Microsoft screwed up, and they know it. The last version of Windows was a turkey stuffed with some pretty dumb features. I’ve spent some time with the latest version of Windows, though, and it looks like it could be a winner.
You thought I was talking about Vista and Windows 7? Nope, this is a look at ten years of system optimization at PC Pitstop, and I started at the beginning. The decade opened with a Microsoft disaster called Windows Me, followed by a decade-long success called Windows XP that still rules today. But it just goes to show a big company like Microsoft doesn’t always learn from its mistakes.
Each time a new version of Windows comes out, people ask me whether PC Pitstop will run out of ideas for tweaking and tuning PCs. The short answer is “no”, because Microsoft always manages to find something they don’t get quite right. Windows Me and Vista are extreme examples of that, but even Windows 7 has its weaknesses. And when Microsoft makes even a little mistake, it often doesn’t get fixed until the next version — which won’t come out for several more years. The only thing you’ll get from Microsoft in the meantime is patches for serious security problems.
Even with those system patches, they didn’t get it quite right. Just about every month, Microsoft sends out a slug of patches and fixes via Windows Update. Just in case something goes wrong, they save all the information they’d need to uninstall each patch. The problem is, they never remove the uninstall information. If your computer is three years old, these remnants of patches you installed three years ago are still taking up space on your drive. I’ve seen older XP systems with more than a gigabyte of this junk on them. Didn’t anyone at Microsoft think about deleting these files? Even more incredibly, this still seems to be broken with Windows 7.
It reminds me of my first job in software development right out of college; computers weren’t all that common at the time. One of my co-workers related the story of how she got her job there; she contacted the personnel department and told them she was a computer programmer; they told her, “Sorry, all our computers have already been programmed.” Fortunately she got the phone number of the head of the IT department, who confirmed that their computers did still need a little more programming.
And so it is with Windows; even after ten years of so much change, so much remains the same. Windows still needs a wee bit more programming. That’s where we can help.