Improvements to Windows 7

(just a quick note, i wrote this quickly, so there may be mistakes, and badly worded bits, so please tell me so i can update it)

I have been using Windows, and Windows 7 for a long time now, but like any operating system it has flaws and problems.

Problem 1 – Upgrading

The biggest problem that some of my friends have encountered is upgrading from a previous version to Windows 7. They need to make the upgrade system more flexible, removing issues such as upgrading from Business to Home Premium which currently requires a clean install. Upgrades also take a lot of time and can be unsuccessful.

Problem 2 – Installers

There are various installer systems for Windows, all of them different. As a user i would really like one underlying installer system that EVERYONE would use. I’m not saying they all need the same UI, but they should all use the same underlying technology, which should be Windows Installer.

They also need to add a auto updater protocol in this so that people can keep their software up to date via one interface. Something similar to Windows Update. This will keep people up to date, which means more stable software, more secure software, but also a way for companies to potentially advertise upgrades to newer versions, and the best bit of it all, the user gets a better experience.

This might also help improve Problem 1, as if everything uses the same installer system, then its easier to migrate programs across.

I know some projects like NSIS wouldn’t like this, but there are plenty of open source Windows Installer based systems for creating installers, e.g. WIX.

Those are the main two issues i see today, there are of course other issues, but they are minor.

Windows 7 has really improved on performance, but there is always more you can do.

Also i would like to be able to install a base version of Windows e.g. Professional, then buy licenses for the extras that appear in higher versions like BitLocker, without having to pay for all of the other extras that come in Ultimate. This would unleash new avenues of revenue for Microsoft, as well as helping to make Windows more modular.

If you have anything to add to this, or that you would like to suggest, then please comment, and i might make a follow up post.

IE8 and Why i use it.

Now i am often asked to explain my reasoning for using IE8 especially as I’m doing computer science, i am often ridiculed for it, but i continue to use it and i have 2 simple reasons:

Firstly IE8 has a decent UI the only thing that is slightly better is Chrome (but i will come back to why i don’t use Chrome), i personally find that Firefox has a ugly and cluttered interface, and that its default theme is crap. Yes, by default IE8 does have a slightly cluttered interface but as soon as you turn of the favourites bar, it is perfectly fine, nice and tidy. The chrome UI is even simpler and tidier. Safari 3 is as ugly as iTunes is, it ignores any native UI components its just terrible, yes Safari 4 is an improvement, but it still as bad as Firefox.

Secondly the features. IE8 has built in developer features that are almost as good as firebug, but i don’t use them that often so they are not a killer feature. What i do like is my RSS feed manager at a key press away, a feature i have yet to find in Firefox (standard install I’m not counting 3rd party plug-ins). Chrome just doesn’t seem to have any features.

So in conclusion while Firefox has the better set of 3rd Party plug-ins, BUT it has a dreadful interface, and a lack of a decent RSS manager. Chrome has a slightly better UI, but has a complete lack of features.

That’s why i use IE8, its fast, its responsive, it has a decent UI (could be better though), it has a brilliant RSS Manager, and very good built-in developer tools.