MSN as Vista
To get MSn in the taskbar properly (like in xp vista...) just tell it to run in Vista mode instead.
The verdict is in: Windows 7 is a job well done. Yes, there will be a few Windows XP diehards and those who've fled to OS X and have no intention of returning, but overall Windows 7 is more responsive, prettier, and more usable than Windows Vista. That said, it is not perfect, and Windows 7 comes with its own set of annoyances …
To get MSn in the taskbar properly (like in xp vista...) just tell it to run in Vista mode instead.
1. The task list is much shorter
2. Start-up is great
3. It uses less memory than Vista
4. The Vista task manager actually shows you the command line, so you can see what all those "rundll" processes are
5. It works fast even on J-Micron SSDs! (I don't know how they pulled that off)
1. Hiding the menu bars on all apps
2. The new start menu sucks. Grouping by vendor was the problem. The work arounds now include hiding infrequently used programs, constraining the start menu to a tiny part of the screen, and finally adding search so you can hopefully find your shit now. All of these are work arounds, the real answer is to categorize programs like Ubuntu.
3. Real search is gone. Indexing service still slows it down to much, and you can never quite be sure what has been indexed, or what it was indexed as. Sometimes you want to search for text in an .exe, or .vbs, you know? Nothing beats real search.
4. File extensions still hidden. Really, lets have "mime type" in the alternate-data-stream of the file, and finally kill the file extension, not just hide it.
5. Common tasks are even more hidden. Regardless of what MS thinks, everyone needs to edit their TCP/IP settings from time to time. Why must this (and other common tasks) get buried deeper with each iteration of the OS?
6. I'm sure the trusted-computing stuff is still in there, and file copy can still be dog slow because of it.
7. UAC is still there, though less annoying. The *really* annoying thing is that MS is battling itself yet again. They tried to make sure all code was deployed in program files and all documents in the user's folder. But now Silverlight installs itself into your documents folder! MS is insecure because they erode their own security, just like the messenger thing in the article.
Its as fast as XP, maybe faster, so it is usable. In most other ways they've just added to the kludge of their legacy OS. Although it is a step in the right direction, they really need to look at cleaning it up, not just trying to put duct tape over the holes.
Admittedly it was introduced in Vista, but the new start menu is horrible!
I'm a tidy person and I organise my start menu, I like it in XP as when I mouse-over "All Programs" the menu pops up, and when I mouse-over "Games" I get a nice sub menu filling the height of my screen showing me all of my games. In 7 (and Vista) I get an annoyingly small window in which I have to scroll to find what I want. It's like viewing a 1000x1000 pixel image in a 300x300 window, it doesn't make sense when there's plenty of room on my screen to show me the whole thing!
Yes, I know the the idea is to search (windows key+type, or worse *click* then type) but sometimes I don't know what I want to do, what game I want to play, so it's nice to see all my options. Imagine a take-away menu with two items per page, pointlessly annoying.
if those are the worst you could come up with I think MS have done a great job. I myself have found it hard to fault Windows 7 apart from some small niggles here and there but if someone writing an article and actively looking for issues only found those then I'm impressed!
Annoying they still dont have an 'Always on top' option in the context menu of the taskbar
Mr.Anderson. Are you living in the same world as the rest of us?
You have been able to show/hide notification icons since XP. Try right clicking on the task bar & choosing "customize...". I like the notification area clean up as many software vendors "spam" this area with pointless icons.
MS is attempting to declutter with menu hiding but this is no problem for me because my keyboard is fitted with an ALT key - this amazing invention has been the shortcut for getting to the menu since what Win 3? Before that? Press it and wait for it... a menu appears.
If you're going to pick annoyances, how about the dumb "wide screen close button" which seems to be 50 pixels wide and 2 pixels tall? Or the fact that the resource monitor doesn't seem to remember it's window location & size? Or the over zealous "program not-responding" notifications when an application is just thinking hard?
Or... my personal hate... WHERE'S MY DINOSAUR CURSOR SCHEME GONE?!! Mwaaaaaaa,
I have a Mac Pro with Leopard and the Snow Leopard upgrade is $29. Maybe it's only a "service pack", but it's only $29.
I also have a Dell Vostro with Windows Vista Business. MS wants $199 to upgrade to Win 7 Pro. And we know that Win 7 is really Vista SP2, plus a little.
Fortunately that Vista license came with XP downgrade rights, and that's what I'll continue to use. Having been suckered once with Vista, there's no way I'm paying $199 for an UPGRADE.
That's just insane.
Win7 is certainly what Visa should have been. The current announced costs to upgrade are too high. All those who have hung on to XP will be wondering if they can wait a bit longer; and those who took the plunge on Vista will not be happy upgrading again so soon.
The fact that this is essentially a "rewrite" of Vista, with a small number of improvements, and as per Apple, it should be $29 for existing Vista users, and free for existing Ultimate users. The only people who should pay the full upgrade price (which from any version of XP to 7 ultimate should be $169 or less) are people who never took the leap to Vista.
There should also only be 3 real versions: Basic (for netbooks and low power devices), Ultimate, and a corporate edition. That's it.
You mention us XP diehards. I'd love to have Windows 7 on my machine, but the price is prohibitive, what with our household being on a very low income and tight budget. Surely they know that this is going to be on the vast majority of desktops, millions of them, so why not sell it as a loss-leader? It looks like we'll be sticking with XP at least until someone gives me and my missus a job!
All of the same people saying "Windows 7 is great" are the same people that said Vista was great. Vista 7 will be the same as every other Windows they've ever released:
* Billed as "the most reliable and stable version of Windows ever"
* Touted by the Microsoft-funded and Microsoft-grassrooted press as "this one is really good"
* In reality, it will be unstable, unusable, and the usual pile of Microsoft garbage.
I agree with the three missed opportunities( lack of full multi-touch support, notification area oddness, confused explorer file and directory presentation) but there are two bigger concerns.
First, the lack of support for older hardware. I'm not expecting a driver for a 15 year old modem but support for my two year old D-Link USB WiFi connection would be expected but it is not supported.
Second, the basic flaws of Vista still haunt W7. Copying large numbers of files still takes forever and often fails. Linux, UNIX, BSD all do this faster and faultlessly and can recover if a file is locked by an application. Windows still crashes the copy if a single file fails to copy.
I'm sure others can come up with more and possibly worse problems that Microsoft failed to address given the time and ample resources they have.
One more thing: Is it my imagination or did all of the work done to the look and feel of W7 make the desktop a great deal like an Ubuntu clone?
M$ half-arsed support for MultiTouch or even single Touch doesn't surprise me in the slightest. They just dont get it.
Its like the designers took one look at that video by Jeff Han at Ted.com, and hundreds of others, and didn't grasp the paradigm changing aspects of it all.
They didn't even bother looking back at Windows Mobile and wondered that perhaps people wouldn't want to have to be in possibly time critical real world situations with their handhelds, and have to pop the stylus out just to tap the titchy up/down number control.
If it were true multitouch, then the Windows interface would have to (mostly) disappear too, and I doubt M$ would even want that to happen. Microsoft wants their 'stamp' on everything, even if it means coming up with a UI that is clunky and awkward, but apparently its okay cos it looks funky.
And oh look, Win 7s UI is clunky and awkward! But looks pretty. Thanks.
BTW I can name about a hundred Windows 7 Missed Opportunities. If you just remind yourself of all those concessions you had to make for all previous Microsoft Operating Systems, then you'll see them all again too.
The staple of every support technician, the Run command on the start menu, was present in the beta but appears to have been disabled by default again in the RTM. WHY? It's essential for over-the-phone diagnosis and so on. I know it can and will be enabled through group policy in corporate environments but it's just another step to talk a home user through to get the damn thing back where it belongs.
Other than that I <3 Windows 7
I'm in agreement with most of this. I much preferred the fact that Vista treated us like adults by removing the 'My' from Pictures, Documents etc.
Luckily there's an easy workround for the Windows Live (which 99 per cent of people still call MSN) Messenger issue. Just run it in compatibility mode for Windows XP. It'll then minimise to the notification, AKA tray, area as before.
Am I alone in not liking the new taskbar behaviour? In particular the mess you get when you have a combination of applications pinned to the taskbar and open programs. After several weeks I can't decide whether this is harder to use than 95/98/NT4/XP/Vista or just different. WIth earlier versions I always disabled the grouping of similar buttons but with 7 I quite like the fact that you get multiple previews by hovering over the taskbar. It's also handy to be able to close windows from their previews.
I'm still undecided as to whether to stump up for the final version. I can't help feeling that bv the time the preview period is over next year, my PCs will be sufficiently advanced in age for the expenditure not to be worth it. I upgraded to 98 and XP when they appeared without resenting the cost too much but that was in the days when I happily spent £1500+ on a new PC. The combined cost of my current two desktops was less than half this so any expenditure on updating the OS seems disproportionate.
I'll grant you that with extensions hidden, changing the file typeis difficult. I use the command line whn I need to do it and that's asking too much of 'regular' users, there should be an easier way. However, users should be free to rename their word files or whatever without suddely having Windows forget what file type because of a mistyped backspace!
How often do people really need to change extensions anyway? Not one of the non-geeks I know has ever asked how to do it, or presented a problem for which that was the solution.
This is a geek problem with at least two geek solutions that are in Windows already. Visible extensions went out with Windows 3.1; let them go.
Sounds like Win7 is just a bunch of tweaks on an otherwise working OS (WinXP - never used Vista, I'm not into necrophilia). Since the OS is supporting cast, not main star, in my daily work I can't see the point in upgrading. No payoff, you know. Just like there's no payoff in going Linux.
And don't get started with the glitter. That's usually one of the first things I bin when I reinstall my machine...
"It is the best Windows yet".
That's a big fat negatory.
You seem to have forgotten windows for workgroups 3.11... that was a good operating system. Started very quickly, responsive, customisable, etc, etc.
And when it did occasionally fail, you'd go back to DOS and just run 'win' to get back into it.
I just wish modern software would run on it!
Of course the other version that's better is called ubuntu.
A few Windows XP diehards? You mean like, every business in the land?
Let's face an inconvenient truth for a moment: it's an operating system, the floor beneath all your furniture. Whether you stick with XP or spend your way to 7, your applications won't change and neither will you when you sit down to use them. Your web browser and email client will look and feel no different. Neither will Excel or Word, nor that cheating bastard version of Hearts. Same goes for pretty much everything else bar a few trinkets made deliberately off-limits to the rest of us.
While it's nice to see you taking Microsoft to task over some of the more idiotic aspects of Windows, you appear to think any of it actually matters. Like millions of users, and millions of IT departments, I'll be sticking with XP - and this despite Windows 7 looking so splendid and Microsoft doing so much to tempt us out of it.
Why? Because it's like replacing a perfectly good toaster. A new one isn't going to make the bread taste any different - blame your choice of loaf, not the mechanism for cooking it.
You compared Windows 7 to Vista and say it's better. Great! Is it better then XP though? How about some performance tests copying files over the network, scrolling large documents, and web browsing, etc.
Being able to have a blank password is a mistake as well. Even if you don't want to bother with a log in password being able to make dramatic changes to windows by just clicking yes on UAC is a mistake as well. The OSX model of asking for a password for any big changes even if you don't use a password to log in is much better
I can see why the menus are hidden 90% of users never use them the other 10% should know how to activate them when needed
The hidden extensions, Microsoft don't think this is a problem, they are wrong but that is their opinion.
There are things about OS X I find annoying , the same with windows . The perfect OS is still not here
. . . in a fully translated UK English version? Serious? No disks, centers or colors? No maneuvering, traveling or canceling? Even the manual and on-line help?
You can resolve the live messenger thing buy running it in vista compatability mode - I hated it running in the task bar - right pain in the arse !
Slow day at Vulture Central Tim?
Whilst Windows Vista will certainly soon be forgotten, so will Windows 7; it's really little more than Vista SP2. Admittedly it has many of the rough edges smoothed away, but Vista had so many of these that it is hardly surprising some improvement has been made.
XP may be ugly as hell, and 7 may be the first version of Windows in a long time that actually looks vaguely attractive, but nothing can change the fact that XP works far faster, even on a far less powerful machine, and has far fewer annoyances.
I see no compelling reason to "upgrade", and if Microsoft ever force me to do so, I guess I'll just have to give this Linux malarkey another chance.
...for promoting Linux. Ever since Vista, and with appearance of netbooks, linux started becoming less of a geek showoff, and more of a mainstream OS. In fact, the newer Ubuntu will run on my HP TX2 multitouch notepad out of the box, and even support pressure sensitivity.
Now gimme my tuxedo.
but from these comment boards, people* want a faster version of Windows XP** and nothing else
What were people expecting? And why isn't MS supporting this? And why isn't anyone else?
* namely, the sort of people who read El Reg, which is a very specific type of people
** replace with your choice of favourite Windows version
Have a "document" file I want you to look at. Don't worry about the extensions. Windows will tell you if it is an executable file when you double click on it.
Sorry? What's that? Your computer has a trojan/key logger/spamming bot? Hmmm, I wonder how that got there? It certainly couldn't have been that document file you clicked on by some chance, could it?
Wow, look at the files properties. It IS an executable but with Windows hiding the extension and not having any other easy way of showing that it is an executable is, you would never know.
First of all I admit that I haven't tried RTM yet, but I've been playing with RC.
So many people say that the new UI is pretty - I just can't believe it! I think it's one of the fugliest things I've seen in my life! Still - that's just my opinion.
I agree that the Start menu isn't very efficient/usable(even after trying to get used to it, I still think it's less efficient than it used to be in XP), but it's just the most visible aspect of Microsoft's strategy of hiding functionality. After I've launched Windows 7 for the first time I wanted to turn off aero, and make it more bearable to look at and I soon realized that customizing this system is intentionally made more difficult than it should be. Menus that let you set stuff that isn't even too advanced are hidden away, or obfuscated.
I admit that it's pretty fast, but I think that XP(especially a fine-tuned one) is much faster. I also have a feeling that most 7's speed isn't an actual speed boost, but a bunch of tricks that make it LOOK faster/smoother.
One other thing is that I still think that many people will wait for Vista SP2... I mean Windows 7 SP1 - because at this point no one can really be sure how ready for prime time it really is.
Well. I think they are actually done a good job. I've recently switched to windows & (64 bit) as my main development box was running XP and it got infected with nasty virus ( that's another story ! ...)
I am honestly pleased with windows 7. Its much faster than XP (for me) and there are signficant inprovements with the UI which make it a pleasure to use. I used to find that XP was fast when initially installed and then it would slow down after a week or so. (I've tried Windows7 on a 1.0 Ghz laptop and a 3.4Ghz PC).
IMO the complaints about the hidden file extension and hidden menu are just silly and these can be enabled after a few minutes of playing around. Yes the user should not have to do this but come on - is that the best the auther can come with ? It Sounds like the author tried really hard to find three things he did not like.
I agree about the multi-touch (tried on a DELL tablet also also). The two issues that bug me are (a) Window Backup only lets you backup complete libraries and (b) there's a lack of desktop management ttools ( I can't find out how to change the taskbar or icon size and I'd like to be able to group things on the desktop).
However, overall Windows 7 is pretty good. I feel like i've got a new PC. Its faster, most things are easier and I've got much more disk space ! I never thought I'd turn into a windows fanboy !
But when your underlying OS is a kludged together mess of multiple interdependencies which has evolved out of a 30 year old bodgy clone of a command line OS then you are always going to have fundamental problems with portability, security, reliability and code maintenance.
So by all means gripe about things like how the user notification area is borked, but don't forget that Windows has architectural problems that will never be resolved.
They tried with Longhorn only to come up with the epic fail that was Vista. And W7 is just Vista with a few of the worst gaffes fixed up.
"Let's face an inconvenient truth for a moment: it's an operating system"
No, it's a program launcher. The operating system is DOS, which is just another way of spelling "fail".
Okay, its lame they took it out, but "Windows Key + R" anyone?
A new Operating System with an 'XP Mode' (but only if you have the right CPU) so you can run your old XP applications, but the shiny new O/S doesn't support your older hardware and XP does. Hmmmm.. so lets see, Microsoft is trying to convince you to spend your hard-earned money for something that will allow you to work as you do now... sort-of. Sorry, I don't see it.
How about this instead. Install Linux and set up your existing Windows XP in a virtual machine! That should provide the Windows 7 experience (even more so if you enable the desktop effects) and you get the added bonus of not having to install antivirus and antimalware software on the Linux side! Oh, but I'm afraid the XP side will still need protection... unless you don't let XP out to play on the Internet, then you're (fairly) safe.
If you are going to stay with Windows XP because of the 3 missed opportunities, then there is something wrong. These opportunities do not exist in XP. Files extensions are hidden, unhide them, it is very easy. Multitouch, M$ will probably release a "tablet" version as they have done previously. Taskbar and system tray. Look into it further as they are ways of customising.
If these little annoyances are the reason not to upgrade, then no OS will do. Linuxes have plenty of annoynaces that are worst than that, OSX has its share of problems too.
Could W7 be better, of course (so is everything else). Is it better than XP, it is a big YES from me.
Despite liking W7, I still won't upgrade from XP because it is too expensive.
Does Windows Key + R still work?
"6. I'm sure the trusted-computing stuff is still in there, and file copy can still be dog slow because of it."
For the love of God, don't imply that the file copy bug is still there! The last time I did that I got a tidal wave of condescending abuse. You know it's there, and I know it's there, but for the fanboys such suggestions are sacrilege.
If they just fixed the "Jesus H Monkeychrist, 900kb/s between SCSI drives?" bug, Win7 would be great.
XP could remember where, and what size, your app windows were when you closed them. Vista opens windows in whatever size and area it damn well wants, and cant remember crap. Will Win7 fix this? I don't have much confidence in MS fixing anything w/o making it worse.
I really do think most of you have. Let's take file extentions: Who is the primary customer of M$ O/Ss? Businesses. I have been in too many organisations that have allowed extentions to be visible, only for some Muppet to rename an extention, or (worse) remove the extention completely - bricking the install. yes the system folders should be hidden, yes there are ways of doing this via GP. But still, it's done as default for that reason.
There are more than 3 issues with Win7, but I have to say it's a massive improvement on Vista - I do not consider this to be a Vista incarnation, but merely it's a look-a-likey (check for yourself). Better than XP? Maybe, but there is still plenty of improvements and adjustments that need to come from M$..
Price - For the love of the Dollar! Drop the freakin' price already?! The pre-order price should be the default at the VERY most. I agree with the Mac-bois that it is overpriced. No fooling around, it just is.
"Hate it" icon because it should be cheaper and more refined to really be an exceptional OS (and one that SHOULD be a significant OS)
Have you not heard of "Windows Key" +R it's a heck of a lot handier and much easier to guide a (L)user to then going through the menus.
....I adopted Vista early on the back of the initial hype, trusting the IT journalists. I got home premium on a modest Core 2 Duo machine, quickly upgraded to 2GB memory for the obvious reasons. Disappointed by the frankly shite performance I grabbed Windows 7 as soon as I could, and upgraded again when build 7100 came out.
On the machine outlined above it runs pretty much the same as Vista, a spastic crippled excuse of an OS. As far as I can see it is more of the same. I can find no reasons within my setup for the crap performance, all drivers etc where easily found, which I suppose is something.
I don't know what the future is, but it's not something from Microsoft in my experience. The only time MS give me a fluid computer experience is when I'm using XP on my netbook. From where I'm sitting tech journalism is doing again what it did with Vista....hyping the next MS OS to keep the industry moving along and themselves in jobs.
No, it hasn't. XP is usable, and I'm used to it now. But every time Microsoft makes a new Windows, it introduces fundamental changes to the interface without actually leaving the good and correcting the bad.
It's just a child tinkering around. The most irksome thing about it is that Microsoft has a number of white papers about interface design and respecting the habits of the user. The managers in charge of Vista and 7 should have read those.
I'm tired of having to re-learn an OS, and 7 does not give me any incentive to think that it is in any way better than Vista - nor is there any indication that 7 does not have what I did not like in Vista (namely, the DRM).
Pathetic user interface with folders not keeping size and position (already mentioned) and alphabetic sorting completely broken: create a new folder and your view moves to N (as in "New Folder") rename it to ZZZ and your new folder disappears somewhere while your view stays on folders beginning with N. File manager in Windows 3.1 used to do better than this.
Windows Media Player 12: what can I say... look at the Win7 forum on the MS Technet site: people are desperate to find a way to reinstall WMP11. WMP12 is so full of wrong design decisions and implementation bugs that it is almost unbelievable to think it's developed by one of the largest software companies in the world.
Windows Live Movie Maker: it doesn't include a timelime to create your movie: do I need to say more?
Windows Mail gone and replaced with Windows Live Mail: can you imagine software developed for 4yo mentally retarded children? That's Windows Live Mail.
The superbar: now you minimise programs and some of them go to the notification area some will stay in the taskbar: no consistency, complete confusion; if you create a shortcut in the taskbar to open windows explorer you can't use it to open two folders because clicking on the icon will bring up the already open folder.
The real cure for the MS monopoly would be for the EU commission to force hardware vendors to sell devices only if they provide drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux. That would be much more effective than the browser selection fiasco.
...that i managed to pick up a copy of Win7 for £37.99? And frankly i like i9t more than OSx (and somewhere around the same as opensuse).
To be honest, this whole Win7 debate often looks like a screaming match between people who are saying "upgrade now!" and people saying it's rubbish.
Going by my past experience, I see every reason to wait a while and see just what happens. But my Windows box, set up the way I want it and familiar to me, is running XP, now incredibly old in computer terms, and I wonder just how long before Microsoft abandons XP users.
Do I need 64-bit computing? I don't need the RAM capacity. There's a lot changed since I bought the hardware I use, and my next hardware upgrade is going to be expensive. Guess what, guys, there's a recession. A slump. An economic collapse driven by insane banking operations.
Why should I rush to spend my money on something I don't have a need for?
May 7th, 2009 at 12:12 | #8
Reply | Quote
This is Mikko from F-Secure; I wrote the original blog post you’re referring to.
Your comments are perfectly valid as long as you’re using Internet Explorer and Outlook as the *only* way to introduce new files to your computer. In the real world that’s not the full picture.
For example, I clicked on the demo link in your post, downloaded text.txt.zip, opened the zip in Windows Explorer and doubleclicked on text.txt.cmd.
It executed with NO security prompts whatsoever.
This was with Opera 9 web browser.
Same thing applies to email; Outlook will flag files as coming from the Internet, other clients might not.
There’s plenty of ways you can introduce executable files to a computer:
- Non-Microsoft web and email clients
- File shares
- USB thumb drives
- Bittorrent and other P2P clients
Again, as an example: there’s plenty of existing worms that copy files with double extensions and tempting names to shares and removable drives.
Think about files with names like like:
Many would click on these, especially if the icon of the file looks like a document icon – and if Windows hides the ".exe" part of the name,
And, since the worm itself has created these files on another, already-infected computer, they don’t have any Zone information in them and Windows Explorer would not prompt the "Security Warning" on them.
Bottom line: I still fail to see why Windows insisting on hiding the last extension in the filename. It’s just misleading,
You can display file extensions by going to 'tools-folder options-view' in explorer just uncheck the hide extensions box.
I have been testing Win7 at work for the last few weeks.
Compaired to vista and XP it out proforms both.
the spec of the pc i was testing on was somet like:
512mb DDR Ram
Vista as you may have guessed didnt work well atall on that spec of pc.
XP ran fine and was fairly responsive, but with most of the service packs and winupdates now running on XP it was hiting the 512mb ram usage fairly easy.
but shockinly Win7 Ran better than XP.
most programs once installed loaded up faster than xp.
the only problems i have had with Win7 is actualy installing programs. i have run them and the computer seems to sit their like its doing nothing, ram and CPU usage seemed to be indicating that nothing was happening.
After about a min the installer would kick into life.
This problem was just unique to that computer, i then tryed Win7 on a much faster Rig with the same results.
i think microsoft should address this problem atleast befor releasing Win7.
But that said Win7 is definatle a winner proformance wise.
and yes i was a fan of vista. but that is only because i have a pc that is capable of running it well.