CIO Symmetry

Mar 11 2010   3:15PM GMT

Why one IT guy found Windows 7 to be too user-friendly

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta


There has been a lot of Windows 7 coverage on — everything from planning your migration strategy to making it your last operating system. Part of the appeal of the new OS is that it makes your computer faster and easier to use. Or, as Microsoft says, “Meet Windows 7: Your PC, simplified.”

Even the installation process is easier, according to one IT user I spoke with. But while we look to technology to make our jobs easier, could the simplified OS installation be almost too user-friendly?

“Microsoft kind of dumbed down the whole initial process,” said Ray Bhatia, vice president of operations at San Francisco-based search engine marketing firm Demand Local Inc.

Moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 is not an in-place upgrade, so users are faced with two options: a custom install or a clean install. Bhatia opted for the clean install and waited. After a quick scan of the PC, he said he received a simple, friendly message informing him that the installation process had begun. And that was it.

Bhatia, a former systems administrator, has been working with Microsoft operating systems for years and said he was a bit surprised that a clean installation was only three clicks away. While larger companies probably would have a different experience, at SMBs, where Windows 7 may be installed one computer at a time, it was a noticeable change.

“I’m used to the XP blue installation screen with multiple partitioning options and those, ‘This will completely refresh your system — do you still want to proceed?’ messages,” he said. “The Windows 7 messages aren’t nearly as scary!”

We’ve been seeing this for a while — technology progressing to the point where you don’t necessarily need to be trained in IT to get things done. Setting up a wireless connection or a LAN no longer requires the router-speak of days gone by. Installing applications, setting up email and even installing operating systems aren’t the painstakingly arduous processes they once were.

The work is already being done for you — even if you’re the IT guy.

“You almost feel like you aren’t doing your job because it’s that easy,” Bhatia said.

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