As a flip-side to Ed Bott’s “Six Vista annoyances fixed in Windows 7” I thought I’d play Devil’s Advocate and offer up what I think are a selection of potentially new annoyances that Windows 7 introduces.
1 - Revamped Taskbar and Start Menu are far from perfect
My take on the Taskbar and Start Menu is that it’s going to be one of those things that people either love or hate. Like any major change in the user interface it is bound to attract automatic criticism, but given that it is undoubtedly flawed. The new revamped taskbar is visually very interesting (and certainly a lot easier to use at higher screen resolutions that the Vista or XP taskbar), but it tries to do too much and as such comes across as kludgey and counter-intuitive. One failure is that it’s hard to tell the difference between apps that are running and shortcuts that have been pinned to the taskbar.
2 - Goodbye Classic theme
If you never really bonded with the Vista look and preferred to use the Classic look, then Windows 7 isn’t for you because the Classic theme is gone. OK, there is a Classic theme, but it’s basically the new Start Menu with a new skin and nothing like the classic Classic theme.
3 - Ribbon UI make a patchy appearance
The Ribbon UI in Office 2007 was one of those love it or hate it changes. Well, whether you loved it or hated it, the Ribbon now makes an appearance in Windows 7 on Paint and WordPad. If you like the Ribbon, great, you get to play with it in a few apps, while not in others. If you hate the Ribbon, well, tough, you’re stuck with it in these apps.
4 - For some users, Windows 7 will mean more time spent setting up
Gone are applications such as Windows Mail, Windows Messenger, Movie Maker and so on. Anyone wanting apps of this sort will need to download then via Windows Live Essentials. Problem is, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure and if you use these apps Windows 7 means having to download and set up the apps that you need.
5 - Search is odd
Why is it that when I search for say “Note” from the Start Menu I get Sticky Notes above Notepad? I’ve noticed countless such examples of strange behavior from the search system. Either it’s not been fully refined yet, or there’s some strange logic at work there.
6 - Jump Lists are messy
Jump Lists is a new feature that Microsoft claims will give the user access to tasks related to specific applications. Depending on the applications, you get a different set of options in the Jump List, and that’s a problem because there little consistency to what you can expect from a Jump List to make them useful.