Over on Silicon Valley Insider, Preethi Dumpala gives Ten Reasons Why People Will Upgrade To Windows 7. As I began reading the list, I realized many of these reasons already exist in Linux-based operating systems, like Mint (my current favorite). Let's go through the ten reasons, and see whether they apply to 7 and/or Mint:
10. In 7, users click an icon on the taskbar that shows available Wi-Fi networks, and then choose the one to which to connect. Linux Mint has this feature, as well.
9. System messages will appear as notifications on the taskbar.Linux Mint has this feature, as well.
8. HomeGroup makes it easier to share files, music and pictures among computers on a home network. I have been running 7 since last fall, and was unable to understand how HomeGroup differs from Vista's limitation in sharing only Public and some other folders among networked computers. (Also, HomeGroup is really hard to set up, and most home users will give up on it.) Microsoft created the problem of limiting access to drives and folders on my networked computers, and HomeGroup is a poor solution to a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place; in contrast, Linux doesn't condescendingly decide which of my folders I should be allowed to access among my computers.
7. Device Stage is a dialog box that lists all peripherals, like cameras, printers, BlueTooth. In my experience, I found it useless for fixing problems. It's just Device Manager for Dummies, without the tree and with really big icons.
6. BitLocker support for removable storage. Now that's scary: encrypted drives. That's one feature that should not exist on home versions of OSes.
5. Faster boot-up -- 30 seconds flat! Faster than Vista, but definitely not 30 seconds, because once 7 appears to be finished booting, it continues loading stuff, slowing you down in doing things like watching a video smoothly or opening a large app. Linux has a true 30-second bootup, where video plays back smoothly.
4. Libraries collate files from similar folders, like all videos from Public/My Videos, User/My Videos, etc. This fixes a problem that should not exist, what with Microsoft scattering those My Video folders all over the hard drive with apparent abandon.
3. Less annoying User Account Control. UAC? Doesn't exit in Linux.
2. Multi-touch screens. Grease on my screen. No thanks. After owning an HP TouchScreen notebook computer for three years, i find touching the screen annoying compared to using the touchpad.
1. It's not Vista. But neither is Linux Mint.
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The differences between Windows 7 and Mint are (1) Mint 7 is released now, with 8 coming in October; and (2) Mint is fre,e and Windows 7 is not.