Microsoft: Stop Rearranging the Furniture!


It seems like every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, they feel compelled to drastically change the user interface. For an experienced user, this is like rearranging the furniture in a room and turning off the lights to see how many times you can stumble and stub your toes. This is especially bad for those of us who have invested a lot of time memorizing the way things work in one version of Windows, only to find that we need to relearn a new way of doing things.

Let me just give you a couple of examples of the things that drive me crazy:

Burrowing things deeper into the user interface: In Windows 95/98/Me, you got to Device Manager by going to Control Panel, System, and the Device Manager tab. Starting with Windows 2000, it is Control Panel, System, the Hardware tab, and then click the Device Manager button. Similarly, the XP Control Panel itself underwent a hide-and-seek redesign that you can undo by reverting to the “classic” Control Panel view.

Renaming things for no good reason:Ever since Windows 95, the place to uninstall applications has been in Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. In Vista, now it’s Control Panel, Programs, and Installed Programs. Well, some of it is there. The Add/Remove Windows Components part has been moved to Control Panel, Programs, and Windows Features. These two get a coveted Gold Leaf Cluster for being not only renamed, but burrowed deeper as well. But wait, there’s more! If you choose the “classic” Control Panel view, the icon name is “Programs and Features.” Please memorize this, there will be a quiz at the end.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s perfectly fine for Microsoft to add new features or improvements to the user interface and tweak things here or there. When something doesn’t need to change, though, it shouldn’t change. Microsoft seems intent on simplifying screens to a half-dozen choices by pushing options deeper into a tree of choices, which just makes it harder to find things. These kinds of changes also make it much more difficult to explain fixes and problem diagnosis to users, because the steps they need to take will depend on their version of Windows and the specific settings they have chosen.

If you want to see the value of a stable user interface, look at Linux. I was a serious Unix user and developer more than twenty years ago. When I use Linux systems today, I can drop to a command shell and nearly all the commands I used twenty years ago still work. Even my long-dormant skills with the vi editor don’t go to waste. Sure there have been a lot of things added in the last twenty years, but Linux didn’t break the functionality that was already there. Windows needs to get into that mindset and avoid change for its own sake.

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59 thoughts on “Microsoft: Stop Rearranging the Furniture!”

  1. I read with some amusement the reaction to Bill Gates ‘fine’ product.
    Personally I’d put Bill by himself in room with ham sandwiches & milk …and make him use that wonderous brain of his to simplify Vista with the beauty of 3.1-Win 95-98 & XP and all the punch of Vista.
    I would not allow him congical visits with Melissa or a vacation until he designed an OS we all loved.>>>smiles
    I don’t care if it took 5 yrs……he gets paid plenty.
    (I suspect Bill ain’t that smart….>>laffing<<)
    School drop-outs have a way of missing things.
    Like completing a project.
    Windows has been around long enough to be ‘bullet proof” and smooth as a Rolls-Royce…it ain’t.

  2. I’m a classically trained designer (37 years) and I have never seen a bigger interactive mess than Microsoft products (only exceeded by web sites). Whomever the head of GUI development is a MS should be fired, now, before he/she does more harm. Either that or disband the committee that pass off on their crap. Maybe both.

    Wholesale changes in feature access for the sake of change doesn’t help anybody. They piss-off existing users and more often not confound new ones. You can see the organic nature of the changes to the look and feel of MS’s products. Problem is, organic changes are exactly what you DON’T want. Organic changes are changes that are out of control. Think urban sprawl. The ability or will to keep what is expected and good seems to be nonexistent.

    Look at any MS product and you’ll see – operating simplicity is gone, hugely needless complexity is in. Intuitiveness is gone, replaced by process (Click, click, click! Dropdown, click, dropdown, click, dropdown . . . ). I could give you the reasons why and how but I don’t think I have that much time.

  3. I so fully agree with this article.
    Its almost to the point of starting a class action lawsuit against Microsoft for duress and lost time from needless changes.

    didn’t those morons ever hear the expression… if it ain’t broke , don’t fix it.

  4. i have to agree with W.T. Woroby. when i first installed vista my pc ran so slow that window files took forever to open i put XP back in.
    I feel microsoft being driven by the dollar needs to keep us changing and upgrading. Where disto’s that Linux provides FREE. with FREE software only helps to keep older PC in use. I have a pentium that has a linux distro installed works just fine for alot of basic internet things and runs on 128 MB ram Also im not a line command wizard.
    when you add in the fact that there’s no defag and antivirus programs to mess with plus free movie making software that just works its a NO BRAINIER.
    also when installing Linux on my pc it had all the drivers nothing to install it just found them.

  5. yes, i agree…absolutely. it is not like linux gui’s (gnome or kde) whare there are operational enhancements only, not major user re-training.

    re:#1) new device manager: a simple solution to a stupid change; revert to “classic” views…there is no gain with the new interface, except that it is a good substitute for the brick wall that is normally used to bang one’s head against.
    #2) add/remove subroutine renamed in vista : inane and completely regressive…what were they thinking??…if it ain’t broke, don’t “fix” it.

    my solution…trash vista; it offers nothing much above memory-hogging convoluted eye candy, and its “enhancements” are inconsequential..xp is superior to vista.

    i say…trash vista; it offers nothing really new or necessary, screws up the learning curve, and little in the way of improvements to make the adjustment worthwhile.
    in addition to putting a heavier load on the processor without any equivalent benefits, this piece of junk is a pure product of marketing, not a product of proper engineering.
    although linux is still not 100% competitive with XP (the usb mount/umount system handlers are still wonky and unreliable (depending on the distro), and the video and wireless drivers still lag behind in feature set), it’s stability and lower operating overhead, make it a viable alternative. i use it as well, switching to windows for processing specific to windows.
    microsoft keeps changing the office file formatting with each office iteration, simply to force an upgrade thus creating more income for themselves…we the world (lemmings) bought(?!) into thaqt philosophy…

    my take: stay with XP.
    i was fortunate enough to get an extra copy from a store that ignored microsoft’s dictum to destroy/return all xp copies in favour of Vista. i got a second copy, and will be going back for a third copy for future use, as i upgrade the machine beyond what micro$oft allows ON MY OWN PERSONAL COMPUTER WITH MY OWN PURCHASED COPY ($145.00) OF XP BASIC. i changed one item too many (same system, upgraded uProcessor), thus requiring a second purchase.

    now we got windows 7 to look forward to..scuttlebutt says a lot of compatibilities will be broken, or require upgrades (with the normal influx of more $$ as the most likely path…betcha some xp stuff will be phased out.)
    linux, on the other hand, just keeps improving the os; the file formats are standardized and therefore will always be compatible, for the programs that read the files will always recognize the formats, even if newer formats come along; linux pretty much stands for legacy support; once a support format is written, it will always be included in the code, in some way, shape, or form.

    maybe it is time to switch to linux…it is certainly more stable, and can do everything that windows can

  6. I teach computers to children from 1st through 8th grade. Not only does the operating system have a lot of unnecessary changes, but just teaching ms office becomes a challenge. Too many bells and whistles does not necessary add to the performance of the program. Within a school system, there is a hard time keeping up with the operating systems. Nothing is universal anymore.

  7. Windows 98 was great, but I had to upgrade to Win XP PRO as they don’t support Win 98 anymore so now I have had to buy a diffrent Digital Camera as its only supported by Win 98, why can’t they leave well enough alone instead of building “bloated” OS’s?
    I am really aprehensive when Microsoft no longer will support Win XP Pro. I think I will just have some “pretty paperweights” as I won’t buy Windows products again!

  8. Wahhh. What a bunch of crybabies. Vista works fine, is faster and much more stable than previous versions of Windows. Most of your problems with Vista arise from trying to run it on a POS computer that long ago should have been retired to the shredder.

    I am pretty sure most of you complaining about MS would have also complained, had you been cavemen, about fire being too complicated to understand.

  9. I’m finally upgrading from W98SE for a similar reason to Nancy’s. I can’t get support for my _security_ software.

    AdAwareSE no longer supports it. Heck, the new version of the Eudora email client program no longer runs on anything older than W2k.

    The news media runs myriads of stories about the glut of technological waste, but never mention that most of it is from good machines that no longer work with the newer hardware!

    Also, I remember the good old days of DOS. You’d power up your PC, insert the disk, then go get a cup of coffee down the hall. By the time you got back, your PC would be just about ready to use.

    Now, I power up my PC and go down the hall for a cup of coffee. When I get back, my PC is still running all the security checks and anti-virsus scans and updates. 🙁

    Also, I work in software design. The current version of VB ( 2008) is _much_ different than the one that I started with several years ago (VB ver 5).

    If anyone wants an enlightening read about Microsoft, read “Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside”. It’s amazing what they got away with — and what they still get away with.

  10. Nancy_St.Pierre

    I would like to answer Daniel’s question: I am no longer using 3.0 because my SO, a computer forensics expert crazy about all things new, waited until I was out of the house one day, then trashed my old PC and replaced it with a new one pre-loaded with 95. That lasted only a short while, since I had held on to 3.0 well into 95’s lifetime. Next came a laptop with 98, which I again used way past the date that MS stopped supporting it. A raging new PC with XP was a “parting gift,” and I networked it to my laptop. Then one day, surprise! My ISP stopped supporting my personal little network because of the laptop with 98, saying they did so because MS stopped supporting it long ago. I loved working in DOS back in the days. Also I was doing exciting things with Creative Soundblaster software. In addition, I used my PC to type transcripts from my court reporting work; the old WP programs were so easy to use. I transmitted them using a DOS app called BitWare (or maybe BitTalk; don’t remember for sure). I was always learning new things and that counts as change. Adding bells and whistles and layers of difficulty to apps is not change; it’s ‘window’ dressing (pun intended). My older progs made life easier for me. The “new” ones make it more difficult and I have neither the time nor the money to spend on digging through the crap. I’m glad you like Vista, but Marv Zwerin said it best: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  11. Everyone complains about Windows Vista changes rather than what it really is. The changes in Windows Vista are not the worst part about it, it is the fact that every program you used to use on old operating systems no longer works. You have to buy all new software. You really don’t need Windows Vista to do anything. Windows XP is an as good as upgrading from Windows Vista. Personally, I use Windows XP and will never upgrade to Windows Vista.

  12. I love reading these troglodyte rants. I too have been using, coding, and maintaining since before DOS. I’m pretty sure that the new interface for Office ’07 isn’t designed for people who are truly happy with Lotus or Wordperfect. It’s designed for your grandkids.

    It’s real simple, folks – if you like your system the way it is, don’t even try to upgrade. Just because MS stops supporting the OS doesn’t mean that your system will self-destruct. Heck, if you really like Windows 3.0 then you can have a local tech build and maintain a system from legacy components.

  13. yes i have had issues with vista with name changes and where to find things,not being able to defrag in safe mode, inability to find things because they have moved,and last but not least vista is a resource pig. as far as sp1 that was a non-issue. i know one thing it was supposed to do was reduce ie7 resource issues,it didnt.

  14. AMEN – As a user who has been loyal back to DOS 2.1, I think Vista is THE worst operating system yet. After forking out big $ from limited budget, I am moving my machines back to XP. And don’t get me started on MS Office 07. Open Office is looking better & better daily. So is Linux. Office staff are hankering for Apple. Hey, it’s expensive but it WORKS! Apple’s biggest sales help comes from VISTA.
    MS lost it’s ‘vendor of choice’ by Vista & Office 07 with me.


  16. Well I’ve got a DOS encyclopedia and it’s thicker than a Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Memorise it? No thanks. But if I want to memorise keyboard shortcuts, I might as well be back on DOS or Linux. The entire idea of Windows was to simplify and eliminate needless keystrokes. Seems MS has forgotten their bread and butter.

    We build custom computers. Not a single customer has requested Vista on their systems. I have it on a couple of ours only to learn it because we have to support it. Now that I can find my way around most it and learned how to shut all the bloat off (UAC, search, prefetch, system restore, etc.), it pretty much collects dust. Vista did nothing to improve my efficiency, and beats the heck out of hardware (RAM and hard drives).

    Most of my customers and I want speed, not gizmos. Speed from the OS, speed from the programs we use, speed of start up and shut down, and speed of finding what we want to find when we need it are all more important than having an interface ask me what I want to do when of course I do or I wouldn’t have clicked it in the first place. If I use my wife’s computer, search is a life saver as I can’t find a thing on it. On my own system, I know where everything is without some program eating up my memory and slowing everything else down in the process. Bottom line, make the OS fast and simple, and let the consumer decide how much speed they’re willing to sacrifice for bloat.

    I wish Windows 2000 would continue to be supported. That’s the only OS I’ve ever really liked and will ever really need.

  17. What micosoft needs is a hackers division, and by Hackers I am using the original definition, for those of you too young to remember an original hacker was one that would hack away at the code, the quest was to use as little as possible to get the task done, back then memory was precious and very expensive. I would bet that a team of real hackers could cut Windows in half, probably more as bloated as it is with its millions of lines of code.
    Just being as big as it is now brings its own problems, just consider how many thousands wrote code for vista, there is probably no human alive that could begin to review it all, yet alone check that all the parts work together.
    And as to us users, today we have pretty much a zero idea about how it all works, all we get to do now is point and click only the choices offered and if the choice we need isn’t there we don’t get to do what we need. I often think we were better off and certainly better in tune with the machine back in the days of DOS when we got to tell the machine what to do and how to do it, there was always more than one way.
    Maybe what windows needs is a good sized brick tossed at it, that and a good weight loss program : )

  18. I agree with most of the folks that have replied, I had started using Windows in the 3.5 days and have no major complaints with 97, 98 which many of my friends still like to use for the simplicity. I won’t give a comment on Millennium 2000. That system really drove me to the braking point. Being a Systems Analyst, I spent many hours on my customer’s computers untangling all of the problems that caused the operating system to crash, that it was notorious for. In my opinion XP Professional Edition is as stable as 98, but has many more features that amazes me every time I use it, especially if you have a dual processor on your mother board and more than one hard drive if you need the space. You are just a click away from anywhere you desire, with stability that you can rely on. My lap- top came preloaded with Vista. The jury is still out on that operating system. Honestly, I haven’t used it enough to offer a qualified opinion. It has a lot of pretty icons and more choices of screen savers if you’re into that type of stuff? Remember there is allot more to life than hitting computer keys. Thanks, from one Geek to Another!

  19. In XP we could move files or copy files by clicking on the side menu. Nothing like it is Vista! I find vista has some pluses but the new interface is not one of its pluses. The start screen is not great and after 40 years working with computers, it is not intuative either.

    However Office 2007 is actually much better that 2003 and it does reward one learning the new interface. There is a command comparison sheet that Microsoft has on the website that I found very good at for Word, and Excel is still very much the same.

    But please Microsoft get everything as stable as windows 3.1. – ran for 4 years without falling over once.

  20. Ms is not the only one producing products that cause frustration by the rearrangement of tools and components with newer versions. It has been quite obvious to me for many years that the main reason for this rearrangement and changed interfaces, is to give the user the impression that they are getting a completely new program and won’t quibble about the high cost of the upgrades. However, the basic program has hardly changed at all. It amazes me how many folks fall for this line of reasoning, which just goes to show that Barnum was right, “There is a sucker born every minute.”

    It is nice to see that folks are finally becoming wise and starting to speak out. Perhaps if more speak out we can start getting up grades that are just that, up-grades, that will provide improvements and work seamlessly with the old program or OS.

  21. I have XP on 4 out of 5 of my home machines…my wife’s new laptop came with Vista.

    I’ve had a personal computer since 1982…used DOS, GeoWorks (if anyone remembers that!), Win 3.1, 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP and now Vista. Honestly, I don’t see the big deal with Vista…It appears that the only advantage is that eventually XP will not be supported….just like Office 2000, which still works fine and does everything I need. Vista has some cool effects, but that’s all flashy cosmetics. There are networking issues with the new laptop, annoying pop-ups anytime a change is made and when there is a problem, it is agonizing to find the cause and solution. Performance-wise…I see no obvious improvement.

    BTW..I work with two IT companies and neither one is recommending upgrades to Vista…for stability reasons.

    As for going back to Windows 3.0….I’d rather go back to DOS!

    Change for the sake of change…is never good.

  22. Office 2003 worked very well for me. The user interface in Office 2007 is TERRIBLE. After months, I still have to search for functions that were very intuitive in Office 2003. I am very disappointed in what Microsoft has done to Office.

  23. For all who are lamenting the problems with Office 2007, check out OpenOffice at Sun and their associates have put together an office clone that’s easy to use, talks to word, excel and powerpoint, is full-featured, and best of all — its free!

  24. Guys

    I just love a new challange. I stay up late hours just trying to find what I need in Vista. To bad that there isn’t an easier way. I bought a “Windows Vista for Dummies” and find it is smarter than I am. WE got what we got. And no, I don’t like the constant changing of the OS, but will learn to live with it as needed. To bad my laptop could not be bought with Xp Professional.

  25. Of course everyone knows, it is all for profits. You are forced to upgrade as they discontinue support for older OS’s. Vista sucks with all the extra times it asks you to continue or get administrative support when you are the administrator. Just more buttons to push to get to the same place.

  26. A new Windows probably just means that Micro$oft wants to decide what new hardware and software I need to buy to “keep up”. I think that is the whole point. In my opinion they take bribes from software and hardware companies to make what we have obsolete, so we have to buy new stuff. It keeps the economy humming and my bank account crying.

  27. Another thing that bugs me about Vista, other than the changes…the damned Linux ripoffs. The login screen looks so much like Ubuntu’s, and so does the “User Account…” I mean “Admin. Task” window.

    I’m still having to get used to the new environment, and I bought my laptop about half a year ago.

  28. By the way, about all that more advanced stuff:

    Putting all that far away also prevents the more regular or basic users from using that.
    That might be a good thing on one side, they can’t break anything then.
    But also, if an Operation System would be more open to all users, it would be easier to keep things under control.
    A lot of more basic users probably wouldn’t even know where or what the Control Panel is.
    That causes a lot of users to have a “broken computer” while things are easily fixable, because they don’t know what to do.

    Myself I also often didn’t know what to do, until I found many features stuffed away in the backrooms of Windows.
    And that was a couple of years ago after using computers for about 6+ years since I was 8-10.
    Sure, kids don’t have to get their hands on everything Windows offers, but that should also be controlled then.
    Especially if they just start clicking away at anything.
    Either the way Windows currently is or the way we would all like it better.

  29. I also don’t mind them adding new features and such.
    But there are just a couple of rules to creating an interface.
    Sort everything into logic places and groups.
    So like you have a bunch of features, give them the right type-name.
    And also, make everything accessible easy enough.
    Like said before, it shouldn’t become a hide&seek.
    But just open 1 or 2 things and you’re there, no long journeys to open 1 feature.

    By the way, (I use XProSP2) to eliminate many clicks, I just try to shortcut most things I use.
    Like I have one for the Control Panel on the Desktop.
    And folders named after types of applications rather than individual application-shortcuts all over the desktop.
    Besides that, I also made Toolbars of those folders in the Taskbar.
    So instead of going through ‘My Computer > Drive’ or ‘Start > All Programs’, I just click a Category in the Taskbar, being one of those Toolbars, and click the Application I want to open.

    However, those are all applications I use, not like the stuff for Windows for Hardware and all those things.
    I also wish they wouldn’t put that stuff so far away.

  30. Welcome all the the Microjunk Windoze Doesn’t workstation Experience

    i am a computer technician and i hate windoze vista as do most my cvlients problem being i have no choice but to use it because i have to support it

    if you have xp don’t upgrade it’s a waste of good hard earned money and now they are saying come next year will be vistas sucessor code name windows 7 how much more could they emprove anything outside of reliablity and security in an operating system can the graphics really get any better? i doubt it can the sound get any better? doesny anyone really need a c computer running at 1024 ghz? geez get real unless you are running a root server no server iit’s not needed how can they really imporove for the end users? they can’t sure theres boards that support 16 32 64 even 128 gb of ram but they are main root servers that need such memory and in order to use more then 4 gigs of ram in either windows xp or vista it must be a 64 bit operating system really is unix has been running on a 128 bit operating system for some year snow microswipe is way behind!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. I agree and resent having to fork out £80 for an upgrade I never asked for or wanted. If I change XP to classic view I am back to Win 98 so what the hell was the point in xp? Oh of course Microsoft need to milk their monopoly on OS and force me to pay for changes I never asked for when I was quite happy and pleased with Win 98 in the first place. Yes of course I could just use Win 98 but whats the point when Microsoft will no longer support it and thusly none of my new programs/games will freaking work with it.
    I am awaiting Vista Home Premium with baited breath and horror, only bought due to new machine that won’t accept that Win Xp won’t recognise the extra 5 GB of ram it has…
    As I said WON’T recognise my arse I am quite sure the OS knows its there they just want to rip me off of another £70 every 2-3 yrs. Time the governments of the world had a look at this monopoly and yes I could use Linux but I dread to think what kind of programming skills I need to use that and of course I have read of numerous compatibilty problems seriously I don’t need the hassle my life is complicated enough. Endof: Microsoft have a monopoly and they are screwing us all so glad Billy Gates can make himself look good by giving billions to charities he has “stolen” from his customers… If I wanted to give to charity I would get a subscription! Oh wait I did its called Microsoft.

  32. My biggest grip is bloat. I’ve been in computing since the 1960s. Since the introduction of windows to the world, each new addition always seems to have orders of magnitude more lines of code than the previous; a couple of new features, and a lot of rearranging things to make the new version look different. This is also true of nearly all of Microsoft’s programs.

    The down side is that computer performance. While the computers of today are orders of magnitude faster than they were in the early 1990s, the actual speed that programs perform has stayed about the time. All the performance improvement of our hardware has gone up in the smoke and mirrors manipulations of Microsoft caused by the bloat and inefficient programming of its programs. About the only real innovation Microsoft has added to Windows since version 3.1 is the ability to automatically sense and add new hardware. Other than that……the rest is smoke and mirrors. The same is true of its other programs.

  33. There is ONE overall change I wish Microsoft would apply to all its OS systems, and that is NOT to have a user flipping through a dozen windows – like the print screen for example. When you send a document to a printer, ALL of the printer properties should be displayed on screen at ONCE… not that one has to click “properties” and do paper selections – we all have WIDE SCREENS with LOTS of ROOM….

    And while I’m at it, I’ll kick the dog for all other software developers who have me xcrolling in a 1″ x 2″ window, when I have a 21 inch screen. Wake up, people!!!… Well, I guess they don’t call it “Windows” for nothing!!…. Oh, for the days of the Command Prompt!!! Life was so much easier and less complicated; all you had to do to be “good” on a computer was to memorize the DOS Manual!!

  34. Change is the only thing that is constant. However, I agree. Improvement is good, but sometimes changes are not necessary.

  35. I do agree there is problems with each new os ms comes out with..even though there is problems there is some features that were better than the last one.and some that are worse than the last version..the only thing i wish is that the format for office 2007 would work with all the progams i have that used office 2003 flawlessly. I have to save my documents as word 2003 to get them to work with some of the other programs i have used for years..i think microsoft knows about all of these problems but for some reason the group of engineers there cannot work good enough together to iron the problems without giving you 10000 updates to get it to work or to keep it from being took over by malicious software or hackers. microsoft is losing its edge as the best when there is other os out there now that are good and easy to use without all the updates and service packs to make them work. It seems like they are in to big a rush to prove they can churn out new products instead of just making very good products.

  36. I could do all sorts of things in Win 98 but when I changed computer had XP installed. Have you tried to sort a numerical list in XP? 1000000 comes before 2, 9 comes after 80000000! I’d really like to know who uses this sequence. And yes I know you can change it, but I don’t meddle with things I don’t understand, it usually turns out expensive.

    Surely the intelligent thing would have been to have 1,2,3 the default and have 1000000,2,80,9 as the one you have to “install” if you need it?

  37. I finally got so fed up with Vista that I just installed Windows XP over Vista….and I ditched Office 2007(what a bunch of crap) it will be a long time before I buy another Microsoft operating system or program.

  38. Windows Drive letters can be managed by using “Control Panel/”Admin Tools”/”Computer Management” then click on “DISK MAMAGEMENT” and you change Drive Letters to your hearts Content. Again, that’s what the “Search & Support” tab on the “Start Menu” is for.

  39. As for changed Drive letters, they can all be managed thru the “Disk Management” tab under “Computer Management” under “Admin Tools” in Control Panel

  40. If you wish to do things the “OLD” way try the keyboard shortcuts. THEY haven’t changed since Windows 3.11/95. Windowskey+Break=System Properties, Windowskey+E key=Windows Explorer, WinKey+F=File/Folder Search
    Winkey+R=Open RUN dialog box.
    There are more, check your “Help & Support” tab on the Start menu.

  41. I’ve upgraded to Visa, hook line and sinker on 5 desktops and 2 laptops for our business. So, my comments are based on lots of experience. Some things are insane and should never occur, like asking users to relearn where everything is. If Vista was a car (and thankfully it’s not, one could expect to find the ignition key under the back seat and the brake behind the sun visor. If moving the known and standardized location of things used constantly in a vehicle makes no sense, neither does changing how things are done or where the controls and interface can be found in a program that users have become used to for years. I got copies of Windows Office 2007 via a 60 day free trial on two of my computers. I’m an early adopter and jumped in. OMG, are they nuts? Everything I used to know and everything I’d been used to was GONE. It took me 30 minutes just to find out how to do things that took 2 seconds before. I finally managed to rearrange things to look and act like they did in Office 2003. But after all that effort and the fact that I’d have to redo several computers just to get back to what I wanted things to be and do in 2003, I realized there was no reason to upgrade to 2007. ByeBye customer, Microsoft.

    Obviously the basic message from all these posts is the old adage: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. More importantly, DO NOT change things simply because you can. And, if possible and you have to, offer the opportunity for those who wish, to be able to use the “old” interface, rather than the new one.


  43. I bought a new laptop from Dell, and had to buy a slightly heavier one to get one with XP instead of Vista. Yes, I could have replaced the Vista , but do not want to get into all that.

  44. I think they spent way to much time with interior decorators working on all the pretty’s that would wow windows users abroad, when they should have been in the lab with the developers profecting the actual functionality, and do they consult with actual windows users, business and home users to find out what we would like to see in future versions. Just build stable operating systems again. PLEASE!!!

  45. well I also dislike vista a bit only because one day I spent a little too much time searching for a way on how to get the recycle bin back on the desktop. I kind of accidentally deleted it trying to empty it! And the message “are you sure” I thought read, sure you want to empty # of items! To get it back right click on desktop then click personalize get to destop items flip through the tabs and check recyle bin hit okay!!!! PAIN!!!!!

  46. I thought I was the only one who finds Office 07 a complete pain in the rear. I spent an entire day trying to print lables that normally take me 10 mintues. I’m still not sure how I finally got them to work.

    I’d be looking at a new desktop and a new laptop but I don’t want to have to go to Vista and have all my peripherals non-functional.

  47. I agree if I need to buy a new PC I will consider whether I would be better off buying a Mac. Or installing Linux. MS seem to need to change things in order to sell more. It’s simply daft to introduce a new OS that is slower than the existing one! Unfortunately, it seems that web access is not built into programs and makes the machines vunerable to attacks. I am keen to get more involved in CAD and video and image editing and feel that I’d be better off buying a machine set up for that type of work -connecting to the Internet just to check for updates and use other PCs for more mundane tasks.

  48. Everyone just whines about Vista when it works perfectly fine. People just need to suck it up and realize that change is not a bad thing. Vista is far superior than any other Windows OS. Yes, they may have made a harder way to do everything, but there is also an easier way. If i want to open device manager, I hit windows key, type dev, and then hit enter, now I am at the device manager. It literally takes me two seconds to do. People need to stop searching for things that they dont like and look for the things that will actually benefit their lives.

  49. “If I had my way, I would still be using Win3.0.”

    Why don’t you? I think Vista and Office 2007 can be great if you spend some time getting to learn the improvements… and no, I’m not being paid to write this… I just like Vista.

  50. i am just sick of all there changes
    takes weeks and even more
    and some never do get
    i am 80 years old
    and am sick of there changes
    have had computer 8 years
    and just give up on a lot of there changes

  51. In my opinion, absolutely none of the changes to the Windows OS have made it better. If I had my way, I would still be using Win3.0. Win95 and 98 were okay, too. I have learned to live with XP, but I honestly am preparing myself to live without a PC when XP gets the final axe. I’ve had enough of being pushed into upgrading and/or buying new equipment to accommodate these so-called changes. It literally amounts to economic coercion.

  52. Add me to the “Leave it be” list on all the changes. We run thousands of lables, but cannot get them to work with Office 2007 on our tractor feed OKI 591. I have kept Office 2003 on another computer in the office so we can still use it.

  53. I totally agree with you on microsoft and the way they seem to think they have to change everything, whether it needs it or not, with their windows products. I started with windows3.0 and have followed their changes, relearning how to use them, each time along the way. XP was the last good windows software they came out with and even it had it’s share of problems at first. But using Vista, which I have learned to like less everytime I turn my computer on, makes we want to simply not use the computer any longer. It is the most problematic of the microsoft products yet, I believe, and offers users a guaranteed frustration and anger peak with every use. I have to work around all the idolt ways it has been setup which takes me twice as long and more to do the job that once took only a few minutes to do. With Vista such a mess, how can they already be coming out with another half baked windows software program? I, for one, am ready to go back to the old mousetrap instead of trying to use what microsoft seems to think is a better one!

  54. It really pisses me off when Microsoft XP reassigns my drive letters! I would love to be able to figure out how to put them back to whence they can!

    The other issue is when MS comes out with a new program, you have to buy the hole thing. What I me is, there has to be the same “basic” programing in all of there programs. But you still have to buy all the same programing from the previous version. Bill Gates must need more money for a new addition to his smart house.

  55. I have gone from Office 2000, which I still run on 2 of my computers(namely due to lisencing), and am running Office 2007 on the other and I find it to be fantastic. A clear table of tools, easily found, across the top of the screen to use. Get used to change and you will find it easier to use. As for Vista, good changes have been made, but MS have left it up to all hardware and software vendors to keep up with MS, rather than assist or help all vendors and users alike to keep up with th OS. Now that sucks

  56. Patricia Morris

    Being 70 I’ve been baffled by unnecessary changes a lot longer than most, which is why I still return to Lotus, circa 1990, for most word processing and ignore being laughed at by younger members of my family!!! I’ve uninstalled Vista (with some difficulty) and gone back to Windows XP because I can no longer be bothered with what Microsoft probably regards as smart changes. They’re just a pain in the rear.

  57. I don’t click on Start to shut down my machine, I press
    Alt-x (which will close any program I use) followed by Alt-u.

  58. and i thought it was only me. thanks , now i know it isn’t. just when you think you’re
    getting the hang of it. everything turns around and i’m left standing on my head.

  59. How much commercial time is being wasted around the world at high cost by changing the interface in Office 2007? I’ve been using it for 3 months and I’m still searching for things. Give me back the top line “File, Edit etc.”

    Going to XP, it has often baffled me that when I want to stop, I have to press “Start”.
    Only Microsoft could do that.

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