Dumb Windows 7 question

Sorry, I haven’t just crawled out of my cave or anything, but I seem to have totally missed the part where we got told of the benefits of Windows 7 and the justification to migrate.

Please enlighten me.

We mainly use Linux here, there is one Windows XP internet machine for those odd little things that need Windows. (which I noticed the other day has Works on it – never used of course (it has OOo 3)). I have my dev box which is XP and doesn’t go on the internet, Eveything else is Linux, except possibly my next lapper which may well be a MacBook Pro.

I have never had the misfortune to need to use Vista, and as it is the new Win ME I don’t think I even need a copy for testing stuff.

So why would I want to move to Windows 7? what are the must have features? From a happy XP user (with the classic theme of course!) POV.

If there is something compelling I may hold off on the MacBook and get a Win7 box instead, but I havent seen anything yet. Have you?

And what would I do with all the money I saved from choosing a Win box over a MacBook? – Well actually when you look into it the prices are similar, so I wouldn’t even have enough for my bus fare home, well maybe, but certainly not enough for a bag of chips as well.



16 Responses to “Dumb Windows 7 question”

  1. Steve Says:

    Speaking as someone with a MacBook and Windows 7 (build 7100) on Boot Camp right now, I could say that I’m now planning to move on from XP. Windows 7 has been less trouble to install than could be anticipated, and I figure 64-bit Windows 7 is fairly typical and it works, probably much like Vista by now. I forget about Vista. I think the reference to Windows ME is probably spot-on, however Windows will probably remain mainstream.

    Personally having to run a Windows OS, Windows 7 may be acceptable. 64-bit makes the extra RAM useful too. I may be wrong but 64-bit Windows XP may have driver problems.

    Boot Camp and Winclone is convenient to backup/restore and keep configurations archived BTW.

  2. Doug Glancy Says:

    I like Windows 7. It (build 7100) seems to run trouble-free for regular home use. One of the big improvements is that the User Access Control has been toned-down from its annoying Vista version; it’s configurable and by default doesn’t question everything you try to run.

    I like the file access/Windows Explorer/”Run box on steroids” aspects of it – if you type in “mstsc” it finds it, if you type “Excel” it offers the various versions you’ve got installed. And niggly though it is, I enjoy being able to move running programs and shortcuts around in the taskbar. The taskbar preview windows are nice too.

    I haven’t tried it, but there is an XP emulation mode that sets up an integrated virtual machine in which you can run “legacy” programs – by “integrated,” my understanding is that once it’s set up, when you start the legacy program you don’t notice that it’s running inside a virtual machine.

    The version of Windows Virtual Machine that runs on 7 supports USB, I believe and I also like the way it handles networking a little better.

    Overall, I like it. Nothing earth-shattering, but some nice improvements. I don’t think I’ll ever get profiicient enough at Linux that, for instance, I’ll be able to get my wireless printer to print wirelessly, and in Win 7 it’s as easy as in XP, which is fairly easy, especially after the 10th time.

    What is it that you like about the MacBook?

  3. sam Says:

    If you asked this question about Vista… the only compelling feature I found was “Ready Boost” – If you insert a pen drive, half the available space can be used as RAM…good for machines running 1GB ram and for people 10 GB external drives….I am sure they have this in in Win 7

  4. Bob Phillips Says:


  5. Charles Williams Says:

    I plan to have a test system for windows 7 64 bit by the end of the year.
    Then probably migrate over by the end of next year.

    Reason: 64-bit Excel and stability.

  6. Dick Moffat Says:

    On the Win vs MacBook issue the issue is not the OS it’s the hardware.

    The MacBook Pro is an Intel Duo Core machine, therefre it’s no different than an HP or Dell machine. I have found the differnece is in quality. My MacBook Pro has proven to me daily for the last three weeks of regular use that it is more robust and stable than any PC I have ever had. Despite having to figure out some key combinations to accomodate for the Mac Keyboard (like Fn Delete to do a right delete while the “delete” button is actually what PC’ers would call a “Backspace”) I have found the benefits huge.

    It has had no trouble picking up all my USB devices including Bluetooth ones (which have always been flaky in my experience). The feel of the keyboard and of the entire machine is just solid and the power management, while not as long when booted as a PC as in OSx, seems t keep readjusting itself to give me longer and longer life.

    The real benefit is when using VMWare inside the OSx operating system – WOW !! It loads FAST, and it takes advantage of the power management. In addition you can add any USB device (including a Smart-Card) some of which simply will not work with MS’s Virtual Machine software. I am going to slide all the way to running Windiws in VMWare from the Apple OS (where I am now running Win7) for all my Windows work.

    Bottom-line Simon – I love it !! And to date have seen not one negative with lots and lots of positives running my Windows world on a MacBook Pro.

    Thus endeth the advertisement for Apple Imc :-)

    p.s. With regard to Win7 – lucnh is ready and I have to go – later ….

  7. Simon Says:

    Thanks for the inputs
    I like the idea of 64 bit win 7, and I like USB on VMs.
    Can you make the Win7 taskbar as unobtrusive as the XP classic one?
    Dick I think I will rebuild my dev machine as a VM -then I can work on any underlying OS.
    Doug, Apple and MacBooks interest me because its a big trend – it seems everyone I know is buying MacBooks. They seem to have hit that critical mass where most peripherals come with mac drivers too (many don’t have Linux yet – I try and buy stuff that does)

  8. Doug Glancy Says:

    Simon, I’d say the taskbar is as unobtrusive. It’s the same height and you can still auto-hide it and use small icons. It’s got more bells and whistles, (the chief change is that it’s now the taskbar/quick launch toolbar) which I find nicer, but not critical.

  9. Simon Says:

    I thought it was twice as high with no way to get back to a low intrusion classic stylee.
    Being able to move icons would be handy – I’m forever shutting the VBAIDE so I can reopen it and keep it to the right of my wb icons where I can find it.

  10. Harlan Grove Says:

    As for an unobtrusive OS interface, you could use an alternative shell. As long as Win7 lets you set the shell value under the registry key

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

    or equivalent if this has changed under Win7, you don’t need to use Explorer or whatever the default may be. I’ve been using alternative shells for almost 2 years in order to have as minimal an OS interface and a little OS resource drain as possible.

  11. jonpeltier Says:

    I find the Windows 7 taskbar to be similar to the Windows XP taskbar. First, I don’t keep it at the bottom. Four items wide and it’s full. I dock it on the left of the screen. I auto-hide it so its width doesn’t matter (in XP you could just leave it there, with the on-top option unchecked).

    In XP, the taskbar also had the quick launch toolbar on it, so that’s not new to Vista or 7 (in fact, I believe it was there in Windows 95, and for sure it was in 98).

    Some of the bells and whistles make it pretty cool. Typing the name of a program you want it to run, that’s cool.

  12. Doug Glancy Says:

    Jon, the quick launch isn’t in 7 is it? I’m on XP now, but I could swear it was gone from 7 and its function mixed into the taskbar.

  13. jonpeltier Says:

    Doug –

    The capability is there to add a toolbar to the taskbar. In versions past, this toolbar may have been called the Quick Launch toolbar. I just checked mine, and it turns out I’ve been using the Desktop toolbar, which pretty much has everything I’d want to Quickly Launch.

    What’s nice though is you can put focus on the taskbar and start typing, and it tries to figure out what you want it to do. I type “file” and it realizes I want to launch FileZilla.

  14. Doug Glancy Says:


    It sure was called that. I’ve enabled it on dozens of machines over the years!

    I agree, that’s one of the best features.

    Instead of using a separate toolbar, I’ve just drug all the icons I use onto the taskbar, e.g., Excel 2003 is an icon on the taskbar. When I click it, it turns into the wider running Excel button. If I need to open a second instance of something, I right click on the running button and pick the program again. I guess the nice thing about this is it saves a little space, Excel is either an icon or a running button, not both.

  15. Harlan Grove Says:

    Then there are those of us who are incorrigible keyboard addicts. I use a utility that allows me to map [Windows Logo]+[key] keyboard combinations to commands. So, e.g., [Logo]+X launches Excel. I have a dozen or so mappings for the stuff I use regularly and no clear need for anything other than the Start menu entry for everything else. No screen space used.

  16. Patrick O'Beirne Says:

    10 reasons why Windows 7’s XP Mode is a big deal

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