It’s no secret I was a bit disappointed with Windows Vista. It was an incredibly ambitious project that delivered a massive, under-the-hood update to Windows. Where it failed was that it was released just a bit too early. Too early means not enough polish on things that could have dramatically improved the first impression of the new OS.
Here is what I said back in 2006 prior to Vista’s launch:
What will happen if they ship Windows Vista if it comes out in 1Q2007? I predict it will be a disaster. Driver compatibility, rough edges in software working, weird and unpolished UI design, etc. The acronymn UAC will come to haunt Microsoft and they will rue the day they didn't wait just a few more months to get driver compatibility together.
Windows 7, by contrast, is all about polish. It fixes the mistakes made with Windows Vista.
Unfortunately, I still have to deal with Windows Vista. And now, even issues I hadn’t noticed before in Windows Vista become painfully obvious now that I’m used to Windows 7.
Below are 10 things that are driving me crazy about Windows Vista now that I’ve got Windows 7.
Reason #1: Nothing is ever responding
In Windows Vista, it seems like the OS is just waiting to declare a window isn’t responding. This is particularly obnoxious when it comes to network windows. The Windows 7 GUI is much more responsive and it’s far less likely to have that annoying “not responding” behavior occur.
Reason #2: The UAC
I still can’t believe Microsoft hasn’t updated UAC in Windows Vista so to make it less annoying. Every time I go back to a Windows Vista machine, it’s one of the first things that comes up. Prompts. Prompts. Prompts over the silliest of things.
On Windows 7, there’s a lot more control of these annoyances. Windows is still the “are you sure” OS but it’s a lot less annoying.
Programs like Tweak 7 make it easy to further refine this. For instance, the delay/darkening of the screen theoretically can add more security but it’s just annoying. On Windows 7, I can turn that off.
Reason #3: Basic Usability
In Windows Vista, if you want to change the resolution, you either use the video card’s built in add-on (seen at the top) or you have to jump through menus. It’s ridiculous.
in Windows 7, you can get to screen resolution quickly by default. A very nice touch.
Reason #4: The System Tray
I had no idea how annoying the system tray system of Windows Vista (and before) was until I started using Windows 7. Going back to Windows Vista is like going back to system tray hell.
No comparison. On Windows 7, it’s clean and nice.
Reason #5: Explorer Usability
Windows Vista (above) is just a lot less useful with explorer even though it seems more cluttered (to me anyway).
By contrast, Windows 7 (above) has common sense options up above and the navigation pane on the left is much more useful as well.
Reason #6: Customization – Vista sucks at it.
For reasons unknown, Microsoft insisted on putting lots of hard-coded colored images in the Vista UI.
Windows 7 still has the problem somewhat (baby blue) but it’s a lot easier for programs to customize a color than it is to deal with an image. So if you run a program like WindowBlinds that lets you customize Windows, Windows 7 makes life even better.
Reason #7: Cyan borders.
This goes with Microsoft’s love affair with various blue-like colors being baked in. Vista had cyan borders on the edges.
On Windows 7, the colors are neutral. I should also add that Aero doesn’t have that annoying reflection texture in it anymore.
Reason #8: Useless network object
How often are you going to want to sift through all the computers on your network? Windows 7 cleans up (it could still be better) the network experience.
Reason #9: Devices
This is something that seems obvious in hindsight but Windows Vista does not have it. A nice, simple screen for dealing with the real world stuff that people use.
Reason #10: Windows XP mode
Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate include “Windows XP mode”. For most people, it’s not a big deal. But it’s a handy tool that one would have thought Vista would have included for programs that had compatibility problems.
You can install things from within the environment and then they will run seamlessly on your desktop.
So if you have programs that don’t like Vista (or Windows 7) you can run them within Windows XP on the desktop. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well with games very well.
But imagine how things might have gone with Windows Vista if it had had something like this.
There you have it…
Well look here, I just got handed a Windows 7 Professional DVD. Goodbye Windows Vista.