The UX of Windows XP

For most of 2009, I have been using Windows 7.  Suddenly, this week, I was thrust back in time to using Windows XP.  It has been quite a shock.  Here are some of the things I picked up on:

  • Fonts.  The ways fonts are handled in XP is alot different.  Everything feels sharper and blurrier at the same time.  It looks cheaper.  It’s hard to pinpoint.  The letters aren’t spaced right or something.  Windows 7 seemed much cleaner/clearer.  I installed Calibri to get my favorite font back.
  • Start Bar.  It’s been a while since I saw the word Start.  Vista and 7 use a little windows marble.  More importantly, I use the find functionality all the time, and the old XP start bar doesn’t have it.  I am annoyed with the old giant menu styles.
  • Style.  The theme of Windows 7 is clean and modern.  XP feels like one of Katie’s old (circa 1987) sweaters.  It made me think the machine was slower, even though it wasn’t.  I installed this XP theme to make Windows XP look like Windows 7.

Apparently, there are all kinds of detailed mods you can do to transform XP into 7.  Some of them seem more invasive than others.  I haven’t done them yet, but I will see.

Overall, I feel like I am not “cutting edge” anymore.  I am a Luddite.  Using XP is like using a CRT TV instead of a flat panel.  Insanity!  Maybe they will let me install Windows 7 when it launches.  Is that tomorrow??  I am going to buy the family pack for home.  Woo Hoo!

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