issued anyway.

The only reason at all I can see for moving to W7 in this instance is if a machine physically packs up. Due to MSs ridiculous licensing tying XP to the machine on which it's installed, you won't be able to install the OS (legally) on a replacement box so you may be forced onto W7 and virtualisation.

Methinks a change in licensing policy for XP should be forthcoming along with the release of W7.

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Anonymous Coward

Only problem with the XP virtualisation...

..that I can see is going to be the speed. Last time I tried XP virtually hosted on top of another Windows, it ran at about 30% of the speed of the host system. Queue lots of "my database won't-run / is-crashing" on those apps where the minimum speed requirement is P4 2.5Ghz, and the virtualised XP is running at the equivalent of a P4 800Mhz.

Sage Line 50 will be one of those :)

Queue lots of "we don't support this product in Virtualised XP sessions" plastered all over the (virtual) packaging as a result.

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The Best

this is the best OS ever made!

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Anonymous Coward

Decided

Thanks for the article. I was almost tempted by 7 until I read how it's basically Vista with a new skin. Considering the constant argument I have with my works Vista laptop about simply connecting to networks, let alone actually doing something useful, I think the answer is "they can keep it".

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IT Angle

Give IT a go...........

Guess I will reserve judgment until I get calls off frustrated friends/family asking me to Install XP for them.

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Anonymous Coward

And you wonder why...

The mac fanbois laugh at windows? The should rename it Windows 7 windows for masochists.

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Flame

@stim "this is the best OS ever made!"

There really is one born every minute isn't there? The OS on my DVD player is better! It never crashes and it does exactly what it say's whilst being completely intuitive. Tool.

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Gates Horns

Arrived fresh in the post this morning...

My lovely new disc and licence for Windows XP Pro...

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Gates Halo

Nice Wndows 7!

I've bin using this RC now for around a week now (Good old Pirate Bay), on my old Dell D800 laptop (2.1GHz, Pentium Mobile, 1.5GB RAM, 250GB HDD - OK, so I upgraded it a little!). IT RUNS A TREAT. Can't wait to purchse the RTM version.

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Stop

Please

Let it die, put it to rest and lets just get on with our lives.

Customers know what they want, and its XP. Keep on giving it, patched up nicely, thank you - you should have built a monetary update policy into your business model, you're paying the price now.

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To all the people wondering "why this over XP"

...how about security updates once XP ceases to be supported, which I would wager isn't very far away.

XP is now 8 years and (almost) 2 releases old.

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sounds good

about the increased performance over Vista, think I'll be stealing this one though as I don't qualify for an upgrade (a patch that makes Vista run as nice would stop me though and I already have virtual PC with XP sp3 installed).

am I the only one that turns all that Aero guff off asap?

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Linux

can't run my old game...... fortunately it does run on

linux in "compat mode" ;-) with accelerated graphics, mind you ........

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Too late

I already made the switch to Mac OSX and could never go back, it's still years ahead and is an example of an OS that greatly enhances efficiency rather than obstructs. I just run SUN Virtual Box with my old XP for things like Rosstech's Vag-Com software. If I had old hardware lying around, I would install UBUNTU and just use it for typing/email/internet/skype.

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Flame

Vista GDI Probs fixed?

It stinks when a company will admit they have problems with their product and try to flog you an upgrade to fix it. Come on!! Vista is so fucked you can't fix the problems any other way than to sell us a new OS?

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@Goat Jam

“Good grief (sic), are Windows users really that dumb? No wonder Windows is so bloody nannying all the time.”

Yes, yes they are…

Remember that Windows has a stupidly high percentage of installed base globally, and that people like many of the folk here who just know what they are doing is an extremely low percent of the population. I’m generally IT savvy but not really into operating systems as to me they are a means to an end, namely running applications for fun at home or for profit at work, but when I was playing around installing the latest Ubuntu last night, one of the first steps let the user partition the drive and it asked whether I wanted to stick 9.04 alongside or over Ubuntu 8.04 – I can imagine 99% of the people using computers scratching their heads at that stage. Let’s face it, people are dumb and the Penguinistas have yet to quite reach that level of simplicity to break fully into the mass market.

And before the open-source abuse starts, let me just say that joe public just wants someone to tell him what to do and how to do it, and his eyes will quickly glaze over when the reply involves asking which distro he has as one will need a apt-get and the other a yast and so on and so forth – until the infighting stops Linux will never overtake Windows as each flavour is individually better, but there is a lack of overall focus and trying to find a goal. Unfortunately the open-source world does not lend itself to an overall strategy as variety is its biggest advantage and Achilles heel, with too many leaders trying to move in too many directions.

I personally liked Win7Beta, and once Vista got configured it started behaving itself well and neither of my Vista machines have crashed since SP1 came out. In fact, the last crash I remember was Firefox a couple of nights ago on one of them!

PS. For the guys talking about liking the classic start menu and toolbars – I found myself turning them back to the Vista version as I kept forgetting I wasn’t on XP anymore and the different locations Vista stores stuff meant I kept wandering to wrong folders! Plus I’d go back to XP and keep on trying to use Alt-Up to navigate with then punching the keyboard when I couldn’t go up a level… best feature introduced in Vista IMHO!!

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MnM

it will be a free upgrade

one way or another.

Vista resets my mouse speed to sloow after... every... single... update...

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Rob

Only one thing interests me

I had Vista foisted on me when I bought a new PC. The reseller wanted an extra 200 quid for the same macine running XP, so I bottled my frustration and accepted Vista. Whilst i've used it for the last 2 or 3 years (or however long it's been now) I can honestly say i've not really had any problems with it (beyond the annoying freezes when copying large stuff). But the biggest problem with this is that I didn't want it in the first place and while I haven't had any problems, there's certainly nothing in there that XP didn't do for me that would have made me buy Vista through choice.

I can see the same thing happening with W7. Nothing in there interests me (except getting the freezes fixed, which really should be rolled out to all Vista users!). Out of all the new 'features' the one thing that intrigues me is getting decent touch screen abilities, but only because I think it might be useful in the way that I have my machines set up. 'Course, i'd still have to buy new monitors and stuff, so it's not going to happen quickly anyway.

I never thought i'd say this but.. i'll be sticking to Vista thanks. (Actually, my XP Netbook gets more use time these days - some things are just good and fast at what they do I guess)..

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N
Bronze badge

Core Competency ?

Is ripping people off, repeatedly.

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jim_dd7

I still have a PC at home running windows 2000. its not connected to the internet, so no security problems, and it runs great, We run XP at work and there is no way in hell I will let them upgrade to Vista, or Windows 7 We don't need a new system XP works fine.

Why pay MS to run Virtual XP on Windows 7, I'd rather buy a Mac and run XP in VP mode than give MS anymore money.

They should rewrite windows from scratch, and forget about legacy software, Bring out XP security fixes as required for those that still need to run XP on older machines, and then they can have a new OS for new machines that is written for new machines and software.

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Coat

What's the gain over XP .... over 98SE ?

I'll acknowledge XP is more capable than 98 in some respects, but if they aren't needed capabilities it's not a loss not having them.

If I can skip upgrading to Windows 7 ( Vista SP 2 ) that's another saving I can make, money which can go towards buying hardware which makes 98 run at the speed of light compared to pedestrian performance on top-end systems required of the latest bloated OS's.

If nothing else, 98 doesn't have a user interface which makes it look like "My first computer". Eye candy for the masses ( and some Linux distros are no better ). Useful configuration options seem to be increasingly hard to find as Microsoft dumbs down the interface experience.

Mine's the one with the Win 95 boot disks in the pocket. The "Wow" starts when exactly ?

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