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7 Lessons Windows 7 Can Learn From Os X

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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 customisable 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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Easier Product Versions


I really don't see the need for four versions. How long has Vista been out? I still couldn't tell you the differences between the versions. And, personally, I don't think many users care. When my sister was choosing which laptop to buy, with my help, she assumed all the versions of Vista were the same - and that is the way it gets marketed. I've had people who have bought new PCs asking why they haven't got the nice shiny new Aero look. Reason: they have Vista Basic. But, in the shop, they are just told they get Vista. All the marketing hype focuses on the best features, and consumers are let down when they don't get what was advertised. Why has there been a sudden need for lots of versions anyway? XP had Home and Professional, which was enough. ME, 98, 95, etc. never needed more than one version (aimed at consumers).


New Visual Hooks


The problem is not a lack of fancy graphics. The problem is that Apple and even Linux do them well, while Microsoft fails. I have fancy visual effects running on KDE on a laptop that would never run Vista. Microsoft need to work out how to make the system look good and also be quick enough to run on the majority of hardware made in last 3-5 years. Using more 'granular' effects (like KDE does) would be better; effects are enabled and disabled on a per-effect basis, so that you can remove anything unnecessary and make sure your system still runs fast, while having some cool effects.


Less Alerts


First, fix the grammar: fewer alerts.


The alerts on Vista are incredibly annoying. Anything to cut down on them is a massive improvement. The balance on Kubuntu is just right - not so many you ever get annoyed with them, but the odd one or two when you try to do something dangerous, just to keep you on your toes :) Microsoft just goes one step too far, effectively wrapping you in cotton wool and making sure nothing ever happens to your PC.


Invisible Security and Backup


I see no reason why Microsoft can't do automated backups. Give the option during installation to create a backup partition, and get the PC to make automated incremental backups once a night, or maybe once a week. Provide a simple way to recover a backup - a graphical interface, not a text one. Pick a date, click, computer rolls back. Job done.


Clear Naming


Neither Apple nor Microsoft get this right. Spaces, Time Machine, etc. don't instantly scream out what they do any more than Windows Genuine Advantage does. Call everything by what it actually is! It might be boring, but people will know what they are actually getting.


Pain-Free Registration


To be fair, Apple doesn't have the problem with piracy that Microsoft does. Apple lock their OS down to their hardware - the ultimate DRM effectively. At least Microsoft let you use whatever hardware you want. The registration process is laborious, and doesn't always go smoothly, so some improvement would definitely be appreciated.


Proper Search


Spotlight is one feature that I like, and would really like added to all computers :) Searching on the Internet has made people used to being able to find any content they want with only a couple of key words. That sort of search on a desktop PC would be fantastic, and Spotlight is currently the closest.

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I think that Windows does have many issues, but when you really start to look at it, you can tell why they don't fix everything... Most people use Windows. They still have it monopolized.Although you can go to Unix, Apple, etc., it is much easier to use Windows still. As long as Microsoft still has that control they can do what they want, or lack thereof.

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As long as Microsoft still has that control they can do what they want, or lack thereof.

Agreed. Linux and Apple have to be better than Windows to attract people to them. Therefore they work harder to fix bugs and problems, and listen more to their users. Microsoft already has people stuck with them from the moment they buy a PC, and just has to do enough to be bearable, to keep them using Windows. However, now it is reaching the point where Windows is dropping below the bearable level.

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