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Windows 7: The worst bits revealed

Features we really could do without

There's a lot to love about Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7. However, there's also some features that we're less enthusiastic about. Check out Windows 7's worst features.

Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7, has been available for more than six months.

In that time, its become clear that there's a lot to love about the Windows 7.

It's fast, it looks great and it has some cool features - like Jump Lists for quickly opening recently used files, Homegroup for sharing files between computers, and Aero Snap to help you quickly organise your open desktop windows.

The operating system addresses some of the problems that plagued its predecessor, Windows Vista, such as the Universal Access Control security system, the constant stream of notifications, and the lack of device drivers for printers and other peripherals.

Microsoft hasn't solved all of those issues - in fact, getting Windows 7 drivers for some printers continues to be a struggle - but so far Windows 7 is a vast improvement over Vista, despite their underlying similarities.

That said, Windows 7 has downsides of its own.

Some of the problems involve minor inefficiencies that grow annoying over time; others truly degrade the user experience through lack of functionality, poor organization, or an overabundance of choice.

Here are the problem children of Windows 7 - the faulty features I found in the Home Premium version of Microsoft's latest OS.

When clicking isn't switching

If you're looking for a good reason never to use Internet Explorer 8 in Windows 7, try this: Open multiple tabs in IE 8 and open a Microsoft Word document.

Then click the IE icon in the taskbar, and... nothing happens.

Instead of switching over to Internet Explorer as you'd expect it to, Windows 7 greets you with miniature pop-ups for every tab you've opened in IE and asks you to choose the one you'd like to go to.

This feature, called Aero Peek, is actually a nice idea, since you get to choose the tab you want to see.

But we've been trained for years to expect to switch to a new program when we click on its icon in the taskbar, so why change the behaviour now?

In Windows 7, many Microsoft-made programs (including Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Live Messenger) use this feature.

But since you can also activate Aero Peek by hovering over a taskbar icon instead of clicking it, a better solution for Windows 7 would be, hover to peek but click to switch.

NEXT PAGE: The automatic switch

  1. Features we really could do without
  2. The automatic switch
  3. Windows Live – an essential hassle
  4. Vague control panel
  5. Elusive 'My Documents' folder


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