I’ve reached my limit with Windows 7

To put it bluntly, I can’t stand Windows 7. Since the day I installed it I’ve spend everyday fighting against the quirks, odd behavior, bad design and just one problem after another. At first it seemed like such a good idea, but I can’t find one single feature I like. I’ve run into problems with the machine crashing when it goes to sleep, losing the network when it wakes up, problems with 32-bit apps, fights with the UAC, troubles with multiple video cards, strange slowness issues and more damn updates than you can shake a stick at. I just can’t do it anymore. This relationship is too trying and too taxing on me. And through it all I can’t say I’ve gained a single feature from my days of working with XP.

And the funny thing is, I can’t go back to Windows XP because I don’t have the 64-bit version and even if I did, that OS is such a horrid piece of junk I would be facing just as many compatibility issues since nothing runs correctly on XP64. Talk about red headed stepchild.

It’s pretty ironic that Microsoft started off the decade with the launch of Windows Me, the completely unnecessary and instantly forgettable sequel to Windows 98. When it comes to OS duds, I’m pretty sure most people would agree that Windows Me is at the top of the list.

As the decade came to a close Microsoft comes out with Windows 7, the hurried yet completely necessary upgrade to the second worst OS they ever put out, Windows Vista. Vista was a dog with fleas from the day it hit the shelves, but the part that puzzles me is that Windows 7 looks and acts just like Vista that I can’t understand why people say Win 7 is so much better. The UAC is the same, the dialogs are the same, Control Panel is the same; the only thing that looks different is the Taskbar. If anything, Windows 7 should have been called Vista Service Pack 3, but MS was desperate to put Vista behind them so they had to make a new name for it.

I’ve tried to like Windows 7, really I have. I use it both at home and at work and I just can’t deal with it anymore. The constant updates are one thing, I’d rather MS fix the bugs as they find them rather than waiting six months, but come on, do we really have to have an update every other day? It’s a bit much and makes me wonder about the stability and security of this wreck.

The updates I can handle, it’s the constant crashes and fights to get the OS to do what I want. I’m tired of being told I don’t have permissions to files or don’t have permissions to run executables. I’m tired of all the compatibility issues with 32 bit apps running. Where are my 64 bit apps? Out of all the apps I have only 1 is 64 bit and that’s Photoshop Lightroom. Oh wait, I lied, I have a 64 bit disc defragger, color me impressed! It’s not that every other OS has 64 bit apps and Windows doesn’t, but let’s be real here. 64 bit processors have been around for more than 5 years and we still don’t have anything that truly takes advantage of them. We get four cores and can barely tap their potential.

As it stands now, my plan is to get rid of Windows 7. I’ll hold out until the first Service Pack comes along (remember, never buy a new OS until the first Service Pack hits the street) but unless things drastically change, and I doubt they will, I’m going to reformat this machine. I know I can’t get rid of Windows completely, I have far too much money invested in software, and quite frankly some apps just don’t exist on other platforms. Switching to Ubuntu would be my first choice, but what are my choices when it comes to Banking and Photo Editing apps? Ubuntu is a fantastic OS and serves my needs extremely well, but there’s a few places that still need work. But I have a plan. I plan to use Ubuntu as my main OS, I think after 10.04 comes out in April, then I will run Windows XP SP3 under Virtualbox. I think XP is infinitely more usable than Windows 7 and since nothing is truly 64 bit anyway, what am I losing? If I give the Virtual Machine 4GB of RAM I’ll still be in the same boat I am today. And then, within another year or so, I truly believe I will buy a Mac and use that for all my other software needs – banking, photo editing.

There is no advantage to Windows 7 so why should I keep using it? Worst case, I could just put the 32-bit version of Win 7 in a VM and use it that way. At least I wouldn’t have the compatibility issues, the network problems or shutdown hassles. The 32-bit apps wouldn’t know the difference would they?

Anybody else try a crazy idea like this? Even if I don’t do it at home, it’s what I’ll be doing at work. I have no need for photo editing and money management there. Everything we do is web based and that’s been working a lot better under Ubuntu than Win 7.

The clock is ticking, the days of Windows 7 are numbered.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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