Windows 7 and Windows Vista features that need to be fixed

Recently, Microsoft launched the Engineering Windows 7 blog in which they want to start a two-way discussion about how their engineering team is working on Windows Vista’s successor – Windows 7. I believe this is a nice start and, if they keep their word, Windows 7 is expected to be one of the most exciting Windows releases ever.

Considering the fact that Windows 7 will be built on the same core architecture as Windows Vista, a good start would be to fix the main issues in Windows Vista and refine some of its unpolished features.
In order to help out the Microsoft engineering team to deliver an even better operating system, I think it would be great to have our readers point out the areas which they believe to be necessarily improved in Windows 7, starting from the experience they’re having on Windows Vista.

This is our chance to make our voices heard, so… let’s take advantage of it. To kick off the discussions, I will start with some of the things I believe to be worth improving in Windows 7:

  • Number of versions and pricing – Windows Vista comes in too many flavors and prices. The average user is not exactly a technology enthusiast and doesn’t know the differences between versions. Having Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate and other versions, raised lots of questions and confused many of our readers when choosing their version. I honestly think that Microsoft should keep things simple and launch only a Business Version and a Home Version of Windows 7;
  • Visual Customization – while working on the Pimp My Windows Vista series of articles, I’ve learned how hard it can be to customize all visual aspects of Windows Vista. Things which were once simple, like changing the Windows Theme, now involve replacing system files with modified versions which allow you to install and use custom themes found on the Internet. Every user should be able to easily change things such as the Windows Theme or the Logon Screen.

I’m sure that many other things can be added to the list, so don’t hesitate to leave your comments.

Related articles:
How to make Windows 7 the best Microsoft OS ever

28 thoughts on “Windows 7 and Windows Vista features that need to be fixed”

    • Yes yes yes yes yes.
      UAC is

      Yes yes yes yes yes.

      UAC is a pig’s dinner.

      So horrible that the best approach is to turn it off, even if that is a “bad idea”.

  1. Windows 7
    Well, you’re right, the list is open and it would be nice if some of our suggestions were taken into account. To begin with, the “blue screen” should be solved in a way or another. Then, security … As far as I am concerned (though I’m a simple home Vista user), there are no differences between Vista and XP. Their immunity seems equally imperfect. Next, defragmentation: Vista’s utility is far below the “powers” of XP’s defragmentation. Etc, etc, etc. Nevertheless, I like Vista. My impression of it is that this OS is not yet what it can be. Maybe Windows 7 will turn out to be a complete Vista.

  2. a few suggestions
    the windows backup utility should allow a person to choose which files or folders they want to backup and not just the entire categories like allll documents, alll pictures etc.

    and coz of that it could be useful if it also allowed setting up more than one backup tasks.

    secondly, the briefcase utility could be made to track parent files if we move them or at least warn us or better still give us an option whether we still want to sync them.
    and it MUST sync hidden files.

    i agree with Ciprian, the author of this post.

    i cant think of anything else right now. i love vista anyway. oh, they MUST NOT DROP ANY CURRENT FEATURES. that is usually a big no for any product.

  3. Windows 7 and Windows Vista features that need to be fixed
    Make this windows both 32 and 64 bit in the same package, and offer which package to install, so many machines are capiable of running 64 bit that it shouldd now be offered as standard

  4. Ultimate Extras
    Personally, I’m still waiting for the Ultimate Extras. That is one area that I think Microsoft really missed the boat on. Hold Em’ Poker and a couple sound schemes certainly do not justify the upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate. Except for BitLocker, there are third-party programs that can provide the missing Imaging, Dream Scene and Shadow-Copy. If the plan for Windows 7 is to be multi-tiered, there needs to be a clearer distinction between the systems as well as incentive to upgrade.

    At least being built on the same core as Windows Vista should provide no excuse for vendors to not have drivers ready when Windows 7 ships.

    Microsoft MVP

    Take a walk through my Security Garden —
    Have Windows Vista? Get Bookmarks at

  5. Win7
    See, from what we know about Windows 7 : Windows 7 builds on Vista code base, Its compatibility with Vista is good, Vista deployment will ease future migration to Windows 7, Devices 7 Application Compatibility will improve. That will be the focus. UI changes will be minimal, No major changes in the hardware requirements will be there in Windows 7, over Vista, Windows 7 will have 32bit and 64 bit versions, and both will be priced at roughly the same level.

    So what we can look at or hope for is basically improving on some Vista features and/or getting rid of perceived irritants: UAC being one of the most talked of !

    A poll at my site showed that quite a few actually chose to turn off UAC, knowing that it wasnt good for them! A case of the protector became too noisy for one’s liking. MS, maybe, should seriously try and give the ‘Remember my Action’ kinda option…

  6. Speed, compatibility, customization
    I want Windows 7 to be
    . faster than XP
    . as compatible as XP (hardware and software)
    . stripped of all HD content DRM performance bloat & drag
    . more customizable than XP (with more themes)
    . the best MS OS yet released (as judged by customers, not MS)

    • Yes, I agree S.C.C
      Speed, Compatibility, Customization. Yes, Yes, yes!!!!!!!
      MS you cannot protect the world from themselves
      If you want to have a 3rd customer MS, offer a DRM OS for 1/3 the price or better yet collect royalties through proper 3rd parties, like BMI, ASCAP etc…or better yet just sell the content yourself.

      MS, quit trying to be the Mafia by offering protection, what do you want a dime from 3 billion people per month or 100 million dollars from 6 companies per year?

  7. My wish list for the next Microsoft Operating System
    My wish list for the next Microsoft Operating System:

    (1) Built in application virtualization so that applications “think” they are running on the correct version of Windows and do not die.
    (2) A “sudo” method of allowing “some” users to run applications with administrative rights without having to know “THE” administrator password.
    (3) It would be nice if the OS was not so resource hungry
    (4) When patches fail, it would be nice if we could figure out what was the problem (like a bad registry entry)
    (5) I think too much time was spent on DRM and not enough time was spent on stability (Why do you assume that your users are all pirates?)
    (6) It would be nice if your Windows Update site was open to other “trusted” vendors so that when an update for Java, Flash, etc. became available we had a one stop shopping place, “windows update”, to get all our patches instead of having to check with every vendor.

  8. Lean, energy-efficient.
    I noticed there’s a trend in windows to use more system resources with every version, putting more load on the CPU and GPU – causing them to draw more power, which is bad for the electricity bill and the environment.

    So, windows 7 should minimise it’s use of system resources, and have options available to turn off all unnecessary features.

    Also, windows 7 should be 64-bit only – that would save a lot of trouble. With Vista in the store, I couldn’t find out anywhere whether it was the 32-bit or 64-bit version.

  9. Minimum Multimedia boot at Startup
    Would be really useful and cool if you could boot windows 7 quickly into a mimimum set of components just for Music, movies, pictures, phone calls, email, TV and Internet – like booting into Windows Mobile but better. Maybe even allowing for two on buttons on your PC – one for Full Windows and one for Mobile. Also need the ability to boot into both using a remote from power Off (not sleep).

    What would be even cooler is if you could load the rest of windows parts seamlessly from within the minimum without having to restart from the minimum version.

  10. Changes to Win7
    Actually, I’d like this in Vista since I’m using it now – bring the “visuals” back. When I run defragmentation, I don’t get a report showing me how far it’s gone or what it’s done. Bring back a visual that lets you see how well, or not, the defragmenter has done the job and let me have a printable/saveable log. Er, Please!

    Something similar would be lovely for when I’m burning files to CD/DVD. I never know when it’s finished if I run the Vista burner from, say, Windows Explorer.

  11. Please fix the following Vista bugs
    I am a tremendous fan of Vista. It’s like a prototype of the next generation sports car. It runs great. It just needs more polish. Here’s my list.

    “Ask me what to do” should again be a configurable option for pressing power button again. Lots of us need this back.

    If a USB cable, such as a USB mouse, is removed during “Sleep,” the computer should not wake up. XP does not wake up from Suspend when USB cables are removed. Vista should not wake up during Sleep.

    In Event Viewer, have an easily-accessible option to “reset to default settings” so you can easily clear out of a misconfigured view.

    Plugging a USB keyboard in while in lock mode should result in the USB keyboard being detected and installed while in lock mode. This lets you use the keyboard to type your password and get out of lock mode.

    When running as an administrative user in Vista, with UAC on, a USB hard drive can’t be safely removed without rebooting or shutting down. There are three open files on the drive, including $TxfLog.blf. The only explanation I can figure out for this problem, widely complained about on the Internet, is that it appears to be some kind of Windows bug.

    Modernize the Fonts control panel. The “Install New Font” dialog should look like something from this century.

    Custom mouse pointers should be used, not ignored. I use 3D white mouse pointers with a custom Link Select pointer. The Link Select pointer setting from the control panel is not honored in either IE or Firefox.

    Fingerprint authorization should work in the lock/login screen when coming out of sleep mode.

    Users should be able to uninstall Windows Mail, Windows Calendar, Windows Meeting Space, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Photo Gallery, and Windows Contacts.

  12. Fix Vista First
    I wish Microsoft would fix the operating system I have already paid for before they run off and create another nightmare for us IT guys. Honestly, how much money do I have to give these guys before I get what I asked for, a reliable working operating system. As for Microsoft asking for our opinion, this is nothing new, what would be new is if they actually listened to us. That would be the ultimate wish.

  13. One can always learn form errors 🙂
    What my customers and friends did !

    Beside the speed deception from some users I know of – it seems obvious – that the UAC got in their way and on their nerves.
    From Pc users they that had to turn into some IT which is what they would like to avoid most of the time, right ?

    I beleive the combinations of both “changes” made it too much for “my” users and they mostly just opted for wipping out “enoying” Vista from their PC who was not running so bad …”after all”.
    Most of them, happily jumped back to XP in just a matters of days.

    With all Windows updates i dealt since W3.1 I had never seen such a clear rejection of a new version. (?!)

    There was nothing new enuff for those windows user to justify the headache of dealing with the Vista flavor – nowadays, things REALLY have to be better to justify the price or the time invested from them to adapt to the new fashionable stuff.
    Ever heard some proudly saying: I downgraded my PC to XP ?

    I personaly kept Vista becoz as a developer one as to go with the stream – i love the new equipement autodetecting and many more things – but hate the same things as my users.

    What I m looking for in W7 ?
    …to be simpliest for me – simpliest for them and simpliest becoz computing like everything should always aim to be !

    In my years of dealing with end users I noticed that they will never ever take the time sufficient to get to know the system in deep (as long as they can avoid it ) they just want to play with the new toys and thats it !

    I have seen that it s just too much (and unecessary) for people who just ask me to keep doing the EXACT same things years after years:
    – Writting reports,
    – Viewing/listening Multimedia
    …and chatting with frirends !

    I d say the same about whatever Browser on the market, just becoz it’s a new browser version doesn t mean it has to come out with ever more details!
    How is the Version #999 of my Browser supposed to look like ?
    with a 999 inteface buttons/options/menus ????

    In a way I admire the Apple simplified interface as well as some Linux versions for their ability of presenting some Essential tools, coma !

    Now I know – it s always easier to talk about it when you re not the one doing the O.S. dev. 🙂
    Now, How wil yourl W7 look like ?

  14. 3rd party themes should definately be allowed, BUT……
    I dont understand what the problem is in opening up the theme API for third party themes without signatures from MS. My only guess is that is 3rd party themes are allowed without signatures, and those themes do not properly adhere to the UI design guidelines that MS follows, it may ruin the experiance of Windows for users. Each UI component is designed very carefully and tested for maximum usability. The colours, the design, the images used, all are well tested so that they suit to widest type of people possible. These things affect the mental state of a person when exposed for a long period of time and can actually make customers get away from the software. But 3rd party theme makers may not take these things into consideration.

    I mean, how many of you guys out their stick to a 3rd party theme for a long time? For me its not more than 5 days. Themes which appear flashy at first sight may become obstructive when used for long hours. But the default Aero UI, i dunno why but those colour combinations and everything, never tickles me in the eye or deep down my mind.

    I dont know whats the solution for this is but it seems that this theory somewhat fits in.

  15. Lessons from Vista
    I’m a Vista hater. At work I use an incapable “Vista Capable” machine, but my home rig is an XP machine that performs flawlessly. At this point I’m more likely to adopt Linux than risk another Vista-based failure, but the following changes might change my mind.

    a) Let us remove Windows Media Player; every part of it. It’s not necessary, it’s unstable, it uses resources by running in the background, it’s a security risk (anything that goes online without my permission is a security risk), and right now It Can Never Be Disabled.

    b) Customizable Interface. Aero is my private hell: it slows performance, does nothing for usability, the transparency effect makes it difficult for me to differentiate between open windows, etc. I have adult attention deficit disorder and need my UI completely free of bright colours and animations, or I can’t concentrate on work.

    c) Indexing and Fetch: Allow true disable. Indexing cuts my computer speed by roughly 70% but I use “search” maybe once every three months; not exactly a great performance ratio. Even with Indexing “disabled” it still randomly activates. And fetch, no matter what the developers claim, doesn’t work. Windows never unloads “fetched” programs from memory and I’m left with a pittance of resources.

    d) Sleep/Restart. 90% of restarts/reboots lock me out of the system for an hour, as Vista assumes a “sleep” mode and refuses to wake up, no matter how loudly I scream. And yes, I’m using SP1.

    e) User interaction should mean something. When we “cancel” an update, that should mean “cancel” instead of “don’t install but nag the user to death about it.” If I shut down a program, noting “Program is not responding, would you like to shut it down” is pretty asinine.

    f) Resource Usage. Why is it that XP runs on 64 mB but Vista needs 512? Vista isn’t eight times more secure or eight times faster, so there’s something not right about this equation. More advanced programming should allow more performance with less resources, not the other way around.

  16. Windows 7 Ultimate (?)
    Just to throw this out there:
    While I think there’s too much confusion w/ all the versions of Vista (How many of you knew there is a Vista Enterprise Edition?) I’d like to see three versions of Win7, with Home and Business being the ones heavily marketed but an Ultimate or something like it offered to those who want it.
    W/out Ultimate I would be unable to have Media Center, IIS, and Remote Desktop hosting (Home supports client connections only) on the same system.

    I have some other items on my wish list, but no time to post them right now.


    Email: [email protected]

  17. Speed, Customization
    I want it faster , Most definitely customization stop trying to tell us how to interact with the operating system, this was a major complaint in the beta’s of Vista and IE 7 now that beat 2 of IE 8 has shipped it is frustrating to see Microsoft still is insisting on choosing for us. Having survived the beta’s of Vista it still looks like Microsoft is still being Microsoft, pretenting that your listening but still doing what you want.

  18. Safely Remove Hardware
    You should be able to remove a memory stick much more easily.

    At the moment you have to right-click, click “Safely remove hardware”, choose the device, click “Stop”, click “OK”, and then after you’ve removed it you have to close the windows.

    You might have USB devices which are more or less permanently connected, and you’re not interested in them every time you want to pull out a memory stick.

  19. Product Lifecost
    Some sort of guarantee of product life – when I bought my new laptop I had a choice of a Vista or XP model. At that time no announcements had been made about when XP would stop being sold ,etc. However, I chose the Vista model on the basis that it’s the newer operating system and therefore would have longer product support than XP.

    I’m not a believer in buying a new operating system for an existing PC (that’s what free Linux distros are for – my desktop was a Millennium machine but has long since moved to regularly updated Ubuntu).

    There’s currently a dilemma for users like myself who expect our PCs to last. Do I become an early adopter (with all the problems of running what is effectively a Beta operating system full of glitches and lacking drivers for my printer, scanner, mobile phone, etc.) or do i wait a year or two and pay the same price for an operating system which now has a shorter product life.

    It’s the same price bit which is galling – if i buy a car which is likely to be replaced with a newer model soon i’ll get it cheaper but they won’t stop making parts for it when it’s a few years old. Windows will charge me the same price regardless of how long the product has been on the market and then they’ll stop supporting it a few years later.

    Either decrease the price as the OS ages or, and here’s a great idea: rent the operating system to me. if I hate it I’ll stop paying the fee and install an alternative. if i regret my choice of alternative I’ll come back. i feel no great desire to own my software, a monthly fee for updates and support on the back of a free OS makes more sense.

  20. Ability to configure OS for Realtime 3rd party sw, like DAWs
    Some Digital audio workstation (DAW) software is kinda stuck in XP (even ME or 98!) land because of much of post 2000 bloat and it’s impact on performance of realtime stuff. This is a niche to be sure, but I’m sure much of the real time software world has the same complaint that being able to rid an installation of unwanted CPU cycle sucking junk is left to the realm of gurus, and in most cases, requires a reinstall to remove all the debris to get a responsive enough platform. MACs, I understand, are much better at this, but I can’t fork over the $ for their hardware. Win2k had this pretty well, just give me a win components buried somewhere the uninitiated can’t fall into and let the user pick what things are installed and what isn’t.

    2nd: Give me some way to throttle all the applications going out to the web to check for updates at boot time: maybe an application problem, but jumpin jiminy… We got the boot sequence time better with XP and all the app guys found the to net APIs and now it’s a pain to wait for the latest junk from CD burners, picture software, blah, blah, blah..

  21. My wish list
    Totally agree about too many flavors. As I see it, there should be only one, and it should come with all available options. Let us tell Windows during setup what type of environment it will be used in and what Windows applications will be needed. A true “Custom Install”.

    As for pricing, I think it’s time that Microsoft gave something back to the world that made them wealthy beyond belief. Charge a nominal fee for the new OS, maybe something like $30 for an upgrade and $50 for a full version. If you make a good product and price it reasonably, then people will use it with a feeling of confidence in your company and its products. Many Windows users do NOT have that feeling right now.

    For someone that had never used a PC before, Vista’s UI wasn’t that daunting. For the millions of us that have used it for many years, though, it was a nightmare. While I, for one, was delighted to see the Device Manager finally get its own Control Panel entry, I was appalled that Add or Remove Programs, a Windows stalwart, was renamed to Programs and Features, for no apparent reason. Please, Microsoft, put that back! UI changes like that for the sake of change are one of the things that drive many of us absolutely nuts.

    And finally, and this doesn’t necessarily apply to just Vista and Windows 7, please understand that a significant number of Windows users do not want to use Internet Explorer. Ever. Period. It seems to me that requiring its use to update the OS is a clear antitrust violation. Please allow us to use non-IE browsers for Windows Update, or better still, make it its own program again, not just a browser plugin for IE only.

  22. Windows 7 RTM Kernel was Replaced with SP1
    @Win7, you got to be joking, for saying “Its compatibility with Vista is good” as in case you didn’t know, Windows 7 is the very same as Windows Vista SP1-2/Server 2008, because it’s uses the exact same kernel in all of them.

    Windows 7 is designed to run on the same hardware as Windows Vista, and will be compatible with applications and device drivers that worked on Vista. XP is NOT supported, so don’t expect XP software to function correctly if at all.

    Microsoft is just attempting to relabeled Vista as Windows 7 here.

    We haven’t forgotten how Windows Vista is riddled with problems and gives users and businesses no reason to buy a new PC, quoting Acer president Gianfranco Lanci.

    Listen to what Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd said: HP never saw a “Vista moment at any time over the past year.”

  23. Fix the Explorer window settings
    One of the most ennoying matters with Vista that there is no way to define the folder option settings for the explorer windows in a way that Vista remembers the settings. Regardless what you set, they come back at random.

  24. Run application as in XP
    Windows 7 Home version is still windows vista. It is not improved. Make all Windows 7 version run application as in Windows XP and make it simple. The outlook is not just what we pay for that software.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.