Saturday, October 3, 2009

Windows 7

I recently got a new laptop at work (an HP 6930p) which I'm very happy with. The harddrive was blank (presumably because I ordered a 250GB instead of the standard 160GB), so I had a good opportunity to skip Vista and install Windows 7 directly. Since it had 4GB I installed the 64-bit version (Enterprise), and the overall experience is pretty good. One thing I am really impressed with is the 32-bit compatibility on 64-bit Windows. The details may be gory, but the bottom line is that there is really no reason whatsoever to take the 64-bit Windows if you have 4GB or more.

Performance-wise I don't want to say anything for a year or so when Windows-machines usually start to get bogged down, but feature-wise there are quite a few goodies in there. Here are some of my favorites:
  • The new dock-like taskbar.
  • The window-management shortcuts (window movement/maximizing), taskbar navigation.
  • Notification icon cleanup.
But of course, there are areas which Microsoft has forgotten about completely and which basically have not gotten any attention since Windows 2000:
  • Environment variable setup. WTF!? Why can I at least get a multiline-control for editing values?
  • The Windows console. Resizing? Copy/paste? Tabs? The list of missing features is endless.
I'm normally a Linux-guy, but nowadays I'm doing so much work in Eclipse that the operating system really doesn't matter too much. Also, requirements at work make it difficult for me to use Linux at work, so the last months I've worked completely in Windows. And Windows 7 is definitely a big improvement over both XP and Vista.