The Start button doesn't say 'Start'
anymore. I was trying to do some phone support recently,
and I said, 'click on the Start button...'. The
unfortunate individual replied, 'Where is the Start button?'
And, no, she was definitely not using Windows 8; it was Windows
7 for sure.
I'm a big fan of the network
activity indicator which in previous versions of windows could
optionally be made to appear in the system tray. It's
still an option in Vista, but it's blinking lights don't really
seem to indicate anything. You can't really tell by
looking at them whether the network adapter is transferring
data. It's nothing more than an ornament now. Or
could it be that M$ doesn't want us to know how often Vista is
sending data to various entities letting them know what we're up
to? They eliminated the network activity icon completely
in Windows 7. Got a loose wire somewhere in your
circuitry? Rip the other end off too; it'll look better.
Vista/Win 7 have made it more difficult to
tell which files are selected when performing file management
activities in Windows Explorer. In previous versions,
selected files could be identified by a dark background behind
the filename. Now, Vista/7 create some sort of translucent
bar across the window on the line of each selected file.
To me, it's difficult to tell what I have selected. If
you're used to selecting files with a rectangular marquee,
you're liable to end up dragging individual files around instead
of selecting anything. Who knows where your files may end
Aero. Have you noticed that
the semi-transparent appearance of the windows, particularly
those of web browsers, makes it difficult to read text in the
vicinity of the toolbar? For example, if there are icons
near the top of the desktop, their ghostly appearance behind my
IE window makes it difficult for me to read the URL I'm
Many of the functions that I
frequently perform require at least one additional step to get
to. For example, in previous versions of Windows if you
wanted to see how long your computer had been running you could
just double click the network activity icon to see how long the
machine had been connected to the network. Take a moment
to make this determination in Vista. Well two moments, at
Logging on. I believe this
gripe only applies of your Vista/Win 7 machine is a domain member.
But did you realize that if you have been logged onto the domain
and then need to log on as a local user, you have to type the
name of the computer in addition to the local user name--like
so: computername\username. Many people don't even
know their computer name. If you have a problem with your
network adapter, you'd better hope you have your computer name
written down somewhere. Geesh!!!!
This new 'Switch Between Windows'
feature doesn't always work right. In the Quick Launch
toolbar, I have occasionally clicked the icon that displays all
of my open windows in a sort of 3D isometric view on the screen.
You're supposed to be able to click on the one you want to bring
to the forefront. The one that comes forward is not always
the one I click on. Most times, but not always.
If you've been in the habit of
customizing your Start Menu, you'll have an entirely new folder
structure to learn on the hard drive. This cannot possibly
serve any real purpose except that it prevents some Microsoft
developers from having to rewrite a bunch of code they screwed
up. Furthermore, consider the changes as a whole which
have been made to the 'c:\documents
and settings' and 'c:\program
files' structures which many users were just beginning to
comprehend after years of using Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
Another feature of XP/2000 that's completely gone is the ability
to add shortcuts to folders in the Start Menu which flyout.
You have to make shortcuts to each of your files individually.
Try that with 50 files.
No sound mixer. In every
version of Windows since 95, there has been what I consider to
be a comprehensive and intuitive sound mixer which can be used
to control the various inputs and outputs of the sound system.
In Vista, heaven help you if you need to do anything involving
inputs especially. I haven't figured it out yet, and if
you search the web for an explanation of Vista's convoluted
system of input and output control, no one seems to agree on how
to tame the sprawl. It takes several steps to do what you
used to be able to do with one double-click followed by an
adjustment to a slider control. I have reason to believe
that this has even caused some problems for sound card
manufacturers. What's more, unless you uncheck 'Listen to
this device' for you line input, there will be 0.5 second delay
between input and output. And when you do uncheck 'Listen
to this device', the volume control for that input no longer
appears on the mixer. You have to dig and dig to control
the volume of your input. You just can't win with Win7.
What on Earth did they do to the 'My
Documents' folder?!!! What are libraries?!!! I can't
find documents that I just created seconds ago!!!
Why did they bury the Start Menu
folder? Were they afraid people would screw up their PCs
just by customizing the Start Menu? Every time I need to
customize the Start Menu now, I have to use Google to find it,
because I can't remember. Microsoft apparently hates its