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The 7 deadly sins of Windows 7

Minimise the dark sides of Microsoft's new OS

To help you when putting Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 7, through its paces, we've highlighted its 7 deadly sins. Partake in these activities at your peril.

Envy: Windows 7's flaws make users covet alternatives

Windows 7 inspires envy. Specifically, it arouses a kind of covetousness toward products, like the Mac, that truly work out of the box. As I said in my comments on Windows 7's lust-making, Microsoft has promised a similar ‘it all works' experience with Windows 7. But the reality still falls far short of the Apple ideal, and thus envy is born.

It begins with the discovery, by novice users, that the process of installing and maintaining software hasn't evolved much in the past decade.

It's still a confusing, hit-or-miss proposition, with issues like registry corruption/bloat and DLL hell still plaguing Windows 7.
These users then see how easy it is to install applications under a platform like Mac OS X, and they can't help but feel a bit envious of their Apple-hugging contemporaries.

Likewise, power users soon learn that their ability to hack Windows 7 to make it work the way they want is often limited by the closed, black-box nature of its proprietary code base.

These users see how easy it is to custom-tailor Linux and even Mac OS X, and they feel that twinge of jealously. They want what these other platforms provide, and soon they find themselves coveting their neighbor's OS.

As with the lustful, keep close tabs on those in your charge who show signs of covetousness. If necessary, take steps to satiate their unhealthy yearnings through redirection.

For novice users, try locking down even more of their desktops via group policy. And for power users, ply them with new utilities, like PowerShell, and promises of administrator-level access - if they demonstrate an ability to control their urges. As always, make sure there's a carrot at the end of every stick.

Pride: Windows 7's fan boys can help drive everyone away

Windows 7 is chock-full of new widgets and gizmos, it gives the crazies a quiver full of new arrows to lob at the enemy: anyone who has ever used a Mac.

Never mind that the arrows are all bent and rarely hit their intended target. These fan boys (and girls) are convinced that version 7 is the second coming of Windows 95, and that all the world will soon understand why they beam with pride whenever someone mentions the OS that they so lovingly adore.

For the harried IT administrator trying to sell an organisation on Windows 7, such enthusiasts can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they help to increase the profile of the new OS through their endless proselytising and advocacy. However, they can also scare away potential converts with their over-the-top bashing of everything not Microsoft.

Your best bet is to channel their pride and energy into helping with the Windows 7 transition. Try 'deputising' the more aggressive types and having them act as resident experts within their respective working groups.

In this way, they become like the ‘useful idiots' of the Bolshevik revolutions. After all, if it was good enough for Stalin, it's good enough for you.

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  1. Minimise the effect of the 7 Deadly Sins of Microsoft's new OS
  2. Greed and Anger
  3. Envy and Pride
  4. Sloth

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