It seems that people love to hate Microsoft and it has become the butt of many jokes over the years, no doubt due to its domination of the personal computer operating system world for so long. Before it became trendy and then eventually just plain sensible to use a Mac operating system, people used to constantly complain about the incredible variety of idiosyncrasies with Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. It seemed that you were only getting used to a particular version and the Seattle-based company would trot out another. If you were in the market for a new PC, you often didn’t have any choice if you had a particular preference for one version of Windows, as the newbie would be automatically “bundled in” at your local electronics store.
Microsoft didn’t do much to assuage its many critics when it first released its Vista version of the Windows operating system – supposedly better, from someone’s point of view, than the popular XP version. As soon as it hit the public, there were a multitude of problems due to unavailability of necessary drivers or a complicated upgrading process. Application providers were slow to release drivers to work with Vista and the new OS came with a variety of annoying features and processes that made many wish they had stuck with their XP.
In the end of October, Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system was released, and the initial verdict is that it’s far superior to Vista and definitely a step in the right direction. Some have compared it favorably with Mac’s latest OSX version, which is good news indeed for Microsoft.
Windows 7 is much more secure than XP, whose users are very much in the marketing crosshairs as they represent a significant number of people who flatly refused to upgrade to Vista. While Vista was toned down and made more user-friendly during its short life, the bad press it received never really went away.
Windows 7 is much more efficient, requiring only half of the memory needed by Vista and it is much quicker to load on startup, also drawing less battery power on your laptop. Those who did not upgrade to Vista from XP will notice significant differences and will take a little while to get used to them, but those who went through the initial pain on Vista will see a much less clunky interface and one which makes the user feel that he or she is far less constrained to tabbing, resizing, fumbling around and the general “1990s” feel of previous incarnations.
For example, features such as Aero Snape allow you to put two applications side-by-side and copy and paste easily, Aero Peek makes windows that you’re not focusing on temporarily transparent and Aero Shake allows you to “shake” a window, thereby closing all others. In short, there’s a much more instantaneous action feel about the whole platform.
In recognition of the fact that homes now have multiple computers and that they should be linked together easily, Windows 7 has a great new networking feature called HomeGroup, enabling you to set up and share any number of files very easily, including access to printers.
It is true to say that Microsoft will find it very difficult to come up with a “perfect” operating system, due to the unbelievable legacy of programs, peripherals and hardware manufacturers reliant on “uncle Microsoft” to function. Windows 7 may not be pain free, but it is a much better product out of the box than Vista ever was.
Adam Toren, Co-Founder of Young Entrepreneur, specializes in developing the profitability of struggling businesses with a specialised and ‘bottom line’ approach. Adam, along with his brother, have created, purchased and sold a variety of companies over the years. At the moment, they own and manage a highly successful publishing company and several dedicated online enterprises.