back to article Microsoft sings Happy Birthday to Windows 7

Today marks the first anniversary of Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system. Meanwhile, the OS that refuses to die – Windows XP – turns nine on Monday, 25 October. Unsurprisingly, Redmond wonks have been making lots of noise about Windows 7’s first birthday. In a celebratory email to the press yesterday, Microsoft declared …


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  1. Bilgepipe
    Thumb Up


    "See: Vista, which turns four in January next year, was just a bad dream. Steve Ballmer simply had to click his heels three times to wake up from the nightmare."

    I loled.

  2. Code Monkey

    I rather like it

    By preference I use linux but I use Windows 7 for work. It's not perfect but, after working out how to turn off the worst excesses of the GUI, I rather it. It's stable, so far, and gets out of the way of my doing my job. Nice one MS

  3. semprance

    Satisfaction finally?

    I got on the Windows 7 bandwagon early on - I've been using Enterprise for around 9 months - and have to say I've never been more satisfied with an OS. Not to say it doesn't have it's flaws - and plenty of them if you look hard enough - but it deserves it's two cheers at least.

    Hopefully future changes will be as positive as those that came with the advent of 7. Let's just hope they continue to be positive, and that Microsoft don't get too distracted by a certain mobile operating system of the 7 variety...

  4. Tim Jenkins


    Steve Ballmer in ruby slippers is right up there with J. Edgar Hoover in a dress, as mental images I can do without but ones that I fear I am now stuck with...

  5. M Gale

    Windows: It's alright.

    It's just not ready for prime time.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    7 drives me up the wall

    Most of my grumbles are because it is new and different, but I spend more time trying to find things or work out how to change something than actually getting any work done.

    Just last week I was trying to extract a into a folder under Program Files I had created and for some reason I didn't have permission. It was ok if I extracted the zip to my Desktop then moved them to that dir.

    One of the other problems I am having is trying to use Robocopy to copy my and my Wife's Documents to an external drive. For some odd reason it displayed both of our copied Directories in Explorer as "My Documents" despite me physically giving them different names and when I looked in DOS, there were the names I had given them. It also copied files from one dir level up which I didn't script. I'm sure this is to do with some sort of Windows 7 library thing I haven't yet got my head round but again it is stopping me actually getting any work done and it all worked perfectly well in XP.

    Ok it is stable but then it damn well should be by now. All of the Fancy aero is switched off as it was taking up too much screen real estate. I also hate the snapping to the edges or top and so on.

    And what is with this Homegroup network nonsense? IT was nice and easy before.

    1. Colin Millar


      Yeah - it struck me as quite amazing that they managed to completely balls up the very simple and easy to use Win Explorer to the extent that they did with those ill-thought out libraries. I would have thought they would have taken the opportunity to clear up the My Documents farce - not make it twenty times worse.

      1. Stevie Silver badge


        After five minutes of digging in my new lappy c/w Win7 I came to the conclusion that libraries were just soft links and got on with life. I haven't figured out the best way to use them, but I *do* use them and think they'll be a valuable tool.

        I'm a little confused as to some of the access permission stuff that is happening, but nothing doesn't work. Even some of my oldest 32 bit XP stuff is happy to run on Win7 64, and that's a nice trick (I only have the basic home edition of the OS and so wasn't expecting bells+whistles).

      2. Michael Sanders

        library storage

        As usual it's a solution to a problem I didn't have. But you've got to realize that it enables you to abstract your storage from it's actual hierarchical structure. It's like a poor man's SAN.

        In other words if I had 5 computers/media boxes in the house and I wanted to present all that shared movies and audio..but see it in just one place..libraries will do that for you.

        It just makes more sense to keep files in one place to begin with. Then you don't have to abstract it into being using the library feature to begin with.

        1. Mike Row
          Thumb Down

          You have been hanging out in the library too long.

          In the real world most people don't really know where their files are when they are ACTUALLY in ONE location. Libraries confuses this even further. Since most users today have never properly learned or been trained on files and folders they don't really know where the hell anything is anyway. Giving them the ability to spread their stuff around more is'[nt really improving anything.

          Just started setting up the first Windows 7 computer at work 2 days ago. Libraries in the Navigator window was the first "feature" I disabled. Favorites is the second. That was right after I turned of that stupid and distracting Aero interace. Windows BUSINESS edition is for getting work done. I need to see whats in the window on top not keep getting distracted by whats behind it.

          Microsoft has !@#$ up windows explorer by completely integrating Explorer and IE into one interface. The features subset is mutually exclusive as far as I am concerned. Combined with the fact that corporate/domain users are not allowed to save files locally and Libraries and Features in the navigator pane are totally redundant. (I am grateful {astonished} they have restored the folder/tree list to visibility.)

    2. Michael Sanders
      Gates Halo

      Privaleges problem

      Enable the administrator account and logon as adminstrator. Windows is too vulnerable to worry about the security risk this usually imposes. Rename the administrator account your name from the management console. Delete your old account after you have copied user files inside your profile to the root of C. This fixes most problems related to permission level of some program not having enough privileges.

      Robocopy could be its own problem.

      The rest of getting it to run right is just like in XP..finding where all the useless stuff is and shutting it down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was going to mod you up but....

        The small problem of modding the admin... I agree the permissions are foobar, but bypassing it all because it's foobar isn't a long term solution, it's a long term security problem.

      2. M Gale

        Privileges there for a reason

        "Enable the administrator account and logon as adminstrator.."

        Oh god, please no. The one singular thing that Microsoft did right in Vista/7 (by, err, ripping unixland off blatantly) was limiting the amount of time that users are logged in as root, and making their own version of sudo.

        And you're suggesting a measure that would turn 7 into a pretty version of XP, with all programs given permission to write to any file anywhere?

  7. Newt_Othis

    See ya, XP

    Also, from today, you can no longer buy a new machine with XP on it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    party pooper

    wow Kelly.... bitchy, much?

    sulking because there wasn't a slice of cake for you?

    however you choose to measure it Win7 has been a success and trying to bring it down by harping on about issues with the previous version or a decade old release is just sad.

    people don't compare OSX releases to System9 and that's a similar timeframe.

    Microsoft bashing is okay when it's funny or clever or has some sort of meat to it, but that article was just pointless (wanna compare desktop Linux... go and get some figures rather than bitch that MS didn't give you the numbers on a plate... isn't that what reporters do?)

  9. Avatar of They
    Thumb Down

    Win7 - It ain't no XP.

    Still doesn't work usb2.0 on my hardware and crashes, a lot. Same old MS. And can I please have speakers AND headphones together.

    Unbuntu 10.10 however rocks and fits on my netbook without chewing up 100GB of bloat. .

  10. Liam Johnson


    Maybe someone can explain why there are multiple copies of the same directories in the German version...




    Similar for Promgrams, MyFiles, MyPhotos etc. Some of them are locked too. I even managed to get two directories with exactly the same name by copying one from and older machine.

    It is bloody confusing, but maybe the English version is easier?

    1. Peter Kay

      They're not locked - they're junctions

      The multiple Appdata/Application directories are for compatibility purposes. Whilst they may appear to be 'locked' in explorer, it's because they're junctions and explorer can't follow those.

      1. Liam Johnson

        they're junctions

        Thanks for the info.

        But it still stupid that you can't follow one of these links in Explorer. (*)

        I also found out why I get multiple directories with the same name - seems Explorer is translating them for me.

        (*) The only reason they links (or junctions if you insist) are "locked" is to avoid confusing programs which don't understand links. NTFS has only had links for 16 years, so I suppose it will take a while for people to catch up. I can't see a technical reason why you can't follow a link, that is what they are usually used for.

    2. Mike Row

      Backward compatabiltiy.

      Microsoft decided to move everything in VISTA. (Yes Steve, VISTA happened and it was your fault).

      The old folder names automatically redirect to the new folder names.

      AppData > Application Data

      All Users > Public


      They also removed the spaces in the folder names. That at least made sense to IT personnel as typing paths in commands was a PITA.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The english version somewhat easier. (sic)

      ztree will teach you what's bad real quick.

  11. Gary F
    Gates Halo

    Happy Birthday 7 of 9

    Now where's the frigging service pack to fix my peeve gripe with 7? January 2011? Blimey, I still have to wait another 2 and a bit months.

    7 is pretty nice. I really like the built-in compatability with virtually every peripheral and the way it tries to self-heal or check with its HQ to find out why something crashed. In 18 months it has never hung on me which is good. Stable, yes, pretty, yes, smart, yes, more productive, I'm not so sure I can honestly say that it is. It boots up slightly faster. Does that count as being more productive?

    Networking on 7 is more complicated due to the "simplicity" it tries to add for novices. I much prefer how it used to be in XP. However, I do welcome the enhanced wi-fi support, 7 on a laptop is a much nicer experience than XP for connectivity.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    For me those ROI numbers are waaaay too low. Since swapping my work laptop over to an self-managed/non-domain member W7 build it magically doesn't take 10 minutes to boot or 5 minutes to login anymore! If you apply my billable rate, I'm hitting their ROI numbers in a week... easy!

    /Sarcasm off

    For those who didn't get the joke, while true... 90% of my improvement (maybe more) is from my machine now being rogue and not hooked into the insane amount of home-grown login scripts and various other management hooks our corporate XP build has collected over the years. Yes, W7 actually knows how to dock/undock properly (XP had a habit of still thinking there was a second monitor after it was undocked) which is an improvement, but other than that... for what I do with it the improvements are minor and the learning curve (like the new ribbon interface) annoying (where the hell did they move X to?) but not the end of the world. Pinnng apps to the taskbar and the whole peek thing I find incrementally useful too.

    I'd say in the end W7 is an incremental improvement over a clean/well-managed XP build. Meh...

  13. Robb Dunphy

    Been using it since launch

    I was actually at the launch in Dublin, were they gave us free copies of 7 Ultimate, and showed us a few little tricks of it interfacing with Windows Home server.

    While I am a linux man, it was the ease of 7 I loved, and still continue to use. MS hit the nail on the head with this one.

    1. M Gale


      Like the "free" software I can theoretically use by now being (apparently) an MSDNAA member? The stuff that will cease to be legal the moment I cease to be a student?

      Yeah. I gave the crack up years ago. "First hit for free" is quite common in some business models, so I hear.

  14. Pete 2 Silver badge

    I hope they pay the royalties

    According to the source of all thing dubious (yup, wikipedia) "Happy Birthday to You" is still under copyright until 2030 in america (the free world can use it gratis after 2016). Considering how much MS bang on about piracy it would be terrible if they got dinged for not shelling out on the use they got from someone else's proprietary material. So terrible in fact, it would make me laugh for a long, long time.

    And no, I'm not sending anyone any money for naming the song title.

  15. kain preacher

    @Avatar of They

    "And can I please have speakers AND headphones together"

    If you can't do that in win 7, the drivers you are using suck. I have a gigabyte mother board and I have that option right here in the their setup program. Thats not an OS fault. USB is not crashing here . See above about drivers .

  16. Peter Kay

    I, for one, think it's the best OS in years

    Despite the fact I've also got four types of Unix (including OS X) at home, I choose to use Windows 7 mostly. At work I've found Windows 7 to be more productive than XP and run 98% of the sysadmin tools I need.

    It's fast, stable, easy to use and makes effective use of memory. Then again, so did Vista x64, which I contend isn't a bad OS providing you apply SP1+ and have 4GB memory or more.

    The only grumble I'd have is a couple of creeping 'we know best for you ' Mac-isms, specifically the fact they're actively trying to kill off old technology like anything except ultra modern KVMs (resolution support is tricky) and the complete removal of RSM so that tape support goes back to the level of poking commands directly at devices.. Perhaps I'm being picky but I miss the ability to have a full screen command window - perhaps that's just me though..

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Win 7 IS better but not finished yet!

    Hey Microsoft, Happy Birthday Windows 7 and my condolences to XP's widow!

    I REALLY like the progress that you have made with Win 7, looks like you learned some lessons from Fista. I know someone tracks the comments from The Register so listen up!

    Do you want to see the same success with Windows 7,8,9 that you had with XP?

    Then open up an honest dialog with your users and listen to their objections and act upon them!

    When I install a program of my own choice and I have positively answered all the "Nanny McFee" questions "Do you want to allow this program to make changes to your computer", that should be the last frikkin time I hear from you. Just because you didn't code the software does not mean the program is malicious and I don't need any more "clicks" than neccesary to start my program. I'm assuming this "nagware" is part of Windows Offender and you need to provide an interface within what should have remained "Add Remove Programs" that allows me to put a check mark next to a program that will prevent Nanny McFee from nagging me. The existing Slidebars are not acceptable.

    Windows Firewall- Please take a page from Zone Alarm (before Checkpoint) and provide direct user access to a list view of the programs and services that are being allowed or blocked, show the traffic and other info and provide a check mark interface similar to that of Zone Alarm.

    Nag messages for new program permissions are acceptable and should have an integral accept/deny checkbox. Perhaps someone else should be put in charge of fixing Windows security software and its interfaces instead of the current person(s).

    Allow your customers to move the taskbar and start "button" wherever they damn well please. If you can waste time with widgets, spend it more wisely on your user interface. I use my right hand for the mouse and that's not changing. I want stuff on the right side of the screen, not the left side. Let us put such basic things where we want them.

    I do not ever again want to see animated "help" characters turned on by default in any program.

    Allow a user to manage and delete useless spacehogging language files and once a default language has been permanently selected, code programs to not keep all the unneccesary files. I do not think I will ever need Estonian or Chinese in my lifetime, nor will anyone who uses this computer.

    Figure out a way to emulate or buy the developers of CCleaner, Regcleaner et al so that with one, safe click, I can clean out all the cruft and deitrus that remains from program uninstalls, updates, temp files, etc etc etc including 44 versions of the same dll files that seem to scattered all over the place.

    PLEASE figure out the fact that many or most of us would like to have a screen during installation that says: What kind of computer user are you? NOOB, Intermediate, Gamer, Advanced, Expert, Business, etc.

    When you check NOOB, you get the Gramma safe version of windows and an idiot proof one click, noninteractive install of the basics. Click on the other choices and in varying degrees, the complexity of the install increases in proportion to the features being provided.

    All the while, a user is lead through the install process in a concise and understandable manner so the user gets what they want without the crap and nagging.

    Can you PLEASE get rid of any and all requirements for F6 Raid/SATA/AHCI driver installations?????????? What the frack, why is this still DOS? Every and any driver, firmware, software should be able to be installed in a Windows GUI environment as well as be updated, on the fly without ruining prior installations. I don't care how you do it, just do it.

    Permissions: When I install hardware, drivers, software etc, you need to remember that I own this frikkin computer (not you) and I do not want to delve into the arcane and dangerous world of permission settings. Why in God's green Earth would you think that a user does not have full permission to manage printers, documents or other settings? Why?

    Memory Managment: When a program is shutdown, clear it's memory allocation. Help outside software developers write better programs so they don't become memory hogs. When coding your own Microsoft software, remember that YOUR software should be better and faster than outside developers work becuase you know the base code. Even today, it's still possible to make small packages do great things. Don't give us "Bloatware" or let others do the same things. Maybe the error report from a crash should be sent to the software developer with the message Fix this crap or else!

    1. Wibble

      10+Gb winsxs directory

      Why, for goodness sake, why is the winsxs directory so large?

      1. Mike Row

        Windows Side by Side

        This is where windows stores different versions of the same file required by different programs.

        "The Winsxs folder, stores multiple copies of dll's in order to let multiple applications run in Windows without any compatibility problem."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's large so

        Crackers can exploit old libs... ;o)

    2. Mike Row
      Thumb Up

      4 of 5 stars.

      You've got my vote.

    3. Ian North


      "Can you PLEASE get rid of any and all requirements for F6 Raid/SATA/AHCI driver installations?????????? What the frack, why is this still DOS? Every and any driver, firmware, software should be able to be installed in a Windows GUI environment as well as be updated, on the fly without ruining prior installations. I don't care how you do it, just do it."

      Am I missing something here? You've been able to update Microsoft OS drivers in the GUI since forever. In addition, the installation routine for Windows since Vista has been completely GUI based and you no longer have to press F6 to load third party storage controller drivers. And you can upgrade some firmwares in the GUI as well but that's more dependent on the hardware manufacturer than the OS vendor.

    4. kevin biswas

      I do not think I will ever need Chinese in my lifetime...

      Dunno. They are a pretty ambitious bunch.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista... the OS that refuses to die

    At least that's what I deduce from the fact that vendor's ads usually offer at least one cut-price Vista system.

  19. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Windows 7

    It's vaguely disconcerting to share a birthday with a Microsoft operating system. Still, Happy birthday software dude! I still like XP better...but you kick Vista's arse right good.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh man...

      I feel bad for you...

  20. Ian 55

    One year

    Of ignoring W7. I boot into it once every couple of months or so to download the latest patches, but then it's back to Linux.

    Can anyone tell me why, with 8G RAM, Windows still insists on swapping memory in and out of the swap file, even though most (but not nearly enough) memory is free? Linux just swaps when it really has to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Linux and Windows go about using swap in different ways. Linux fills up the system memory then, when it really needs to, swaps to disk. Windows however, is very aggressive at swapping, in order that when the memory is full, it's faster to swap to disk because its likely that what you need to swap is there already. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, I make no judgment either way.

      Similarly, the reason that Windows is using up loads of memory, is because it profiles what you regularly use and loads it into RAM, shortly after boot. This way you have fast access to things you regularly use, it can be easily and quickly dropped out of RAM if that memory is needed and you make much better use of one of the most expensive bits of kit in your computer. After all, why pay for all that RAM, if it's empty 90% of the time?

      1. M Gale

        "After all, why pay for all that RAM, if it's empty 90% of the time?"

        Dunno about other distributions, but my copy of UmBongo* Toy Unix* seems to chomp about every ounce of the 1GB (woohoo) RAM I have in the desktop machine. Most of it is classified as "cache" though, so I assume a similar thing is going on with regards keeping hold of commonly used stuff. Needless to say, as soon as I start something reasonably heavy (like, oh, a game**) the amount of memory used by "cache" and the amount of memory used by "programs" tends to change drastically.

        Doesn't tend to page much to the swap partition at all though. Windows really doesn't have any excuses there.


        **Yes, they do exist for Linux

  21. Smokey Joe

    Bless XP

    It was Vista that made me turn to Linux. The only reason this is posted via Vista is 'cos I booted me least favourite OS for a chuckle (and poker).

    /me is waiting ages for a decent game of Hi/Lo Omaha atm.

  22. bugalugs
    Paris Hilton


    Thought this might read " I'm a Twat " or something...


    have you ever wondered about her Ph ?

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