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…an evolving list:

  • Stability. It’s behaving better than Windows XP did on this box. Not that I had many problems (once I dumped some defective NVIDIA software); but it was sometimes slow for long stretches while something somewhere hogged the CPU. Never could figure out what, but it’s gone in Win7.
  • Arranging the task bar the way I want it: Outlook, then VS2008, then Paint Shop Pro, then Journal, then IE8. Probably need to add Word, Excel, Powerpoint Presenter, and LoungeWorks.
  • Pinning apps to the task bar. This is the equivalent of the old Quick Launch, but easier and more intuitive.
  • The MRU lists in the task bar. Oh, man, is this a time saver!
  • Pinning files to the MRU lists. Another time saver. I can know that Ulterior Motive Lounge.jnt (i.e., where I draw the Lounge) is always just a couple clicks away.
  • Really rich set of previewers in Explorer, even including copying from the preview. Now when I know there’s something I need in a Word doc (in this case, the serial number for my Gateway), I don’t have to open Word to copy it to the clipboard.
  • Desktop slideshow. I have Volume I of the Lounge running as my desktop.
  • Easily customized desktop icons. (Small quibble here: it seems very hard to make large customized icons. I have succeeded with one. So far, I have failed with three. Still investigating.)
  • Speech recognition seems even more reliable than Vista. Without training, it recognized songs from my music catalog better than Vista did after training.
  • Speech recognition training is insidious. You think you’re running a tutorial; it knows you’re actually training the computer. Users are much more likely to train their computers with this approach. I want to meet the Evil Genius who came up with this plan! (But! The speech recognition fails for me in one minor but annoying respect: even after training – even after I used the correction system a couple of dozen times – it still can’t recognize “Putumayo”. Now matter how many times I try, it hears “”put a mile”.)
  • Stacked icons in the task bar. Great space saver.
  • Pinned taskbar items are “real”. In Quick Launch, they were only launch shortcuts: if you clicked them again, they launched again; and each time they launched, they took up space on the “real” taskbar. Now, the pinned icons are the real icons. Click them the first time, and they launch. Click them again, and they take you to the instance you already launched. Right-click, and you can launch another instance, or launch as Admin, or launch from the MRU list, or… Combined with stacked icons, this is a really great space saver. It encourages me to pin more things. I may soon find that I pin all my common apps.
  • IE8 tabs all show as stacked icons in the taskbar. This makes it very easy to find a given tab, no matter which window you have opened it in. In XP/Vista, I had to look through multiple IE windows (assuming I had multiple windows open) and multiple tabs within each window to find the one I wanted. Now I click the icon, and select from the list. (And I’m wishing this machine had the graphics horsepower for Aero, so I could see the preview windows!)
  • The desktop shows up as one more window in the ALT+TAB list. It’s amazing how obvious this is in hindsight.
  • The show/hide desktop button on the end of the task bar. When I need to go to desktop right away. this is even quicker than ALT+TAB.
  • Desktop gadgets. With transparency! Right now, I only have clock and calendar. But I’m thinking of more.
  • Media Player 12 remembers my prior play list when I have to close and reopen the player. I hate having to save a temporary playlist if I have to reboot after some upgrade; but I hate losing my place in the middle of a great playlist.
  • Media Player 12’s hover preview option. Can’t remember what that song is? Hover and find out!
  • IE8’s Find is amazingly fast, even on this old machine, and amazingly simple.

More to come, I’m sure…

Posted on Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:23 AM Windows 7 | Back to top


Comments on this post: Why I’m loving Windows 7 beta…

# re: Why I’m loving Windows 7 beta…
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Martin,

does w7's speech recognition integrate fully with wmp? that was my biggest complaint with vista's native speech recognition (at least this was true the last time i messed around with it). i really wanted to have a voice-activated home theater pc but the voice-driven wmp interface just wasn't cutting it, and the extensions i found on the web didn't have robust (or any) library-searching capabilities. clearly ms already solved this problem for their ford sync interface - just curious if any of that knowledge made its way into w7.
Left by Zach on Nov 08, 2009 7:24 PM

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