7 Things We Hate About Windows 7

Illustration for article titled 7 Things We Hate About Windows 7

Since the Windows 7 beta launched, we've pretty much been having a love-in. But the truth is, it's not all rainbows and Start buttons. There are 7 things about Windows 7 that we really hate.

Illustration for article titled 7 Things We Hate About Windows 7

1. Can't Pin What We Want to Taskbar. Perhaps because we love the superbar so much, it drives us nuts that we can't pin everything to it. Particularly, the Recycle Bin and some devices, like USB drives.

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With the Recycle Bin, you can make it a folder within Windows Explorer on the taskbar, but you can't pin the actual Recycle Bin to the taskbar, so you can drag and drop stuff into it or empty it. Instead, I get this single, lonely icon floating on my desktop, making my OCD crazy. Admittedly, adding the recycling bin to the taskbar with drag-and-drop garbage would make the new taskbar behavior inconsistent, but I drag stuff to the taskbar all the time wanting to chunk it. We want the option, even if it makes absolutely no sense.

When it comes to devices, it's inconsistent about what you can and can't pin, which really is annoying as hell. You can pin certified Device Stage products there, but not any other peripheral—even ones that are recognized as the same type, like a camera. I was able to pin my Downloads folder to the taskbar separately from the catch-all Windows Explorer icon, but every other folder I tried failed. If you're going to rob full control from us, at least do so consistently.

2. No Upgrade Install From XP to Windows 7. You can do an upgrade install—an installation that'll preserve your programs, files and folder structure—from Vista to Windows 7, but not from XP to Windows 7. We all admit, it's really better to do a clean install anyway, and leapfrogging two generations of OSes is bound to cause all kinds of headaches. But a hefty chunk of people will upgrade from XP to 7, especially on netbooks. Upgrading XP to Vista was doable, and Windows 7 is structurally speaking, a lot like Vista. So what's the deal, hmmmmm? Migration tools are nice, but they're no match for a simple upgrade wizard.

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Illustration for article titled 7 Things We Hate About Windows 7
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3. Ejecting Devices Requires Too Many Clicks. Love Device Stage and all, but ejecting a plain old card reader requires two different menus and more clicks than I care to count as I shuffle from menu to menu. Just like it was in Vista, this is dumb. Sometimes it's just easier to yank out the drive and deal with the angry alert message. Two clicks max, please. Update: Okay, looks like we're doinitwrong. You can actually pop up a list of attached devices from the "safely remove hardware icon where you click the device, and it ejects, requiring a grand total of two clicks, which is what we wanted. If you actually click where it says "Safely Remove Hardware" it pops up the menu and you get to click more. This could be made more apparent to the user, I think.

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4. Most Desktop Gadgets Suck More people will use gadgets now that they don't start off in the Sidebar by default. (Yes, you can rip 'em off the Sidebar and scatter 'em around in Vista, but it's still more of an ordeal.) But even if gadgets are more accessible than ever, there's a problem: Most of them are pretty terrible, with nothing like the quality or polish of OS X's Dashboard ecosystem or Yahoo's Konfabulator, so we only use a few of 'em. Hopefully, this gets better by the time Windows 7 is all final.

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5. Windows Media Player Blows. Yeah, it now natively supports more than three-and-a-half codecs, but try actually figuring out how to use its great new features. The interface is yucky and cluttered, a consequence of trying to simplify a program that's gotten really unwieldy as its sprouted feature tentacles over the years. (Before you even start, I'm not a fan of iTunes' feature bloat either, but its library UI is better.) Our attempts to play music off of a networked drive, for instance, went nowhere on one computer and produced ugly results on another, because it's so unintuitive, with controls and features hidden like surprises. There's really no argument for saving Media Player—it's not like anyone actually likes it anyway. Windows Media Center and Zune's software look and feel great, so how about letting those guys build a whole new one from scratch?

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6. Sleep and Hibernation Are Still Crapshoots. This may sound like a beta complaint, but it's been a real problem in Windows for a while. Sometimes your computer will come out of sleep or hibernation. (Sleep is much better than hibernation, though.) Sometimes it won't. Sometimes it's as snappy as a wake up as if it had a triple shot of espresso. Sometimes it's like it washed down three bottles of sleeping pills with a quart of drank. Make it work, please.

Illustration for article titled 7 Things We Hate About Windows 7
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7. Control Panel Is a Mess. Look at this crap. No really, just look at it. The Simple layout literally hides what you're looking for, while the All view masks it with the camouflage of multiplicity. Not only that, but with all the advancements, Control Panel is no longer really the single central hub for getting everything done, tinker-wise. With all the great UI work you've done in Windows 7, don't tell us you really couldn't do any better with this, guys.

We've got some other nagging issues that may become objects of hatred at some point, but we're willing to wait for the final release to air more grievances. In the meantime, that's what we absolutely hate. So FIX IT! Thanks for caring.

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DISCUSSION

One of my biggest gripes is the inability to hide all desktop icons whilst still showing gadgets.

I haaaaateee that i have to manually remove all icons and then bloody hide the recycle bin under my gadgets. It's annoying!

I also agree re: pinning any item to the taskbar. But actually, that only came up because i've been unable to find a work-around to a problem that has consistently plagued me since Vista in every damn computer i've used:

- every time i restart the computer, the mouse pointer resets to default. so every single i time i restart, if i want my customized pointers, i have to open up the Mouse menu, click to "pointers," and then hit "OK."

.... actually, if anyone knows a way to fix that, i'd be extremely appreciative.