A Mac Lover's Review of Windows 7

Many, if not most of my posts here, are infused with some Mac-ery goodness - no surprise to the rest of the blogging community, journalists, or social media freaks (whom many of which are Apple-heads.)

What about pretty much everyone else, though?  Doesn't it get old hearing everybody yap their traps about how awesome Apple is and constantly diss Windows like the family outcast?  Well, be annoyed no more, as Redmond's latest creation, Windows 7, is super-slick - and rights most of the wrongs perpetrated by the abomination typically known as Vista.

Windows 7 Is Stable

From my experience so far, I can declare that Windows 7 is pretty stable and doesn't crash (or otherwise get wonky) anywhere nearly as bad as Vista.  Even on my Dell Mini 9 (my test machine so far) multiple applications open, run, close, and open again with no issues.  I almost never require a reboot.  It was also much easier to set everything up and the Control Panel feels much more stable and usable.

Windows 7 Feels Faster

Yes, you're hearing this right: it feels faster to me than XP.  Applications open and run faster on my Dell Mini 9, which is pretty amazing considering the specs of the machine.  That being said, I did a completely fresh and clean install of 7 rather than an "upgrade," which many people will undoubtably do.  I'm comparing the speeds between a clean install of XP, also, so I'm inclined to believe what I'm experiencing is real.

Windows 7 Looks Awesome

The visual bling in Windows 7, Aero, is very, very nice.  It looks a lot like Vista but adds some neat shine effects on the taskbar items, and runs well even on my lower-spec machine.

Vastly Improved Taskbar and Aero Peek

I hated the simple, status quo taskbar in every version of Windows up until this one.  Compared to Expose on a Mac, it just felt sluggish to navigate from app to app, and I never liked alt-tabbing to select apps.  Windows 7 changes all that, and is arguably better than Expose.

Hover over an icon in the taskbar, and a list of all windows within that app will pop up, allowing you to easily select which one you like - much better than OS X's Stacks, in my opinion.

Alt-Tab through apps and you'll get a full window preview instead of a tiny icon.

Windows 7 Aero Peek

Hover your mouse pointer over the little tab in the lower right hand corner to activate Aero Peek and reveal what's on your desktop; click to go to your desktop.

All of these functions work together to make switching windows and apps pretty seamless and arguably more efficient (and less eye-straining) than repeated use of Expose.

Window Gestures (a.k.a. Snap and Shake)

There are some handy window gestures/shortcuts you can use, too.  My favorite is the side-by-side pane view, also known as Snap; simply drag a window to the right or left side of the screen to dock it there and reduce it to exactly half your screen size.  You can easily compare two windows this way.  You can also drag a window to the top of the screen to maximize it and drag back down to restore it to its former size.  You can even "shake" a window with your mouse to close all other open windows.  OS X doesn't really do any of this and it all feels seamless and is quite useful.

Will I Switch...?

No.  My heart still lies with OS X, and I feel it's an overall superior package for looks, usability, and reliability.  I'm married to lots of Mac exclusive applications that simply can't run on Windows such as RapidWeaver, Scrivener, Boxer, and numerous others.  As such, I'll continue using OS X on my "main" machines for work and for play.

However, I've renewed my vows with my Dell Mini 9 running Windows 7.  It's become a much more useful and productive little machine due to this new OS, which I cannot and will not mock.  As far as I'm concerned, Bill's done something right, and I hope it keeps getting better.  Who knows, I might even build a tricked-out Windows 7 box someday!



Interesting features ; however I am most reminded about a famous quote with regards to Windows 7.

One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.
Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, & zoologist (384 BC - 322 BC)

I shall remain unconvinced by Windows 7 seeing as though internally by Microsoft it is labeled as Windows 6.1 and Vista is 6.0.

You should also check out arstechnica review on Windows 7. The reviewer does nit pick a few things and some of the comments do pick up the obvious reviewer bias. However I think he does point out that not enough has changed and therefore the Leopards, Snow or otherwise remain unchallenged. IMHO.

I totally agree with you, and that's why I'm not switching :) I'm still an Apple guy and I still view the big cat as a superior OS.

I just think Windows 7 is pretty darn good and definitely a nice surprise.


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