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First Impressions of Windows 7

I got Windows 7 installed on my primary work computer yesterday. While there are the new GUI features, which I’m sure everyone will notice, there are three things about it which I consider to be regressions from Vista. By that I mean it took me less than an hour of using Windows 7 before I started missing them.

First: In Vista in Explorer you can choose how to group any window. In Windows 7, you can’t. In Windows 7 if the directory you’re viewing is over the network, then there is no grouping. If it’s on your local computer it’ll group for you, how it wants to group. Now while everyone I’ve talked to so far says they haven’t noticed because they never used it, I used that quite a bit in my daily tasks.

Second: The tree view in Explorer doesn’t drill down through single item folders. In Vista if you were navigating the tree view of a directory, and the sub directory only had one directory underneath it, the three view would automatically open the single sub directory. Again, anyone I’ve talked to about this has said, “I never noticed that Vista did that, that’s awesome.” Again, something I used frequently and will miss.

Third: Gadgets don’t move desktop icons: In Vista there’s a sidebar where gadgets live. I like having the sidebar on the left of the screen because that’s where I like my start menu. When the sidebar is over on the left it pushes icons over to make room for it. Now I usually have only three or four icons on my desktop, so it’s kind of nice to be able to access them. So in Windows 7 they got rid of the sidebar and now the gadgets float over the entire desktop. Neat idea, but it falls apart when the gadgets are on the left side of the desktop (where I placed them) and then new shortcuts are showing up underneath them. Since the gadgets float on top of the icons, instead of next to them, new icons can’t be accessed, and the gadgets look funny.

Having used Windows 7 for just one day, those have been my impressions so far. I sure hope more people have a better experience. One nice thing I noticed was Media Player 12. It has network discovery like iTunes has had for years. I do like that.

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