Monday, January 19, 2009

Why I won't run Windows 7 (for now)

I've been pegged by many as a chronic early adopter.  And, well, I am.  I had to create a partition to try Windows 7, and I've tried it for several hours for a couple weeks.
After trying it, I've decided I'm not going to run it.  For now.

  • Visual Studio has some issues on it.  I can’t run it if an app I use every day has problems.
  • It's a pain to re-install everything just the way I want it.  I think my personal limit is about two Windows reinstalls a year.  I've already done one at home and one at work in the last six months.  While I'm pretty confident that Windows 7 is only going to see this one public beta before release in the summer, I don't really want to deal with any potential screwups that require a reinstall before release.  On this note… I'd like to see a more sandboxed system, as outlined on UnsolicitedDave.
  • There really aren't any features I'm dying to use.  Vista has a life-changing feature for me:  hit the Windows key and start typing to search.  I now can’t stand sitting in front of XP because I can’t do that.  So far, Windows 7 hasn’t revealed any features like that yet.  I’m not yet sold on the new taskbar.  I kind of like the new widget (replacement of sidebar) stuff, but wouldn’t really run Windows 7 until I wanted to develop for it.  Some of the window-snapping stuff is nice.
  • It’s Vista, and I like Vista.  Vista was a failure and Windows 7 is looking like a success already.  That’s all marketing.  The thing people don’t realize about Windows 7 is that it’s just a rehashed Vista.  Vista needs help – mostly UAC and some of the more arcane management and control panel UIs they decided to add – but I’ve run it every day for 3 years and think it’s fine.  I insist on it now because I run 64-bit and Vista x64 has better driver support than XP x64, plus that Windows-to-search key I insist on.

Anyway, Windows 7 is looking promising, but it’s really just Windows 6.1 (Vista is 6.0, for those not aware).  In fact, 6.1.7000 is the actual version number of the beta build. 

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