I’ve used a whole lot of operating systems, but for many years, Windows has been my primary mode of computing. I now use Vista on 3 machines and Ubuntu Linux on a 4th (with it also dual-booting on one of my Vista machines). I’ve had a lot of experience with Macs as well, and about a dozen different Linux Distros. Having seen all of these different computing methods, I’d like to offer my insight (even though very few people are probably reading this) into the development of Windows 7.
- Backwards compatibility needs to go. By trying to make all aspects of the operating system backwards compatible with other versions, Windows releases have been getting more and more bloated. The old apps usually don’t even work right anyways. Add a virtualization engine that old apps can run in. That way, it only has to be used when old apps are needed.
- Vista had way to many SKUs. Ultimate, Home Premium, Business…etc. It was simply ridiculous. Take a page from the linux playbook: Make a single base operating system, and allow the needed packages to be installed on top of it. None of this extra stuff should be installed by default. During the Windows install, it should start very stripped down. You can can either choose a suggested configuration based on what you will use the computer for, or advanced users can pick and choose. For example, any business user would not need to install photo gallery, but they may want remote access. A home use can pick differently to suit their needs. If you decide you want to add or remove a feature later on, just pop in your Windows 7 Disc and choose what you want to add or remove.
- Stop giving eye candy priority over features/improvements. In Vista, great features like WinFS were stripped out, while aero remained in tact. That is insane. There is nothing wrong with making the OS look nice, but you shouldn’t need a super computer to run the GUI, and the quality of the OS operations should always come first.
- The registry needs to go. Now. I am aware that this means changing a lot, but the Registry is outdated and stubborn. It is the cause for too many problems, and makes moving programs impossible. Try using config files like linux does.
- Release driver information. early. like yesterday. Drivers were a major issue with Vista, and while it wasn’t Microsoft’s fault that the developers didn’t write their drivers early, they do need to give them some encouragement by providing info early on.
I’ll probably think of some more things later on and append to this post…
Please post some comments on what you think needs to be different in Windows7.