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7 Lessons Windows 7 Can Learn From Os X

21 November 2008 No Comment

Another interesting article I came across today thanks to digg and it would seem that the points are right and I would think most people would agree with them even though this is in the eyes of an Apple user.

1. Easier product versions

Keep it simple, please Microsoft. Having too many different versions of your product is too confusing for the buying public to understand. Should they go for the Home, the Professional or the Ultimate version?  Vista shipped in six different editions, while OS X 10.5 Leopard came in just one (if you forget the server edition). If Microsoft can at least halve the number of editions in Windows 7 then it will be a huge step in the right direction.

I would agree I would say 4 versions is all that is needed, Basic, Premium, Business and Ultimate sure I bet you could fit it down to two if you combine them but of course not everyone can afford to buy the computers needed to run these operating systems smoothly with the exception of Basic.  Of course, if they come out with more then 6 versions of Windows 7 then Microsoft is dummer then they look then because I would think those 4 versions cover the 4 types of users, 5 if you want to include a server edition but even then those are your common computer users.

2. New visual hooks

So far Windows 7 looks pretty much like another version of Windows Vista. That’s not such a bad thing: each successive version of OS X had a similar look, but subtle things were changed in each version to give it its own unique visual identity. Apple knows the value of a nifty graphic effect. For example, OS X’s widgets drop onto Dashboard with a fantastic ripple effect and Time Machine sends you down a 3D time tunnel.

These visual fancies might not be of any real use, but they wow people enough to draw them in, where they get hooked on the other great features of OS X. Microsoft needs to develop a few interesting new visual hooks of its own if Windows 7 is going to land with a bang.

Well we know that Aero was somewhat of a let down on top of a resource hog that required a higg end graphics card or two low end graphic cards to make Aero work and of course making sure the motherboard and even the monitor was vista compatible.  To be quite honest I wouldn’t mind seeing them set up windows 7 so a user could make their computer look like Windows 95.  Yeah I am laughing at the idea itself but at least your not limited in what you could do with your GUI of the operating system.

3. Less alerts

Probably the best feature of OS X is that half the time you don’t even know its there. OS X has a minimal (if slightly tired looking) interface – there’s no imposing Start menu button or task bar, for instance. Instead, there’s a simple Dock that’s totally customizable and can be hidden if you find it distracting.

OS X doesn’t keep bugging you with warning messages, either – Vista’s constant warnings and alerts can feel like somebody constantly jabbing you with their finger. The first indications are that Windows 7 is a step in the right direction in this respect, giving you the ability to choose which prompts you’d like to see. Let’s hope development continues in this vein, and that we never hear from the likes of that infernal Office paperclip assistant ever again.

All part of Microsoft’s awesome security 😆

4. Invisible security and backup

The key with security in an OS is to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of using your computer. Admittedly, this is a harder challenge for Microsoft than for Apple, but there are still some good lessons to learn from Apple’s approach to security.  Microsoft: people don’t find it helpful when you block a website because its ‘security certificate’ isn’t valid, especially since this seems to apply to most of the non-Microsoft websites on the Internet. It’s just annoying and breeds a culture of fear.  Included in security is backup, again an area where Apple is ahead when it shouldn’t be. Why is it that Apple can come up with an easy to use backup system like Time Machine while Microsoft can’t? Windows 7 needs a proper built-in backup solution.

I totally agree with the back up system and to be quite honest they should find a way to really crushed down the back up so it doesn’t look like an exact copy that takes up the same amount of space.  That is my only problem with Windows is that you need to have a hard drive big enough to fit both the original files and your back up and so I keep myself away from backing up knowing well that if something happens I am screwed.  Well the problem with Windows operating system is that every single computer can use it and Apple restricts it to one type of computer that is built in house and we all know if Microsoft did that I don’t think they be as popular as they are now.

5. Clear naming

Microsoft needs to stop coming up with dreadful marketing-speak for different parts of its operating system. A good example is “Windows Genuine Advantage” – what on earth is that?

Look at what Apple does – System Preferences is full of obviously named stuff like “Appearance” and “Date and Time”. Already Microsoft seems to be making the same mistakes all over again in Windows 7. Windows Security Center is renamed “Windows Solution Center”. That might sound more positive, but it’s not helpful in telling you what it does.

Another example is Windows 7’s “Device Stage”. It’s some sort of wonder-window for managing any device connected to your computer. The thing is, normal everyday people don’t call these things ‘devices’. They call them what they are, like cameras or printers.

That is why they write books and people write tutorials to cover these new names, but even then if you explore your computer long enough and trying everything out you might get the hint what those names are about and what not.  Of course, not everyone can grab the basics and thus the billions of topics, articles, posts and websites about the subject are made but even them spend a few hours a day to know your system and you will become a better computer user.

6. Pain-free registration

Take a look at the difference between registering Windows and registering OS X – Windows registration is a bag of hurt, and inadvertently ends up making you feel like a criminal. You must register to use it, which involves entering deliriously long product codes, then verifying them over the internet, or on the phone. Then if Windows detects your hardware has significantly changed it can lock you out of your own PC! Is there really any need for this? With OS X you don’t even need to enter a serial number. There’s no need for Microsoft to go to that far, but it could loosen the reigns a little.

Well again Apple uses only one set of hardware on it systems and those are built in house and so they solved that problem and so again, Microsoft would have to do the same.  Of course, I rather they lower their prices to the operating system because either way they are going to making profit once they get into the hundreds of millions of copies sold and so if they lower the price tag just a bit people wouldn’t be backing the crap out of the operating system.  Of course that hardware lock really annoys me, although it happen once to me I would think that replacing busted hardware shouldn’t lock you out of your system.

7. Proper search

Microsoft really has to get this right in Windows 7. The Spotlight icon on the Leopard menu bar gives users access to a system-wide search that is fast and accurate. It’s not flashy, but it just works. As Steve Jobs famously said when he introduced Spotlight, it shouldn’t be easier to find a file on the web than it is to find a file on your own computer.

I think the operating system search was something I mentioned in a topic awhile back, but yeah I would agree with that statement as well, Microsoft Needs Google to design a computer search that works just like their website google search and that way you can find anything.



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