Windows 7 and what it is not

Now that we have prices, it is clear that RC1 is probably the thing and not a lot if anything is going to change for RTM.

So, I guess I have to live with the small and big nuisances, everybody else does not seem to have.

Nobody seems to have an ASUS P5B-E and encounter the extremely loud audio click during startup and “shutdown” or notice that it doesn’t appear to be able to completely shutdown the motherboard and power supply.

There is all the fuzz about how it is faster and uses less memory than its predecessor, that more apps and devices are working and that XP Mode and RAIL are the greatest things since sliced bread.

Really? The greatest thing is that the next Windows version can now run a legacy app in an entire virtual machine on the old platform? And “integration” is something like a shortcut that opens a window over a Remote Desktop? C’mon!

I really thought that application virtualization was aimed at a much, much tighter integration and that Microsoft actually had the smarts to pull this off within its own new Windows operating system, instead of coming up with a duct-taped Virtual PC.

Is the new system architecture really both that different and at the same time so non-extensible that an application cannot be more seamlessly virtualized? And do I really have to go and manage the XP Mode VPC like another machine, that is Microsoft Updates, Firewall, Virus Scan?

And what do I get for this? Just a shortcut in the start menu. And I had so high hopes for the Compatibility property page.

Well, for one thing, it is great that I can run 32bit-only applications for out-of-support USB devices on a 64-bit host. But there is no automatic startup, no automatic attach of USB devices and no real integration, with themes, with common registry settings, notifications or seamless access to the host file system, e.g. the user documents folder.

Why don’t I get what “Windows-on-Windows” really stands for? And all those nice “shims”? How’s that gonna integrate?

And for us poor chaps in the EU there isn’t even an upgrade path. As far as I know, Virtual PC doesn’t provide “Convert PC to virtual machine” in the same way that VMware does.

Windows 7 may be the best Windows Microsoft has made to date. But it is a far cry from the perfection the hype suggests.

It simply works better than Windows Vista because Microsoft and more of the other software and hardware vendors had sufficient time to get their act together for the adaption (or workaround) of the security features, multi-core machines, and even 64-bit.

But the stuff that is really broken in Windows Vista and Server 2008, say the out-of-their-freaking-mind “Event Viewer”, that didn’t change for “7” in any way.

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