Friday, April 16, 2010

Windows 7 Won't Raise Your Game

After installing Microsoft's latest operating system, one business owner finds his staff covering less ground

New equipment and software often don't do a lot to raise their users' games. Windows 7 is one of those kinds of upgrades. Nearly six months after its release, the business owners I know aren't getting much value from it. That includes me.

Sure, there's a snazzy new user interface. I can customize the task bar by "pinning" items to it, and see thumbnail previews of the windows I have open. I can make my computer more personal. No thanks. This is a business machine, not my car's bumper.

It's not all negative. My company's new Windows 7 PCs perform a bit faster than older ones that ran Windows XP, and they're better at recognizing new hardware that's plugged into them. Security continues to be strong, as Microsoft downloads updates to Windows 7 machines nearly each week.

Windows 7 resembles Microsoft's operating systems of the past. Some of my applications still freeze, and I still reboot and start over, hoping it won't happen again. Networking still takes an information technology professional to set up.

Making matters worse, Microsoft has changed the user interface, which makes us hunt for once-familiar commands. In response, my employees have wasted time reconfiguring the Windows 7 interface so we can readily find useful shortcuts.

Read the full story at BusinessWeek by Gene Marks

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