I wasn’t an early adopter of Vista. I took my time adopting. I wanted to give other people an opportunity to work thought the pains of bleeding edge software. Vista was full of obstacles for a great user experience. Now, granted I am a very specific type of Windows user. I have built a custom PC setup with hardware assembled over time, and Vista’s driver problems were the bane of my existence once I finally broke down and upgraded.
I’ve heard a rumor that Windows 7 isn’t going to have those same driver issues, but that remains to be seen. The installation experience was very good. 15 minutes for complete install. That’s a HUGE improvement over Vista. Still the problem though, that if you reinstall your OS, you have to reinstall all your programs as well, which is what really eats into the day.
I really wanted to share was a few funny experiences with Windows 7 RC when I first started playing. It’s all about the User Experience after all, right Microsoft?
First, everyone knows all about the Vista Permission user experience. Do you want to do exactly what you just told me you wanted to do? Approve or Deny? Mac vs PC commercials played this up a ton because it was just a bad user experience. In Windows 7 there is a new link. Change Notification Settings (ohh, this has some promise). I clicked on it and set my notification to “Never Notify Me!” Then I clicked OK. Guess what happened? That’s right, APPROVE? I couldn’t stop laughing both because it was too funny, and because it was so sad.
The second experience I’m still exploring a little. I tried to install Firefox. Things seemed to work as expected. No notification to confirm that I actually wanted to install it. That’s a start. Then when I went to access the program I got a bizarre error message. Account: Administrator doesn’t have permission to access this program. Really?! Well then who does have permission to access this program? Not a good user experience.
However, I do have to say the new “taskbar” (I think that’s what they are calling it) is a big improvement. The Pin files for common tasks is pretty nice as well. It’s basically creating a bunch of little shortcuts to things you do all the time, and I can see that saving lots of time once people get used to it.
The best feature of Windows 7 is the new Snipping Tool. It’s a quick and easy screen snapshot utility. Finally, you can select an area of your desktop, and save it out quickly as a jpeg. We’ve been screaming for this for years and currently there isn’t an equivalent for it on Macs (yet).
So far so good. I’m excited to see what other useful features are built into Windows 7, hopefully my hardware will be supported.