Why I Won’t Waste My Time On Windows 7

I won’t go back to Windows with the newest version.

To be fair actually I won’t go back to it on my personal machines either at work or at home. Instead I’ll stick with the latest incarnations of OSX and Mac respectively. I have tried Windows 7 and am in fact running it on a test machine for the department, but I find it to be little more than a major service pack for Vista.

After testing Win 7 for the last month I have run into numerous problems with general stability as well as many of the same compatibility issues that have plagued MS since it gave up it’s DOS kernel with XP. In the case of 7 the XP legacy mode is helpful, but runs apps slower than they would natively run in XP and seems to me to be more of a band-aid than a true feature to support older software. In addition, many of the speed problems and other issues that I simply adjusted my work flow for in the past are still present. Load time is improved but far slower than Ubuntu or OSX, UAC is still a nuisance, and I continue to find it necessary to run more apps for system maintenance than I do for the actual work to be done on the computer. From virus and malware scanners to disk and registry cleaners and disk defragmenters there is still too much overhead required to keep the machine running well.

So what will it take to bring me back to Microsoft with my own machines? The first thing will be an abandonment of the Windows Registry and a return to file-based configuration information as is done with all modern *nix systems. I can’t even count the number of issues I’ve encountered over the years with corrupt or otherwise problematic registries and although some of the problems can be fixed, far too many have necessitated the complete rebuild of the computer’s software. Second would be the need for a more advanced file system capable of handling file fragmentation in a much more efficient manner, and finally, a user permission system that allows for true multi-user operation in which individual files and processes can be more effectively isolated to individual user accounts.

When (if) this list was ever completed then I would look back to Windows as my primary OS. Until then however I’ll stick with OSX and Mac as they just work for me rather than making me work for them.