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Windows 7 Beta – early impressions

January 13, 2009
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I downloaded the beta of Windows 7 on the weekend and installed it in a virtual PC. There was no issues there the install was smooth and straight forward. So far its been pretty good and certainly very stable and cant be that far off of being fully cooked.

Now a couple of things that I don’t like.

01 –  Windows Media Player 12 – no podcast support still and I couldn’t find the media player toolbar that shows when I minimize it as it does with Vista/XP with media player 11.  There is no excuse for this and I can only hope this will be rectified before the final release.

02 – the second is the new taskbar. I gave it a chance but I prefer the way I use the Taskbar and Quick launch bar combo in vista and XP. With windows seven it appears to a combination of the taskbar and the quick launch that feels like a step backwards to me. To see what is running it is not always obvious because the indicators on the taskbar are so subtle. With some programs if I want to launch a second instance I cant click on the taskbar that just max or minimizes the currently running instance. I have to go thru the menu to launch a second instance.

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this is how I work with the taskbar / quick lauch bar in Vista/XP. I can see what is running easily and can launch new instances quickly and with one click.

whereas the Windows 7 bar looks like this.Capture
Here you can see firefox running but when you have a few apps running it can be harder to pick.

At this stage I wouldn’t be looking at upgrading from Vista straight away. The taskbar feels like a step back and like Microsoft is trying to emulate the Apple dock which am not a fan of either. It just feels like its half complete and as a result is half as useful

Update: I have learnt of the centre mouse button press to launch a new instance. In someways this is even worse when in Visual Studio and FireFox I middle click to close tabs

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2 comments

  1. you can fix the task bar thing (although quick launch is gone you can get regular taskbar icons back and just dock smaller icons on the taskbar for your quick launch
    just right click on the task bar
    properties
    taskbar buttons: combine when task bar is full


  2. Have tried this and it is still not as slick and usable as the XP/Vista method.



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