One of my Christmas presents to myself this year (2009) was a new laptop. It's an Acer Aspire 7535-5020 with 4GB RAM, 320GB Hard Drive, Wireless LAN, Built-in Camera, GigaBit LAN, Modem (Does anyone use a Modem any more?), a huge 16:9, 17" screen and a full-size keyboard. It has to be the biggest laptop that I've ever seen. It's not as heavy as it looks but it's certainly not as portable as my Acer One Netbook. It came with Windows 7 Home Premium, which I quickly removed in favor of the more robust and feature-rich, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, which I need for the virtualization capability. In my short 2 weeks of using Windows 7, I've found that there are some things I don't like about it but I don't hate it.
I have two significant issues with Windows 7. The first is that it isn't Windows XP and the second is that it's not Windows Vista.
Windows 7 should've followed XP and, for me, it did.
It's hard to let go of Windows XP. It's easy to ignore Windows Vista. In fact, I'm pretending that Windows Vista never happened at all. Kind of like that other figment of my imagination: Windows Me.
One of the things I really miss about XP is the right-click search that allowed me to search folders, drives or the whole computer for a particular file and even search for a string inside the file. It must have been some bizarre twist of drug-induced euphoria that caused Microsoft to put search in the Start Menu and remove the right-click search upon which I'd grown to love and depend.
The search applet in the Start Menu is OK and is a welcome addition but to take away my most valued feature makes me want to start the rumor that Steve Ballmer carries a System76 laptop with Ubuntu Linux on it.
While I'm complaining, I'd also like the ability to have my "Classic" Start Menu back. I really don't like the new one. It feels too limited. Oh, and what the heck is up with this "Library" thing. Just give me back My Documents. There was nothing wrong with My Documents.
Private message to Microsoft: Give me back the right-click search. In the immortal words of a very famous writer (yours truly), "If it ain't broke, please don't break it."
Windows 7 feels faster than previous Windows versions. It feels sturdier. And it feels finished. I don't have the nagging funk in the pit of my stomach that tells me to wait for Windows 7B or the first major service pack. It feels ready for prime time. Admittedly, I changed the interface, as much as possible, back to Windows Classic. Sorry, I'm just used to it and I'm efficient with it. And for the Linux folks reading this, It's more KDE and GNOME-like when in Classic mode.
I also installed a full complement of Cygwin on it after all of the customary patching and rebooting finished.
Oh sure, I've seen all kinds of "I Hate Windows 7" rhetoric floating around the Internet. I guess the "hate" entries are more page view worthy but (and this is difficult for a Linux guy to say) I don't hate Windows 7.
Yes, I'm having Windows XP withdrawals but I'm sure that will wane along with my utter bile-scented distaste for Vista. I can't remember how many times I switched back and forth from Windows 3.11 and Windows 95, when Windows 95 first arrived on the scene. I made the change albeit kicking and screaming and clinging to my Program Manager until I learned to click Start->Programs and enjoy the now familiar Explorer interface.
Windows 7 makes me happy with Windows again. There are things about it that I don't care for but it certainly isn't a disappointment.
Now that I've confessed my non-hate for Windows 7, I'm ready to take my knocks from every corner of the Internet, from every fanboy with a piece of virtual chalk, from every blogger who sees this entry and from every Windows 7 hating pundit with whom I've ever crossed-swords. Go for it because, I'm sorry, I don't hate Windows 7.