Windows 7 Review: Why I Like Windows 7: Page 2

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After people amass a decade’s worth of digital information, finding pieces of that information becomes the biggest challenge. Windows 7’s libraries tackle the organization part of that problem by letting one library show the contents of several folders. Store your music in the Public Music folder, for example, and those tunes automatically appear in every user account’s Music library.

Libraries break tradition, and IT people will be doing a lot of tutoring in the months to come. But once people grasp the concept, they’ll be able to spend more time working with their information rather than finding it.


With Windows 7, Microsoft finally realized that people don’t need the same level of security on their home networks as they do on the Internet. Homegroups let everybody type a single password into their networked PCs. Those PCs then join hands to become a Homegroup, where every PC on the network can share all the music, pictures, and videos stored by everyone else. Of course, anybody can opt out of sharing their media. But chances are, most people will embrace this easier way to share their vacation photos and music.

Windows 7’s a huge step forward from Microsoft Vista, and it’s versatile enough to last for years to come. But Windows 7’s certainly not perfect.

As to be expected, Windows 7 is often too much about Microsoft’s needs, rather than your own. For example, Windows 7 no longer comes with an e-mail program, so Windows 7 understandably pushes Microsoft’s new Windows Live Mail program as a replacement.

Try to download Windows Live Mail, though, and the installation program tries to install Microsoft’s entire suite of Live programs. Then the installer tries to hijack your Home page to Microsoft’s ad-soaked MSN, and switch your search engine to Microsoft’s Live Search.

And the program repetitively begs you to sign up for a Windows Live e-mail address, no matter how many e-mail addresses you’ve accumulated over the years.

If you’re upgrading Windows Vista to Windows 7, Microsoft switches your default browser to Internet Explorer 8, no matter how many years you’ve been using Firefox. Internet Explorer’s Favorites and Feeds areas come pre-stuffed with links to Microsoft’s products.

In short, Microsoft’s trying to wring as much cash as possible from their enviable position of automatically landing atop 90 percent of the world’s desktops. There’s nothing wrong with a business making money, of course. One day, hopefully, Microsoft will be a little less obnoxious about it.

Let’s hope the company doesn’t pile it on so thick it ruins the Windows 7 experience I’ve found so far.

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Tags: Windows, Microsoft, Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP

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