Windows 7 Home Premium

Well, you folks who have been following my Blog should have guessed that I am likely to write about Windows 7 sooner or later, having published two posts recently on “Buying a New Laptop” and “Scrapping Apple”.

I wanted to give the Windows 7 a few days of working before I could start commenting on what is arguably the best Windows system ever, though I am still a fan of Windows XP Professional as far as the office environment is concerned (I was an ardent fan of Apple MAC O.S. – the Leopard version, and I still continue to be enchanted by the same even after I have given up on my iMAC system). For the home environment, Apple still produces a better impact all around the family team, if you consider the ease of operation and the entertainment quotient, and do not consider any incompatibility issues.

Sorry I had to draw the conclusion even before saying anything specific on Windows 7. This new O.S. is a great improvement compared to the Windows Vista O.S. which proved to be a non-starter for Microsoft. Many people switched back to Windows XP after experiencing the poor quality and features of Vista. However, the Windows 7 O.S. does not disappoint as much as Vista – for starters, it does not crash, though it takes as much time to start up. I do not understand why Microsoft could not achieve a faster startup in Windows 7 – it’s a bit annoying, especially when you compare with Apple. Shutting down the system was faster though.

I am using a Dell Studio 15 Laptop with intel i5 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB SATA HD @ 7,200 rpm, and ATI Radeon Graphics card with 1 GB on-board memory. I expect a fast response, is it not to be expected ?

Well, the CPU is yet to be stressed, and I will do so soon using some graphics software and numerical processing, and let me see. Coming back to Windows 7, the docking bar is a poor imitation from Apple, with features borrowed (should I say copied ?) in an unabashed manner. Don’t know why the technology media has not criticised Microsoft. The other features are more or less the same, starting from the “Start” button. I found that moving around the various screens was faster and a little less time-consuming. Programs open faster, may be because of the CPU power and memory size.

Microsoft has re-arranged the task bar but it is not a big innovation. Internet Explorer confused me by presenting two options – the regular version (I guess the 32-bit one) and the 64-bit version. I clicked on the 32-bit version and that did not work, reporting a problem and asking me to close the program, which I did. Then I started the 64-bit version which worked fine. Why install both versions ?

I killed the 32-bit version of the Internet Explorer – but could not uninstall it. Microsoft is still scared that users will start uninstalling the IE and start using other browsers – in any case that is happening ! Their claim that the IE is an integral part of the Windows O.S. and hence need to be present in the system is hogwash.

I installed the fast Google Chrome and the Mozilla Firefox browsers.

Apart from the sleek interface copied partially from Apple and the fast startup of the programs like MS-Word or IE, I could not find anything outstanding in Windows 7. It still has driver problems, as was evidenced in trying to get the right drivers for the various sound options in the system. One neat software upgrade package like what Apple does in its “Software Update” program is still lacking, as Microsoft tries to do its best update only for its own Windows O.S. via the “Windows Update” program.What about all the drivers – there is no integrated approach.

So, my partial conclusion as of now is that Windows 7 has still some way to go to try and match the gold standard in user interface that has been the hallmark of Apple MAC O.S. Why can’t they hire some of these MAC guys at Microsoft and improve the interface ? Imitating is fine as long as the imitation is almost perfect, not half-baked.

Cheers, and Have a good Dussera Weekend,

Vijay Srinivasan
17th October 2010


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