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Aero Peek has been added to the ALT+TAB keyboard shortcut. When selecting ALT+TAB, if you continue to hold down the ALT key, but pause, indicating you can't decide which program icon to pick, the view switch from icons to an Aero Peek view of program thumbnails.  (Source: Microsoft)

Color Hot-Track, which highlights the program icon on the taskbar, now stays active when browsing Aero Peek thumbnails for the program. This should help remind users which button they picked.  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft is listening to you, and here's what it's done

Microsoft's Windows 7 team has been pretty quiet for the last month and a half since releasing their beta to the public, and many wondered what, if any, changes were going to show up in the final version of Windows 7.  Microsoft's senior vice president in charge of the Windows group, Steven Sinofsky, this week broke the company's silence, telling about how Microsoft has taken in user feedback from its beta and used it to fix over 2,000 bugs.

Now Microsoft has posted a long Windows 7 blog detailing some of these user-inspired changes that are included in the Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of Windows 7.  The changes include tweaks to virtually every area of the OS's operation.  In this first segment, we'll look at some of the interface changes that will affect the user experience in the OS.

First up, one attractive change is the addition of Aero Peek to ALT+TAB'ing through windows.  In Windows, this keyboard shortcut always let you switch through running programs by icon.  Some users inquired, why not use the thumbnail preview of Aero Peek to this feature?  Microsoft complied and after a time delay, the ALT+TAB window turns into an Aero Peek preview that can be tabbed through.

Another big set of changes are tweaks to its Windows Key+<#> launch scheme, a largely overlooked feature in Windows Vista.  In Vista, this shortcut would launch the program that was in the Quick Launch list.  However, it did not switch to the program, but merely started it.  In Windows 7 RC1, this has been tweaked significantly.  The key combination still launches the Window.  However, pressing it again will now scroll through open windows of that type of program, using the above mention Aero Peek additions.  And by clicking SHIFT+Windows Key+<#> you can open new instances of the window.  But the fun doesn't end there, CTRL+Windows Key+<#> allows you to instantly switch to the last window instance, while ALT+Windows Key+<#> will allow you access to the programs jump list --- all without a single finger touching your mouse.

Another nice little tweak is to make "needy windows" -- windows demanding your attention, such as an IM program with new messages -- more visible.  Many users complained that the taskbar button flashing was too subtle and they were missing events.  Microsoft has changed the flashing to a "bolder orange color" and the flash pattern to a more jarring saw tooth wave, as well as increasing the flash rate -- all of which should help get your attention when a window needs it.

One switch which bugged some users was that the drag and drop in Vista's Quick Launch which allowed you to drop a file into a program's icon to open it with that program was replaced by merely pinning the file to a task bar in Windows.  Microsoft, though sounding a bit chagrined about the user feedback on this, consented to adding a SHIFT+drag feature, which allows you to drag and drop files into pinned programs, just like in Vista.

Another key change is that your task bar will now scale based on your resolution.  This means at higher resolutions it can support more icons.  This table comes from Microsoft's MSDN page:

Maximum taskbar button capacity before scrolling

Resolution

Large Icons

Small Icons

% Increase from Beta (large/small icons)

800x600

10

15

25% / 36%

1024x768

15

22

25% / 38%

1280x1024

20

29

25% / 32%

1600x1200

26

39

24% / 39%


Another little tweak is that when scrolling through thumbnails after clicking an item in a taskbar, the item now stays highlighted with its "Color Hot-Track" visual.  This will help the user remember which program the thumbnails are associated with.  One more nice tweak is that after installing new programs, Microsoft now temporarily adds the program to the bottom of the Start Menu to allow for easier pinning and making the program easier to find.

Microsoft has also tweaked its jump lists.  Some people had complained about its lists being too long, so Microsoft, based on its data, decided to limit the list to 10 items.  Enthusiast still can lengthen this maximum length via an easy setting.  Files of non-registered types (i.e. an .html file with Notepad) can be pinned to the program's jump list, now.  When clicking that item in the jump list, it will continue to open the file with that program, if possible.

Rounding out the list of interface changes, the user can now right click on the desktop to hide all icons or to hide all gadgets, allowing the users to easily interact with just gadgets or just icons, in the case of a cluttered desktop.

There's lots more changes, but that's all for the interface update!



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Thank God!
By salgado18 on 2/27/2009 1:14:58 PM , Rating: 3
It was about time Microsoft started behaving like this! Nothing against any Windows, they were all good for their time, but it's really nice to have your opinions heard about an upcoming product that YOU will use.

Way to go Microsoft! (Now do that to IE and DirectX and the world will be yours)




RE: Thank God!
By Smilin on 2/27/2009 9:50:39 PM , Rating: 5
Nobody is going to believe this but meh...

MS really isn't doing anything that different this time around. Same beta program run by the same guys...In every windows release the beta program generates tons of feedback and a great deal of it is acted on.

This time around it's getting a surprising amount of good press.


RE: Thank God!
By greylica on 2/28/2009 8:02:13 PM , Rating: 4
Really!
They are taking a good amount of press, but that´s because some of hardware manufacturers still relies on Microsoft Windows name to sell devices, and on a slowdown economy they are trying to create a new bandwagon...

Aside of this, OpenGL still suffer significant performance losses in Windows 7, even when we are using quadro cards.
I have tested, and Windows 7 (64 bits) is still 3X slower than Fedora (64 bits) with open GL apps. I use Blender 3D everyday, post redraw numbers:

AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE, 8 Gigs DDR 2 800, Quadro FX 4600
(Latest Nvidia Drivers), Seagate 200 GIB (Dell workstation), Dell 2408 WFP 1920 X 1200:

Blender Benchmark - Redraw Window:
Fedora Core (everyday work)(64 Bits) : 22900 t/s
Windows 7 (Beta test)(64 Bits ) : 7400 t/s
Windows 2000/XP (Not maintained by the amount of ram I am using): 14500 t/s

Even when I disable ALL of the eye candy, Windows 7 Still gives the same results, then Aero or not, Windows 7 still isn´t really mature for openGl apps. I will wait for the second beta to the public, to see if Microsoft could improve performance, if Windows 7 gives the same amount of performance in Open Gl Apps (like XP for example), I could reconsider my position about Microsoft software, but yet it´s 2/3 of the Linux performance, and all of the costs windows put inside the desk, because Microsoft software is much more expensive than Linux...

Well, I will wait to see...


RE: Thank God!
By noirsoft on 2/28/2009 8:10:49 PM , Rating: 3
Seems to me that it is more a problem with the Windows build of Blender than with Windows. Also, is t/s supposed to be triangles/second? Shouldn't you be getting more on the order of millions of triangles/second, not thousands?


RE: Thank God!
By greylica on 2/28/2009 9:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
The benchmark consist of a simple Blender GUI Redraw With the objects inside, normally we do this benchmark with a simple cube, the returned result is the amount of times Blender can redraw the GUI in the graphic card, sending the object data (vertices, edges, faces, and textures ) data directly to the card using OpenGL commands.
You can note that performance problems, using different Operating Systems, and when you animate characters, with an armature (like bones) to control, Blender tries to show your animation in Real time based on the framerate you are using to Render. I have some tests here, showing that when you use Linux, you can achieve Real time movements. ( I use the example of 30 frames per second ).
When using Linux, if the data passed to the VGA card is faster than 30 FPS, the frames are discarded, and in case of the data being sent is more than VGA can handle , or if the system have some or a bunch of bottlenecks, the VGA card starts to show frame by frame of the calculated animation, but the time of the frame rate in this case is not a real time frame rate.
Blender have a command to allow you to see frame rates of the animation.
I use the same animation, with the same settings, giving me 17 fps in Windows 7, and was shown in Real time under Linux.

Resuming, there is a bottleneck when using OpenGL in Windows 7, the same problem I found in Windows Vista,
(that´s why I don´t use it, and don´t care anymore) and even when we use appropriate software (32 or 64 Bits), there is something wrong with Windows, or Microsoft didn´t give the right information in manuals to developers of Blender about how to access directly the hardware with openGL, or then it´s a Vista/7 Kernel problem, or then the Microsoft C++ is problematic, or then Vista/7 has inutil codes between software/hardware, or Vista/7 uses DRM between VGA and processors...
Wherever the case (We yet don´t know), Windows 7 is not good enough for work with OpenGl software, not if compared to earlier versions ( 2K/XP is 2X faster ), and not if compared to Linux...
And I want full performance of My PC/Workstation for work, and not for services that I dont´t know and will never use for myself.


RE: Thank God!
By CGfreak102 on 3/3/2009 10:46:40 AM , Rating: 2
See your issue here is that it is a Dell. Enough said.

And who says that you HAVE to switch to Windows 7. FFS its in beta version, so no crap it might not be as good as somthing that has been out for 5+ years. I mean anyone can make that judgment with COMMON SENSE. Maybe you should learn some

And since when do OS's come in 64bits, i beleive its 64-bit, no need for the 's'.


RE: Thank God!
By pxavierperez on 3/3/2009 7:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
True.

Since Vista, it seemed the press is on a witch hunt to find any faults in any Windows release.


Proofreading Police
By fezzik1620 on 2/27/2009 11:33:02 AM , Rating: 4
In the header line, "its" is a contraction of "it has" and should have an apostrophe.




RE: Proofreading Police
By therealnickdanger on 2/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Proofreading Police
By therealnickdanger on 2/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Proofreading Police
By therealnickdanger on 2/27/2009 3:14:20 PM , Rating: 1
Oh sh*t. Self-owned. I never saw the incorrect form in the header since the author changed it before I saw it. Now I see that the OP was trying to correct the author in the first place... albeit in a somewhat confusing way to me.

My apologies.

*falls on sword*


RE: Proofreading Police
By Smilin on 2/27/2009 9:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm always amazed at how many of you grammar Nazis shoot yourselves in the foot with some grammatical or spelling error of your own.

I'd think you guys would shut up and give it a rest eventually.


RE: Proofreading Police
By Chaser on 2/28/2009 10:45:56 AM , Rating: 5
They say its almost as good as sex. When you can't get any.


I ight just buy Windows 7
By Slappi on 2/28/2009 4:25:16 PM , Rating: 3
It looks like it has about everything I could want in an OS.

Does it give you a reach around though?

If it doesn't I might go with Apple OS because I can get more women.




RE: I ight just buy Windows 7
By twjr on 3/3/2009 10:09:50 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If it doesn't I might go with Apple OS because I can get more women.


Unfortunately they will be the artsy type who are more interested in drinking coffee and talking about their latest blog than sleeping with you.


RE: I ight just buy Windows 7
By lk7200 on 3/11/09, Rating: 0
"needy windows"
By b534202 on 2/27/2009 5:22:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:

Another nice little tweak is to make "needy windows" -- windows demanding your attention, such as an IM program with new messages -- more visible.


Man, I hate those windows.
There needs to be an option to make them not blink at all.




RE: "needy windows"
By cheetah2k on 3/2/2009 10:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds more like a "nag bar" than a needy window....


It would be best..
By GoodBytes on 2/27/09, Rating: 0
RE: It would be best..
By noirsoft on 2/27/2009 10:47:34 PM , Rating: 2
I have been using 7 exclusively on my main laptop for several weeks now (and before that on test machines) and I don't think what you say is important.


"List view"
By vailr on 2/28/2009 10:09:04 AM , Rating: 2
My only worry about Windows 7 is having the option to view a directory in "list view", AND without a sidebar. Much more efficient than the Window 7-beta's default single column view.
Why fix WinXP's directory view options, when it wasn't broken?




Taskbar Resolution Scaling
By Starcub on 3/2/2009 3:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another key change is that your task bar will now scale based on your resolution. This means at higher resolutions it can support more icons.

How is this different than the way it's done in previous Windows editions?

What they need to do is make it so the user can change the size of the taskbar by specifying the points size in addition to dragging the mouse, just as users can do so in most Linux WM's. In addition it would be nice if users could individually adjust the fonts and font sizes of the various sections of the taskbar. Desktop icons should be continuously resizable by selecting them and then right clicking and chosing to resize. Icons should also be sizable either by dragging the mouse or specifying a particluar points size.

Moreover, these things should all be doable through a right clickable menu option instead of having to find the appropriate property dialog box.




Registry
By Beno on 2/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Registry
By Spivonious on 2/27/2009 12:48:41 PM , Rating: 5
MS doesn't write the uninstallers. If anything, blame the application that leaves things behind.

Many new apps (past 2-3 years) don't use the registry as heavily, and instead make use of the user folders. I'd bet that in 5 years the registry will be a non-issue unless you're using old COM-based apps.


RE: Registry
By adiposity on 2/27/2009 1:27:03 PM , Rating: 4
User folders are definitely the way to go, in addition to being easier to uninstall by hand, they are more consistent with Linux and Mac OS for cross platform apps. However, even with the registry, Microsoft could force applications to store their settings in a fixed location. If they had to create keys in the generic locations for COM apps, they should be forced to have a matching lookup list stored in the fixed location for that app.

This won't happen for a long time, since Microsoft has to support legacy apps...

-Dan


RE: Registry
By Belard on 2/28/2009 12:56:13 AM , Rating: 2
The registry only exisits in Windows.

It won't be going anywhere. It was designed to make things difficult for the end-user. Look at how much crap can hide there. And how big is this "text file" of settings? 20mb, 50mb?

The use of directories (folders) was standard on MAC, Amiga and of course Linux. Want to delete an Amiga AP? Easy, uninstall or delete the folder and its "short-cut" icons.


RE: Registry
By xeroshadow on 3/6/2009 4:20:08 AM , Rating: 2
Does that mean it will be easier for me to completely remove an application? I've encountered programs in the past that always left something behind even when I did venture into the registry. It's annoying when you do not know enough about an OS where some programmer entered some code that keeps the program coming back. If folders help to solve this, I will be ordering this OS asap.


RE: Registry
By VeauX on 2/27/2009 1:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
And what about Windows tracking all the changes done by the app that is installing. then the removal would be easy as just returning to the old status.

On the old windows days (95/98 maybe before) the Clean Sweep utility was doing this pretty well.


RE: Registry
By inighthawki on 2/27/2009 3:37:38 PM , Rating: 1
lol, and they would probably store all of those changes in the registry. Yeah when you uninstall, it clears everything, but while it's installed you effectively have 2x as many keys for that app. Also the windows registry barely affects performance. Thousands of keys and data adding up may affect it just a tad, but overall there's nothing to worry about.


RE: Registry
By omnicronx on 2/27/2009 4:13:42 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And what about Windows tracking all the changes done by the app that is installing . then the removal would be easy as just returning to the old status.
That's what installer registry entries currently do. The problem is Windows cannot specifically choose what an uninstaller must or must not do. MS cannot take out the ability to say leave certain settings in tact, or they will anger a bunch of people. A correctly made uninstaller should do exactly what you are saying, leaving nothing behind in the registry. What more is if you read my post below, MS decided to handle the issue in a different way, while still leaving the uninstaller options up to the developer.

A good explanation of the changes in Vista can be found here :
http://www.winvistaclub.com/f23.html


RE: Registry
By TomZ on 2/27/2009 7:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know who authored that article you referenced, but it really is not consistent with how Microsoft officially explains Registry Virtualization in MSDN. See the link in my other post below.


RE: Registry
By zinfamous on 2/28/2009 10:33:13 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, but I want my Windows to do EVERYTHING for me.

Personally, I'm rather miffed that Windows doesn't make me nice, golden waffles at every boot.


RE: Registry
By omnicronx on 2/27/2009 4:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
The way the registry works was totally changed in Vista. A correctly coded app should make use of what is essentially a 'sandboxed' registry entry that only the user and that program can access. Essentially 'Windows Rot' is no longer an issue because data in the registry doesn't slow anything down if it's not linked from anywhere.

Of course using XP apps on Vista will result in the same old 'windows rot', but at least Microsoft has acknowledged the problem. As time goes on and apps are specifically coded for Vista+, you will notice the lack of registry problems. Even in Vista, I have yet to reformat my system for over a year and a half, while if I was using XP i would have probably done so 2-3 times because of system slowdowns.


RE: Registry
By omnicronx on 2/27/2009 4:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course using XP apps on Vista will result in the same old 'windows rot'
Guess I was wrong about this, it appears Vista will attempt to 'sandbox' or 'virtualize' everything. (which is even better news)


RE: Registry
By TomZ on 2/27/2009 6:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Essentially 'Windows Rot' is no longer an issue because data in the registry doesn't slow anything down if it's not linked from anywhere.
I think your analysis of this feature is off-base. How does forcing app writes of the registry into a different area of the registry improve perforance or avoid "windows rot"? The same quantity of keys are still written, and they may or may not be removed by the uninstaller.

The purpose of Registry Virtualization is for compatibility - not performance. It allows apps running as non-admin to think they can write to the Machine area of the registry. This allows such apps to be installed and run without admin rights.

ref. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa965884(V...


RE: Registry
By Smilin on 2/27/2009 9:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The same quantity of keys are still written, and they may or may not be removed by the uninstaller.


..Which doesn't matter one bit. You can leave all sorts of crap behind in the registry. The OS doesn't read it unless there is a request to do so. The only thing that would ever request to do so is the thing that just got uninstalled.

quote:
The purpose of Registry Virtualization is for compatibility - not performance. It allows apps running as non-admin to think they can write to the Machine area of the registry. This allows such apps to be installed and run without admin rights.


;thumbsup: :)


RE: Registry
By sprockkets on 2/27/2009 8:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to agree with you, but Vista still "rots" in certain ways. For instance, I came across a laptop that no longer could recognize USB thumb drives. Which is dumb, because as every one knows, the driver for it has been with Windows since ME/2000. Even weirder is that it could properly install or use an external laptop USB hard drive. It was not the computer, because it dual boots XP and XP had no issues with the key on the same port. This is a common problem with XP, where built in drivers for various hardware just "breaks." Sometimes the driver in the cache, or SP cache can fix the issue.

It fixed itself after putting in SP1 on the laptop, probably because it updated the driver upon the SP install.


RE: Registry
By sprockkets on 2/27/2009 8:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to agree with you, but Vista still "rots" in certain ways. For instance, I came across a laptop that no longer could recognize USB thumb drives. Which is dumb, because as every one knows, the driver for it has been with Windows since ME/2000. Even weirder is that it could properly install or use an external laptop USB hard drive. It was not the computer, because it dual boots XP and XP had no issues with the key on the same port. This is a common problem with XP, where built in drivers for various hardware just "breaks." Sometimes the driver in the cache, or SP cache can fix the issue.

It fixed itself after putting in SP1 on the laptop, probably because it updated the driver upon the SP install.


RE: Registry
By Smilin on 2/27/2009 9:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
Guys registry cleaners are snake oil made for suckers who don't know their way around the registry.

The registry is stored in memory as a cell structure (with some linked list type features) and it reads incredibly fast...go snag procmon from sysinternals and have a see.

Your registry getting bloated does not slow your machine down. You can bloat it with all sorts of garbage and it won't slow down anything. For the registry to slow stuff down something has to go and actually read the bloat. The only thing that reads a given registry entry is the software that wrote it. If you uninstall that software and the uninstaller is a piece of crap and leaves something behind, guess what? Nothing will care.

Windows generally confines itself to the system hive and the microsoft portions of hklm\software and hku\software The OS doesn't really read 3rd party entries at all unless it's doing so at the request of an app.

The only real exceptions to this "registry slowdown" are startup items and unused 3rd party services. those are fixed in seconds with a quick run of msconfig. If you are paying someone for software to do this then you are being ripped off.

The best registry cleaner ever made is regedit.


RE: Registry
By Chaser on 2/28/2009 10:43:39 AM , Rating: 2
I know I'm impressed.

Anyway before everyone runs off and starts mass editing our registry a good uninstaller is Revo. It's 100 percent free and it scans after each uninstall for registry leftovers that the app may have left behind.

Orphaned register entries can cause problems. So before you go on a registry ramp with regedit try Revo. It does a little bit better of a job than reedit for those of us that don't want to spend hours getting certified in Windows registry.


about time
By Screwballl on 2/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: about time
By therealnickdanger on 2/27/2009 12:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
While I haven't had any issues with Vista, as a power user (ambiguous), I really like W7 a lot more too. I say let it cook a bit longer, make it as great as possible.


RE: about time
By omnicronx on 2/27/2009 12:34:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Sorry I have had nothing but problems with Vista and mostly praise about 7. Beta 7 runs so much better for a power user than any release of Vista...
How does 7 run better for a power user? As much as I love 7, it does not perform that much better on good hardware. Though I wont even dare to install Vista on my laptop, 7 runs very well on 3 year old hardware.


RE: about time
By nikon133 on 2/27/2009 7:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Though I wont even dare to install Vista on my laptop, 7 runs very well on 3 year old hardware.


Well... I'm running Vista on my office PC which is P4 2.6GHz, 865 chipset, DDR 400, AGP graphics with 128MB... I've add extra 1GB of RAM since I've upgraded from XP and I'm perfectly happy - except for a bit longer boot time, I can't notice any performance loss... in fact, I feel my system is running smoother with multiple applications opened. And that hardware surely is older than 3 years..?


RE: about time
By TomZ on 2/27/2009 7:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
Same here - we are running Vista on a number of older P4-class machines that are similar to yours, maybe 5 years old on average. They all run just fine. I don't know where people get the misperception that Vista is slow or unusable on older machines.

The only time I saw Vista run slow on a machine is on machines that have only a small amount of RAM. XP will be better in that case.


RE: about time
By C'DaleRider on 2/27/2009 11:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
Let's face it.....Vista bashing, along with writing Microsoft as M$, are just the geek equivalent of gang signs.

If you want to be "in", you have to bash Vista and Microsoft, and add Intel, too.

Naturally, if queried about the last time the Vista-MS-basher actually used Vista, the stock answer typically is "Well, ummmmm, I really never used it, I just heard-was told-read-that it sux!!!"

Just let the little kiddie mushrooms live in their dank, dark basements and continue to consume guano.....no one really expects any more or any less from them.


RE: about time
By retrospooty on 2/28/2009 12:21:56 PM , Rating: 3
Guys, Vista gets bashed because it DOES run poorly on some hardware, and on some installations. It runs great for me, I had no issues with it and i like it... But just because it ran great for me (and obviously you and Tomz) doesn't mean we can assume that everyone with problems is an idiot. There are genuine scenarios where is problematic.

That is the nature of bugs... They don't happen to every configuration everytime.


RE: about time
By retrospooty on 2/28/2009 12:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
Vista gets bashed because it DOES run poorly on some hardware, and on some installations. It runs great for me, I had no issues with it and i like it... But just because it ran great for me (and obviously you and Tomz) doesn't mean we can assume that everyone with problems is an idiot. There are genuine scenarios where is problematic.

That is the nature of bugs... They don't happen to every configuration everytime.


RE: about time
By TomZ on 2/28/2009 1:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
True, but probably 90% of Vista-bashing is based on FUD, not on actual problems with Vista.


RE: about time
By 67STANG on 3/1/2009 1:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, but that 10%....


RE: about time
By mtnmanak on 3/2/2009 2:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
We’ve been using Vista Ultimate or Business on a number of machines for the better part of last year and, overall, don’t have many issues. The ones we do have tend to be frustrating. Here are a couple that seem to plague our machines across the board:

Relatively poor network file transfer speeds on a Windows Server 2003 active directory domain. We have not tested it on a workgroup or in a Server 2008 environment, but in a Server 2003 environment (with a gigabit network), XP pretty much blows Vista out of the water on file transfer speed (once again, this is on our network). We have implemented all the service packs and tweaks, but still can’t get XP-like speeds on network file transfers.

Likewise, USB file transfer speeds are also inferior to Windows XP. They were vastly improved with SP1, but still fall short across the board. I have personally benchmarked our external drives (both hard drives and flash media) and found that in all cases XP provided faster file transfers.

We have also encountered weird USB connectivity issues. I realize these were often present in XP, but, for example, we have some Verbatim flash media readers that connect via USB. Overtime, they just stop connecting to the Vista machines. They never have problems with XP – even on dual-boot XP/Vista machines where the reader won’t work in the Vista install. Haven’t found a solution for this one yet.

Some of our hardware just hasn’t been supported and some business software still hasn’t quite made the leap to true Vista compatibility – especially 64-bit. We use Quickbooks, for example, and we haven’t upgraded to 2009 yet, but, under advice from our accountants, we keep our Quickbooks machines loaded with XP.

All-in-all, Vista is fine and it definitely has a lot of improvements, but these critical business tasks sometimes make us wonder if the trade-off is worth it. Hopefully Windows 7 fixes these issues.


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