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That’s right! Yours truly spent some time with a Windows-based laptop this week. My galpal doesn’t want a Mac (YET!), so I helped her order a 15.6″ Dell Studio laptop with pretty decent specs. When she got it, there was some configuring that needed to be done, so I volunteered my services.

I hadn’t played with Windows 7 yet. I haven’t used Windows extensively since Windows XP (AN EIGHT YEAR OLD OS!), but I have tinkered with Vista. I found the UI to be much cleaner in Windows 7 than it has been previously. “Better” is a strong word, but it is certainly less cluttered. I’ll sum up my experience like this: I didn’t run into any major issues. That is an improvement as far as I see it.

Sadly, Dell ships their computers with a TON of crap that doesn’t do much. I stripped all of that nonsense out of the computer, and then did some finesse work. I locked it down pretty tightly, and then set everything to automatically update without any user interaction. This was actually much easier than I had anticipated. There has been a lot of movement towards automation in the last few years.

Here is a list of things I added to make her experience better:

  • Installed browser plug-ins (Flash, Silverlight, QuickTime)
  • Installed media players (iTunes for music, VLC for videos)
  • Installed a photo management app (Picasa)
  • Installed an anti-virus (AVG’s free application)
  • Installed an anti-spyware app (Ad-Aware)

Much to my pleasant surprise, she was already a Safari user. SEE! I’m telling you that there is hope to lure her over to this side eventually! Maybe.

As Mac enthusiasts, we sometimes act very dismissive towards Windows. I think it is important for us to expose ourselves to it from time to time just for the experience. Frankly, I was left with a pretty nice impression of Windows 7. It’s by no means a bad operating system. It just isn’t the one I want to use.

Photo Credit: FelineNoir.com

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