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In-Depth With the Windows 7 Public Beta 785

Posted by kdawson
from the ctrl-alt-del-makes-him-blink dept.
Dozer writes "With the Windows 7 public beta out, Ars Technica has an in-depth look at the release. There's praise for Windows 7's UI changes and polish as well much-needed changes to UAC, but also a warning that those who have problems with Vista won't like Windows 7 much better. 'If you couldn't stand Vista's UI (whether it's because you didn't like Explorer, Aero, Control Panel, UAC, or anything else), Windows 7 is unlikely to do much to help, as it builds on the same UI. If Vista's hardware demands were too steep, Windows 7 will likely cause you the same grief, as its hardware demands match. And if Vista didn't work with a program or device you need to use, Windows 7 will offer no salvation, as its compatibility is virtually identical.'"
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In-Depth With the Windows 7 Public Beta

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  • smithers! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ionix5891 (1228718) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:08PM (#26425887)

    unleash the nerds!!

  • I have just started playing with it, and almost immediately found to run Google Chrome in the 64-bit version you need to add a parameter to the executable. Don't have any ISO's to test right now, anyone know if it lets you mount them, or a 3rd party solution that works?
  • by aweraw (557447) * <aweraw@gmail.com> on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:13PM (#26425951) Homepage Journal

    OK, so wasn't Windows 7 supposed to be usable on netbooks? If it's got the same requirements as Vista, then how the hell is that going to work exactly?

    Sounds like I'll not be changing my habits much: Windows for Games, Linux for everything else.

    • by XMode (252740) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:18PM (#26426005)

      MS will hold off on release until netbook manufacturers have high enough specs to run 7.. Duh!

      • by MrNaz (730548) * on Monday January 12, 2009 @10:05PM (#26426539) Homepage

        So they're planning a release around 2045? Right about when pocket calculators can play Crysis.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Real1tyCzech (997498)

        No idea.

        I installed this on a 1.6 Ghz (single Core ancient laptop with 1GB of RAM and an ATi Mobility 200 Integrated GPU.

        After running Windows Experience Index, much to my absolute shock, it enabled Aero and actually rune *well*.

        Vista never would have done this in a million years. I believe Windows 7 runs *better* at it's "minimum requirements" than Vista ever did or will.

    • by c_forq (924234) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:20PM (#26426017)
      I am wondering that too. Currently Windows 7 and the few applications I have added take up around 20 gigs. I don't think that is too bad, but no way in hell I can see trimming it down for a 8 gig SSD and have any room for anything meaningful.
      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:44PM (#26426321) Homepage Journal

        The current beta seems to Windows 7 Ultimate... Good grief they have learned nothing... My guess is we will be seeing at least 5 or 6 version of Windows 7
        Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, and Enterprise come right to mind. I just hope they don't offer 32 and 64 bit versions of each...
        I just found out one of my programs that I tested under W2k,XP, and Vista doesn't work right under Vista 64!!!! And what is worse I can not figure out what is causing it!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ihmhi (1206036)

          I wish they would either go with:

          a) A pure Home/Business model, sorta what they had with XP (there were three versions of each: OEM, Retail, and VLK).

          b) Cookie cutter OS. Comes with barebones features and you buy extras - everything from Minesweeper to MS Office, all available for DDL. Pretty much like Steam.

      • by nschubach (922175) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:45PM (#26426333) Journal

        The base install (32-bit) is 4.9G... you'd have very little space left for other apps without stripping it down.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      By the time windows 7 is released netbooks will be running second gen atom processors

    • by Compholio (770966)

      OK, so wasn't Windows 7 supposed to be usable on netbooks? If it's got the same requirements as Vista, then how the hell is that going to work exactly?

      Or they could re-define "netbook", "works", or release a special stripped-down version.

      Sounds like I'll not be changing my habits much: Windows for Games, Linux for everything else.

      Wine...

    • by Bios_Hakr (68586)

      I run Vista on an older laptop. I disabled all the visual styles and set the theme to "Windows 2000". I also disabled a bunch of stuff like UAC and some of the dumber services.

      When you start turning things off in Vista, it seems to run okay on older hardware. The OS does a performance check, but fails to cut back on enough things to keep the OS usable by default.

    • by MBoffin (259181) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:34PM (#26426203) Homepage

      My experience doesn't match their assessment. I'm running Windows 7 on my Dell Mini and it runs faster than Windows XP Home ran on this exact same machine.

      • by dfn_deux (535506) <datsun510.gmail@com> on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:48PM (#26426357) Homepage
        Likewise I'm finding that Windows 7 feels subjectively more responsive than XP on the same hardware. So far I'm really liking the beta, but as a microsoftie friend of mine pointed out, "the vista betas worked really well too...." I'm not going to go off the handle and run this on my laptop or work machines (instead of linux), but I could easily see keeping this as the OS on my one windows desktop machine that I use for gaming...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by eebra82 (907996)

        My experience doesn't match their assessment. I'm running Windows 7 on my Dell Mini and it runs faster than Windows XP Home ran on this exact same machine.

        I experienced the same thing as you and so did a lot of other people. The thing is that Anandtech doesn't mention what system they tested Windows 7 on, but it sounded like a decent machine. Vista runs really well on modern computers so it's obvious that you won't notice a difference if you already have a speedy system.

        If you test it on a Dell Mini or a netbook, here's where the little extra matters. I installed it on my Eee and noticed a LOT of extra speed that I didn't have with Vista.

        Also, the summa

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Samah (729132)

        That's funny, I found the same thing with Vista (64-bit). Being hardware-accelerated, Aero runs incredibly smooth compared to XP. The library prefetching in Vista makes application startup a breeze too. I'm no MS fanboy, but I think a lot of the current Vista-bashing is uncalled for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mista2 (1093071)

      You just need more powerful netbooks 8)

  • What's the point?? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by digitalhermit (113459) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:16PM (#26425987) Homepage

    I wonder what Win7 is supposed to fix. I'm probably in the minority, but I actually like the Vista GUI. It's cleaner, a little "Tonka Toy" in areas, but seems more polished than XP. What I don't like about Vista are the problems with wireless, power, CPU utilization, random disk storms, and some strange memory issues when running large JVMs. If Win7 fixes the non-gui related issues then I won't mind using it.

    Strangely enough, on my Linux desktops I prefer a very minimal GUI such as fluxbox or xfce4. I turn off almost everything except for a gkrellm monitor. I did play with compiz and beryl for a while, and it was interesting at first, but quickly became annoying.

    • by anaesthetica (596507) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:26PM (#26426109) Homepage Journal

      I don't think it's supposed to fix anything fundamental. The article makes it clear that Windows 7 seems to focus on all-around issues of polish and usability. There are a few significant under-the-hood changes, but this remains a minor point-release based on the major changes that Vista made. Pushing this out as Windows 7 instead of Vista SP2 probably has to do with the widespread negative association people have with the "Vista" name itself. Vista got so much bad press, even if SP2 introduced all these fixes and made Vista usable and polished, people still wouldn't adopt it. Releasing it as Windows 7 solves that problem.

      I'm an Apple user, but it seems to me that Microsoft is focusing on the same things that Apple usually gets right: polish and user experience. As long as Windows 7 doesn't run like a dog, I think it will be a competitive release, and not one that Apple will be able to mock with the same ease as Vista in their Mac-vs-PC commercials. Meanwhile, Apple seems to be doing the opposite--taking time off from features and user experience to work on the under-the-hood changes. Windows 7 and Snow Leopard will be an interesting match-up.

      • by timmarhy (659436) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:37PM (#26426249)
        windows 7 is to vista what win98 was to win95. if people still aren't understanding this, they have problems
        • by phoenixjim (1259994) on Monday January 12, 2009 @10:29PM (#26426761)
          Actually, from what I can see, Windows 7 is to Vista what Windows 98 Second Edition was to Windows 98. Yes, there are a few added features, but for the most part it is Vista revisited. And they are not releasing it as SP2 because they want to make money - and historically, service packs have been released free of charge. Since Vista sales have not been what MS wanted them to be, they are trying to make up for that with a name change - but I don't see anything that distinguishes "7" from Vista other than the name. I think that anyone with a Vista license should be able to plug their vista key into "7" and get activated instantly. It won't happen, but it would be the right thing for MS to do. At the very least, they could offer "7" as a Vista upgrade for 10 or 20 dollars, as they did with Second Edition (for 98 users).
          • by (pvb)charon (685001) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @04:07AM (#26429463) Homepage

            It's not only a matter of making money. Everybody and their dog has heard that this "Vista" thing sucks. Hell, it's even hit mainstream news. So the only reasonable thing they can do is write it off as one giant failure and tell people that "Windows 7" is something completely different. Just releasing an update or a service pack wouldn't make a difference to people's perception.

          • Not even close. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by bhpaddock (830350) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @05:50AM (#26430083) Homepage

            This is Windows XP to Vista's Windows 2000, end of story.

            Windows 2000 was more secure, more reliable, and was architecturally a major milestone for Windows. But it had some really troubled beta releases, and suffered many delays and resets (it had been codenamed Cairo and was supposed to include the Object Oriented File System, but most of that plan was scrapped about halfway through). It also broke a lot of compatibility, had heftier machine requirements, had major issues with games, had major issues with drivers thanks to the whole new driver model. Many of these cleared up over time (by service packs, maturing of the ecosystem, etc), but tons of people said they'd never upgrade from Windows 98, which was lighter and faster and better for games. But when XP came along, they upgraded.

            Windows Vista was more secure, more reliable, and was architecturally a major milestone for Windows. But it had some really troubled beta releases, and suffered many delays and resets (it had been codenamed Longhorn and was supposed to include WinFS (Windows Future Storage), but most of that plan was scrapped about halfway through). It also broke a lot of compatibility, had heftier machine requirements, had major issues with games, had major issues with drivers thanks to the whole new driver model. Many of these cleared up over time (by service packs, maturing of the ecosystem, etc), but tons of people said they'd never upgrade from Windows 98, which was lighter and faster and better for games. But when Windows 7 comes along, they'll upgrade.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheNetAvenger (624455)

            , but for the most part it is Vista revisited. And they are not releasing it as SP2 because they want to make money - and historically, service packs have been released free of charge

            Good theory, but it doesn't fit reality...

            1) Vista SP2 is in beta, and it also improves performance of Vista and reduces Vista's HD space required. Also new Bluetooth in SP2, fixes, etc. So if you are looking for SP2, there really is one with normal SP2 level of features. (SP2 has enough features, Apple would put up a 300 Featu

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DigiShaman (671371)

          Close, but I would say Windows 7 from Vista is equivalent to going to Win98SE from Win98.

      • by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:45PM (#26426329) Journal

        They've definitely improve the basic disk footprint. Vista-64 defaulted to nearly 14GB on my notebook (including swap and hibernation files). Windows 7 came in at a little over 7GB.

        It is, as timmarhy points out, akin to Win98 compared to Win95. But Win98 is the part of Win9x that everyone remembers most pleasantly (or for some least painfully). There are still some things that I don't like about Windows 7, but as I just installed it over the weekend, I haven't had much chance to beat up on it yet. I do seem to recall that there were fewer UAC prompts installing software, though.

      • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Monday January 12, 2009 @10:26PM (#26426735)

        Polish and User Experience in my view IS the operating system.

        What the OS does for me is hide all of the ugliness of computers.

        I just want to run a bunch of applications. Be able to switch between apps quickly. Setup a network to media with my XBox. Find files I'm looking for and boot quickly. It's all "Surface" stuff. But for me Vista has been incredibly stable so I haven't seen any need for improvement.

        Windows 7 has added a lot of really nice things on top of Vista. People buy new operating systems because they increase their efficiency. That's why people love a mac. Those are the important new features. Being able to drag a window to the side of the screen in a big new feature. It might not take as many dev hours but it's a huge time saver for the user.

        Service Packs fix bugs. New versions add features. Windows 7 is as much about adding features as it is bug fixing. And so far I've really liked a lot of the new features. I like that I don't have to manage my music and video sharing with my Xbox independently of my Zune independently of my WMP and I look forward to Winamp taking advantage of it as well.

        I like the new taskbar even if I had to enable labels and disable application grouping. I don't like that it mixes running apps and icons but at the same time I do kind of have to remind myself "Why do I care?" At most I usually only have 2 icons mixed in that aren't running. And since figuring that out I've reorganized my pinned icons so that I rarely have an 'orphaned' icon.

        I don't notice any performance bump. Then again I don't own a computer with less than 3GB of RAM and really... what excuse is there for only having 1GB of RAM? You can buy 1GB of RAM for $15.

        I like the new wifi widget.

        I like the new driver search feature (it found new updated drivers automatically and installed them. Handy!)

        I like the new taskbar look and I like that I can change the taskbar's color. Seriously. I have to look at it all day. I didn't want black on my black background.

        I can't stand that MSN now won't go to the notifications are and instead goes to my taskbar leaving TWO!! TWO!!!! STUPID #$*)@# taskbar entries for the same application.

        I don't like that I can't have something pinned to the taskbar and start menu.

        I like being able to drag an application up to the top of my screen to maximize it.

        I like the updates to touch for my tablet PC.

        I like the jump menus. Handy for Microsoft Word.

        I look forward to Device Stage or whatever it is they call their USB connected device system.

        And I look forward to being able to tell media to 'play on' my xbox from my PC.

        And those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head from 2 days of use.

        As far as performance and bugs are concerned perhaps you could call this SP2. But everything beyond that are the kinds of enhancements and improvements that I expect from an OS upgrade.

        What did I get out of XP? An improved Start Menu? Easier Networking? More stability? Was XP just Windows 98 SP3?

        • by radtea (464814) on Monday January 12, 2009 @11:22PM (#26427339)

          People buy new operating systems because they increase their efficiency

          No. People buy new computers that have new operating systems on them because they don't have any choice when they buy a new computer. That's the way Microsoft sells software: to distributors, not to end-users.

          How many copies of Vista do you think would have sold if users had been told, "Well, you can have an XP system that is exactly like what you've been used to running problem free for the past few years, or you can have Vista, which won't work with some of your hardware and be slow and unresponsive unless you pay more for the machine it's on"?

          My guess is: not very many. XP is a pretty good system. And by the way, XP had an NT kernel, so no, it was nothing like Win98 SP3.

  • Feh to the new UI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swb (14022) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:19PM (#26426013)

    I (foolishly, naively, but showing mostly uncrushable optimism) downloaded the beta and installed it only to be confronted what looked like Server 2008 minus the "classic" theme, perhaps "diet Vista".

    Am I the only one that's more turned off by the Vista UI than the shitload of crap under the hood? I find tasks I can do simply and quickly, and with a fair amount of transparency with the "classic" UI, to be made highly opaque by the Vista (for lack of a better word) UI and involving much more effort, often MORE clicking, MORE bullshitting around. I did a Server 2008 server setup the other day (could have done 2003, but it was a small client doing filesharing only, so it was a good way to get my feet wet) and I was astonished that they had managed to make NTFS permissions editing and sharing setup involve more work with less control of the outcome than Server 2003.

    Maybe I'm just getting Old And In The Way, but I'm missing the reason why they have to change the way some tasks are performed and the structure of the GUI. It seems like they're just making it different to be different and dumbing it down even dumber than it already was. Is there some sensible reason why the GUI needs to be so substantially changed?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      Warning! Windows 7 is not Windows 2000

      I'm starting to think this is the label that needs to be affixed to the Windows 7 box that would appease most slashdot readers.

      Windows 2000 was the OS Slashdot decided they would like. Everything after that gets judged by rose tinted glasses.

  • by owlnation (858981) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:20PM (#26426015)
    So... the summary is basically saying that the problems everyone complained about with Vista, seem to be basically still there with Windows 7?

    Er... this may seem like a stupid question, but what did they actually improve -- if not the things people were complaining about? Windows 7 beta seems to have had favorable reviews, so I wonder what people are basing that on, after reading this summary. (though, I note that Vista had favorable reviews on its launch too. It was just when reality bit that the knives came out. Shillery will only get you so far).

    Not that I really care, since I've never used Vista and I won't be using Windows 7. XP still works fine for the one Windows box I have, and after any SP3 a Microsoft product is as good as it gets.
    • Windows 7 beta seems to have had favorable reviews, so I wonder what people are basing that on, after reading this summary. (though, I note that Vista had favorable reviews on its launch too. It was just when reality bit that the knives came out. Shillery will only get you so far)
      As you said so did Vista, but as well Windows 3.0, 3.1, NT, 95, NT4, 98, ME, 2000, XP.

      Still today a journalist would seem like a wacko left wing radical if they dared not to give Microsoft windows some good reviews.

      I feel gone are

    • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:32PM (#26426189) Homepage

      Er... this may seem like a stupid question, but what did they actually improve -- if not the things people were complaining about?

      Windows 7 Beta: Now with more hookers.*

      *Hookers available for tech journalists and reviewers only.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cgenman (325138)

      Most of the real-world complaints about Vista upon launch revolved around application and hardware compatibility, with a nice dose of "the system requirements are what!?!" Also, Vista didn't do anything that XP didn't already do, so why bother?

      Since launch, Vista has recieved a lot of needed application and hardware compatibility, and a lot of under-the-hood fixes. Additionally, the kinds of hardware requirements that Vista needed became commonplace.

      Really, the only substantial launch problem with Vista t

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)

      So... the summary is basically saying that the problems everyone complained about with Vista, seem to be basically still there with Windows 7?

      Er... this may seem like a stupid question, but what did they actually improve -- if not the things people were complaining about? Windows 7 beta seems to have had favorable reviews, so I wonder what people are basing that on, after reading this summary. (though, I note that Vista had favorable reviews on its launch too. It was just when reality bit that the knives came out. Shillery will only get you so far).

      Not that I really care, since I've never used Vista and I won't be using Windows 7. XP still works fine for the one Windows box I have, and after any SP3 a Microsoft product is as good as it gets.

      Basically, Vista solved almost all of its problems by the time SP1 rolled around. As long as you have 2 gigs of RAM, it's faster than your XP SP3 install, and depending on your system, it's most likely more stable. 7 is basically just UI and performance tuning to make it solidly faster than even Vista. See the /. story about zdnet benching the three OSs last week for comparison of speed.

    • by hob42 (41735) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .24opuj.> on Monday January 12, 2009 @11:50PM (#26427565) Homepage Journal

      I've run Vista from beta 2 through the RCs. When the final version was released I got the free upgrade for the "Vista Capable" sub-$500 laptop I'd bought in November.

      While Vista was in beta, it was dismal. There were major issues, and minor issues. Through the beta process, the quality improved - all the minor issues were resolved (things like the taskbar corrupting the desktop when it was moved to the top of the screen instead of the bottom). On the other hand, all the major issues - Aero performance, network performance, gaming performance, hyperactive UAC, and so on - didn't improve at all.

      I know I bought a laptop that compromised a lot for the cost, but I still expected a brand new computer to at least be able to let me double-click a folder in explorer without stalling and spinning for tens of seconds. After suffering for a while, dealing with the issues so that I could stay up with the "cutting edge" and so I'd be familiar when friends asked me to help them with their own new computers, I ended up rolling back to XP.

      I grabbed the 7 beta around midnight Friday, and put it on the same laptop (it's the only system my family won't kill me for messing with). While it isn't as fast as XP, it's really quite useable even with all the Aero features on. I haven't loaded up any games yet, still tinkering around with apps. The performance was the biggest problem for me, and with 7 it's a non-issue completely. The interface is more consistent (a lot of the standard tools and control panels in Vista were untouched from 2k/XP, more of them follow the new UI now). Desktop gadgets work like I expect them to. Lots of things are just "better."

      Regarding hardware requirements... I think what's happened is that MS has learned from the "Vista Capable" fiasco and that even though 7 could run and perform on lighter hardware than Vista, they're keeping the higher standard so that you can actually expect such a "minimum" system to be used on a daily basis.

  • Ob XKCD (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:22PM (#26426039)

    xkcd 528 [xkcd.com]:

    "What are you doing?"
    "Trying the Windows 7 Beta"
    "Why is it showing a picture of Hitler?"
    "I don't know. I can't get it to do anything else."
    "There's no UI?"
    "No, just Hitler."
    "Did you try Control-Alt-Delete?"
    "It just makes Hitler's eyes flash."
    "Huh... well, it's better than Vista."
    "True."

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:24PM (#26426063) Homepage

    So in a nutshell, Windows7 is rebranded Vista SP2. That in itself is fine with me, since SP2 is about when Microsoft O/Ses get stable enough for production use. And the taskbar and other UI changes generally look to be an improvement.

    However, the big concern many, including myself, have with Windows7, is DRM ... is it overloaded with DRM that limits software usefulness / degrades performance?

    Ron

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GrpA (691294)

      The problem is that DRM is like broken glass just under the water of a running stream. Even after you rip yourself open on it, you're still not completely sure what caused the injury in the first place.

      Anyway, it doesn't support mounting an ISO under any software that I tried and I'm guessing it was DRM related. Sometimes it went through the motion and then blocked it at the last moment. This was extremely frustrating as I ended up having to use an ISO reader and copying installation files to a directory.

      Th

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      However, the big concern many, including myself, have with Windows7, is DRM ... is it overloaded with DRM that limits software usefulness / degrades performance?

      Ron

      No.

      It only limits software usefulness if the software in question is taking advantage of DRM. If you want to playback DRMed music. Then yes. It will limit usefulness. But you know what limits usefulness of a DRMed file even more than a DRM playback system? A system which has no DRM.

      It's like my Zune. Yes. I have DRMed music which can only be played back while I'm a ZunePass subscriber. But I love it! I just subscribed and being able to just easily jump from artist to artist and find new music that I

      • by remmelt (837671) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @05:23AM (#26429925) Homepage

        I'd like to turn that around and say you can do all those things not because of DRM, but in spite of it.

        DRM is only necessary to support the aging business model of a couple of large conglomerates. It has nothing to do with bringing more service or value to you, the customer. Yes, they tell you that the DRM enables you to do all the things you mentioned, but that's just a side benefit that gets spun into a selling point.

        If the studios would think of some other business model, the music they are so desperately trying to protect (from you!) would be "free" to pass around and sample.

        I'm sure you've heard all the arguments against DRM before so I won't repeat them here. I certainly admit that the features you mention are great. I'll just add that they would be possible on all phones/music players/computers if it were not for DRM.

  • FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GFree678 (1363845) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:25PM (#26426091)

    For goodness sake, the majority of comments I read about Win 7 are almost overwhelmingly positive. Why must Slashdot continue to moan when Microsoft appear to have learnt from their mistakes with Vista? It's fucking annoying.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by owlnation (858981)

      For goodness sake, the majority of comments I read about Win 7 are almost overwhelmingly positive. Why must Slashdot continue to moan when Microsoft appear to have learnt from their mistakes with Vista? It's fucking annoying.

      It's not Slashdot, it's an article on Ars Technica. Secondly, Vista had overwhelming positive reviews when it was released too. And the only conclusion, in hindsight, that can be drawn from that, is that Microsoft has a lot of shills, and will pay a lot of money to get good publicity

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by davmoo (63521) on Monday January 12, 2009 @10:11PM (#26426619)

      What the hell, I got karma out the ass, so I'll answer your question.

      Slashdot continues to moan because the average commenter has neither ran the beta or used Vista for longer than 5 minutes. Its more fun to bitch about Microsoft than to actually use the product.

      Its also fun to sit and read some of the bitch comments and see how many Slashdotters overlooked the "beta" part, bitch about missing features, and apparently thought they were downloading the final RTM code.

      I've never had a lick of trouble running Vista. Nor have I had a lick of trouble in the two weeks I've been running this beta. But then I made sure to put it on a modern PC built with Vista in mind, not my grandfather's Packard-Bell 486 with 4 meg of ram.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        What the hell, I got karma out the ass, so I'll answer your question.

        Slashdot continues to moan because the average commenter has neither ran the beta or used Vista for longer than 5 minutes. Its more fun to bitch about Microsoft than to actually use the product.

        Its also fun to sit and read some of the bitch comments and see how many Slashdotters overlooked the "beta" part, bitch about missing features, and apparently thought they were downloading the final RTM code.

        I've never had a lick of trouble running Vista. Nor have I had a lick of trouble in the two weeks I've been running this beta. But then I made sure to put it on a modern PC built with Vista in mind, not my grandfather's Packard-Bell 486 with 4 meg of ram.

        Yes that's nice. It's clear MS didn't finish the OS. Because of things like this [imageshack.us]. They didn't even bother making the Aero UI that they hyped up for so long mesh with the rest of the OS. They took the Desktop Properties window (right click->Properties) in Windows XP, and just separated the tabs and provided a link to each one. Boy that's an improvement.

        Or how about having to click 3x more than XP just to get to the network connection status or, Bill Gates forbid, make changes to the TCP/IP settings. Jeez

  • by zwekiel (1445761) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:29PM (#26426165)
    After reading the article, it seems like Windows 7 has changed some things which really did not need changing, not fixed some of the more irritating problems from Vista, like UAC, and has little to offer in the way of performance benefits. According to the article, it's about a 10% increase in performance, which is really negligible at this point.

    What Microsoft needs to do is reconsider every part of their operating system to see its actual value in the operating system. Keep the things that don't need changing, and don't just change them to have shiny new stuff to demo. The task bar was fine as it is. Get back to the basics and focus on the core of the operating system. Reduce its weight, reduce the fluff. I like the approach Apple is taking with Snow Leopard. Too often do operating system vendors think what users really want are shiny new dongles and gadgets. I, for one, want a usable, stable, and fast Operating System.

    This is not just a Microsoft flame, either. I also think this Compiz Fusion business on Linux is quite silly. Adding cheap flashy effects, which offer very little in usability, but add expensive speed requirements should not be the aim of any operating system creator. /rant>
  • by ustolemyname (1301665) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:44PM (#26426319)
    Shutdown button... has the word "shutdown" on it. This is the biggest improvement over vista.
  • Windows 7 != Vista (Score:4, Informative)

    by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Monday January 12, 2009 @10:41PM (#26426899)

    I know I'm going to be down-modded for this, but it must be said.

    Let me start off by saying that Windows Vista is no longer the piece of shit that it once was. Ever since SP1, the many problems that Vista used to have have been gone. I was using Vista Ultimate since July and had absolutely no issues with anything, and it actually runs faster (gasp!) than XP on my machine. (Let me point out that my machine has a Q6600, 4GB of RAM, and an 8800GT)

    Now that that's out of the way, allow me to tell about how much better Windows 7 is. I've been using 7even for three weeks. I installed the leaked build 6959, and besides a few major problems with Firefox's rendering, I had no issues with it. I then installed 7000 a couple days before its official release because I couldn't stand how horrible Firefox was acting up. And finally, I downloaded and installed Windows 7 x64 from the public beta site and got a legitimate key. With each new installation brought new improvements to speed and functionality.

    7even is not Vista with an updated UI. Besides the obvious UI improvements (which took some time to get used to, but I find them more useful than before), just using 7even, you will notice that Microsoft must have put a lot of time and money into rewriting and optimizing code. An argument could be made to call 7even "Vista SP2", but I am convinced that there are enough updates and improvements that separate 7even from Vista that it deserves its own name. Microsoft removed so much bloat, improved UAC, added a couple necessary features, and added much-needed improvement to features present in Vista (for example, an AWESOME improvement to the defragmenter that makes me actually want to use it rather than a third-party program). And the taskbar, while some accuse it of copying the Mac, is actually an improvement of Mac's dock... You can't switch between individual windows in Mac, which is something that pisses me off being an employee of a TV station who uses Macs with Final Cut Studio.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by guruevi (827432)

      I don't know what it is with all these people saying Vista runs fine on their uber-new machine. I work in research and education we simply don't have money to spend on extra hardware to run stupid stuff. We run Mac's and we're still using mostly PowerPC G5, some with Leopard some with Tiger, 2GB of RAM in most machines. I can't afford a 8800GT or an extra 2GB of RAM just to run my OS.

      We have a few Intel machines for our heavy stuff. If we buy (and we did recently buy) an 8800GT it's to run Cuda and if we bu

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Killer Eye (3711)

      You can't switch between individual windows in Mac, which is something that pisses me off being an employee of a TV station who uses Macs with Final Cut Studio.

      There are several ways to switch between windows on a Mac:
      - Open the menu of a Dock icon for a running app; all windows are listed.
      - Open the Window menu from the menu bar while the app is in front.
      - Use the keyboard (command-tilde or shift-command-tilde for open windows; control-F3 to focus the Dock and tab between icons).
      - Use Exposé.
      - Click o

    • by joranbelar (567325) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @12:14PM (#26434381) Homepage

      Wow, if 7even is that much better than 6ix was, I can't wait until 8ight comes out.

      I only have 2wo questions for you: since you installed 3hree different versions (one even be4our it was officially released), did you find that 9ine times out of 10en, the 60ixty-4our bit version lacked driver support four your devices?

      And also, are you aware that the number "seven" does not, in fact, begin with a "7"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thtrgremlin (1158085)
      ha ha, sorry, but this is funny. That was the whole issue with Vista as far as I understood it: You needed something like Q6600, 4GB of RAM, and an 8800GT and had to get ultimate edition for it to work correctly. If you didn't have the hardware, it ran very poorly. If you didn't get ultimate edition, then it INTENTIONALLY crippled your hardware from being able to perform to spec. Have you even been listening at all? Get home basic edition and install it on an Asus eee pc, then maybe you will have somethin
  • I gave it a shot (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2009 @11:39PM (#26427481)

    I actually installed it on an old P4 machine with a built in graphics card and 512MB of ram. Most of the components of the computer rate about a 3 on the performance scale with the video card and 3D bits coming in at a one. So here's what I found.

    1. I was able to work with Excel without a problem. It opened up and ran as fast as a dual core machine running XP. So that's fine.

    2. Installation speeds were completely in line with what I'm used to. I installed Firefox, Flash, Adobe Reader and Office 2007. I didn't run into any problems.

    3. The OS' installation was seemless. I didn't try to upgrade and just let it go from scratch. Once I finished the basic setup I just let it sit for about an hour and it did it itself. Once it finally booted up I didn't need to install new drivers. I really liked this to be honest given how painful driver installations and downloads can be.

    4. The interface is almost the exact same as Vista. Now I have no trouble finding what I need when doing vista tech support. Going to the start menu and typing "event" then hitting enter takes less time for me than going: control panel -> admin tools -> event viewer. It's also easier to describe to new users. Ditto for hitting a command prompt since I get to skip the extra set of going to run. That said, I am in the minority here.

    6. I ran the chess game, and that ran really slowly. This looks like it was due to the graphics card issue so it's understandable. I think I may try putting in a better card and giving it another try.

    So yeah, that's been my Windows 7 experience so far. It basically feels like an improved slimmed down version of Vista because I know there is no way Vista could run that well at 512MB of RAM.

  • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @01:21AM (#26428253) Homepage

    TFA has six pages, almost all of which were praise for Windows 7, and yet the "summary" picks out three choice sentences that were negative.

    Nevermind the new features (both under the hood and with the UI), nevermind all the annoyances of Vista that this undoes, nevermind the ZDNet tests that show 7 to be faster than XP and Vista.

    No, let's scan the entire article and post the most damning phrases we can find and call that a summary.

    And no I'm not new here.

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