Windows

10 ways to tweak Windows 7 using the Local Group Policy Editor

You can customize Windows 7 by setting local group policies to control the way the OS looks and acts. Paul McFedries offers 10 handy tweaks.

In Windows 7, you can perform some pretty amazing things by using a tool that's about as hidden as any Windows power tool can be: the Local Group Policy Editor. That Microsoft has buried this program in a mostly untraveled section of the Windows landscape isn't the least bit surprising, because in the wrong hands, the Local Group Policy Editor can wreak all kinds of havoc on a system. It's a kind of electronic Pandora's box that, if opened by careless or inexperienced hands, can loose all kinds of evil upon the Windows world.

Of course, none of this doom-and-gloom applies to you, dear reader, because you're a cautious and prudent wielder of all the Windows power tools. This means that you'll use the Local Group Policy Editor in a safe, prudent manner, and that you'll create a system restore point if you plan to make any major changes. I knew I could count on you.

Put simply, group policies are settings that control how Windows works. You can use them to customize the Windows 7 interface, restrict access to certain areas, specify security settings, and much more. You make changes to group policies using the Local Group Policy Editor, a Microsoft Management Console snap-in. (I'll note here that the Local Group Policy Editor isn't available with Windows 7 Home and Windows 7 Home Premium. I'll show you how to perform the same tweak using the Registry if you're using those versions.) To start the Local Group Policy Editor, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type gpedit.msc.
  3. Press Enter.

Figure A shows the Local Group Policy Editor window that appears. (The word Local refers to the fact that you're editing group policies on your own computer, not on some remote computer.)

Figure A

You use the Local Group Policy Editor to modify group policies on your PC.


Note: This article is available as a PDF download. You can also download the sample chapter "Tweaking the Windows 7 Registry" from the author's recently published book Windows 7 Unleashed.


1: Locking in delete confirmations

When you delete a file or folder in Windows 7, the system asks you to confirm the deletion. If this extra step bugs you, you can turn it off by right-clicking the desktop's Recycle Bin icon, clicking Properties, and then deactivating the Display Delete Confirmation Dialog check box.

Now let's consider this from the opposite point of view. The reason Windows displays the delete confirmation dialog box by default is to prevent you from accidentally deleting a file. You and I are savvy, knowledgeable users, so we know when we want to delete something, but not everyone falls into this boat. If you have young kids or old parents who use Windows, you know that the delete confirmation dialog box is an excellent safeguard for these and other inexperienced users.

In that case, you might be wondering if there's a way to ensure that a novice user can't turn off the delete confirmation dialog box. Yes, there is. In fact, are two ways to prevent a user from turning off delete confirmations:

  • Disable the Display Delete Confirmation Dialog check box that appears in the Recycle Bin's property sheet.
  • Disable the Recycle Bin's Properties command so that the user can't display the Recycle Bin's property sheet.

Follow these steps to implement one of these policies:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, open the User Configuration branch.
  2. Open the Administrative Templates branch.
  3. Display the property sheet of the policy you want to use, as follows:

  • If you want to disable the Display Delete Confirmation Dialog check box, open the Windows Components branch and then click Windows Explorer. Double-click the policy named Display Confirmation Dialog When Deleting Files. If you don't have access to the Group Policy Editor, open the Registry Editor and create a DWORD setting named ConfirmFileDelete with the value 1 in the following key:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  • If you want to disable the Recycle Bin's Properties command, click Desktop and then double-click the Remove Properties From The Recycle Bin Context Menu policy. If you don't have access to the Group Policy Editor, open the Registry Editor and create a DWORD setting named NoPropertiesRecycleBin with the value 1 in the following key:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

  1. Click the Enabled option.
  2. Click OK to put the policy into effect.

2: Disabling the notification area

If you have zero use for the taskbar's notification area, you can disable it entirely by following these steps:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, open the User Configuration branch.
  2. Open the Administrative Templates branch.
  3. Click the Start Menu And Taskbar branch.
  4. Double-click the Hide The Notification Area policy, click Enabled, and then click OK.
  5. Double-click the Remove Clock From The System Notification Area policy, click Enabled, and then click OK.
  6. Log off and then log back on to put the policy into effect.

If you prefer (or need) to implement this policy via the Registry, first open the Registry Editor (click Start, type regedit, press Enter, and enter your UAC credentials). Then, navigate to the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

(If you don't see the Explorer key, click the Policies key, select Edit | New | Key, type Explorer, and press Enter.)

Now follow these steps:

  1. Select Edit | New | DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  2. Type NoTrayItemsDisplay and press Enter.
  3. Press Enter to open the NoTrayItemsDisplay setting, type 1, and then click OK.
  4. Select Edit | New | DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Type HideClock and press Enter.
  6. Press Enter to open the HideClock setting, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Log off and then log back on to put the policies into effect.

3: Removing an icon from Control Panel

You can gain a bit more control over the Control Panel by configuring it not to display icons that you don't ever use or that aren't applicable to your system.

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, select the User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Control Panel branch.
  2. Double-click the Hide Specified Control Panel Items policy.
  3. Click the Enabled option.
  4. Click the Show button to open the Show Contents dialog box.
  5. For each Control Panel icon you want to hide, type the icon name and press Enter.
  6. Click OK to return to the Hide Specified Control Panel Items dialog box.
  7. Click OK. Windows 7 puts the policy into effect.

To perform the same tweak in the Registry, open the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Add a DWORD value named DisallowCpl and set it equal to 1. Also create a new key named DisallowCpl, and within that key create a new String value for each Control Panel icon you want to disable. Give the settings the names 1, 2, 3, and so on, and for each one set the value to the name of the Control Panel icon you want to disable.

4: Showing only specified Control Panel icons

Disabling a few Control Panel icons is useful because it reduces a bit of the clutter in the All Control Panel Items window. However, what if you want to set up a computer for a novice user and you'd like that person to have access to just a few relatively harmless icons, such as Personalization and Getting Started? In that case, it's way too much work to disable most of the icons one at a time. A much easier approach is to specify just those few Control Panel icons you want the user to see. Here's how:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, select the User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Control Panel branch.
  2. Double-click the Show Only Specified Control Panel Items policy.
  3. Click the Enabled Option.
  4. Click the Show button to open the Show Contents dialog box.
  5. For each Control Panel icon you want to show, type the icon name and press Enter.
  6. Click OK to return to the Show Only Specified Control Panel Items dialog box.
  7. Click OK. Windows 7 puts the policy into effect.

To perform the same tweak in the Registry, open the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Add a DWORD value named RestrictCpl and set it equal to 1. Also create a new key named RestrictCpl, and within that key create a new String value for each Control Panel icon you want to show. Give the settings the names 1, 2, 3, and so on, and for each one set the value to the name of the Control Panel icon you want to show.

5: Preventing other folks from messing with the Registry

Do you share your computer with other people? How brave! In that case, there's a pretty good chance that you don't want them to have access to the Registry Editor. In Windows 7, User Account Control automatically blocks Standard users unless they know an administrator's password. For other administrators, you can prevent any user from using the Registry Editor by setting a group policy:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, open the User Configuration | Administrative Templates | System branch.
  2. Double-click the Prevent Access To Registry Editing Tools policy.
  3. Click Enabled.
  4. In the Disable Regedit From Running Silently? list, click Yes.
  5. Click OK.

Once you set this policy, you won't be able to use the Registry Editor, either. However, you can overcome that by temporarily disabling the policy prior to running the Registry Editor.

Yes, you could perform this tweak in Windows 7 Home and Home Premium using the Registry Editor, but then you wouldn't be able to reverse it because the Registry Editor would be disabled! In my book Windows 7 Unleashed, I provide a script that toggles the corresponding Registry setting on and off; see that book for more info.

6: Disabling Internet Explorer's Security and Privacy tabs

If you want to prevent a novice user from mucking around in Security and Privacy tabs in the Internet Options dialog box, you can hide them:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, select the User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Internet Explorer | Internet Control Panel branch.
  2. Double-click the Disable The Privacy Page policy.
  3. Click Enabled and then click OK.
  4. Double-click the Disable The Security Page policy.
  5. Click Enabled and then click OK.

Note that the Security Page sub-branch also enables you to set policies for the settings in each zone.

To configure these policies via the Registry Editor, first display the following branch:

HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

Add a DWORD setting named PrivacyTab and set it to 1; add another DWORD setting named SecurityTab and set it to 1.

7: Customizing the Windows Security window

When you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete while logged on to Windows 7, you see the Windows Security window, which contains the following buttons: Lock This Computer, Switch User, Log Off, Change A Password, and Start Task Manager. Of these five commands, all but Switch User are customizable using group policies. So if you find that you never use one or more of those commands, or (more likely) if you want to prevent a user from accessing one or more of the commands, you can use group policies to remove them from the Windows Security window. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, open the User Configuration | Administrative Templates | System | Ctrl+Alt+Del Options branch.
  2. Double-click one of the following policies:

  • Remove Change Password -- You can use this policy to disable the Change A Password button in the Windows Security window.
  • Remove Lock This Computer -- You can use this policy to disable the Lock Computer button in the Windows Security window.
  • Remove Task Manager -- You can use this policy to disable the Start Task Manager button in the Windows Security window.
  • Remove Logoff -- You can use this policy to disable the Log Off button in the Windows Security window.

  1. In the policy dialog box that appears, click Enabled and then click OK.
  2. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to disable all the buttons you don't need.

Figure B shows the Windows Security window with only the Switch User button displayed.

Figure B

You can use group policies to customize the Windows Security window.

To perform the same tweak using the Registry , open the Registry Editor and open the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Change the value of one or more of the following settings to 1:

DisableChangePassword
DisableLockWorkstation
DisableTaskMgr

To remove the Log Off button via the Registry, open the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Change the value of the NoLogoff setting to 1.

8: Customizing the Places bar

The left side of the old-style Save As and Open dialog boxes in Windows 7 include icons for several common locations: Recent Places, Desktop, Libraries, Computer, and Network.

The area that contains these icons is called the Places bar. If you have two or more folders that you use regularly (for example, you might have several folders for various projects that you have on the go), switching between them can be a hassle. To make this chore easier, you can customize the Places bar to include icons for each of these folders. That way, no matter which location you have displayed in the Save As or Open dialog box, you can switch to one of these regular folders with a single click of the mouse.

The easiest way to do this is via the Local Group Policy Editor, as shown in the following steps:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, open the following branch: User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Explorer | Common Open File Dialog.
  2. Double-click the Items Displayed In Places Bar policy.
  3. Click Enabled.
  4. Use the Item 1 through Item 5 text boxes to type the paths for the folders you want to display. These can be local folders or network folders.
  5. Click OK to put the policy into effect.

If you don't have access to the Local Group Policy Editor, you can use the Registry Editor to perform the same tweak. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\

Now follow these steps:

  1. Select Edit | New | Key, type comdlg32, and press Enter.
  2. Select Edit | New | Key, type Placesbar, and press Enter.
  3. Select Edit | New | String Value, type Place0, and press Enter.
  4. Press Enter to open the new setting, type the folder path, and then click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to add other places (named Place1 through Place4).

9: Increasing the size of the Recent Documents list

To customize the size of the Start menu's Recent Items list, follow these steps:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Explorer branch.
  2. Double-click the Maximum Number Of Recent Documents policy.
  3. Click Enabled.
  4. Use the Maximum Number Of Recent Documents spin box to specify the number of documents you want Windows 7 to display.
  5. Click OK.

For the Registry equivalent, open the Registry Editor and display the following key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Create a DWORD setting named MaxRecentDocs and set its value to the number of recent documents you want to display.

10: Enabling the Shutdown Event Tracker

When you select Start | Shut Down, Windows 7 proceeds to shut down without any more input from you (unless any running programs have documents with unsaved changes). That's usually a good thing, but you might want to keep track of why you shut down or restart Windows 7, or why the system itself initiates a shutdown or restart. To do that, you can enable a feature called Shutdown Event Tracker. With this feature, you can document the shutdown event by specifying whether it is planned or unplanned, selecting a reason for the shutdown, and adding a comment that describes the shutdown.

To use a group policy to enable the Shutdown Event Tracker feature, follow these steps:

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | System branch.
  2. Double-click the Display Shutdown Event Tracker policy.
  3. Click Enabled.
  4. In the Shutdown Event Tracker Should Be Displayed list, select Always.
  5. Click OK.

Now when you select Start | Shut Down, you see the Shut Down Windows dialog box shown in Figure C.

Figure C

The Shut Down Windows dialog box appears with the Shutdown Event Tracker feature enabled.

To enable the Shutdown Event Tracker on systems without the Local Group Policy Editor, open the Registry Editor and dig down to the following key:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Reliability

Change the value of the following two settings to 1:

ShutdownReasonOn
ShutdownReasonUI


Paul McFedries is a full-time technical writer who has worked with computers in one form or another since 1975 and has used Windows since version 1 was foisted upon an unsuspecting (and underwhelmed) world in the mid-1980s. He is the author of more than 60 computer books, which have sold more than three million copies worldwide. Recent titles include the Sams Publishing books Microsoft Windows Vista Unleashed and Microsoft Windows 7 Unleashed. Please visit Paul's Web site at http://www.mcfedries.com/.

42 comments
Mjalilian
Mjalilian

hi i creat new path rule in group policy but this policy not effective on path please help me . thank's

shufil
shufil

How to block downloading videos and mp3 with local security policy windows 7. please help me

IslandMgr
IslandMgr

I finally became a fan of Win XP Pro and now I need to get used to Windows 7 (not easy). I like the fly up thumbnails on the task bar, but I want the traditional tree with +/- in Windows Explorer XP version (due to my eyesight). I'd like to keep all of the Windows 7 Basic options except change the tree to have the +/-. Is there a policy edit or Registry edit that will accomplish this? Thanks in advance.

ITCERT
ITCERT

In its rush to obtain more wealth, the MS family rushed Vista out the door without full completion of development and/or testing. Apparently, Win 7 seems to be a simple completed version of Vista ("six of one, half a dozen of the other!"). Win 7 seems clean and stable (thus far). (As stable as XP or, 3.11 were for those time periods?).

dkerr
dkerr

Cannot find gpedit.msc in my latest ver of win 7; where can i find it please?

hajifaisal
hajifaisal

i just need to know that in window seven 7 . desktop option is not save as / save /open boxes . please help me out to get out of this and desktop option will display on dialogue boxes

gagadada
gagadada

How can I do that in the registry editor? Will that be really permanent or is it possible for an administrator to somehow restore my changes?

torofe2000
torofe2000

I want the Classic Start Menu, my folder views to stick and I'll let Windows know when I want it to report something or contact someone. 7 does work better than Vista, but Microsoft seems to want to make you stop doing what ever works for you. Sometimes change is not a good thing

g_keramidas
g_keramidas

instead of just running gpedit.msc, why not do this? run mmc. click file, add/remove snapin and then add group policy object. click finish, then ok. now, when you change a gp object, click favorites, add to favorites, give it name, (like the policy name of what you changed) save it and you will be able to find these a lot easier. then just move this file, console1.msc (default save name), to a new install and you should have your favorites available in the new install.

rmalako
rmalako

My daughter is a savvy, knowledgeable user. I am a savvy, knowledgeable user (significantly more knowledgeable). I am also her old parent(65). Does that make me a savvy, knowledgeable, inexperienced user?Please don't generalize.

acuggie
acuggie

Very good one and useful. Thank you cuggie

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

All this stuff is minor or not needed and I think most or all of it applies to Vistand and probably XP except for the odd new feature.

reisen55
reisen55

I have zero plans to introduce this operating system to any of my clients without waiting for a service pack release and basic user feedback over time. Remember VISTA was touted as the best thing since Swiss Cheeze but suddenly little annoyances that were unexpected like USER CONTROL ACCESS kept coming up. It took a year for TechRepublic to publish a PDF that documented how to kill that feature and also streamline Vista down to look like XP. Tweak away, I ain't buying Microsoft's BS. Until mid-2010 at least.

seanferd
seanferd

You will end up with most every snap-in in the MMC. And once you have RSOP in there, you'll be waiting before you can do anything. Of course, you can create as many MMCs as you like, with assorted groupings of included MSCs, but the intent of the article was to take you directly to the relevant item. Calling gpedit directly is also the least amount of steps to get there, and if you are unlikely to revisit this or any other snap-in, why bother?

seanferd
seanferd

Nah. Besides, you know who you are. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. Since you obviously won't wear it (and good for you!), don't claim anyone is trying to force you into it. That isn't what was intended. The very young could cry foul as well - I've seen a 7-year-old fix an office managers computer. And in a very stern voice, tell the manager, "Don't do that again." Hilarious. Everybody generalizes, but I think the idea here is to point out some rather large demographic groups for whom, if they are inexperienced, will experience a much steeper learning curve. That is just a rather general fact, and not meant to reflect on the human qualities of the "old" or "young", however you choose to define these groups. So, more power to you! Don't feel insulted. Besides, if it weren't for people in your age group, and older, we wouldn't have the computers and software we have today. Cheers!

FoxFleet
FoxFleet

In hiome there is no place to type gpedit unless you meant run or search. Unable to proof the rest of your document.

smason
smason

Vista SP1 and later is fine. Ok, the print spooler is a bit unstable, but otherwise fine. 7 looks good too. Our 100 person office is using XP, Vista and 7, slowly getting rid of XP. All 3 have been solid.

seanferd
seanferd

So it won't be as bad as Vista's initial release. And the betas were fairly nice. Not that I'm any more impressed by MS than you are. ;)

chiplugo
chiplugo

We are now testing Win 7 and wow, what a difference in performance. All releases require 'tweaking' to meet different business and customers requirements ....alittle work but this time worth the effort... with all new systems there are leaders, followers, and Procrastinators. You are probably the latter, but try it and I really believe you'll be surprised. Its definitely unlike any previous MS offerings.

Another Canadian
Another Canadian

All run great on this PC and Win 7 beat them all for the convenience and reliability, with one major exception for games that are RPG type, none of my games won't work but as I have now to be a triple boot if needed, I am in heaven and all my work application work flawlessly and Windows update in Win 7 have just fixed a problem with my Logitech web cam Fusion that vista could not or even Logitech make it work for me, so for me this is more than just a convenience it is a revelation that Win 7 make thing better if you accept that for games that are not made for Win 7 won't work if they are the type of RPG, (I know Crysis install very well but not the patch on my system, probably due to a bad configuration of the partition, I am going to fix that with a cheap 500 Gb HD from WD OEM at $60 CDN :) only for the dual boot he he, the other HD 1 TB from WD will be for my Win 7 x64 that just rock. If you love your XP well keep it and why not but if you want everything do a dual boot and keep the best of both world but be ready to do some tinkering and at the end you will be happy as I am. Very satisfy user and compare to vista it is very snappy and way better then XP when it come to fully use my hardware. Yep a very good OS that is Win 7

terry.floyd
terry.floyd

One important GP tweak missing from this article is a step-by-step procedure for disabling autorun/autoplay. My office was hit hard this past summer by a nasty IRCBot trojan that travelled from an infected USB Flash drive to a local computer, and then copied itself to the Home directory of a user. And of course, the user shared his USB stick with a co-worker, who infected other computers and other folders on our SAN. We've been fighting it for weeks, and it all could have been avoided by simply disabling the Autorun feature enabled by default in ALL versions of Windows. Also, GPEdit.msc is not a new feature of Windows 7. I've been using it since the Windows 2000 days. To disable Autorun/Autoplay, run GPEdit from your Admin account and expand the Administrative Templates folder under Computer Configuration, then click on the System folder. In the Settings pane on the right side of the window, right click the "Turn off Autoplay" option and click on the Properties option. Click on the Enabled radio button and then choose "All Drives" from the drop-down arrow (the other option is CD-drive, but to disable autorun for USB flash drives, you must choose "All Drives"). Then click OK to close the "Turn off Autoplay Properties" window, then click on File and Exit to save the new policy and re-boot the computer to activate it. To simplify this for your entire organizational unit, you should set this Group Policy on your Active Directory OU to force all computers in the OU to inherit this important policy, which will save you the trouble of doing this manually on all PCs in your company (and save you the headaches of stamping out a worm that Symantec didn't even know about until we sent them copies of the infected files). I have also modified our standard PC image file so that all new computers deployed with this image will have this policy already configured.

Beoweolf
Beoweolf

Whether you want to accept it or not, the biggest problem with Vista was "Vista" it was foot dragging by vendors eager to force software sales by dawdling. Instead of making - what should have been - minor revisions to conform to necessary security changes in Vista; they let Microsoft swinging in the wind. Forced us, their customers, to spring for new purchases. Microsoft learned a lesson, Vendors made some extra money and the consumer has a fully-realized client being release - coming out of the chute. Vista was the "making sausage part; Windows 7 is the tasty dish we were denied fased on the warranted (and more often, unwarranted) complaints about Vista. Do your customers a favor - put a few of them on Windows 7 - evaluation/trial, if you have to. Its so good, it should be illegal. They will quickly sing its (and your) praises.

Craig_B
Craig_B

With Vista after SP1 all the major issues were gone and it has been very solid. Windows 7 is really Vista R2 (notice on the server side Windows Server 2008 R2 has been released) and Win 7 is really nice indeed. Everything just works, the changes have made it more efficient and easier to use. As for the article, thanks for tweaks.

pdm_pdq
pdm_pdq

This "Win 7" is just a Vista revision with a different desktop screen. I had Vista when it first came out. I quickley removed it from my computer and went back to XP. However, I recently reloaded the latest version of Vista and it runs great. I also recently loaded Win 7 to enable a triple boot system. I use them all and for what its worth, Vista has really improved in many ways. The procedures described in this article are the same tools that are in Vista. Like I said Win 7 is just an upgrade to Vista. Therefore, in a sense, Win 7 already has an SP1. ;-)

EastExpertG
EastExpertG

We will be introducing Windows 7 for new laptops ASAP, to make maximum return on our Software Assurance investment (what B.S. you were talking about?... blah). XP is seven years old and begs to be replaced. We skipped Vista for main production deployment, due to other reasons; but our tests for Windows 7 have shown that it's a great FAST system with all the new features. So we're gradually replacing XP as soon as we can. Plus XP support for new laptops is not so good -- you really need a current system to benefit from new features in your laptop or desktop you have already paid for. So power to Windows 7. (Old computers will probably still have to use Vista though, because of DELL driver support; but they are being replaced gradually). There are always people who would hold to the old system until there are no more updates for it. I say to everyone his own. Meanwhile I will just enjoy the newest in the pack on new hardware, with all the new features. So thanks to the author for this heads-up, some of the tips will be used in GP in our production environment.

trippb
trippb

The author specifically said "I?ll note here that the Local Group Policy Editor isn?t available with Windows 7 Home and Windows 7 Home Premium. I?ll show you how to perform the same tweak using the Registry if you?re using those versions." After each edit with gpedit, he gave the registry settings that would accomplish the same thing. You have to edit the registry.

darpoke
darpoke

I fully agree with you. I've been shown the shiny newness of W7 RC by a friend who's well versed in the hideousness of Vista but was pleasantly surprised by how awesome he's finding the new OS. Personally I'm more at home with the various *nix OS families (FreeBSD, OS X, Puppy - my first foray into the Linux kernel) but I too was impressed by what I saw. The Homegroups functionality was something the like of which I would have expected from Apple. Good on you MS, finally spent some money on development instead of just propaganda. My major gripe with them though is more an issue of poor sense bordering on simple bad taste. The default enabling of Autorun(/play) is a clear attempt to make it 'just work' out of the box - at the expense of abandoning the security provided by requiring a user to specifically run what they want from an attached device/medium. It's symptomatic of the need to dumb things down for their userbase: resulting, unsurprisingly, in a userbase that's increasingly dumb with respect to computing and security. The MS model of software seems to be a pantheon of stupidity and ignorance - and if you build it, they will come. Behold, the user who can't differentiate between 'Windows' and 'Office'. MS don't care because they've already charged for both licences. Yay capitalism. In contrast to this is the need, in this day and age, to obtain DVD a decoder in order to watch DVDs on a Windows PC. It's a 12+ year old format. All of a sudden it's not critical to have it 'just work'... Consistency, anyone?

jford
jford

Couldfnt have said it better! I intentionally instaleld 7 with older hardware, logi webcam, SB Audigy2, ATI X1350 pci xpress, old CD writer and old DVD burner and much more on a P4 at 3.2 and 2 gigs of dualo channel ram, 7 found and set up aqll of my hardware with complete functionality from day one! Crysis and FEAR, left 4 dead, and more game wise function so totally superior to XP pro I barely recognized the GUI, Win 7 is a Big Winner!!

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Can't wait to see the WinFS in action. Oh, wait....

jford
jford

Like I said Win 7 is just an upgrade to Vista. Therefore, in a sense, Win 7 already has an SP1. are you serious? I have been running win7 beta then the RC for months now, after throwing Vista out the window shorlty after installing it, to compare 7 to Vista is to compare Win 3.1 with Win 2000!! Win 7 actually requires much less high end hardware, finctions beautifully on lower end systems and on the technical end, is NOTHING like Vista except in general visual appearance? You noobs need to really explore a little

gregnelson4u
gregnelson4u

Is it possible for users of Windows Vista Business to upgrade to windows 7? How?

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I have Win 7 installed on six systems at home and we like it. I also skipped the Vista-pig. My hardware is a few years old but still current enough with enough RAM. When 7 doesn't load a driver, I try the Vista version or even the XP version and usually one or the other works. I don't notice any performance difference from XP. My hardware is a mixture of Dell, HP and IBM. We haven't started with 7 at work yet but it's only a matter of time. New PC's arrive with Vista and I really notice the drag even on new hardware with 4GB of RAM. I have an old HP nc6000 (at work for testing) with 1GB of RAM with 7 Enterprise on it and it seems to run faster than a new machine with Vista.

alfred.nims
alfred.nims

You will edit the registry not by using the Local Group Policy Editor, but by going directly into the registry.C:\windows\regedit.exe

darpoke
darpoke

incarnation you're referring to with Ultimate or Pro? I'm speaking about Vista, I believe it was the Home edition though. Naturally I didn't tell the client it was a dumb purchase, I don't even necessarily mean that it's dumb to buy Windows, though I don't tend to use it myself by choice. It's simply that in my experience it's necessarily to fix a problem when you want to play a DVD on a Windows machine. Frankly, given the range of my misgivings towards Windows, I don't especially see the need to single out the lack of DVD codecs...

Another Canadian
Another Canadian

Well if you have ultimate it will work right of the box and on the Pro I did not need any special software to make the DVD work. Mind you I have also a good knowledge of how to circumvent DRM and you could suggest to Google about Any DVD so you don't give the link your self and implicate your corporation just telling your customer about alternative he might appreciate more then he was making dump purchase decision no?

darpoke
darpoke

For the love of God, don't get me started on the licensing and DRM quagmire (giggety. Sorry). I had to write a lengthy mail to a client of ours the other week explaining that his inability to play the DVD we produced for him was a fault in his computing purchasing choices rather than our disc. At the conclusion of which I pointed out that unlike normal video codecs, which compress for the sake of decreased filesize (needing less disk space and/or bandwidth to store/transport), the DVD format goes through an additional encryption purely for the sake of obfuscation. The purpose of this is to allow the consortium that developed it to make money from licensing, meaning that any company that wishes to produce DVD players, decoders or software has to cough up. The effect of *that* is that it costs money to deliver an implementation. Hence Windows doesn't play discs out of the box. Macs, on the other hand, work just fine - DVD Player is a component of OS X, and has been for some time. Presumably the extra cash stumped up for an Apple machine covers that particular cost too. IMHO the so-called Apple Tax is a far subtler issue than either side is prepared to admit. Most likely because a frank and honest discussion would genuinely exclude most of the paying public from comprehending what you actually get (or not, as the case may be, Microsoft I'm looking at you) for your money...

seanferd
seanferd

Absolutely. I've always killed autorun just because it annoys me. I want to control what I am doing with removable media - I don't need actions taken automatically, or offered. The best bit is that people who get used to autorun have no clue what to do with software which has no autorun.inf, or simply fails for reasons unknown. (I get phone calls.) The security implications of autorun, I'd only considered a several of years ago, but it is more of a security risk now than ever. Smack me for not checking out how Win7 handles this when I was playing with the beta/RC. As for DVD decoders, I agree, but that issue is bigger than MS. Licensing, DRM, and the law make this a quagmire. Just ask the folks who wrote their own DVD codecs. (Not including those which defeat DRM, regional settings, copy protection, etc.)

alfred.nims
alfred.nims

I like(d) Vista and Windows 7, no problems with either one. I also like Office 2007 a lot and Office 2010 Technical Preview builds on it.

alfred.nims
alfred.nims

I believe when a person is really as tech savvy as you seem, you would have reinstalled Vista and actually 'explore(d) a little'. We are 75% done in migrating the company I work for to Vista. With 19 offices worldwide running different types of apps including home-grown. Windows 7 is nothing more then Vista R2. R2s are something that usually occurs in the server realm where large chunks of code are changed. It is not merely a service pack. I am not a noob and I test everything. I don't believe what MS or these so-called experts say, good or bad, about a product. I work it myself. If you threw Vista out the window how do you know what correlation Windows 7 has with it.

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