Three things I hope Windows 7 solves (but probably won’t)

For me, Windows Vista has been pretty solid. Apart from a few early hiccups, most of which were actually issues with laptop hardware, I’ve been pretty happy with it. I haven’t looked into the particulars of Windows 7 yet (being pretty busy in the here and now) but I’ve heard that it is miles better.

There are a few lingering issues that trip me up pretty much every day. If Windows 7 solves these, I’ll be very happy and even more productive:

  1. Remember my windows and monitor setup. The one thing I’ve wanted from Windows for years is the ability to shut down or restart and have Windows remember every single open app and window placement. This includes Outlook messages, Web browser windows and tabs and even Notepad files. It seems like there should be a relatively easy way to write this information to disc and then restore it upon reboot. I work best with a lot of open windows that I then work through – sometimes over several days. When I have to restart my computer, it can take me 15 minutes to save and record all of the things I’m working on – and a crash or unexpected reboot can really wreck my day. The other part of this is monitor arrangement. I extend my desktop to the left, which is apparently backwards from what Microsoft expects. So everytime I disconnect and reconnect my laptop (say, to run to a meeting), I have to open and fix my monitor settings. I’d probably undock my laptop more if it wasn’t such a hassle to restore my extended desktop settings.
  2. Bring back pinpoint text selection in Internet Explorer. I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime in the past year or so I found that selecting bits of text in Internet Explorer text windows (where I do a lot of writing, editing and posting these days) has been hit or miss. Mostly miss. Words that I want to set to STRONG get clipped right in the middle, words I’m cutting and pasting are truncated right down the middle, spaces and punctuation that I don’t want are selected, etc. I waste a lot of cumulative time correcting these little errors. It wasn’t always like this! I used to have more pinpoint control over text selection. Bring it back.
  3. Be smarter about alerts and pop ups. I know Windows is programmed to inform me the instant that a meeting reminder is scheduled to pop up, or when it needs a password or to bring an alert to my attention, but please hold off while I’m typing vigorously into another window! Odds are that I’ll only be actively typing in short bursts, and you can check and wait a few seconds until I pause. Use the microwave popcorn rule: When there’s more than three seconds between bursts of typing, you can stop me. If you find you’re having to hold a particularly urgent alert for more than 30 seconds, go ahead and break in. At least I’ll know you tried to wait, and most of the time I won’t type an important sentence into a password box.

I’ll pick up Windows 7 soon after it comes out, but wondered if these sorts of things have been addressed. What about you, any Windows peeves that you’re hoping will finally get fixed this year?

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