What We Want
I personally don't hate Windows Vista, but I certainly don't like it either. It's at best, and OK operating system, and has its flaws, and a few advantages, compared to XP (which I'm currently using). The firewall is better, and the Aero interface actually has a few functional benefits, not just eye-candy (I'm thinking about the previewing of windows here). But, there are massive problems, network connectivity and speed being the biggest. So, withouut further ado, a list of the most important things Windows 7 (or Vienna) needs to have to be a new XP, rather than a new ME.
- Better Network Speed - First and foremost, the speed of moving articles from another maching to a W7 machine needs to be a LOT faster than Vista, which is just taking the piss...
- Inbuilt PDF Reader - Nothing special. It doesnt have to be great, I just want to have to open PDFs without having to install another separate program. Furthermore, everyone and their dog has Adobe PDF reader installed, which is shit. If you're going to install a PDF reader, install Foxit PDF reader, which is faster to open, and isn't a 30MB install. And yes, Microsoft, I want a lightweight PDF reader...
- Virtual DVD Drives - Even just one would be fine. I want the ability to mount an ISO image in a virtual DVD drive inbuilt into the OS. I dont care if it only reads ISOs, (and can't read NRG, BIN/CUE, MDF/MDS etc.) and I don't care if I can't have two or more. I just want one, that'll save me installing another program.
- A decent DVD Burner - The one on Vista is OK, I guess, but it can't burn ISOs directly. That's all I want.
- Decent Multi-Monitor Support - Oh yeah. All I want is that, if I have two or more monitors installed, the ability to have taskbars on the bottom of them all, clocks on those I select, and the ability to move programs from monitor to monitor easily, with just a single click of the mouse or keyboard shortcut. Very simple.
- FTP Client - Nothing fancy. Just the ability to connect to multiple different websites via an easy-to-use GUI will be fine by me. Anything resembling Filezilla, doesn't need to be anything fancy.
- A Non-Shit Anti-Spyware Program - Yes, Windows Defender is shit, get over it. Ad-Aware and Spybot are better, and free. Just make one that's good and integrate it.
- An Inbuilt Antivirus - This goes without saying.
- A Startup Control Panel - An EASY and INTUITIVE way to manage programs that startup on your PC will be great. If anyone's interested in a good GUI, then click here to download one. It's created by Mike Lin of http://www.mlin.net and a great freeware tool. (It's on my server in case his site ever goes down.)
- Notepad - Well, you could improve it a bit. How about syntax highlighting for common programming languages? I mean, Notepad's fine for little things, but it would be nice to use it as a programming tool rather than having to download another one. Perhaps it could be integrated with a FTP client, to program PHP pages and all that...?
- CVS Client - Nothing special, one would just be nice.
- Windows Mail - I quite like Windows Mail, but I use Thunderbird for ONE REASON ONLY. Thunderbird, I have an extension on it to minimise it to the system tray, where it sits all the time. That's it. I like having my email client open all the time my computer is on, and I sure as hell don't want it in my taskbar all the time. Unlike Firefox and IE, Thunderbird offers me only one improvement over Windows Mail. Don't make me install another third-party program...
- No Online Activation - No, seriously. Anyone who wants to pirate XP or Vista just uses a corporate version they download off a Torrent site. It's easy, and borderline impossible to trace, and it passes WGA. Just remove Online Activation and Validation and all that from the next version of Windows, and people will love you for it, honestly. In all honesty, I don't expect them to do this, but I don't really blame them.
- More Unzipping Programs - Add the ability to un-compress RAR files, GZipped files, etc. It would just be nice. Admittedly, this comes kind of low on my personal list of priorities. But face it, WinRAR is pretty much number one, the gold standard in the trade off between usability, compression ratios, speed and features. It would be good to know that people can unRAR what I send them, without me having to unRAR it, reZIP it, and send it over MSN or whatever.
- Inbuilt Download Manager - Actually, this would be good in two ways. First, it would stop me having to have yet another program installed. Secondly, it could be nicely integrated with other Windows machines in the house easily. For instance, I'm a heavy downloader, and my parents hate sitting down at the downstairs PC just to have the internet crawl to a halt because I'm in the middle of downloading whatever. Wouldn't it be great to have a little button in the taskbar for them to halt my downloads for 20mins, to give them browsing time, and allow me to download as much as my heart liked?
- Torrent Client - Although admittedly, I may have to concede defeat on this one.
I love Windows, really. I like it much more than Linux, which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Vista though, has almost nil advantage over XP, which is a shame. If Microsoft ignored the sodding touch-screen technology, and concentrated on things people would USE (i.e. things listed above), then Windows 7 would fly off the shelves.