Monday, November 02, 2009

Windows Seven

Windows Seven

I am usually the last guy to upgrade to new software or hardware, but recently my wife bought a new computer with Windows 7 installed, so I had a chance to play around with it a bit. I must say that the program seems to work better than any Windows version I have ever used. This is just a first look, but for me, that is saying a lot. Windows 7 is no Ubuntu Linux, but for the guys in Redmond, this is something new - a program that seems to work right, right out of the box. Last time they did that was Word 5.0, back in the eighties.

I came late to the Windows party. I stayed with Dos 3.3 until everybody was using Windows 3.1, and I had no choice but to switch to it in the mid 1990s, right after the buggy Windows 95 came out. Now I use Widows XP. When I boot into Ubuntu - I have a dual boot system - I marvel at the precision of the program, the way that everything is easily controllable, even the very fact that everything IS controlled by the user. I HATE the way Windows does so much stuff "in the background" where you don't know what is going on.

My computer is always on, and sometimes I can see the little light that means traffic is going over the web start blinking spontaneously for no apparent reason, but with Windows XP I have no easy way to find out what is going on. If I have Linux up, not only can I easily find out what the traffic is, this never happens in the first place. But then I need easy access to all my Windows docs and apps, and Windows is familiar, so as a result of Windows' ease of use, I use Linux infrequently. Also, if I did not have my computer administration and troubleshooting department at hand (my teenage son) I would be daunted by all the understanding that I do not have about Ubuntu Linux, and my expert is not here most of the time during the day. Little thing called high school.

When they decided to make Windows idiot proof, they were thinking about me. But when my computer needs to stay on for a week, such as when I go on a business trip, I leave it running Ubuntu. That way it will absolutely, positively be up and working, and my VPN can access it. Windows XP could never last for a week without needing a cold boot.

I haven't really tested Windows 7, and I probably will wait to use it for a year or two, but what little I saw these last few days is encouraging. Maybe Redmond finally got something right. It has sure been a while since the last time they did that.