I’m Feeling Seven-ish, She Said

January 10, 2009


windows7Cindy asked me what I thought of Windows 7 after the first hour of using it.  I told her that I felt, er, um… And she said “…seven-ish?”  And I guess she was right.  I am feeling seven-ish.

Here are the ‘Roo’s first thoughts:

– Installation was good – exceptioanlly good for a beta.  I hope the installer becomes a little more informative before final release.  There has to be more feeback to inform the user that progress is occurring – lest the user abandon hope that the install is progressing!

– A number of the default apps (like MSPaint) now display a ribbon bar.   This is the UI enhancements delivered in Office 2007.  I like the interface changes.  But I know a lot of folks who aren’t so keen on the changes.

– I like the new themes that display multiple pictures.  And some of the pics are fabulous!

–  Media Center setup was peculiar.  At first, it didn’t detect my Hauppage HVR 1600.  After a reboot, it finally detected my TV card.  Once the TV card was detected, downloading of the guide and the remainder of Windows Media Center setup went smoothly.  I do like the interface touches like the icon/preview that appears at the bottom of the guide.  It’s a little touch.  But I find such touches to be demonstrative of a complete commitment to the customer experience.

– I had zero problems playing movies when using the Windows Media Player.

– iTunes functioned flawlessly.  I could play MP3 audio files, AAC audio files and a variety of MP4 video files.  And I had zero problems when I plugged in my iPod.  It was detected by both Windows and iTunes.   As a side note, Last.fm’s add-on for iTunes worked great.  I need to check scrobbling – but so far, so good.

– A variety of my system utilities seem to operate nominally.  This includes Spybot S&D, AVG Free and even Privoxy/TOR.

– Printing worked fine- thank goodness.

– Adobe apps seem to work – including AIR apps (like Twhirl).

– Other Twitter-related apps (like Tweetdeck) seem to work well.

– I used Psi to connect up to the work IM infrastructure.  All seems to work.

– Google apps (like Google Earth ad Google Chrome) all seem to work well.

– Home network setup isn’t smooth yet.  I tried to set up a homegroup.  But it didn’t allow me to set one up until I was connected to a network that was previously designated as a “home” network.  Of course, my network was setup as a “home” network.  So there is obviously something amiss.  I hope to try this function out in the next couple of days.

Bottom Line: Windows 7 is not the grand divergence or vast improvement upon Windows Vista that some folks claim.  Indeed, it is an evolution of Windows Vista’s basic system.  As I consider how Vista relates to Windows 7, I remember how Windows 2000 related to Windows XP.  W2K was a great baseline that XP built upon.  Similarly, Windows Vista is the base that Windows 7 builds upon.  In so many ways, this is the OS that Microsoft should have released.  I wonder just how much this OS will cost (in the retail channels).  As an upgrade from Vista, I’m not inclined to pay the full sticker price.  Indeed, this is what I should have received when I first purchased Vista.

Nevertheless, Windows 7 is quite nice.  And for a beta, it is wonderful.  It is clean and far more nimble than Vista.  And a lot of the rough edges that we had in Vista have finally been polished to a fine sheen.

In short, I’m very impressed by the OS.  And I am even more impressed with the “fit and finish” of this beta.  Microsoft was very smart to provide this to millions of people.  It will build the enthusiasm for the Windows brand.  And in all candor, that enthusiasm has been flagging for a couple of years.


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One Comment on “I’m Feeling Seven-ish, She Said”

  1. Brad Says:

    Looks cool.

    A lot of people have been confused by the ribbon in Office, but I think it’s just one of those UI advancements that had to happen, and people will need to adjust to it (like the taskbar in Windows 95, I guess).


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