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Windows XP vs Windows 7 - Why upgrade?  

post #1 of 37
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I've tried Windows 7a few times, and always decided to "downgrade" back to Windows XP. Every time I use it, I fail to find a single significant thing that feels more like a real improvement rather than just a simple re-skin to the UI or some kind of advanced theme. Not only did I not find a reason to stick with it, I actually found that I hated the new design. Almost everything seemed annoying to me, and that is why I went back to XP. Windows 7 feels like Vista to me. Or a new Firefox, for example like when they changed the tabs to be on top by default.

My main interest in Windows 7 actually has nothing to do with Windows 7. It's actually just an interest in a 64-bit Operating system that isn't Windows 8. I would like to give Linux a try, but since I play games a lot I would prefer to stick with a Windows OS for the time being and hope for Linux to some day finally be compatible with most games. I have time to get used to a new OS and plenty of Hard Drives so I can install one without getting stuck with it, but before doing so I would like to know what is good in Windows 7.

People love to say Windows 7 is better than XP, but never give any good examples why. It's almost as bad as some of the apple fanboys who think it's better "just because". However, sometimes they know a good bit about computers, and actually list a few things, but they tend to just bring up window docking, taskbar grouping, the screengrab tool, or TRIM. Out of everything most have said about Win7, the only thing attractive was TRIM, but that isn't really that important since there are programs like the Intel SSD Toolkit, OCZ Toolbox and Samsung Magician all allow you do pretty much do the same thing on XP manually or set up to be scheduled.

I'm sure if there actually is a collection of awesome things I've missed hearing about, you guys would be the ones happy to tell me about them.
If you have used Windows XP, then switched to Windows 7 and started regularly using one of it's features not present in XP, please tell me about it.
If you've got links to a list of features in Windows 7 that are not in Windows XP, please link me to that. I'm not looking for a features list that includes stuff that's been in Windows OS's for years.


On my own, I've found the following things.

First, the good things.
-The transfer speed is a nice addition to just the "Time Remaining" feature while Moving/Copying/Saving files. It's such a simple addition, yet still a great one. -Desktop Background shuffling is nice
-Windows 7 seems to have better Audio features. FRAPS lets me record game sounds, and still use my Mic for Ventrilo. (Doesn't appear to be a Windows 7 thing, just onboard audio drivers being better for 7 on that motherboard, still worth mentioning)
-Ducking is nice.
-DirectX 11. Not much has to be said about this, since it's just Microsoft's carrot on a stick to lure gamers to buy OS's. It's not even important, most games don't even use the features well enough to even justify leaving behind DX9 for supporting older systems. Windows 7 is already outdated, 11.1 is only for Windows 8+. Vista got screwed hard by only having DX11, lmao. Vista should have free upgrade rights to 7 IMO.

Now for the bad things.
-Windows 7cannot view thumbnails and icons at the same time. It uses a global setting, and results in everything being showed as an icon. (Windows XP is globally set to Icons, and remembers per-folder settings.
-Can't "View Thumbnails" per-folder. There is a global setting to show Icons OR Show thumbnails. You cannot have one folder show icons, and one show Thumbnails. The best you get is "Icon sized thumbnails", which are completely useless. The point of icons in Explorer is to give you a quick look at what the file is while looking in a folder. If it's only a few pixels tall and high, a down-sampled jpeg of a large image is useless, and for that it would be far better to have the Icon show up so you could at least readily notice what file type it is when familiar with the icons.
Windows XP supports this flawlessly.
Spoiled image, it's large. Click for example of the above. Notice the background window doesn't show icons despite the foreground window changing view modes. This is something I missed. Perhaps there is a registry setting to change it, but I couldn't find it. All I saw about this was people who deal with images are pissed, end of story, life moves on. -Windows 7 does not allow you to set an uncompressed/lossless Desktop Background. (This is able to be side-stepped, but not solved, AFAIK)
-Windows 7 cannot view Animated GIFs. (There is no solution to this issue)





Hopefully with everything you guys will point out (assuming I get replies to this thread) next time I try Windows 7 I will try some of those and end up liking them.
If any of you guys who get every OS ASAP just to try them out want to be awesome, please outline some of the differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8 as well. I'd like to know what features 8 comes with over 7 as well, to see if it's worth me just skipping 7 entirely and going from XP to 8.

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to compile a list of any differences or show me new features that I may have overlooked.


TL;DR - I think Windows 7 has nothing important to offer over XP other than it being a 64-bit system. Show me I'm wrong.
Edited by Shadow11377 - 3/3/14 at 9:31pm
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post #2 of 37
What I did (going from XP to Vista) was to dual boot (with the beta) and just see which I ended up preferring to use. XP won!
When I did the same with XP/Win7, Win7 won.

It's not one, or even a few features, it's the overall package that's just better. Also, XP support is ending shortly.
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post #3 of 37
For me... Security and performance.
From a security point... I have numerous XP clients at one of the sites I look after and one of them had a malware infection which kept on coming back even after updates etc. My network is clean, only this XP machine kept on giving me problems. I ended up loading 7 and have not had problems since.

From a performance point... XP tends to slow down a lot after some time(at least in my years of experience). I still run Windows 7 at home and I used to reload my OS maybe once a year just because I like to keep things fresh. When I had XP I used to reload every 3 months or so just to speed up the system again. (Note that these were pre-SSD days)
Also, I don't see why anyone would not want to upgrade to a 64-bit OS that performs way better than XP. You have a very nice PC there and apart from the few negatives you see in it, there are more positives to gain. I don't know how big the issues of gifs/thumbnails etc. are for you, but for me those things are minor. I would rather have a better secured and better performing PC.

As for W8/W8.1, I honestly don't think you would like it coming straight from XP, especially with the Metro UI and the missing classic Start Menu.

All in all, Windows 7 is still the best OS for me. You will not be sorry going over to 7. thumb.gif
    
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post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

I've tried Windows 7a few times, and always decided to "downgrade" back to Windows XP. Every time I use it, I fail to find a single significant thing that feels more like a real improvement rather than just a simple re-skin to the UI or some kind of advanced theme. Not only did I not find a reason to stick with it, I actually found that I hated the new design. Almost everything seemed annoying to me, and that is why I went back to XP. Windows 7 feels like Vista to me. Or a new Firefox, for example like when they changed the tabs to be on top by default.

To each his own. To me, it's incredible how you didn't like a single thing about Win7 and went back to using XP. After using Win7 for the past 2-3 years, I cannot imagine using or going back to XP. Ever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

My main interest in Windows 7 actually has nothing to do with Windows 7. It's actually just an interest in a 64-bit Operating system that isn't Windows 8. I would like to give Linux a try, but since I play games a lot I would prefer to stick with a Windows OS for the time being

WinXP actually did come in a 64-bit flavor. Although you can't get it anymore just wanted to point out to you that 64-bit thing is not new to Win7 or Win8.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

People love to say Windows 7 is better than XP, but never give any good examples why. It's almost as bad as some of the apple fanboys who think it's better "just because".

Far too many good things to explain about Win7 and why I prefer it. Not only does Win7 have a better UI, it is more user friend, more secure and has a million different ways to do the same thing in WinXP. OK - not a million. Maybe 3-5 further options. But in the end, that's a good thing because it is accommodating to the end user and suits his/her work methods rather than giving only 1 option and making that person conform to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

I'm sure if there actually is a collection of awesome things I've missed hearing about, you guys would be the ones happy to tell me about them.

Yes there are a lot of good things. But I'm not happy to tell you about them because
A) You told us you've already tried Win7 and DIDN"T LIKE IT. Why should I be happy to regurgitate information? Really what else is there? If you're are not going to be "won over" even after using the OS first hand - why should I or anyone here bother to those "awesome" things.

B) Doesn't sound like to be you posted for the benefit of learning about Win7. Sounds more like you posted because you just flat out didnt' like Win7. Which is fine with me. Whatever you prefer is really a personal thing. Again - no skin off my back.

No, on 2nd thought, it does look you are interested in learning about the differences or new things in Win7. I'll try to dig up some links later. Got some things to take care of today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

On my own, I've found the following things.

First, the good things.

-Ducking is nice.

Never heard of such a feature in Win7. Are you referring to Aero Peek?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

Now for the bad things.
-Windows 7cannot view thumbnails and icons at the same time. It uses a global setting, and results in everything being showed as an icon. (Windows XP is globally set to Icons, and remembers per-folder settings.
-Can't "View Thumbnails" per-folder. There is a global setting to show Icons OR Show thumbnails. You cannot have one folder show icons, and one show Thumbnails. The best you get is "Icon sized thumbnails", which are completely useless. The point of icons in Explorer is to give you a quick look at what the file is while looking in a folder. If it's only a few pixels tall and high, a down-sampled jpeg of a large image is useless, and for that it would be far better to have the Icon show up so you could at least readily notice what file type it is when familiar with the icons.
Windows XP supports this flawlessly.

I don't know about this. It works for me just fine.

Thumbnail view.


List View A.


List View B.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

-Windows 7 does not allow you to set an uncompressed/lossless Desktop Background. (This is able to be side-stepped, but not solved, AFAIK)

Uncompressed background. never heard of it - are you able to do this in WinXP. If so, can you provide an example?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow11377 View Post

-Windows 7 cannot view Animated GIFs. (There is no solution to this issue)

The last two points (especially about not being able to view animated GIFs) are really being nitpicky as far as I'm concerned. Especially when you weigh all the positives and enhancements made to Win7 over XP. To my recollection, I don't ever recall being able to view animated GIFs in any flavor of windows using the built in file browser. You can however view animated GIFs in Internet Explorer or your favorite browser of choice. Do any of our Linux experts know if this capability is built into Linux OSes?
Edited by DaChosenOne - 3/4/14 at 8:52am
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalker View Post

As for W8/W8.1, I honestly don't think you would like it coming straight from XP, especially with the Metro UI and the missing classic Start Menu.

All in all, Windows 7 is still the best OS for me. You will not be sorry going over to 7. thumb.gif

I agree - it would be a huge jump for him. However, since the OP has stated that he's already tried Win 7 more than once and didn't like it.....who knows he might like Win8 better.
post #6 of 37
I never gave the win XP 64 bit a try, but heard it was not very stable. I wanted to avail the higher RAM capacity and was the primary reason I went to win 7. To me, the UI felt more modern compared to XP. Security aside, I also felt that there is less driver issues to deal with in win 7. Right now, I am giving win 8 a try and honestly, I find myself not going back to win 7. Things that mattered to me in win 8 are: boot times (I do shut my comp every once in a while), connectivity to devices/network - find it way faster than win 7, being able to develop apps (learning C#). And yes, metro is just fine for me. Most of the time I am in desktop, but I will go over to metro if I am reading some materials (pdf, kindle app, etc) or listening to music, etc.
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post #7 of 37
It's astounding to me that anybody prefers XP over Windows 7 on a modern machine - the RAM limitations, lack of 64-bit software support, DirectX stuck at 9, inability to get drivers for a 13 year old OS, etc. are reasons enough to switch. People may have their reservations about the UI changes in Windows 8, but XP to Windows 7? No-brainer.

Some people are hesitant to change anything. It's called OCD.

Some people still play Atari 2600 games from 30 years ago and find the experience more rewarding than a PS4. Each to their own.

Greg
post #8 of 37
With support ending for Windows XP very shortly, that will be a big draw back IMO.

In my personal experience, I find Windows 7 to work much better with multi-tasking and multi-core CPUs. On my work PC, we had Windows XP installed when it was initially set up (the company wasn't yet prepared for Windows 7). I do lots of FEA work in my job with very CPU and RAM heavy models. With Windows XP, when an FEA simulation was running, the PC was just utterly unusable - just switching between program windows, for example, was just like watching a slide show. With Windows 7 on the exact same hardware and exact same software config, the difference is huge...the computer is much more usable - while the FEA sim is running I'm able to switch between running programs smoothly, I can do some file management stuff, do some light AutoCAD work, etc...

And the UI enhancements are a bug plus (for me at least) - New Task Bar, Aero Peek/Snap, etc... are more functional. smile.gif
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammong View Post

It's astounding to me that anybody prefers XP over Windows 7 on a modern machine - the RAM limitations, lack of 64-bit software support, DirectX stuck at 9, inability to get drivers for a 13 year old OS, etc. are reasons enough to switch. People may have their reservations about the UI changes in Windows 8, but XP to Windows 7? No-brainer.

Some people are hesitant to change anything. It's called OCD.

LOL. I got a good chuckle out of this. Yep I definitely agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by francisw19 View Post

With support ending for Windows XP very shortly, that will be a big draw back IMO.

In my personal experience, I find Windows 7 to work much better with multi-tasking and multi-core CPUs. On my work PC, we had Windows XP installed when it was initially set up (the company wasn't yet prepared for Windows 7). I do lots of FEA work in my job with very CPU and RAM heavy models. With Windows XP, when an FEA simulation was running, the PC was just utterly unusable - just switching between program windows, for example, was just like watching a slide show. With Windows 7 on the exact same hardware and exact same software config, the difference is huge...the computer is much more usable - while the FEA sim is running I'm able to switch between running programs smoothly, I can do some file management stuff, do some light AutoCAD work, etc...

And the UI enhancements are a bug plus (for me at least) - New Task Bar, Aero Peek/Snap, etc... are more functional. smile.gif

Yes! good points. I didn't mention it in my first post, but Win7 is infinitely better in its capabilitiy to handle multi-core processors compared to XP. There is no comparison. Not to mention the fact there are better written drivers for W7 compared to XP. Also for anyone running a SSD (as opposed to a HDD) trim is supported natively in W7. I don't even know if WinXP supports it. I've heard it does - but I seriously doubt it's supported natively.
Edited by DaChosenOne - 3/4/14 at 9:25am
post #10 of 37
Is this like one of those hidden camera shows?
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