The Top Windows 7 Features That Vista Should Have Had

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Top Windows 7 Features That Vista Should Have HadThis week may be as big a week in the company's history as Microsoft has ever had. We know, that's a pretty bold statement, but there is a lot of evidence to back that up. Microsoft has been drowning in negative press and negative vibes for most of Vista's life; it has tried for years to spit-shine the image of its "Wow!-inducing" operating system, and by and large, it has failed.

Join us to see the ten greatest features of Windows 7 that should've been in Vista, and learn how those ten features will make your life that much better if you're currently pondering the upgrade.

The Top Windows 7 Features That Vista Should Have Had 

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gibbersome replied on Thu, Oct 22 2009 11:45 AM

11. XP mode?! Big Smile

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Schmich replied on Thu, Oct 22 2009 12:40 PM

The new things in Windows 7 search is good but they left out things in XP that was good.

For example, lets say you plug in an external harddrive and quickly want to search for all music (whether its wma, mp3 etc.) or even pictures as well. It takes you just a few click on XP as you can actually choose what type of media you want. In Windows 7 you have to write down the extensions down yourself. Once you know the commands it's okay but your average person won't know that. The average person wants fields to fill in their quiery.  Lets take mp3s as example again. Lets say someone wants to (linear) search all mp3s that are between 3 and 5 MB, simple in XP? Yes, simple in Windows 7? No. It has predefined sizes and I can't figure out how to enter my own. Also if you want many things that little search box is pretty small.

Just know I was trying to make a search inside the first search results and I couldn't figure it out. I'm no Guru but I'm an expert in comparison to the average Joe. How are they supposed to figure it out?

So to finalize what I'm trying to say: the little search box is okay, it's nice that it's always there for the small searches. But to make queries more specific it's not user friendly. There should also be a Search window like in XP with many many many fields that are very user friendly. In today's age where you have lots of information and not all of it is indexed, being able to make complex queries should easy. And not only do we have lots of information but we also have old information that we can't remember are located. A perfect example is an old laptop from which you took out the hard-drive that has some needed files.

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Jeremy replied on Thu, Oct 22 2009 3:02 PM

I still can't stand the photo import mechanism in Vista. It's either all or nothing. I'll often have photos from multiple "shoots" or occasions on the same memory card. Vista won't let me give them a name that goes with the shoot unless I DL the card immediately after each use. XP was way friendlier in this regard. I could import photos 1-25 with one serialized file name to one directory, and then files 26-60 to another directory with another serialized file name. The Vista method makes no sense at all.

 

That said, I do like Vista as a whole much better than XP, and am looking forward to Win7 after spending some time playing with the RC.  I just wish they'd gotten a couple more of the little things right.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Oct 22 2009 3:55 PM

Everytime I see multi-touch used, it's just for pinch & zoom operations.  Like the demo video showed for HH in the browser.

Do this (in Firefox):  hold down your control key, and use your mouse scroll wheel.  Congrats - you just saved yourself from putting fingerprint smudges all over your monitor.

None of these features strikes a chord with me...  They've all been present in Compiz for a long time.  Where's the MS "innovation"?

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Oct 22 2009 4:33 PM

@3vi1: Innovation? The whole company started off by rebranding Quick&DirtyDOS into PC-DOS and selling it to IBM. In '84 they ridiculed the idea of needing a graphical user interface with a pointing device. MS has had moments of ingenuity, but mostly they've been followers instead of leaders.

Having suffered Vista Hell for years, I appreciate 7's improvements. There are a few features that Windows 7 is still missing, though.

  1. Stability, or at least, better crash recovery. I leave my computer on so that I can run F@H. Of course, I have the monitor set to dim after 20 minutes. Groovy, but lately I've been returning to see that "Windows has encountered a serious problem" dialog, which says that I had a BSOD (wasn't that supposed to have been fixed in Vista?). Unfortunately, the monitor stays active, and I can't tell how long it's been glaring into nothingness. In the meantime, no folding is going on because
  2. Startup is messedup. There are several executables in my Startup list which should launch at boot time but don't, so I have to manually launch each one (and click on that User Account Control (UAC) window, despite having told 7 that the program should be run with Administrator privileges). I know it's not hard to launch a program, but why, with a computer, should I have to do this routine task manually? Oh, and theres still too much UAC in the system. Yes, I do want to run that program I just double-clicked, Mr. Windows, thank you very much.
  3. Consistency. Often when I unplug a flash drive (using "Eject" from its contextual menu first, natch) and then replug it, all of the folder properties are lost. I have to go to Properties for each one and tell 7 again that this is a video folder, this one has pictures, etc.

Yes, I'm getting the OEM version to replace the Release To Master (RTM) that Microsoft let us download in September. Sure, it lacks tech support, but since I can't remember a single instance of Microsoft tech support being useful, I'll miss it like I missed the third nipple they surgically removed when I was born. And perhaps with more modern hardware, some of the crashing will go away. But I'm going into this not saying "wow," but saying "huh, that's slightly better than the previous version."

Maybe that's what MS was shooting for.


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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Clem, Microsoft has had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. But to have such a large computer software company in today's age is an anomaly. How has Microsoft managed to retain its main and most successful source of income (Windows + Windows based products)? With computer programming being taught in high schools, you'd think someone would have created decent competition for Microsoft by now.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Oct 22 2009 7:25 PM

>> you'd think someone would have created decent competition for Microsoft by now

They have, but it doesn't come pre-installed on your new PC from BestBuy, so no one tries it.  Since no one tries it, the major software companies (i.e. game makers) ignore it, so the people selling PCs don't pre-install it.  And the vicious cycle continues.

Also, when you have someone like Steve Ballmer spreading FUD by saying this OS violates over 228 Microsoft patents (based on his misunderstanding of a PUBPAT report) and refusing to name any of the patents, it scares companies away from depending on it.  Unless said company owns as many combative patents as IBM, who recently went to a completely Windows-free desktop internally.

Windows is not the king because it's the best OS, it's the king because it got the majority share first, and has the most cutthroat management money can buy.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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realneil replied on Fri, Oct 23 2009 8:41 AM

if you bought Vista, Steaming, Smelly, Vista, then Win-7 should be free or close to free for you. They should have worn masks when they introduced Vista to the world.

Win-7 is a good OS.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Oct 23 2009 9:32 AM

That reminds me...  did they get around to fixing this in the final release so that it says 7.0 instead of letting people know that internally it's Vista-point-one?

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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mhenriday replied on Fri, Oct 23 2009 10:08 AM

The lady does hype too much, methinks....

Henri

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ClemSnide replied on Mon, Oct 26 2009 5:45 PM

I'm kinda conflicted. Yes, 7 is better than Vista, when it's running. But while Vista took a hella long time to do anything, and would slip into a state where even the Task Manager showed "(not responding)," it didn't crash all that often.

I honestly do have five or six BSODs per day, and have been doing increasingly more bizarre things to try and fix it. (And I know bizarre computer things. Back in the early 90s I solved a SCSI problem by putting the external drive on the opposite side of the Mac.)


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3vi1 replied on Mon, Oct 26 2009 6:08 PM

You're having multiple BSOD's with Win7? I had that at the very beginning of the beta, but I chalked it up to an alpha-level code in a driver the antivirus software had installed. It seemed as stable as Vista once I removed it.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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I have had 7 installed since beta on 2 PC. Since RC on 4. I have had one BSOD and that was on my netbook. If you are having 3 or 4 BSOD on 7 then it is a driver issue.

Type reliability into the taskbar and hit enter. It will show you what is causing the crashes.

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Marco C replied on Tue, Oct 27 2009 10:42 AM

Five or Six BSODs a day is crazy--there's definitely a driver or hardware issue on the machine for it to crash that much. It's not the OSes fault.

I've had Win7 installed on an EeePC and old Athlon XP-based Compaq notebook since the first beta was released. Added it to another pair of Asus notebooks once the RC came out. And then upgraded every test machine in the lab when the RTM hit, and haven't experienced a single BSOD yet, knock on wood.

Marco Chiappetta
Managing Editor @ HotHardware.com

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realneil replied on Fri, Nov 6 2009 11:00 AM

Same here,....I have it on two older machines that refused to operate with Vista installed, but they're fine with Win7 onboard. They have No problems,............

My brand spanking new Wazoo Core i7 runs it handily and it's overclocked to 3.75GHz. and now has two 1TB drives in RAID-0.  No problems,............

Win7 is ready for prime time and if you have issues you should start troubleshooting the system.

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XP Mode that doesn't demand higher cost VT support... as 98% Netbooks don't offer VT! Making it 100% impossible to run legacy software as a Microsoft paid solution!

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Yeah, just look at all those high cost hardware specs you listed.... which just proves that to use Windows 7, your going to afford the highest cost, and should you want to run your legacy software, it's still going to be slower than native Windows XP!

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realneil replied on Sun, Nov 8 2009 11:42 AM

Hey Terry,

If you mean my hardware specs,.... they are some awesome specs aren't they? But they were very, very inexpensive actually. My participation in this forum got me this computer for free. I won it in one of the many contests that they have yearly and couldn't have bought it on my own being on a fixed retirement income.

Thanks again HotHardware.com, Intel, and CyberPower PC for the smokin' fast computer!!

Win7 does use more resources than XP does, but it offers a whole hell of allot more in features to compensate for it. It's polished and working good, although it's too expensive.

It runs just fine on my little HP laptop too. (hint- the specs ain't so good on this one)

Running XP in a virtual mode is slower than native XP is too. But if you have any knowledge you can just run both operating systems in a dual boot setup and choose between the two of them according to what you're doing with the computer.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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Maza replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 5:00 AM

The first thing on this list isn't a "feature". Windows Vista did have some "steep" hardware requirements, but typically, the newer version of Windows always does. If Windows Vista would have been released in 2009, there wouldn't have been any problem.

I don't understand why people hate on Vista, but love Windows 7. They really aren't that different from each other. I happily use the two.

About #3 on the list.

The default User Account Control setting in Windows 7 is less secure than the default in Windows Vista, as it doesn't ask you for permission when modifying Windows settings.

There also appears to be a security risk in Windows 7's UAC. http://www.pretentiousname.com/misc/win7_uac_whitelist2.html

And as far as I know, Windows 7 only introduced one new UAC setting; the default. Every other setting provided by the new UAC UI could be accessed via Local Security Policy in Windows Vista.

Regarding #4.

Aero Peek was apparently for Windows Vista, as there was a patent from January 2005.

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20081130/from-microsoft-patent-to-windows-reality-x-ray-browsing-aero-peek/

Regarding #5.

In order for Aero Shake to be useful, a good amount of windows need to be opened. Doesn't this also mean that one will have to close several windows?

Aero Shake would be better if it didn't just restore windows that were minimized by it. For example, if I minimize one Internet Explorer window the normal way (the minimize button), and use Aero Shake to minimize another, it will only restore the window that was minimized by shaking.

Regarding #6.

Without Aero in Windows Vista, there wouldn't have Windows Flip thumbnails, Windows Flip 3D, or "live" taskbar thumbnails.

Aero Snap also seems to have been a feature originally intended for Windows Vista.

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20090627/windows-longhorns-aero-snap-circa-2005/

The implementation in the article referenced above is better than what is offered in Windows 7. Unfortunately, the program, AquaSnap, even offers more functionality.

By the way, Aero Snap isn't really a feature dependent on Aero. It works even if one is using the classic theme, so it can't be considered something that puts Aero "to good use".

I also don't understand #9 on the list. Instant Search in Windows Vista has been wonderful for me, always finding what I need. In contrast, Windows 7 seems to come up empty from time to time.

Video evidence of Windows 7 search issues can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTZH7D0-A9U

There's even a whole TechNet topic related to it. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproui/thread/ecbecc00-f3e7-429f-87cd-8900fc313add

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 7:05 AM

>. I also don't understand #9 on the list. ... There's even a whole TechNet topic related to it...

The issue only came to light after the 3 year old article to which you're responding.  The article predates the video and even the TechNet topic.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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realneil replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 10:45 AM

3vi1:
The article predates the video and even the TechNet topic.

And nothing will ever change the fact that Vista was a Steaming Turd of an OS until it's service pack one came out.

Vista was the reason I bought my first Mac.

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Maza replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 4:15 PM

Oh. Doesn't that mean the operating system isn't as great as the article makes it sound?

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Maza replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 4:15 PM

Instead of bashing it like a drone, please elucidate as to how it was a "steaming turd". I've had no problems with it.

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realneil replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 5:00 PM

I'm bashing it like someone who was screwed into paying money for it.

Did you ever use it without the first service pack installed?

It was slow as molasses, especially during file transfers.

That alone made it unusable for me.

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Maza replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 6:30 PM

I'm glad that I don't feel like I was "screwed" because I bought a computer with it.

Of course I used RTM. I actually avoided Service Pack 1 because it removed some Search-related features.
Could it have been slow because of your hardware? I'm still using Windows Vista (though with all of the current updates), on a HP Pavilion Slimline s3600f computer. My current setup consists of integrated graphics (unfortunately), 2 GB of RAM, and a Intel 2.0GHz dual-core. It runs very well.

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realneil replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 6:56 PM

My hardware was well above average for the day. All three systems that I bought if for, (all three OS's purchased at once) had 4GB of RAM and Radeon discrete or NVIDIA discrete video cards. All were quad core PCs with 7200RPM drives. They were all fast as can be with XP installed.

Once I installed Vista Pro on them, they were slow as molasses. This cost me a small fortune and Microsoft never gave me anywhere near the value for my money spent. The first Service pack addressed the slow file transfer speeds and other problems too.

This is when I bought my iMac 24" and my iMac-Mini.

Once Win-7 came out, (the free for a year preview) they were back up to speed. All of them.

I now own Win-7 and will probably stay with that OS for good.

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