New Year’s Wishes

Over the internet, many places are having those Best of 2010 articles, or Best of The Decade articles, or even those where they look forward to what is coming from CES.

Rather than any of those, I have been thinking about what I might be looking forward to this coming year, and though I would like to be upbeat and happy, I do wonder if 2011 may not be the same as 2010 in many ways.

Over at ZDNet, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has a question of what tech we might be most looking forward to, and has as choices such things as the next iPad, the next iPhone, the CDMA version of the iPhone, a few choices for anything Android powered, Windows tablets – whether or not they cheat and use Windows Phone instead of the real Windows, larger hard drives, and a few others that really did not pique my interest at all.

Of course, none of it really did, so I put something else, because what I would like to see is refinement of Windows 7.

I suppose that most believe that Windows 7 is just great, because they are lulled into a sense of wonder by the Aero interface, and things such as Aero Snap.

I am not one of those. If I could exchange Aero and its cool factor for fewer problems, I would.

Just this morning I was told that there were updates for my computer. Well, update really. It’s a small thing, but don’t you think in this day that Microsoft could have notices that were really correct in grammar? One update being noted as singular, more than one being noted as plural?

Then when I tried to apply the update, I got a nifty little Windows error that said the update failed. I opened up the help and was shown to stop, then restart the Windows update services.

Did that repair the problem? I have no idea, because the notification disappeared along with the repair – yet nothing appears in the update log, other than the failed attempt.

Am I worried? No, but some with less experience might be, and we must remember a couple of things. One is that Windows XP has never had this problem on any of the machines I have ever used or maintained. Two is that Windows 7 has been out for more than a year, and this is supposed to be the most sophisticated, most reliable, most wonderful, most blessed by Steve Ballmer version of Windows ever. And yet over a year into it, problems and none of that crap about how Windows XP was having problems in its second year, because we are supposed to learn by our mistakes, right?

Am I unusual in the things I do, or expect, with Windows 7? I doubt it. But I know that this is not the only problem I’ve had, a few of which I’ve documented in this column, but only when there was a solution.

There is still the problem, probably the most irritating one, of when I have Windows media sharing on, my machine will take sometimes a full fifteen minutes to give me use of the Windows media player interface. Until whatever is occurring happens, the outer shell of the media player is all that shows up, and none of the buttons, including exit, are available – the spinning cursor is there when hovering anywhere over the media player. This only happens if I wait, for a time, to open media player.  If I start it along with, or within about 5 minutes of starting Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition, it works normally. It shows this behavior whether or not any other shared media is on the network.

There appears to be no fix for this; I have looked extensively. This doesn’t happen in media player on Windows XP – I’ve checked. Perhaps this is only one reason why my son uses WinAmp on his Vista Ultimate machine (actually mine, the aforementioned Quadzilla). He got tired of the unruly behavior with Windows Media Player long ago – as I am just beginning to use it with any frequency, my annoyances are only beginning.

Yet these are supposed to be the best Microsoft has to offer.

Yes, I’d like to see some fixes come down the pike (or at least Windows Update) this next year.

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