Windows 7 Average User Impressions – Pretty Durn Good
I’ve been running Windows 7 for a few weeks and am feeling pretty comfortable with it now. Overall I’m pleased with it, though it does take a little getting used to having come from XP and not Vista.
The new taskbar is fantastic. The “peek” preview mode is a very good feature, and while it was available before the fact that you can now close unneeded windows from the preview is quite helpful. Plus the added animations and visual cues are able to convey a lot of information without having to even open a window or take up valuable taskbar space. And while I haven’t used the jump menu feature much, I can see it being a good thing as time goes by.
The “library” function is interesting, and I’m not sure if it will be a problem or a plus. In the past I kept my My Documents folder, along with music, photos and downloads, on a separate partition or separate drive. Now I still have those files on a separate partition, as well as the default folders on C:, all included in libraries. It makes a bit of confusion as I haven’t gone through the trouble of changing the default save folders to the separate partition yet, so I have to remember which “download” folder something saved to. But that should be fixable.
I’m also pleased that Windows 7 runs well on my system as-is, though I probably will upgrade a little in the near future. I have an AMD Athlon64 x2 at 2.0Ghz (overclocked a little), 250Gb of hard drive space, 2 Gb of RAM, along with an nVidia 8600 video card. While this is pretty weak compared to current setups, but it runs very well. Boosting the RAM to 4 gigs will definitely be a help. Plus all of the software I’ve installed has worked right out of the box. I did have to go and get 64-bit versions of programs like iTunes, but thankfully there’s much better support for 64-bit now for both software and drivers. The biggest glitch I had was trying to get my ancient SoundBlaster Audigy sound card to work. I thought it was a driver issue, but it ended up being a setting issue within Windows. Once I found out how to set it as default it worked fine.
Overall things are pretty darn good. There’s a bit of a learning curve, and I’m not using half of 7’s new features at the level I could – if I’ve used them at all. But overall I’d say this was a good move.