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Old 2009-02-16, 03:33   Link #101
IRJustman
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For my part, I tried 7 on two systems, one a Pentium 4 2.66GHz Dell OptiPlex 270 with 512MB of RAM and an NVidia GeForce MX440 with AGP8X, which I normally use for showing anime, and another, a black.... whitebox (yes, weird way of calling it, but eh) I built myself, which is a Core 2 Duo E4500 with 2GB of RAM with an ATI Radeon HD2600 Pro.

My experiences:

INSTALLATION, OPERATION AND BASIC APPLICATION SUPPORT:

To get video playing back properly, it really needs a WDDM-capable (read: just about any DX9-or-better-capable with Vista drivers) video card. So on the Dell, I had to pull out the low-profile MX440 card and insert a taller ATI Radeon 9550 card to get the results I was looking for. I didn't test it much, but given what little I did with it, it seemed to come up decently quickly and didn't trip on itself. On the Core 2 Duo, which is a paradox in a box--Intel processor, NVidia motherboard chipset, and ATI video card, experience was pretty much the same, only on much newer hardware (most of the parts, except the sound and ethernet cards, are barely a year old).

My biggest problem was due to the fact I use VLAN support on both those machines, even with Intel's drivers which fake it for its FE cards, while its gigabit devices support VLAN tagging in hardware. I'm using an Intel card in my Core 2 Duo machine because NVidia's dot1q VLAN support seriously sucks. I can only set up one tagged VLAN, whereas the Intel allowed me to set up several.

Even with this issue, it was pretty easy to install and supported just about everything I threw at it, what little I did throw at it. I didn't throw much at it because of what I'll explain next.

USER EXPERIENCE:

Despite the ease of getting it set up and how well it ran, believe it or not, I absolutely HATED 7. Probably a lot more than I hate Vista. For one, I am probably one of the very few people who, given a Vista system, will go and completely turn off every bit of eye candy possible. EVERY LAST BIT OF IT. If you count ClearType as eye candy, that is a notable (and likely, the only) exception. Otherwise, I hate eye candy. Aero needs to DIAF as being a resource-hungry pig.

Furthermore, I only use the Classic theme. I do not like my computer looking like Walt Disney threw up on it. And I hate the effects even more. Sure, they're fun to look at, but they waste memory, especially video memory, as well as processing power. I need my computer to work, not look pretty. And I need it to work consistently on all my machines.

Which brings me to another gripe. Microsoft is trying to get rid of a few aspects of Classic, if not Classic itself. One of my favorite features is the quicklaunch bar. I found the "taskbar pinning" "feature" not only confusing, but aggravating. I mistook a pinned item as a running program. I had read somewhere that 7 does have the quicklaunch bar, but it's been disabled because Microsoft doesn't really want people using it anymore. I couldn't try it because I uninstalled 7 from all the machine I had it on out of complete disgust and I don't have any real intention of trying it again until and unless I'm forced to.

I'm still not too happy with UAC, but this time, unlike on Vista where I have it turned completely off (at least the shield shows up, which is better than nothing, I suppose), I did run with UAC on. Much as I hate UAC, it actually showed up a lot less during my runs with 7. Should I ever go with 7 as a platform, I will still very likely tell Microsoft where it can shove UAC.

So, in short, operationally, it looks like Windows 7 has enormous potential to outclass Vista and even XP. However, while UAC is nowhere nearly as intrusive as it was (I will still likely completely disable it since I hate it so much), the GUI/gooey eye candy and Microsoft's limiting the change over to Classic really ruined the experience for me.

My final grade:

Installation: B
Operation: B-
User experience: F

Overall, under the hood, it seems to work a lot better. However, it wants to keep that annoying interface, not completely allowing me to use a tried-and-true interface I'm used to to its fullest.

--Ian.
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Old 2009-02-16, 17:37   Link #102
Vexx
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yay, another Quicklaunch bar fan

ah well... when Win7 finally does enter the house (probably via some laptop), I can see me spending some time creating a "kiosk" user experience for my wife so she won't be banging her laptop on the fireplace mantle in irritation....
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Old 2009-02-16, 18:32   Link #103
Sides
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Quicklaunch bar
If you right click on the taskbar, disable lock the taskbar. Then go to toolbar -> new toolbar and pop in "%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch", without quotation marks. Now right click on the quicklaunch bar and just disable "show text", "show title" and chance to view to large icons. Important thing is you have to keep the taskbar unlocked, or else the quicklaunch bar becames invisible, or actually disappears.
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Old 2009-02-16, 19:37   Link #104
sa547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRJustman View Post
Overall, under the hood, it seems to work a lot better. However, it wants to keep that annoying interface, not completely allowing me to use a tried-and-true interface I'm used to to its fullest.
I think you're not alone in that sentiment: there are some people out there who rather have it plain and simple, and that includes me, who uses Classic to speed up operations. Ditto for some sysadmins who will want a utilitarian user interface rather than distracting eye candy.

Hmmmm... I guess that somewhere out there, someone made a mod or a tweak to switch to Classic.
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Old 2009-02-17, 03:57   Link #105
IRJustman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sides View Post
Quicklaunch bar
If you right click on the taskbar, disable lock the taskbar. Then go to toolbar -> new toolbar and pop in [blah blah blah]
No offense, thanks, but no thanks. I don't want or need the help.

I said I had heard about it but was unable (and now, am unwilling) to try it. However, read on for a big reason which came to light why I have even less desire to ever use Windows 7 once it comes out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
I think you're not alone in that sentiment: there are some people out there who rather have it plain and simple, and that includes me, who uses Classic to speed up operations. Ditto for some sysadmins who will want a utilitarian user interface rather than distracting eye candy.
Eyecandy is just that, distracting. And useless. Like I said, I need my computer to function, not look pretty. The extent I make it look pretty is set ClearType and MAYBE put some nice wallpaper on it, but that's it. Though ClearType is the one bit of eyecandy which actually has real use.

And by trade, I'm a sysadmin, so yes, It HAS To Work(R).

Now, another reason why I likely won't use 7:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?.../02/16/2259257

Ordinarily, I hate Slashdot, but if this proves to be true, it's a case of Microsoft not only being in bed with Big Content and Big Copyright, but doing not just a little bit of hanky-panky.

And the big losers: The consumers.

--Ian.
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Old 2009-02-17, 04:50   Link #106
sa547
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^
^
After reading the comments, it looks more like a FUD: no solid proof, there's only an email address, and already many folks are questioning the allegations.

Let's see what else do we have here:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=154

Quote:
The CI.DLL is made by the Microsoft’s DRM team to ensure the whole machine is in a trusted state to play DRM-protected content. For that reason, CI.DLL also checks the integrity of user-mode processes that are handling DRM-protected content.
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Last edited by sa547; 2009-02-17 at 07:44.
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Old 2009-02-17, 08:06   Link #107
npal
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Allegation? It can be confirmed as much as it wants. Fact is that allegation is based on trying to mod a legitimate program's dll with something that was tampered and obviously unverified. And how's that DRM protection? Inability to crack something suddenly became crippling DRM protection?

I thought I read "user-mode processes that ARE HANDLING DRM-protected content". First of all, is your legally purchased software gonna have any trouble running? My RIPPED Flac media play just fine, as are all my other ripped media, so I fail to see where's the horrible crippling. I mean, that ripped flacs come from CDs I own, but miraculously enough, when I ripped them, they had no DRM installed. Then again, I don't buy stuff from crappy companies that want to DRM the universe. Damn, I ripped them MYSELF in Vista, surely whatever program I used would get crippled in the process cause of the horrible Vista DRM monitoring, that monitors user-created processes blahblah. If you HAVE DRM-protected content, it means it was bought legitimately through normal channels, therefore you agreed to the publisher's DRM protection. What's wrong with the OS actually watching that the DRM is in place (if it does in the end). If you didn't want the DRM, do something about it and actually DON'T BUY IT AT ALL. Many of the DRM movements are getting revoked anyway, even Itunes store is going DRM-free. On the unsigned drivers? What the hell is unsigned code doing in a system? That's the developer's problem really, Microsoft's model calls for signed drivers for system integrity.

See, Vexx, THIS is what I call FUD. The OS has problems but this is not one of them.

PS: Quicklaunch bar. Beta version -> Send Feedback. I imagine that if many people want the quicklaunchbar back, Microsoft will probably re-enable it, or at least have an easy obvious way for users to enable it. You have to be an idiot to disregard a minor complain that many users have and is easy to fix. Personally, I don't care about it and I'm a heavy pc user. I imagine most users won't care about it, the pinned programs thing does the job for me.

Last edited by npal; 2009-02-17 at 08:35.
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Old 2009-02-17, 08:28   Link #108
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That slashdot article was terrible..... There were no proof at all.
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Old 2009-02-17, 13:11   Link #109
felix
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It's slash dot, flating point precission at work! take 0 proof, devide it betwean two idiots, voila 0.99999999 fact. Jokes aside, /. has the same problem as forums, theres too much collective truth, and too little actual proven facts; as in theres no real reason to believe/think-like that, but its the popular opinion so it must be true! (its a sort of self-fuiling contagious stupidity)
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Old 2009-02-17, 15:10   Link #110
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npal View Post

See, Vexx, THIS is what I call FUD. The OS has problems but this is not one of them.
No dispute there, that article was damned stupid even for Slashdot, no links, no refs, no details. Basically a flame troll article which raises the thought of them pulling the same stunt ANN is prone to: "flamebait headlines to attract eyeballs for ad revenue" ... I also see that he's being thoroughly debunked by posters with a clue (even ones that hate Microsoft ). These days, any article authored by "kdawson" should get a "-5" right off the bat they're such garbage.

OTOH, I'll be surprised if the DRM hasn't mutated in some way but so far even Vista has pretty much let me do anything I've tried with my media files. The first time it interferes with an MP3 file that I've ripped from one of my CDs or tries to stop me from playing a fansub - you'll hear about it but so far I've been able to exercise all the Fair Use rights I can think of. I'm about to try digitizing some of my old vinyl records....

Last edited by Vexx; 2009-02-17 at 15:53.
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Old 2009-02-17, 15:16   Link #111
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Originally Posted by Shadow_maste View Post
Now, I installed my copy of the Windows 7 Beta. I have received it with the PC World. It's OK, I think. Only one thing what I really hate is, my Opera can't download the Flash Player. But, it's fast, nice, and stable.
For the moment. I dread to think of the security and loophole exploits it has.
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Old 2009-02-17, 15:55   Link #112
Vexx
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Anyone playing with it... its a BETA. It also has a "drop dead" time setting if I recall. Unless you've swapped out your hard drive to try it out, I really wouldn't suggest running it on your "one and only" machine unless you never do anything important with it (like pay bills or do your homework).
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Old 2009-02-18, 03:44   Link #113
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Quote:
Furthermore, I only use the Classic theme. I do not like my computer looking like Walt Disney threw up on it. And I hate the effects even more. Sure, they're fun to look at, but they waste memory, especially video memory, as well as processing power. I need my computer to work, not look pretty. And I need it to work consistently on all my machines.
Um... Ease of access theme? Never combine taskbar Buttons? and as far as I know Build 7022 has the quicklaunch bar back for people who don't want the superbar. and if you don't like the new start menu with search, then turn the search service off? and use win+r for run...I guess it's funny when you don't know how to navigate the control panel...
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Old 2009-02-18, 06:41   Link #114
felix
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I've been looking at videos on youtube with the so called "superbar". To be honest it seems like some of the vista "improvements" on the same taskbar, a step back in accessability and ease of use. Preview is useless for me, more of a annoyance actually. I do not agree with the over use of icons, I want text or something descriptive not have to learn things like we're using a egyptian alphabet. Aparently the pined items will autostack no matter what so if I had 2-3 Opera windows open (its my simple way of organising tabs and browsing) then I would always have to click that stupid button and anylise the screenshots *fail!*. Also I like animation as much as anyone else, but it gets very annyoing at one point and just want to turn things off; I dont use the fade/scroll thing in Xp for example, most of the vista transparency/fading etc is just for show anyway, I find it a bother when working with it constantly.

Does 7 have a way to use the taskbar the old fashion way and also way to tune down all of its animation fading and popping and transparency and such?
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Old 2009-02-18, 07:05   Link #115
npal
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Nah, pinned items do autostack by default, but that's a behavior that can change through taskbar properties. You can either tell it never to autostack, tell it to autostack if the taskbar is full, or leave the default behavior. You can also have it use small icons instead of the bigger ones. Personally I don't mind it, it feels different, but I got used to it and it hardly hinders me, I use the preview thing obviously, I find navigating to the correct MSN contact window much easier like that (although most of the time, I just look at the text above the preview windows).

Oh... and look here... Even I didn't see that before...

In Right Click -> Personalise, where all the theme are, In the "Ease of Access Theme" (scroll down) there are things like Windows 7 Basic, Windows Classic, blahblahblah. Windows Classic does leave the Menu sorting the same, but otherwise, I take it Aero is disabled, cause I see some ugly thing like a Win 98 theme. Who was it who preferred Classic and stuff again?

Really, people should just navigate around and look a bit. It makes it appear like they are trying to purposefully spread FUD around, no I wasn't talking about you Cats :P

Anyway, I'll try the non-eye candy themes and check. Also note that I'm using the 7000 Beta.

Edit: Ok, reporting a bit. Windows 7 Basic seems like a more enhanced version of Windows Classic. I mean, it HAS some color and some minor eye candy but the preview no longer has images, it has text. The Menu Fading and stuff seems disabled, although I do think the taskbar HAS some transparency, not as obvious as the normal theme.

Windows Classic is the usual horribly ugly Win 98 theme. You have to CLICK the stacked windows to get the Text shown (instead of it popping up on mouse over like the normal and Windows 7 Basic theme. As I said, the Menu sorting is the same, no it's not a Win 98 menu. The Win Button has reverted to a "Start" button, and there's no visible eyecandy around. Not sure about it though cause Right clicking the desktop seems to be more fluid that what I remember Win 98 to be. But yeah, it's ugly enough :P The Taskbar is big, although I suppose if you unlock it, you can tweak it and make it smaller. As I said, you can also use smaller icons by accessing the taskbar properties.

So, ok, we have what, the quicklaunch bar left? I see no obvious way to enable it on my 7000 Beta, except the mentioned registry hack I suppose, but I don't care about the Quicklaunch bar anyway. I can't vouch for the 7022 having the Quicklaunch bar, but I'll scout for screenshots.

But here, http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/0...erbar-overview , a nice superbar overview.

Really people, next time, spend more than 5 minutes with the OS...

Now, is there anything else that makes 7 oh so horrible to use?

@ IRJustman Edit 2: Well, there seems to be an option inside the gpedit.msc that supposedly enables the Quicklaunch bar, but I don't want to try it. INSTEAD though, I tried the REALLY HARD AND NASTY HACK Sides posted The simplicity is ridiculous. But whatever, you don't want it, don't do it. I just proved you didn't even care about testing the system. DO tell me you don't use any linux distro. I've actually heard some people using linux cry cause of the horrible UAC O_o. I mean really... I'd rather click than have to type a password every time I want to do something...

I told you, Vexx, most of the gripes going around even for Vista were a bunch of FUD. It's not like Vista or 7 didn't or won't have problems, it's the FUD maximizing the problems they already have.

Edit 3: I read some stuff about the Add Toolbar way not being permanent, so I'm gonna test it out through reboots. Gonna post later.
Edit 4: Ok, so the Quicklaunch bar with Sides' method DOES NOT go away after reboot. It was still there, and it acted normally. Now, when I was trying to add it, I discovered what I think is a bug. Dragging any toolbar (at least from right to left) doesn't work as it should. E.g. if I click the bar and drag it slowly, it hardly moves. If I drag it really fast, it moves generally pretty far. It seems to me like there's some sort of 1 sec margin in which you have to move the toolbar. I think it's silly enough to be a bug. I'm not sure how it behaves in the next builds. But yeah, that's all the problem I had with adding the Quicklaunch bar.

Last edited by npal; 2009-02-18 at 08:07.
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Old 2009-02-18, 14:31   Link #116
Vexx
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The only problem I have with what you're saying is that you're making fun of people who'd prefer less change to their UI and not have to spend so much time getting back to their preferred type of UI. Those complaints are not FUD, they're asking why Microsoft is dorking around with things they've gotten used to. Corporations are asking why they're going to have to retrain their monkeys just because an MS engineer re-arranged all the knobs and levers for no obvious reduction in complexity. Perhaps if they'd decouple/isolate the desktop from the core services - it'd make it easier for each person to choose their "desktop experience" and to keep protocols and arrangements they like. Unfortunately, this is where the marketing bells'n'whistles-compulsion and "differentiating from our last product" wins out over the 'has anyone asked the customers what they want'?

Last edited by Vexx; 2009-02-18 at 14:55.
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Old 2009-02-18, 16:01   Link #117
npal
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I give you this as an answer

Quote:
No offense, thanks, but no thanks. I don't want or need the help.

I said I had heard about it but was unable (and now, am unwilling) to try it. However, read on for a big reason which came to light why I have even less desire to ever use Windows 7 once it comes out.
*I* on the other hand find it hard to sympathize with someone who complains for something, gets an easy solution for it, which I tried myself just to be sure it's simple and quick, and disregards it without even trying. I just point out the obvious problem. I don't make fun of people, they manage that without my help.

The Linux bit is also valid. I can't for the life of me understand the huge difference of UAC versus a Linux password prompt. Having used Linux a number of times, and having dual booted with it, I would think that UAC is easier to circumvent, but that's not what the UAC complaints are about. People who complain about UAC don't complain about security. They complain about it being intrusive. However I see a number of people who extensively use Linux, therefore should have been at ease with security prompts, complain about UAC being terrible and all that, when in fact, to me it feels pretty much the same as the Linux pass prompt. And since the sysadmins I know usually deal with Linux and a number of them feel Windows is some sort of plague, like many hardcore linux users, I thought I'd point out one of Linux's security mechanisms, just in case it applies.

What do you mean "so much time"?? Is less than 5 minutes too much time getting into Classic Theme, enabling the Quicklaunch bar and resizing the taskbar to the old standards ( a thing you only have to do ONCE)? For a home user, it's nothing. For an enterprise, Volume License, install, tweak, image, deploy would be a pretty decent scenario with minimum fuss. So just how much time is it?

I talked about the "retrain" argument in the previous post. If a corporation CAN have tangible rewards, that is if MS can actually demonstrate to the enterprise HOW something new would help their productivity, it'll take it. If they don't see any benefits, they don't take it. I'm not sure how MS deals with large corporations, but if they want the old theme back, it can be done easily. I doubt that is the corporations' main problem cause Vista was following the Classic theme setup even with Aero enabled. From what I recall, corporations care mostly about application compatibility, hardware ability and hardware compatibility. Obviously they won't like eye candy cause it drains resources needed for something else, but I seriously doubt they'll have that huge a problem with 7's desktop composition.

Also, you do realize Microsoft can't create multiple desktop schemes to suit EVERY possible need. It's a mainstream OS, it wants to be as generic as possible while trying to move forward. Personally I don't see a point in clinging to a 10yr old desktop setup. One of the things I like about GDE and KDE is that they feel different from Windows, in their own ways anyway, without giving up functionality and ease of use. I believe the Superbar is an interesting feature. I like the change in the systray behavior and the ability to customize it. I'm not sure I care about not having a sidebar, cause it didn't bother me really and the Gadgets are there anyway so they are taking up space again. Trying to be different from previous releases is good, cause when you're not, the opinion that starts circling around in the usual FUD circles is "rebrand and sell, nothing new, even the desktop and desktop functionality is the same".

The point is, if a linux distro has some X browser (say Konqueror) inside instead of Firefox, are you gonna recoil in disgust at the abomination and track something that has Firefox pre-installed or just INSTALL THE DAMN THING and get on with life? In Windows, if something's missing but you can easily restore it, what's the problem with actually DOING that? So my 7 beta had only English keyboard installed so the usual Language bar wasn't there. Was it terribly hard to just go add it and click a friggin circle that tells the system to display the Language indicator on the taskbar (all of which is in the same setting panel)?

Last edited by npal; 2009-02-18 at 16:32.
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Old 2009-02-18, 16:34   Link #118
Vexx
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The primary difference between UAC and *nix security is that in *nix, once you enter the user space, you can install, uninstall, do whatever at the user application level, only if you need access to a root function does the prompt appear. UAC does that, but it also pops up within what should be purely user space application requests. Either change that or allow some sort of knob/list panel where programs can be added that are deemed "okay" and that complaint vanishes. Microsoft has a long history of having poor understanding of the impacts of not isolating/decoupling different layers of the software rings and it frequently bites them in the ass thanks to tireless teams of bored crackers.

Businesses tend to view change for change sake as interference and unnecessary cost. Even a small change up front ripples into large downstream costs and unexpected impact. I'm just projecting *their* viewpoint and their history with Microsoft. There are a LOT of middle-tier businesses that have limited resources to spend on IT labor or corporate licensing and I have gotten to see the direct impact of such "minor" changes firsthand.

I wasn't suggesting dozens of desktops I was suggesting simply that it simply be easier for the user to push the "N-1" or "N-2" switch. There's nothing really *functionally* new here in Win7 so that shouldn't be very hard. As it is, the user has to learn about the new interface to seek his way back to the old interface.

As a hobbyist, I don't object to new things as long as I can explore them, judge them, and then choose whether to keep them.
As a business consultant, I have a very different perspective about how to analyze things.
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Old 2009-02-18, 17:08   Link #119
npal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The primary difference between UAC and *nix security is that in *nix, once you enter the user space, you can install, uninstall, do whatever at the user application level, only if you need access to a root function does the prompt appear. UAC does that, but it also pops up within what should be purely user space application requests. Either change that or allow some sort of knob/list panel where programs can be added that are deemed "okay" and that complaint vanishes. Microsoft has a long history of having poor understanding of the impacts of not isolating/decoupling different layers of the software rings and it frequently bites them in the ass thanks to tireless teams of bored crackers.
Oh yeah, about that, there are a number of options for UAC in the 7000 Build at least. For example, while every setting that UAC is applied to still has the UAC shield, the default setting MS has now is the second highest, where it doesn't notify you about changes you make in Windows settings. Not sure if it applies but remember when Vista always nags you when you check the Resource monitor? At the current UAC level, 7 no longer pops up the UAC warning when you check the Resource monitor. There are 4 settings in total, but that setting is ok for me (Full UAC, Default UAC, Light UAC -which also doesn't dim the desktop, but MS says it might allow programs to interfere with UAC, and Disabled UAC). I'm against creating lists with trusted 3rd party programs. I mean, UAC is already pretty lenient in that. It only activates when programs install, modify the system or run as administrator. I had anti-malware programs that were a total pain. Sure they made it safe, but reporting every possible registry change and every DLL possible injection (even legitimate) was really getting on my nerves to the point I no longer have programs like that.

I'm a user, too, as are a number of people who liked Vista and like 7 more. That means that I had no real problem with the old interface, I just like the new one better. The real issue is whether people who want the old interface outnumber the rest or not, and how high is whatever difference is there. If even 50% prefer the old interface, MS would have to make it more readily accessible. If however they're far less than 50%, I don't see a real point with MS doing more than what they're already doing. It's all a matter of numbers in that case. I'd find my way either way though, but seeing the new desktop means that should I get the old one in the final release, I'll just go and tweak it if I can. I mean I doubt they made the Superbar functionality to erase it completely.

Well, to tell the truth I can only judge from my dad's small business, I have no other real experience, save some other occassions. The PCs there use XP, they are quite old, in fact I seriously don't believe they could run Vista. Right now there's no real money to upgrade, and even if it was, the PCs use certain software that are essential to work, and before I'd even consider installing Vista or 7 after an upgrade, we'd consult the software company, whether the support is as good as with the last OS, otherwise I wouldn't risk it. Then, there's the licensing cost that's prohibiting, since it offers no real gain. So for my dad's business, chances are I wouldn't even bother changing the system unless I was somehow forced to. But not because Vista or 7 have any other inherent flaws.
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Old 2009-02-18, 18:03   Link #120
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Age: 57
Agreed, especially on the last sentence. Its just a matter of business trying not to spend money unnecessarily or to make changes that don't actually improve any metric.

I can guarantee my gaming machines and probably laptop will be Win7 simply because it does address a number of the "Vista whines". Its unlikely any of my 'serious business' machines will go that way - at least for the next year or two.
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