Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Testing - Day One Observations

Well, I've been using the windows 7 beta all day, and I'm favorably impressed.

But first, the irritations; and surprisingly, they are few.
  1. I hate the gigantic thickness of the status bar; that it can't be made any smaller, only larger, and that all the icons in it are so large.

    Even using the "small icons" property setting only shrinks them somewhat. The windowpane area (the program window indicators) becomes acceptable, but the notification area is still huge.

    I have a high resolution large screen because I like a high density of display information. This fixed large size irritates me.

  2. I really dislike that it forces you to use the new style "jump menu" rather than the classic start menu. I hate the jump menu. I organize things hierarchically in my start menu so that everything can be easily and instantly accessed, and the jump menu prevents that.

    I realize this is pandering to the majority of users who develop these huge unwieldy single tier messes of start menus, but I'm not one of those users. I should have the option of using a cleaner, more logical layout, that takes up less screen room when used.

  3. I don't care for the default folder view opening windows explorer; but I like it better than Vistas default view, because I can at least see all my drives and devices without clicking on anything... so it's better than vista but I still wish it would jsut let me go right to my drive list.

  4. It's taken away some of my options for disabling windows stupidity, or working around irritations etc... Though to be fair it has made those things I can't disable or workaround less stupid and non-functional (like windows security center, which can't be disabled in windows 7, but can be in Vista); but it's MY machine, I still want the control.

    UPDATE: I can't disable security center completely; but I've found I CAN disable it's icon, by digging into advanced preferences in the notification area.
In literally every other way, I am happier than with vista. Everything is cleaner, smoother, faster, more responsive, better designed, clearer, and more logical than in vista (even my tweaked vista with all the crap stripped out).

The resource loading is about 20% lighter as well; and far less processes and threads are running by default.

I have to say, so far it's a big winner.