Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fresh Complaints for Windows 7

Windows 7Windows Vista was the "new big thing" for Microsoft and while people liked it, it still had its fair share of complaints. That is why Microsoft developed Windows 7, the newest OS for the company. Windows 7, which was released in late October, opened to much fanfare. However, like all other previous Windows upgrades, bug complaints have already started coming in.

Overall, a total of 31% of people using Windows 7 have reported problems with the upgrading process. This number comes from a recent survey of over 100,000 Windows 7 customers by consumer helpdesk firm iYogi. In a statement from iYogi co-founder Vishal Dhar, "Most of the problems that customers have with Windows 7 have to do with installation or application and data migration." Dhar goes on to say that "these are all fixable problems. but they're annoyances and they're time consuming."

A major problem with nearly 9% of users is that the installation process, which takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minuets, reaches the "62% completed" mark and then freezes. Microsoft is, however, aware of this problem and says that it can be fixed by rebooting your PC, going into advanced settings and typing in a code that instructs the computer to ignore plug-ins.

Issues do not stop with the upgrade process though. A lot of users still experience glitches even after Windows 7 is installed successfully. A common complaint is that the basic "applet" programs, programs like Mail, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery were missing. The reason for the missing programs is because Windows 7 deletes them and requires users to download them from the Windows Live essential web site. According to iYogi, nearly 26% of users were confused about the extra step.

8% of users complained that the DVD drives could not be found and another 2% said that they could not sync their iPhones with Windows 7. 1 out of every 7 people reported that the new "Aero" theme does not work but almost 14% of users who experienced problems with "Aero" do not have the graphics capabilities on their PCs to run it.

Among some other common complaints were that there are too many "mini-dumps", an inability to view file extensions, problems with the "Aero snap" feature, changes to custom icons and even problems with the new taskbar. Microsoft thus far has declined any request for comments.

Although there is a brighter side to all of this. Once users have worked out all the bugs, the experience has been relatively hassle-free and those who have bought a computer with Windows 7 preloaded onto it have seen the fewest problems. Dhar comments on this saying, "Customers who finally get it up and running love Windows 7. We haven't had a lot of people calling for usability issues because it's a much more intuitive interface than Windows XP."

But Windows 7 is far from perfect. According to an analyst with Yankee Group, one of the biggest annoyances people have with Windows 7 is that the ribbon menus located on the top of programs have been completely redesigned which means they have to be completely relearned.

Microsoft also got rid of a lot of applications that seemed to be favorites with customers, applications which included Windows Movie Maker. But despite all the complaints about Windows 7, they still do not seem as bad as the ones associated with Windows Vista. Vista was plagued with bugs, software incompatibilities and even sluggish and annoying security alerts. Principle analyst with ITIC Laura DiDio states that "While there are a few bugs, I haven't seen or heard any show-stoppers. In fact, just the opposite. Some Vista users can't wait to upgrade. So far this has been a home run for Microsoft."

The sooner the bugs can be fixed the better but regardless, Windows 7 seems to be a vast improvement over the near disaster that was Windows Vista.

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