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How do you like Windows 7?

  1. Jun 4, 2009 #1
    Just curious of what other peoples opinions of W7rc are from the physics nerd point of view? So far, I think its great and I have yet to have any compatibility issues. Matlab 2008a runs great on it along with Comsol 3.5. I don't know if its just because its 64-bit or what but so far I definitely like it over XP and Vista. The application and program management is really nice too plus the whole interface looks just wicked awesome!

    It's still a bit of a memory hog though. With a fresh install I get 660MB on boot, compared to 136 for XP, 890 for Vista, and 88 for Ubuntu. Theres a lot of room for slashing though, I'm hoping to get it down to ~350ish for the OS alone which seems reasonable considering the pretty interface and features it has.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2009 #2


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    I don't use Windows, but from what I've seen, a lot of the "new" features are only new to microsoft! For example, the "new" search function looks a lot like Apple's spotlight, the "new" desktop enhancements look a lot like Apple's expose, the new IE 8 features look exactly the same as google search box in firefox, the new taskbar is somewhat like Apple's dock (in that you can pin any program to the new taskbar, and write new emails by clicking on the outlook button).

    Of course, I can't comment until I've tried it, but it really doesn't look too exciting; it certainly doesn't look anything new!
  4. Jun 4, 2009 #3
    Windows 7 is basically just the same as Vista, but with very minor performance improvements (eg, for booting up and file transfer), and a slightly tweaked task bar. It's a step in the right direction, at least. However, I won't be taking that step for a while to give everyone time to work out driver issues.
  5. Jun 4, 2009 #4
    Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding you but you have always been able to do those things since XP. How is OS 10/X any different?

    That was my first impression as well. It does boot a lot faster, actually it does everything faster than Vista. But I quickly took notice to things like the much better UAC. It also has a lot of cool functionality. Like when I plug in my camera, it gives me the option to directly go to the manufacturers website and install the drivers. The taskbar is also much better organized and gives you the option to disable those pop up window things and they managed to put the shutdown button in the right place.
  6. Jun 4, 2009 #5


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    Well, if you think that's the case, then perhaps you should have a word with whoever wrote the "what's new" page for Windows 7!

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  7. Jun 4, 2009 #6


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    The only thing that sounds new (to windows) about the "new" taskbar is that it says if you hover over the icons, you'll get thumbnails of what's open in those programs. OSX doesn't quite do it that way, but you can get icons of open applications and recent downloads with a single click.

    In XP, I don't recall being able to easily rearrange icons in the taskbar. It wasn't hard to add and remove them, but don't they just show up in the order added? And some things by default end up in certain places? Though, in XP, the taskbar is fixed in place (you can choose to have it on one edge or another of the screen, but always visible and always the same size) and icons are rather small. With OSX, the dock, which is like the taskbar, can be made to hide until you mouse in its general direction so you have more screen space, and icons resize to fit the dock...larger icons if you have fewer in it, and they are smaller if you want to fit more in...yet, if you are someone who has a lot of things in the dock, you can set it to have them magnified larger as you mouse over them so you can see them more easily...or if that feature is annoying as it is to me, you can turn it off. It sounds like Windows 7 is copying more of those features.

    They are good features, and I don't blame them for including them, but they're hardly novel ideas.

    Though, if Microsoft is going to work on features of something, rather than more tinkering with windows, I wish they'd get to work cleaning up the disaster they've made out of Office 2007. Our university is finally switching email clients (long overdue), and all the windows users have to upgrade to Office 2007 now...there's a lot of crying because people have been resisting that upgrade (the few of us brave guinea pigs who installed it early have advised them to stay far far far away for as long as they could)...usually after a few days or a week of using upgraded software, I can find everything I need and have adjusted to the new looks and locations of things...a few years later, I still get lost in Office 2007. It's a hindrance to productivity, not a help.
  8. Jun 4, 2009 #7
    You can actually do all of those things in XP and then some. You can make the taskbar larger, hide it until your mouse hovers on it, cascade/organize apps, etc. Windows XP won't show you a preview of the window when you hover over it in the taskbar but can have it show you the window when you alt-tab between programs. XP has actually quite a bit of features and customizable options that I think most people just don't know about so they assume it can't do it. For example, when I use multiple desktops with XP (yes, XP does this too just like Ubuntu) people think I'm using some kind of strange hacked operating system.

    I will agree with you about Office 07 though. I'm not a big fan of it either. Last time I used it I tried writing just a simple macro and got lost real quick.

    EDIT: Made a mistake. Windows XP will magnify objects on the taskbar, I just didn't know about.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  9. Jun 4, 2009 #8
    The UAC is the number one good feature about Vista. They need to add more security, not less, in my opinion. Windows 7 cripples UAC so that a hacker can bypass it if they want to. All for what..so you don't have to click ok on a popup once a week?

    The Office 2007 interface is a nightmare.
  10. Jun 5, 2009 #9


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    I like the UAC, but the comment's not fair -- on Vista, I click the UAC about ten times daily. (Of course I'm a power user.) I think that's a fair trade for security, though it's hard to convince users of that.

    I love Office 2007, though it was hard to get used to it. It took me about a month, maybe two. It's far better than the old version. I was using OpenOffice when Office 2003 was out and it seemed just as good.* Now that I use 2007 at work, it's harder to work without the extra features.

    But even though I liked Vista, I'm not a very good advertisement for Microsoft. I jumped ship with my new computer, using Ubuntu instead of XP/Vista/7.

    * Apart from complicated spreadsheets -- I have Excel files that OOo Calc can't handle because the formulas are too difficult for it.
  11. Jun 5, 2009 #10
    Can you elaborate on this? It was my impression that the UAC itself wasn't changed but just the interface for it. For example you can preset your decision for certain applications and a window will just pop up notifying you of a change instead of making you click on it.
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