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UPDATE: I’ve done a more comprehensive review here: Will Windows 7 be a Worthwhile Upgrade?

After a few hours exploring Windows 7, here is what I’ve found so far. Following are my likes and dislikes of the “standard” interface.

As you probably already know: if you don’t like something in Windows, you can usually change it to make it work the way you like. My thoughts focus on the default set up of Windows 7 M3.

What I like About Windows 7

After a few hours of testing, I want to share the things I like about Windows 7.

Connecting to Wireless Networks

In a linux-style fashion, you can now select your wireless network from a pop-up list that appears when you click the wireless icon in the system tray. This saves you opening the wireless network list and then connecting. Now you can save your mouse by clicking less and getting what you want more quickly. This feature is a small one, but I really like it and am glad to see it in Windows.

Program History

I really like the history tabs on the task bar. With any open window, you can click on the up arrow by the application icon and you can open recent files or windows you had open in that program. I haven’t used this feature properly yet, but I can see it being really useful.

External Display Settings

There seems to be better support for external displays. I really liked the added support that came with Windows Vista and I’m sure there will be more support in Windows 7. A lot of people use two displays and more people are using their laptops to present from, so this is a vital area to focus on.

Windows Updates

Controlling Windows updates is much more intuitive now. In previous Windows versions, specifying Windows Update options was much harder. The new interface is much more intuitive and lets you take control of updating your computer more easily.

Credential Manager

The Credential Manager will save your user names and passwords, so you can easily log on to websites and connect to other resources, such as computers. I’m not sure how many people will utilize this feature as I feel some people will not see the need or will have a portable alternative they can use between computers. However, this looks like it could be really useful, so we’ll see how it develops.

Theme Selection

Windows 7 has much better support for themes. Everyone likes to customize in some way or another and this will open the door to a much easier way to express yourself on your computer. As of yet, I’m sure there aren’t many supported themes, so we’ll keep a close ear to this one!

Ribbon Interface in More Programs

Paint and Wordpad have a ribbon interface, which makes use a lot easier. I hope, by now, you’ve had a chance to try Microsoft Office 2007 (if you are an Office user) and I also hope you are used to the interface. What do you think of the “ribbon” (extended) menu? I personally like it a lot and am happy to see the interface in other programs that are long overdue and update!

What I Dislike About Windows 7

There are a few things I dislike about the standard interface in Windows 7 as follows:

“Popup” System Tray

In earlier versions of Windows, you can click the left arrow and reveal the hidden icons on the system tray. In Windows 7, there is a popup menu that shows the hidden icons. I really don’t like this idea and I hope to see it eliminated in the final release of Windows 7.

View All Icons Mode in System Tray

Talk about clutter! Check the screenshot on the right to see the horrific array of buttons that are revealed in the Control Panel after clicking view all icons. I don’t believe you should ever be offered this many options on any interface. I’d cut this option out and encourage users to utilize a search option.

Internet Explorer 8

I’m not a fan of Internet Explorer and although there are some nice features included in IE8, they’re nothing too innovative. These features don’t make up for the screen (see on the left) with more options than I care to read. When you open a new tab, you’re given so many options that I just want to close IE8 and go back to Windows 3.11!

Libraries

I’m sure I’ll come to love this interface, but right now I’m not convinced. I always hit WINKEY+E to open explorer in the default Computer view. Using this shortcut in Windows 7 opens the Library screen, which I don’t find particularly useful. I saved this one until last because I’m sure I’ll get used to it and make the most of this new feature.

Final Thoughts

Windows 7 is still in early development, so I hope the “problems” I listed above are addressed. The operating sytem boots pretty quickly; however, I haven’t benchmarked the boot time against Vista/Server 2008/XP yet. I look forward to future builds and I’m sure I’ll adopt Seven as quickly as I did with Vista.

Windows Seven should have much less compatability issues with hardware (compared to Vista), so hopefully this will aid with adoption of Microsoft’s new OS.

Do you agree with my likes and dislikes? What are your thoughts?

UPDATE: I’ve done a more comprehensive review here: Will Windows 7 be a Worthwhile Upgrade?



About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix the problems he creates.

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Comments

  • Tweakwindows

    I am also getting annoyed by the [Win]+[E] combination result.I hope Microsoft will fix this!!

  • I am also getting annoyed by the [Win]+[E] combination result.I hope Microsoft will fix this!!

  • I am also getting annoyed by the [Win]+[E] combination result.I hope Microsoft will fix this!!

  • Sewan

    So, as the Windows are not showing as much as the potentiality as the Macs are doing, do you prefer a Mac over Windows. I know, till the XP version windows was doing great but now they are not able to keep up with the Macs. I had so many bugs with my Vista that I had to re-install my XP. I am planning to get a new laptop this winter, what do you suggest?

  • Sewan

    So, as the Windows are not showing as much as the potentiality as the Macs are doing, do you prefer a Mac over Windows. I know, till the XP version windows was doing great but now they are not able to keep up with the Macs. I had so many bugs with my Vista that I had to re-install my XP. I am planning to get a new laptop this winter, what do you suggest?

  • Sewan

    So, as the Windows are not showing as much as the potentiality as the Macs are doing, do you prefer a Mac over Windows. I know, till the XP version windows was doing great but now they are not able to keep up with the Macs. I had so many bugs with my Vista that I had to re-install my XP. I am planning to get a new laptop this winter, what do you suggest?

  • Rich

    I suggest you get a laptop with Windows Vista (because I much prefer Windows for what I do.) Windows Vista, on new hardware is just as stable as Windows XP, in my opinion.

  • I suggest you get a laptop with Windows Vista (because I much prefer Windows for what I do.) Windows Vista, on new hardware is just as stable as Windows XP, in my opinion.

  • I suggest you get a laptop with Windows Vista (because I much prefer Windows for what I do.) Windows Vista, on new hardware is just as stable as Windows XP, in my opinion.

  • Gregory

    Cannon 3000F scanner no driver for vista 64 bit
    thinking of Going back to xp pro
    hardware problem with vista 64 bit (SATA drives)

  • Gregory

    Cannon 3000F scanner no driver for vista 64 bit
    thinking of Going back to xp pro
    hardware problem with vista 64 bit (SATA drives)

  • Gregory

    Cannon 3000F scanner no driver for vista 64 bit
    thinking of Going back to xp pro
    hardware problem with vista 64 bit (SATA drives)

  • Will Windows 7 be a Worthwhile

    […] few days ago, I shared my initial thoughts on Windows 7. After spending more time with the operating system, I now share my findings and […]

  • Quikboy

    You know, you can change the tab options in IE8 I’m quite sure. Doesn’t Google Chrome do the same thing with its tabs?

    IE8 actually makes IE a great alternative to Firefox for once, and I’ll be sure to use it more often.

  • You know, you can change the tab options in IE8 I’m quite sure. Doesn’t Google Chrome do the same thing with its tabs?

    IE8 actually makes IE a great alternative to Firefox for once, and I’ll be sure to use it more often.

  • You know, you can change the tab options in IE8 I’m quite sure. Doesn’t Google Chrome do the same thing with its tabs?

    IE8 actually makes IE a great alternative to Firefox for once, and I’ll be sure to use it more often.

  • Marcio

    Everybody is quick to put labels on things not knowing much about it… I gotta tell you IE has heaps to improve but there are original features which people don’t know of that are not present in other brousers such as alt + q (which is similar to exposé on mac but with tabs) that i find very inovative and useful.

    Also if you want the old style menu on top of the window u can press f10.

    i hope it still works for windows 7 would you mind giving it a try?

    thank you very much for ur review ;)

  • Marcio

    Everybody is quick to put labels on things not knowing much about it… I gotta tell you IE has heaps to improve but there are original features which people don’t know of that are not present in other brousers such as alt + q (which is similar to exposé on mac but with tabs) that i find very inovative and useful.

    Also if you want the old style menu on top of the window u can press f10.

    i hope it still works for windows 7 would you mind giving it a try?

    thank you very much for ur review ;)

  • Marcio

    Everybody is quick to put labels on things not knowing much about it… I gotta tell you IE has heaps to improve but there are original features which people don’t know of that are not present in other brousers such as alt + q (which is similar to exposé on mac but with tabs) that i find very inovative and useful.

    Also if you want the old style menu on top of the window u can press f10.

    i hope it still works for windows 7 would you mind giving it a try?

    thank you very much for ur review ;)

  • Glen

    @Gregory – there are also no Cannon 3000F scanner drivers for XP 64bit, so whats your complaint? Use Vista 32bit and you will have drivers for the Cannon.

    I don’t know what SATA drives (or controller) you are using but all of the various laptops/desktops we have that run Vista 64bit are working perfectly fine (better than XP) with SATA drives.

  • Glen

    @Gregory – there are also no Cannon 3000F scanner drivers for XP 64bit, so whats your complaint? Use Vista 32bit and you will have drivers for the Cannon.

    I don’t know what SATA drives (or controller) you are using but all of the various laptops/desktops we have that run Vista 64bit are working perfectly fine (better than XP) with SATA drives.

  • Glen

    @Gregory – there are also no Cannon 3000F scanner drivers for XP 64bit, so whats your complaint? Use Vista 32bit and you will have drivers for the Cannon.

    I don’t know what SATA drives (or controller) you are using but all of the various laptops/desktops we have that run Vista 64bit are working perfectly fine (better than XP) with SATA drives.

  • StackOverflow

    That popup thing for the systray is ewww… And the Control Panel has too many items. I prefer IE8 to IE7 (and Firefox to all of ’em) but that is messy when you open a new tab. I’m not sure about the libraries thing though because I’m still(!) downloading 7.

  • That popup thing for the systray is ewww… And the Control Panel has too many items. I prefer IE8 to IE7 (and Firefox to all of ’em) but that is messy when you open a new tab. I’m not sure about the libraries thing though because I’m still(!) downloading 7.

  • That popup thing for the systray is ewww… And the Control Panel has too many items. I prefer IE8 to IE7 (and Firefox to all of ’em) but that is messy when you open a new tab. I’m not sure about the libraries thing though because I’m still(!) downloading 7.

  • Glen

    @StackOverFlow…

    Systray “pop-up” is a requested method to resolve having all those icons by the clock itself. You can now actually control what appears and happens in the systray – this is FAR FAR better than before (XP and Vista)

    Just look at the number of icons in the Control Panel when using the “full icon list” in XP and/or Vista. Its no different at all with Win7. Win7 only adds one or two more icons IF you view ALL icons in Control Panel.

  • Glen

    @StackOverFlow…

    Systray “pop-up” is a requested method to resolve having all those icons by the clock itself. You can now actually control what appears and happens in the systray – this is FAR FAR better than before (XP and Vista)

    Just look at the number of icons in the Control Panel when using the “full icon list” in XP and/or Vista. Its no different at all with Win7. Win7 only adds one or two more icons IF you view ALL icons in Control Panel.

  • Glen

    @StackOverFlow…

    Systray “pop-up” is a requested method to resolve having all those icons by the clock itself. You can now actually control what appears and happens in the systray – this is FAR FAR better than before (XP and Vista)

    Just look at the number of icons in the Control Panel when using the “full icon list” in XP and/or Vista. Its no different at all with Win7. Win7 only adds one or two more icons IF you view ALL icons in Control Panel.

  • StackOverflow

    I just got Windows 7, and I saw how cool the systray popup was! And the full control panel’s “all icons” is very handy, when I was having difficulty with the mouse. The libraries is great too. It pays to try!

  • I just got Windows 7, and I saw how cool the systray popup was! And the full control panel’s “all icons” is very handy, when I was having difficulty with the mouse. The libraries is great too. It pays to try!

  • I just got Windows 7, and I saw how cool the systray popup was! And the full control panel’s “all icons” is very handy, when I was having difficulty with the mouse. The libraries is great too. It pays to try!

  • Ranger

    This looks like it is following the standard Microsoft plan for software release. Microsoft products are released as a final and a beta. Meaning 2000/me was a beta xp was a final revision. vista was the beta this is the final. Their OS line is not the only MS product that this holds true with. Time will tell but i have a feeling windows 7 will be a, fast, stable compatible build.

  • Ranger

    This looks like it is following the standard Microsoft plan for software release. Microsoft products are released as a final and a beta. Meaning 2000/me was a beta xp was a final revision. vista was the beta this is the final. Their OS line is not the only MS product that this holds true with. Time will tell but i have a feeling windows 7 will be a, fast, stable compatible build.

  • Ranger

    This looks like it is following the standard Microsoft plan for software release. Microsoft products are released as a final and a beta. Meaning 2000/me was a beta xp was a final revision. vista was the beta this is the final. Their OS line is not the only MS product that this holds true with. Time will tell but i have a feeling windows 7 will be a, fast, stable compatible build.

  • Naomi

    Vista sucked so much that I was seeking an alternative and found this article. I never heard of an operating system that fails to do just that OPERATE. Crashes all the time no matter what I am doing. Difficult to troubleshoot (I am a PC Specialist w/decades of experience). IE 8 can’t say nothing good about it cuz it never worked properly from the start and can’t remove it, ARRRGGGHHH!! I upgrading 2 Windows 7 cuz I can’t go back to XP because this computer came with VISTA already installed. Vista and IE8 are the worst products I have ever had to encounter in my 20 years of experience working with computer software. I am not a programmer, but I consider myself an expert “end-user” so, if a product is not easy to use for me, I know it won’t work for the masses. I am going to upgrade to Win 7 in desperation but it shouldn’t be this way in the first place. Fixes should be readily available especially since all these products come in beta form first. What happens to the information they get from that? Microsoft needs to get their act together, what good is a driver update option on their support page that doesn’t work. Not only doesn’t it work but hasn’t for an entire month, believe me I have tried over and over to use it in order to resolve some of my computer’s issues. Like their User Interface Microsoft has become big and gluttony and useless to the average user. Only eggheads can appreciated the so called changes but the average person will just want it to work in the manner in which they say it will. Bill Gates prided himself on only surrounding himself with smart people, well therein lies the problem, they need more average “Joe’s” onboard so they can find out how make a program the works for the masses. If you don’t have to don’t waste your time with IE8 you’ll regret it. I will keep you updated on what happens to me with Windows 7, I have no other choice but to upgrade because Vista is virtually a useless cluttered, disorganized piece of crapware!!!!! Stick to XP if you are considering upgrading and wait for the response to Windows 7 from me or others who are using it.

  • Naomi

    Vista sucked so much that I was seeking an alternative and found this article. I never heard of an operating system that fails to do just that OPERATE. Crashes all the time no matter what I am doing. Difficult to troubleshoot (I am a PC Specialist w/decades of experience). IE 8 can’t say nothing good about it cuz it never worked properly from the start and can’t remove it, ARRRGGGHHH!! I upgrading 2 Windows 7 cuz I can’t go back to XP because this computer came with VISTA already installed. Vista and IE8 are the worst products I have ever had to encounter in my 20 years of experience working with computer software. I am not a programmer, but I consider myself an expert “end-user” so, if a product is not easy to use for me, I know it won’t work for the masses. I am going to upgrade to Win 7 in desperation but it shouldn’t be this way in the first place. Fixes should be readily available especially since all these products come in beta form first. What happens to the information they get from that? Microsoft needs to get their act together, what good is a driver update option on their support page that doesn’t work. Not only doesn’t it work but hasn’t for an entire month, believe me I have tried over and over to use it in order to resolve some of my computer’s issues. Like their User Interface Microsoft has become big and gluttony and useless to the average user. Only eggheads can appreciated the so called changes but the average person will just want it to work in the manner in which they say it will. Bill Gates prided himself on only surrounding himself with smart people, well therein lies the problem, they need more average “Joe’s” onboard so they can find out how make a program the works for the masses. If you don’t have to don’t waste your time with IE8 you’ll regret it. I will keep you updated on what happens to me with Windows 7, I have no other choice but to upgrade because Vista is virtually a useless cluttered, disorganized piece of crapware!!!!! Stick to XP if you are considering upgrading and wait for the response to Windows 7 from me or others who are using it.

    • Naomi — I look forward to your thoughts on Windows 7.

  • Naomi

    Vista sucked so much that I was seeking an alternative and found this article. I never heard of an operating system that fails to do just that OPERATE. Crashes all the time no matter what I am doing. Difficult to troubleshoot (I am a PC Specialist w/decades of experience). IE 8 can’t say nothing good about it cuz it never worked properly from the start and can’t remove it, ARRRGGGHHH!! I upgrading 2 Windows 7 cuz I can’t go back to XP because this computer came with VISTA already installed. Vista and IE8 are the worst products I have ever had to encounter in my 20 years of experience working with computer software. I am not a programmer, but I consider myself an expert “end-user” so, if a product is not easy to use for me, I know it won’t work for the masses. I am going to upgrade to Win 7 in desperation but it shouldn’t be this way in the first place. Fixes should be readily available especially since all these products come in beta form first. What happens to the information they get from that? Microsoft needs to get their act together, what good is a driver update option on their support page that doesn’t work. Not only doesn’t it work but hasn’t for an entire month, believe me I have tried over and over to use it in order to resolve some of my computer’s issues. Like their User Interface Microsoft has become big and gluttony and useless to the average user. Only eggheads can appreciated the so called changes but the average person will just want it to work in the manner in which they say it will. Bill Gates prided himself on only surrounding himself with smart people, well therein lies the problem, they need more average “Joe’s” onboard so they can find out how make a program the works for the masses. If you don’t have to don’t waste your time with IE8 you’ll regret it. I will keep you updated on what happens to me with Windows 7, I have no other choice but to upgrade because Vista is virtually a useless cluttered, disorganized piece of crapware!!!!! Stick to XP if you are considering upgrading and wait for the response to Windows 7 from me or others who are using it.

    • Naomi — I look forward to your thoughts on Windows 7.

  • Rich

    Naomi — I look forward to your thoughts on Windows 7.

  • Mike

    I personally like Vista more than XP. It added a lot of features, but Microsoft didn’t seem to really think them all the way through. Can you give me a good reason you dislike IE8? Many people don’t like Vista simply because they changed the interface and file locations so much, but the new organization makes more sense once you are used to it. Windows 7 is a big step up from Vista and XP, I think it will go far.

    PS: As a PC ‘Specialist’ you should know that you can downgrade to XP from Vista.

  • Mike

    I personally like Vista more than XP. It added a lot of features, but Microsoft didn’t seem to really think them all the way through. Can you give me a good reason you dislike IE8? Many people don’t like Vista simply because they changed the interface and file locations so much, but the new organization makes more sense once you are used to it. Windows 7 is a big step up from Vista and XP, I think it will go far.

    PS: As a PC ‘Specialist’ you should know that you can downgrade to XP from Vista.

  • Mike

    Libraries are meant to be their new form of folder organization, whenever you open Windows Explorer it defaults to that location. I find it very nice, as I have created a few libraries of my own in addition to the ones Windows comes with.

  • Mike

    Libraries are meant to be their new form of folder organization, whenever you open Windows Explorer it defaults to that location. I find it very nice, as I have created a few libraries of my own in addition to the ones Windows comes with.

  • Mike

    I personally like Vista more than XP. It added a lot of features, but Microsoft didn’t seem to really think them all the way through. Can you give me a good reason you dislike IE8? Many people don’t like Vista simply because they changed the interface and file locations so much, but the new organization makes more sense once you are used to it. Windows 7 is a big step up from Vista and XP, I think it will go far.

    PS: As a PC ‘Specialist’ you should know that you can downgrade to XP from Vista.

  • Mike

    Libraries are meant to be their new form of folder organization, whenever you open Windows Explorer it defaults to that location. I find it very nice, as I have created a few libraries of my own in addition to the ones Windows comes with.


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