As a member of Microsoft TechNet and beta tester of Windows 7, I have been observing every build of Windows 7, long before the new interface had been established. Windows has greatly changed over the years. When the first build of Windows 7 was given to me, I couldn’t see how it was that different from Windows Vista – same interface, same everything. But then the new builds came out, and Windows 7 improved. Now, Windows 7 refers to itself as Vista “redesigned” with smaller memory needs and better at everything. But, is all this true?
One of the Changes
For the first time, Windows 7 introduced big changes to the Windows interface itself. First, even though it can be disabled, the taskbar has been changed to contain big icons like the Quick Launch. With that, Microsoft decided to ditch the Quick Launch bar. This might be a convenience to new users, but to the older users of Windows, this seems to be harder to use if you are not used to it. As for myself, I decided not to use the new taskbar and opted for the classic settings instead.
How Windows has Evolved
The first time Windows was released, it was actually not directed to power and home users. It was an office program – an organizer used by offices. At that time, it was created by the company that is now Microsoft to compete indirectly with Lotus OS, which has now been overshadowed with the presence of Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.
Next, Windows began to change to a more user-friendly system. Microsoft proceeded to release Windows 95 and Windows 98, two of the first operating systems directed at home users. Judging by the user interface of these systems, they were really directed to novice users (except for some advanced commands directed at professionals and developers). Then Windows eXPerience was released by Microsoft, preceded by Me and 2000. Currently, Windows XP is the most used OS in the world, and even the next Windows series – Windows Vista – has not surpassed XP’s achievements.
Change is Not Always Good
Windows 98, Me, 2000, and XP are similar to each other. These operating systems were created for “simplicity” in the mind of developers, and indeed – that’s right. The four Windows systems listed are easy to use. Then Windows Vista came. Windows Vista made major changes in Windows. It’s almost like a Windows product created from scratch, with focus on graphics and eye-candy. Simple menus such as the Control Panel are even different. Menu navigation changed – everything is new, including the new Internet Explorer 7, which is just a slower version of the Internet Explorer 6. Windows Vista was highly criticized as not delivering what users wanted.
Now Microsoft has created Windows 7 as an answer to Windows Vista’s failure. Unlike Windows Vista, Windows 7 wasn’t greatly over-hyped everywhere and Microsoft decided to lay low and stay quiet by giving the initial beta programs to selected testers. Windows 7 greatly improves many of Vista’s problems. It is more stable and needs less memory than Vista. Once again, Microsoft is doing it right by prioritizing items based on what users want, not focusing on graphics and other desktop effects.
One Simple Problem
One simple problem still exists; people are beginning to say that Windows 7 is just Vista in a new coat. I have no objections to this, because until now, Windows 7 really hasn’t seemed much different from VIsta. Windows 7 still hasn’t shown much “simplicity”, something that people liked in XP and earlier versions. Has Windows 7 become better than Windows XP? Will Windows 7 surpass XP’s achievements? It’s still vague. Windows 7 has progressed almost to the RC version and Microsoft hasn’t shown us major improvements on this simplicity. There is a chance that Windows 7 will just be another Vista.