If there is one thing that annoys me about Windows-based PCs, it is the amount of time it takes for them to start up and shutdown every day. Both Windows XP and Vista suffer this “twiddle your thumbs” fate. Could Windows 7 change things? No, not by the looks of it.
I have for years, in fact ever since I started up and shutdown my first Windows-based PC, wondered why on earth it takes so long for these things to happen. Like a good energy-saver, I power down my PC every night, and often at some midway point during the day as well. And it takes an absolute age for it to both shutdown and start up again.
I mean, OK, I can understand to a certain extent why it takes a couple of minutes for a PC to boot up. Windows has many processes which all need to start up and be running in order to make Windows as easy-to-use as it is. There is also the oodles of software and drivers most of us force our PCs to deal with.
Most days I have time to make a cup of coffee and get dressed between the time it takes for me to press the ‘On’ button and the computer actually being ready and willing to bow to my whim. I often make it to my desk in time to see the applications loading up on the task bar while I twiddle my thumbs waiting for the piece of technology in front of me to decide it’s ready to go.
Shutting down is even worse. While it doesn’t take as long to achieve, my PC often chooses this time to crash, forcing me to switch it off manually and risk damaging the system in the process. As Larry Magid at CNET inquires, why do we put up with it when we wouldn’t do so if it was any piece of equipment other than a PC?
While XP and Vista suffer from these long-winded and often fatal shutdown and start-ups, Windows Seven is an all-new opportunity for Microsoft to remove this annoyance from its users and increase the efficiency of workers at the same time. Unfortunately, while the beta versions already released do offer a little improvement, it isn’t enough to save me from getting vexed waiting for things to happen.
There is a chance that performance will improve by the time the final version hits the market, but I doubt it’ll be enough to soothe my agony. Maybe Microsoft should make this a key part of its plans when it comes to developing the next operating system.