John Dvorak at PC Magazine, a grand old curmudgeon who never pulls any punches created a wish list for Windows 7. It got me thinking about my own wish list, so here goes:
1. Don't Make Me Wait Forever at Boot Time
Nothing aggravates me more than waiting for Windows to boot up. It takes forever and seems to take longer with each passing version. I remember some time ago Bill Gates ordering his programmers to speed up boot time. They seemed to have missed the memo because it never happened, and if anything it got worse.
2. Gives us a Little Credit about Security
Don't dumb down Windows 7 like you did Vista. Give us a little credit, so that the computer is actually useful. Don't ask me if I'm sure if I want to load a program, and after I click that it's OK, certainly don't keep asking me again and again.
It shouldn't be a chore to install software and certainly the OS should get the hell out of the way. Vista is constantly in the way and it's so annoying, it makes me want to scream every time I have to interact with it. It's madness and if you want to make me happy, just let me install the damn software in Windows 7. Thanks.
3. It's My Stuff, so Let Me Use It
Why is Microsoft so concerned about protecting the RIAA and the MPAA? Do they play golf together or something? Let's just forget about DRM in Windows 7, OK? It's another piece of Big Brother software I can do without. I paid for the song or the video. If I want to make a backup or move it another device I should be able to do it without my OS balking at me.
4. Don't Require 4 GB of RAM to Work Right
Whenever I complain about how pokey Vista is to colleagues, there's always a few who claim not to understand what I'm talking about. Probe a bit deeper and you find their machine is loaded with RAM. If the computer manufacturers are selling Vista with 1-2GB of RAM, it should work with that, and not require you to double the RAM just to get a normal performance experience. Let's agree not to make Windows 7 a memory hog and we'll all get along much better.
5. Don't Require me to Get All New Hardware
One of the biggest complaints from business users about switching to Vista were the steep hardware requirements. See #5 for an example. Most CIOs are not prepared to upgrade every PC in the company just to move to a new OS, especially when the old OS is working fine. Most consumers aren't either. You'll get more people to upgrade if you don't force them to buy a new machine to do it. Lots of folks just aren't going to do it.
6. Make it Cheaper
There are a ton of free alternatives out there vying for my attention while you're developing Windows 7. There's also OSX, which is a pretty darn good OS, even if you have to pay $80 for it, so I'm telling you Microsoft, you need to bring the down price of the license, and while you're at it, let me share that license with the other computers in my household without charging me to do it. Don't make me pay for every computer. It's just greedy and you'll make tons of friends if you lower the cost and offer a household license, and you need friends. You really do.
I'm quite sure that Microsoft will ignore my wishes completely when developing Windows 7, but it doesn't mean I can't dream. I have no illusions that Windows 7 will be any better than Vista, or as Dvorak says, it will probably be Vista with a few "gewgaws" thrown in to make us think it's really cool. In the end, it will still probably be a piece of crap, but we can hope. We always have hope.
What's on your wish list for Windows 7?