While Windows XP featured a start menu that was tolerable, Vistaís manner of hiding installed programs is unnecessarily confusing and annoying. Thankfully, both XP and Vista still retained the ability to use the classic start menu, should a user wish to stick with the tried and true. Unfortunately, Microsoft has removed that option from 7 and will be forcing users to utilize Vistaís inefficient alternative. Now you will need to rely on the Windows Search platform, and, while hardly subpar, it would still just be easier to browse all installed programs as in Windows XP.
Users who wanted to retain an XP installation for legacy programs were shocked to find that Vistaís bootloader does not recognize XP installations by default. Well, since Windows 7 uses the same bootloader, can you guess what that means? Yes, there is no inherent support for legacy operating systems, only Vista or Windows 7 will be detected. While power users are probably well versed in how to modify the bootloader, everyday users are going to be hitting forums pretty hard in search of answers. We recommend users hang on to their copies of Vista Boot Pro for at least another generation, as itís going to come in handy for the time being.
Our biggest gripe with Windows 7 is the simple fact that it is pretty much everything Windows Vista should have been. Stable, secure, and performance-oriented, Vista was supposed to usher in a new era of computing with support for the latest graphical APIís, like DirectX 10, as well as an updated interface. Unfortunately, what users got was software and hardware incompatibilities, a confusing interface that was seemingly designed to make day-to-day operation more difficult, and a UAC that constantly required user interaction for even the smallest of system changes. At launch 64-bit driver support was much better than the comparable version of Windows XP, but still nowhere near as good as 32-bit Windows XP (fortunately this has improved over the past two years). Above all else, Windows 7 seems to be a big slap in the face to the early adopters of Vista, who spent a few hundred dollars to upgrade only to do it again 2 years later.