The major factor that makes Microsoft win over Linux or Unix in OS wars, is its ease in usability. Windows has made operating computer an easy thing even for a non-techie. The reason why we still bear the vulnerabilities in Windows and Microsoft’s overwhelming patches without complaining, is definitely that you cannot get an alternative for an easily operatable OS as Windows.
However, after Windows XP, Microsoft seems to be kind of losing track somewhere. That certainly explains the failure of Vista, despite the success of its preceding version – XP. Windows 7 was released with much hype. In fact the methods used by Microsoft to shift users from Windows XP to Windows 7 seemed exotic. Still many of them, due to unbearable number of patches and vulnerabilities reported for XP, migrated to Windows 7 hoping for more security rather than improvised features.
However, after a few days you see the number of people who want to stick to XP increasing, rather than the number of people who want to shift. The reason behind this is that Microsoft has replaced many functional features in Win 7 with fancy ones. The search feature is one of them. Microsoft should have reconsidered before bluntly replacing a very friendly search box of Windows XP with the dysfunctional Win 7 search box.
Here is the list of differences between Win 7 and Win XP search:
Windows XP search feature was the best of all Windows versions. Firstly we will start with the 2 text boxes in Windows XP search (refer to the Win XP Search image given) – one for searching all or part of a file name and the other to search for a word or phrase in the file. This was replaced with a universal search box (refer to Windows 7 Search image below) which searches only the file names for the parameters given.
And what should you do to search for a word or phrase inside the file? Well thats a lengthy process where you will have to change the settings in folder options. However, after changing the settings, the search bar will start searching the contents in your files – every time, consuming lots of time and the PC process.
The date-modified criteria and the size criteria were retained in Windows 7. However, in Win 7 you cannot search for files modified between specific dates.
The More advanced options in XP with options – search system folders, search hidden files and folders, case sensitive, search tape backup were favorites of Win XP users. All these check boxes, drop down menus and radio buttons which used to help in customizing search, were replaced with nothing.
Now Microsoft asks you to use syntaxes to narrow down your Win 7 search results. These include kind (for specifying type of file), genre, property, etc. If someone were to learn syntaxes to use Windows OS, can’t they learn syntaxes of Linux or Unix operations instead? At least they will get rid off vulnerabilities and additional work of updating Windows by doing so.
These operators often remind me the Google search operators. But Google itself is now trying to improve user-friendly interface with one-click links (refer to the Google Search image here), which will narrow the search results. We don’t understand why Microsoft, instead of improving interface, is trying to go fancy with looks and losing features.
Overall, several features were removed from Windows XP to trim down Windows 7 search box. Isn’t it the obese people that try to trim their excess fat. If a normal person becomes slim, he looks diseased. Were Windows XP search features obese? Definitely not.
If you have already shifted to Windows 7 or are forced to move to Windows 7, and are concerned about the deprived search features, you can use search software like Copernic. However, this will cost you extra, apart from the charges of an authentic license of Win 7. If you are planning to install any free software, it will be a riskier step. Thanks to the vulnerable operating systems of Microsoft.
Ultimately, if one would like to stick or shift back to Windows XP from Windows 7, the search feature will be one of the prominent reasons. Most of other changes made in Windows 7, along with the search feature, seemed to be made for the sake of change rather than for enhancing usability.