back to article Windows 7 early promise: Passes the Vista test

Windows Vista is better than its reputation, but its reputation is pretty bad. During the press briefing for Windows 7 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), corporate vice president for Windows product management Mike Nash insisted Microsoft had learned from the Vista experience. Judging by early Windows 7 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Polixh, scmolish

    Can it copy files at a reasonable speed?

    Does it lock out legitimate users?

    Does it spend so much resource on DRM that it can't spare any for running apps?

  2. James Dunmore

    Looks just like KDE4

    Really, it does - the chunky icons on the taskbar, etc. (I know KDE is probably a rip off of windows/mac in the first place, but still), for once, microsoft, do something innovative.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    so that would be... a bigger folder? A folder full of shortcuts?

    Anyway, sounds like MS have got their act more together with Windows 7. The big question is: Is it worth upgrading from XP for?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    'ribbon' interface again - WTF?

    I hate that crap, it is the reason I recently bought office 2003 over 2007.

    If M$ want people to use windows 7 apps, they will have to provide a user interface not designed for the lowest intelligence of user.

    UAC made less nagging and dramatic = good, although I will still probably disable it TBFH.

    New taskbar = hideous, it has even less options than vista's

    Time to buy another copy of WinXP for future systems I think.

    Ah well, maybe it is time to see if I can finally go 100% Linux.

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  8. Richard

    I'll believe it when I see it.

    "Making Windows quieter and less annoying"?

    If they even come _close_ to delivering on that promise, I may actually be impressed.

    I'm not holding my breath though.

    Still, it's all looking a lot more OSX to me, which can only be a good thing.

  9. Eugene Goodrich

    Why not buy a Mac? :(

    I look forward to understanding why the previous taskbar was insufficient and the "new" steak-chunks taskbar (which looks just like something on a Mac I'm not very familiar with because I'm a Windows guy) is better.

  10. tim

    stick with xp

    i can't really see anything that would make me upgrade from XP.

    also: the writer says performance feels good, but his laptop isn't exactly low spec, is it?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gadgets on the desktop?

    Wasn't that called ActiveDesktop in IE4?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    U can polish a turd

    But its still a DRM laden turd.

    Ballmer take note - its my computer and my software and I'll do with it as I please !

    Long Live Richard Stallman

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Wake me up when it's been released - wait, better make that after SP1 has been released.

  14. kevin biswas

    will it matter ?

    Vista might have killed off M$ as a serious contender before 7 hits the market........

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  17. Richard
    Paris Hilton


    Please please please, tell me you can disable this properly and universally and also get rid of all those retrofitted clear type fonts.

    I for one cannot use any of them for the constant eyestrain they cause.

    Paris, coz she is easy on the eye.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "Unfortunately many of the new features in Windows 7 are absent from the build given to the press, presumably because they are not yet stable"

    ... or horribly broken.

    Who do they get to write these reviews anyway?

    They spend a nano second looking at the eye-candy and then feel qualified to big it up? It's cobblers if you ask me.

    W7 is almost certainly better than Vista (not difficult) but as other comments point out it a pile of DRM encumbered crap that nobody in their right mind should use.

    Repeat: don't use Windows. It's shit.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  19. Neil

    I like Vista

    Am I the only one that actually likes Vista? I installed it recently on a new (admittedly quite powerful) machine. It absolutely flies. Obviously XP would have, too, but I was half expecting it to drag a bit after the bad press.

    It's been rock-solid and I love the Aero interface. All my hardware worked except my Webcam, but that's Logitech's fault for not providing a driver. Even better was my USB TV tuner... under XP it was a pig to install the drivers and the supplied software was crap. With Vista I plugged it in, Vista went off to the internet and found some drivers, installed them and it all just worked with zero effort from me. And the Media Centre stuff is way better than the bundled stuff I had to use on XP.

    Seems to me that people bash Vista just to join in - I think it's pretty good.

  20. Jason Togneri

    @ James Dunmore

    "for once, microsoft, do something innovative"

    What, you mean like the whole Start button paradigm which defined a whole generation of operating systems (including most GUI/WIMP applications on Linux)? Maybe you're just so used to it now you've forgotten whose it was. No, I'm not pro-Microsoft, but I am anti-moron.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    So theres........

    ..... nothing new then?

    I've had all of that functionality for about a year now with Kubuntu

    The biggest laugh of all is that its all running quiet happily on a 1.7 GHz single core with 1G of RAM.

  22. blackworx

    @ Brent

    My sentiments exactly. Thank you for saving me the typing.

    And again: "...whereas Vista was two steps forward and one step back from Windows XP, there should be no downside to Windows 7 over Windows Vista."

    In what way did you think you'd not get roasted for that Tim? "Vista was two steps forward and one step back"?! Sounds like someone's bought the pamphletspeak. "...there /should/ be no downside"? Blech!

  23. Anonymous Coward


    >it's more polished than Vista

    So what method did they use? I reckon you need to either dehydrate, laminate or, more likely, freeze a turd before you can polish it, but I'm not sure how that applies in software terms.

    Then again, if they took *all* the shit out of Vista, we'd be left with, CP/M <cough, sorry> ^H^H^H^H DOS.

    Oh well, we all knew Vista was little more than a stop-gap release of a fundamentally buggy product designed to do nothing more than get the MS marketing drones off the hook foe promising an OS 3 years before it was ready. Let's hope MS have learnt from that debacle and coded this one better (i.e. without DRM, Copying bugs, User access designed by failblog etc).

    Cue comments about waiting for service pack 3 as usual ;-)

  24. Columbus
    Jobs Halo

    insanely ungreat

    I will stick with my Mac & Win XP thanks, How about Microsoft actually inventing a GUI which is innovative and actually works? It would be nice if Apple could have a little competition, MacOS 10.5 is becoming a little un - intuitive in places now.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    "they should put a real engineering team in charge, the way they did on Windows NT" You mean the team that decided that USB support shouldn't be included, even though it was even available in Win 95B?

    Other than that, it looks like what others have said:

    -anything ought to run pretty good on the hardware it was tested on, if the specs are accurate.

    -ripoff of some of the features that have been available on the Linux desktop for some time.

    -the jump lists are only going to be as good as the coders' efforts (like any software is)

    -If it's DRM'd to death, what rational person would want it?

    -It better be backward-compatible with more than just Vista.

    -Hopefully the ability to revert to a "classic" Windows taskbar and/or look is included.

  26. jim

    they'll never get it

    So it's right on schedule to become the big bomb that everyone is predicting.

    "Chunky icons".

    UAC and those endless 'notifications' need to GO AWAY, not be 'configurable' i.e. even more complicated than it is now. People who can't cope with that cr@p today won't be figuring out how to "change their notification settings".

    MS absolutely cannot grasp that the market wants less OS, not more.

  27. Jay

    Vista bashing...

    seems to be the "in" sport in IT at the minute. Wonder if any of the partakers have actually tried to use the OS instead of just reading what everybody else has whinged about. I'm no fanboi but I've used Vista at work since release, yes it was terrible to start with but now is a usable OS. Wouldn't want to upgrade all my work machines yet (really don't want to start babysitting idiot users for 6 months who can't figure out the "My" has been removed from My Computer) but for me at work and home Vista is more than usuable on hardware thats not really that current. I use ubuntu too for the things I want to use it for but for playing games, administring my AD domain and server 2008 infrastructure i'm a happy bunny.

    Ah well mines the flameproof number with the RAM in the pocket.....

  28. Andy Nugent

    RE: I like Vista

    Neil, I sort of agree with you, in that Windows Vista on my my HTPC works fine. It plays videos, it records TV, etc.

    On the other hand, I tried using it as a development machine, and after you've had to wait several hours to delete an old checkout from source control, you're soon reaching for the XP installation CDs.

  29. Mad Hacker
    Dead Vulture

    Want to be invited to future events eh?

    Wow, pretty flattering article. Did we regret pissing off Steve Jobs so much that now we will tow the line with vendors?

    Seriously, ok, on that hardware Vista would shine too. Maybe it's time Windows dropped all backward compatibility and just came out with something that worked? It really seems their hands are tied trying to make sure Lotus 123 (circa 2002) still runs under Windows.

    Anyway, I do find it interesting that the 2009 release of OS X will mostly be an internal/speed improvement releases as will the 2009-2010 release of Windows.

  30. Nick Woodson
    Thumb Down

    Be Serious

    Jesus, Allah and Moses.....a Dell XPS? I have a fleet of barely year-old GX745s in my hospital that won't run have gotta be kidding with that test.

    What I get from this is that it's great for a consumer looking for a Linux-like or Mac-like user experience that is still Microsoft. For those of us in enterprise-land.....where's the benefit? Reduced TCO? Improved reliability? How about the ability to NOT have to have most of our apps our expense? Even if the OS is ACTUALLY improved...someone explain what's in it for me?

    It looks like we're either going to have to scare up the cash for a lot of new software or stick to the Win2k (God help me)/WinXP mixed environment we have and finish the move (yes....we're behind the times as it is) to XP desktops. Civil service increases anyone? Gotta pay Billy G.

  31. Pink Duck
    IT Angle

    Notepad flicker?

    Does notepad still flicker its background when its resized?

  32. KB

    Vista is okay

    I'm another Vista fan. Well, not exactly "fan", but it's a perfectly good operating system to use.

    I suspect part of my acceptance is just that I bought a new PC with Vista pre-installed, so everything just worked out of the box. I've had no driver problems to speak of - my existing printer and scanner worked fine - and since SP1 cleared up the file copying problem, everything has functioned as it should.

    The sole exception to my appreciation of Vista is UAC - it really shouldn't be necessary to nag the user quite so often in the course of "normal" use of the PC. Fine, if I'm installing new hardware or updating drivers but I don't need my operating system to check with me repeatedly whether I really, really meant to do something every time I install or run a new program as administrator.

  33. Peter Kay

    4.6GHz? give me a break...

    I have Vista x64, and shock - I actually *like* it. It's faster and less crufty than XP on the same hardware, once you get used to its different way of doing things (and the slow boot times..).

    However, that's on a 1.8GHz Core2Duo with 4GB RAM. x64 Vista needs a bare minimum of 2GB, and preferably 3-4 to run well. 32 bit needs about 500MB less, AIUI.

    So, no bloody surprise that on a system over twice as fast as mine Windows 7 is quite speedy. Make it faster than XP on a 2GHz pentium 4 with half a gig of memory and I'll be vaguely impressed. I'd also like it if the event log didn't fill up with events telling me that two 7600GTs aren't fast enough to handle 30MB of display RAM and whatever transparency they have on top.

    So far, I'm underwhelmed. Vista can already stick gadgets on the desktop; it's merely convenient to dock them to the sidebar sometimes.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    So the real question is...

    Will MS give Vista users a free upgrade to Win7 or not?

  35. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    Uh huh

    We've heard the more polished bit before.

    The Longhorn demo was nice too, then was dropped in favor of what was later called Vista.

    So unless they are going to give away an upgrade for free does M$ really expect wonks to pay twice for what is a M$ mistake?

    It doesn't matter as even Win-zealots are starting to look at Ubuntu and even OSX.

  36. Albert Hall

    What the man said...

    According to the sales guy who runs that outfit this is Vista too.

    There you have it then... Windos 7 (NT6.5?) = Vista Too

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is quite all right

    If you're looking to use your computer rather than get religious about it, Vista works just fine. My ThinkPad X61 with 3GB runs it very well, and I don't think I have ever had an OS crash in the year and a half I have run Vista. And all my hardware and software works, apart slight flakiness in Acrobat 7 (yeah, time to upgrade that one). I wouldn't go back to XP ...

  38. Matthew

    I like vista too.

    Nothing too wrong with it. I did wait until I bought a quad core to run it on though :) But it runs on a lower spec'd laptop just fine too.

    Don't have a problem with the UAC either. It pops up once in a while when installing stuff, or tweaking some settings, but that's about it.

    On linux you have to sudo, su, use yast, or similar ALL require passwords...

    On my mac you have to type the password in when installing stuff tweaking hardware...

    So pretty much the same on all platforms.

    The other thing people berate MS for is the big patches stroke service packs... Well the first thing my shiny new mac did when I switched on was download 480MB of patches, and something similar has happened with all the linux machines I've run in vmware... suse, ubuntu, mandrake.

    Oh, and software compatibility.... Some ancient language learning software I had win 95 era... ran fine on Vista... tried the mac version on my mac..... no such luck... That's what happens when you change APIs and platforms all the time.

    Oh and lastly... hardware support... My Uber multifunction printer works fine with Vista, sort of works with MAC but their configuration GUI is pants... and linux..... well you can forget using the very useful multi-sheet double sided auto scanner.

    I'll fetch my coat.

  39. Steve


    Agree with Neil in that there's not actual anything wrong with Vista.

    The problems that "plaged" it at launch were drivers and application compatibiltiy. I hasten to add that the apps that didn't work on Vista were normally internally developed apps that don't adhere to any type of development standard - or more commonly the apps that "had" to run with administrator rights as they wrote to the root of C: or something equally retarded.

    Mid to late 2007 the driver problems were generally resolved with 3rd parties and manufactures finally pulling their fingers out.

    Windows 7 will be Vista R2. Same security, same permissions, very similar GUI, same development guidelines.

    The difference will be that new drivers won't be required and people are used to UAC!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few questions.

    Will I be able to open in a new window where it's not over the current one?

    Will closing windows force the close for the next window to be somewhere else?

    Will we have those stupid menus that don't give you all the options?

    Will it look like a standard windows 2000 install, or will it treat me like I'm some kind of modern art museum fetishist?

    Will it hang?

    Will it index everything, and combine some stupid search that means I don't know where I'm looking for what. Will I be able to switch all this off, before it installs itself.

    Will it have a find in files that works like the visual studio one? I.e. It starts at a root folder, and actually looks in only the files you tell it to, for the stuff you want, and only when you want.

    Will it be faster than XP by miles?

    Will I be able to switch off all the stupid shit that "Business development consultants" think I want?

    Will it be my machine, rather than theirs to tell it what to run, and when?

    Or will it just be more of the stupid, arthouse gimmicky crap that Microsoft have given us for the last three years?


    So I'd like...


    Web Browser,

    Email Client, Server, and Web Server.

    And to be able to buy a laptop without Vista pre-installed, but with XP.

  41. John PM Chappell
    Gates Horns

    Yes, Neil, you probably are.

    Rock soild? Doing what exactly? Try something challenging. Also, it's not Logitech's fault at all; if the hardware predates Vista (likely) it really ought to have drivers provided by MS already, since they are the one who changed the underpinning of the "Windows" spec. I'm pretty sure it has XP drivers, aye? Media Centre goes right back to XP (and I hate it for the most part but horses for courses) and I've never had any trouble installing drivers for USB devices, in fact I have a USB TV Tuner of my own, it worked when I plugged it in and the supplied software was ~okay~ but I all I really want is for it to work, not eye-candy.

    Bash Vista to join in? No... we just have experience stripping it from machines beacuse relatively old, well supported, best-selling hardware is not supported on Vista and short of writing our own drivers, won't be, probably. When you cannot use a 'rock solid' printer/scanner combo because Vista doesn't know what to do with it, the eye-candy starts to look... well, tacky and the crap functionality comes to the fore.

  42. Kevin Crisp
    Thumb Down



  43. frymaster

    Re: I like vista

    Agreed. The "one step back" comment is presumably because it apparently needs a higher minimum amount of RAM to work well. I say apparently because my computer is almost 2 years old, and so already has 2 gigs of RAM.

    I used XP(because that's what I had a licence for) until about 6 months ago. On my hardware it is a helluva lot more stable, and at leat as fast, as XP, and because of the improvements it is for all intents and purposes faster, as things are easier to do.

    re: DRM. Yes, microsoft could take out DRM components. There's 2 main things - the stuff for ensuring your copy of vista is legit(which I've only had trouble with on XP, ironically, and not for about 2 and a half years) which is hardly a major problem*, and the stuff for playing protected content. So if you take it out, you can't _play_ said content. I refer moaners to Linus Torvalds' infamous comments on this subject, and what a dumb idea restricting the ability to play such content is.

    *assuming your copy is, of course, legit. Anyone with a cracked copy who moans about anti-cracking measures warrants nothing but derision

  44. Jon Brindley


    Will WinFS be in this one, or did they just scrap it altogether when it went belly-up during the Vista re-writes?

    ... Which icon shows my feelings of "meh"?

  45. Sean Gray

    @I like Vista

    I completely agree. I've used Vista for a while now, and it did have some issues initially (though to be fair, these were mostly due to lazy manufacturers not producing drivers), it's much more stable now than XP ever was for me and runs nice and fast (my machine isn't all that great, either).

    I think that most people just complain about Vista because it's fashionable, much as it's fashionable to bash Microsoft for whatever they do. (Example: Linux requests that you enter a root password whenever you want to make changes to the system and everybody hails it as a brilliant security feature. Vista adds the exact same feature and everybody shouts that it's a horrible waste of time and Microsoft are stupid for doing it).

    It'd just be nice if people were slightly more informed about it so that their complaints didn't sound so stupid.

  46. scotchbonnet

    Re: I Like Vista

    Neil, my experience with Vista has been similar to yours. I built a nice machine a while back - 3GHz Core2Duo, 4Gb fast RAM, twin Nvidia Geoforce 8800 GTS video in SLI config, 1Tb drive space. I loaded Vista Business on it as well as Linux and I've been very happy with how the whole setup operates.

    I had some stability problems at first - the machine kept crashing. I thought that it might be Vista. Through a little detective work, however, I traced the problem back to some unset memory array settings on the mobo setup panel. I chased down the appropriate settings from the memory manufacturer and entered them into the mobo setup programme and haven't had a single crash since - and that's been over a year. I'd never seen these settings before and when I installed the memory during construction I only entered the three settings that I was used to having control over.

    There are some things about Vista that I don't like, just as there are some things about OSX, and Linux that I don't like. But overall, it's been very stable and very useful for me. After sorting out the memory settings (which had nothing to do with Vista) I've no real substantive complaints.

  47. Stu
    Paris Hilton


    Do you think any of the M$ employees would have made it out of the PDC alive if W7 was demoed slower than Vista!? Its still in waaay back b3ta, and as a result, is far off the true representation of the final OS.

    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the system were built with bits and pieces switched off, and carefuly set up, a mock up if you will.

    I fail to see how any of the statements made in this article relate in ANY way to what W7 will eventually become. Remember, they're still talking about building in Aero, and each and every one of those bloatware features that are in Vista, PLUS multitouch and lots of other bits and pieces, and this sh*t don't come fer free.

    The only changes worthy of note in this article should have been made about kernel level changes really responsible for the supposed speed-up. But of course this wouldn't have made for a particularly interesting read, the release is more about the pretty visuals of course than real substance, and is clearly too much for your average consumer anyway.

    Back in IT Forum '07, a chap called Mark Russinovich did a seminar on the Vista changes which supposedly improved on CPU process management, memory/cache allocation techniques, and a whole lot more kernel level changes, all of which seem to have simply been overcome by Microsoft's art department, or just didn't help at all.

    Windows is like Paris hilton, pretty on the outside (just), vain, shallow, money (read CPU power or memory) hungry on the inside.

  48. Neil Cooper

    Expert mode

    They need to have a user-selectable "expert" mode so that users who say they are experts don't get all the crap that vista introduced like extra warnings for the simp[lest of operations like the multiple braindead dialogs you have to OK multiple times when you copy/merge folders.

    ...and whats up with Vista leaving an empty version of the folder behind when you move a folder somewhere else that has a folder with the same name already? Thats just f****'d up.

  49. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge


    "Dell XPS M1339, Core 2 Duo 2.3Ghz, with 3GB RAM"

    So with that and Windows 7 they've got back to where they were with Windows 95 on a 486 top-ender - Tell me; how am I meant to be impressed ?

    Well not quite back to Win95; there will still be tons of "my first computer" eye-candy shite that won't go away when "Classic Theme" is selected.


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