Lenovo: Windows 7 Corrects Five Windows Vista Weaknesses
A lot of folks are quick to bash Windows Vista. But few people actually take the time to describe what went wrong with Windows Vista — and how Microsoft (and PC partners) hope to mitigate those problems with Windows 7. During a briefing Oct. 20, Lenovo Director of SMB Jay McBain walked us through Vista’s weak points and specific R&D steps Lenovo took to assist Microsoft with Windows 7. Here’s a quick rundown:
1. Performance: Most pundits are quick to note that Windows 7 loads faster and shuts down faster than XP and Vista. But why? In many cases, Lenovo worked with Microsoft to ensure certain third-party software drivers were re-written to speed performance, McBain says. The result: Certain Lenovo systems running Windows 7 will boot up in 30 seconds and shut down in 7 seconds. he adds.
2. Compatibility: With Windows Vista, “everybody knew somebody who had issues with older hardware and software compatibility issues,” says McBain. In contrast, Windows 7 has a virtual “Windows XP” mode plus an invisible compatibility layer so many old programs generally install and run just like they did on XP.
3. East Of Use: A criticism of Vista was that it had a lot of eye-candy, but not functionality. Windows 7 has combined the two, using transparencies and live thumbnails more appropriately. Additionally, Windows Search appears to be much more intuitive, and users report finding their files are quicker and productivity is up.
4. Mobility Functionality: When Vista arrived, notes McBain, notebooks were starting to outsell desktops for first time ever. But Vista didn’t do a very good job with power and wireless management — must-have features in the mobile workforce. At the same time, Windows XP Home had been shoe-horned into a somewhat usable netbook experience.
Looking ahead, Windows 7 has been re-worked for small platforms. Wireless connectivity, battery consumption and power usage have also been tailored for the new surge of mobile platforms. At the same time, Lenovo continues to promote its ThinkVantage R&D to further enhance end-user experiences with Windows 7, McBain says.
5. Security: The UAC (User Account Control) in Windows Vista was arguably the most annoying thing attached to an operating system. Windows 7 has toned this down considerably and implemented better code to protect your system files. A tweaked UAC should only both you when it’s absolutely necessary.
McBain also hinted that Lenovo would offer up some additional Windows 7 surprises this week. We’ll be back with more thoughts from Lenovo and the broader PC industry on Windows 7’s launch day (Oct. 22).