Windows 7: Snap!

I’ve installed the Beta of Windows 7 nearly everywhere. OK I still have a few installs of Vista, and even XP, around, but more and more I’m dissatisfied with these older versions of Windows — 7 just seems to run better and look better. Even in beta I think it’s the best version of Windows since the late, lamented 2000. That’s one of the reasons I started the (admittedly tongue in cheek) “Release Windows 7” campaign, despite mocking from my friend, Paul Thurrott.

So far, Windows 7 has worked with everything I’ve thrown at it, with one significant exception.


The 64-bit version doesn’t work with Google’s Chrome browser. I don’t really need Chrome, but I use it to turn the Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Gmail (all of which I do need) into desktop icons. I’m sure Google will fix this soon, and I can survive without it.

But now comes the news that Windows 7’s UAC-lite doesn’t work very well. Turns out malware can turn it off without any notification. Nice. Microsoft has, once again, compromised security for convenience. I’m sure we’ll talk about this on Windows Weekly. (We’re recording at 3p Eastern today on TWiT Live or subscribe on iTunes).

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: turn UAC up. Click the Action Center flag in your system tray, open the Action Center, then Change UAC Settings. uacMove the slider up to the top of the range and you’re done. Phew!

Now I can go back to my campaign to release Snow Leopard!

32 Replies to “Windows 7: Snap!”

  1. You should be able to use Google Chrome on Windows 7 (64-bit) if you disable the sandbox feature by passing the “–no-sandbox” parameter in the shortcut.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I'll be setting up 7 on two of my desktops this weekend (both Vista machines).

  3. I'm curious, Leo, are you running Win7 as a “user” or as an “administrator”? I would think the UAC would still complain about being turned off (or rather would not allow it) if you were not already authenticated as an administrator. Got this from Dwight Silverman, BTW.

  4. I am sticking with ubuntu! Windows 7 is all hyped for nothing! One of Microsfts marketing strategies!

  5. I went from XP to Vista about a month ago, and while its pretty, it bombs all the time. I setup my MBP to dual-boot OSX and Win7, and so far Win7 has been a champ. Its pretty, it feels simple and fast. It feels like an OSX version of Windows, if that makes sense. I will move to Win7 as soon as its ready, and I would probably even update my main machine with Win7 today if I knew that I could transition to the real version once it was available without having to rebuild my entire machine.

  6. Chrome didn't work for me on 64 bit 7 as well.(Fine in 32 bit) I tried a hack on line and it didn't work for me although others posted it had.Turning down UAC on 7 makes it hackable, what did you expect? UAC works fine for me in Vista it's not that much different from running as a limited user on Unix based systems, so I'm surprised people have such a problem with it. The people I personally know who complain about UAC are the ones I could never get to run as limited users with XP, so you can lead the horse to the water but you can't make them drink.

  7. Ok, first you hate UAC, so Microsoft tries to turn it down to make it less annoying. The ability to turn it down allows others to turn it down so you suggest turning it back up? Turn it up to the level that you hated?!?! Come on man!! Make up your mind!Oh, and to the user that wants to turn it completely off, I hope you have a great firewall. UAC being off is just inviting a worm into your system. That was the whole point of UAC. (Hint: a worm does not need you to double click an icon or open some e-mail attachment so be as careful as you like….you can still get infected.)

  8. I've got two users, a 'user' and an 'administrator'. I run in user mode and then when I try to run an installer, I'm prompted to use my admin account. This, I believe, is the best way to run the system.

  9. Vista's best addition was UAC. I feel much more in control and have very few fears of accidently installing malware thanks to UAC. Dumbing down UAC is .. um dumb.

  10. I hate to agree with Micrfosoft, but here's why I don't see this as a security flaw: you aren't getting any new privileges you didn't have before. You explictly tell the system that you don't want to get a warning if you make a change, and even though you made things a little fancier by sending keystrokes from a program, YOU are still making a change, and thus no warning. The program is running as you, it is sending keystrokes as you to signed programs that actually make the change.

  11. I have been using Vista since the day it was release to volume license customers. In the early days it had a lot of issues with driver and application compatibility, but once the third-party vendors got on board those problems went away. I ran Vista on my nearly five-year old computer (P4, 3GHz, 1GB RAM) and didn't have performance issues. (I have since upgraded the RAM to 2GB, but not because of Vista.)Until Windows Vista came along I always ran XP with root access. UAC made it possible to run as a normal user and only elevate my credentials when necessary. This made me much more secure. This has been Vista's best feature IMO and I hate to see Microsoft “tone it down”.No matter what Microsoft does, the Mac and Linux people will hate it because it comes from Microsoft. Hating Microsoft has become the trendy thing to do. For years they complained about Windows users running as administrators, then when Microsoft fixed that issue they complained the OS had become too annoying. Now Microsoft turns UAC down and Windows will become a laughing stock because it isn't secure enough.When others complained about Vista I would shake my head because I just couldn't understand. Now when I see people rave about Windows 7 I shake my head because since I have started running the Beta I don't see any compelling reason to move from Vista. Maybe I am just odd — after all, I even managed to run Windows ME for a year without any issues. 🙂

  12. Win 7 isn't as ready as some think it is, it crashes my system regularly, there are driver issues, my pc is a bit older ( AMD X2 3800 w/ 1 gig RAM ATI 1650 ) than some but the ATI video driver is just minimally functional (doesn't recognize 2 monitors ) . I've only had it installed for a few days and as I said it's crashed at least a couple of times each day (total freezeup, not even a BSOD) now it IS pretty, and the it has promise but I won't be using it full time for a while, and won't buy it until it's been official for some time either.

  13. Great suggestions Leo. I'm disappointed to learn that Chrome doesn't work with the 64 bit version. I'm downloading Windows 7 now at my university and I'm getting a 1.59 MB/s (yes, that's megaBYTES) transfer rate so it's only taking about 35-40 minutes. I'm going to install it on my MacBook under BootCamp, anything I need to be on the lookout for?Hey rveguilla, thanks for the Chrome tip, just saw that!

  14. Leo said: “I don’t really need Chrome, but I use it to turn the Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Gmail (all of which I do need) into desktop icons.”I have recently discovered the Prism addon for Firefox and am loving it. Turns any webpage/webapp into a SSB (Site-Specific Browser), right from within Firefox.…There's Fluid too, for the Mac-only/webkit SSB experience. Its SSBs are much bigger in filesize, though I suspect they are truly standalone, while Prism SSBs are likely dependent on an existing Firefox install (must be, but haven't tested that theory). related…

  15. W7 is absolutelly awfull, as you might expect from the dinosaur Microsoft. Lots and lots of unnecessary changes (just for the sake of change), endless re-boots, an unusable start-button/menu-system, etc etc.Really awful.

  16. Carbonite doesn't fully work with Windows 7. I can restore, but when I click on the “Select Files & Folders to Restore” it will launch Windows Explorer but freezes up. Any suggestions???

  17. I am using Windows 7 and have no problems except for finding beta drivers. It is the best OS ever and is super stable. I have been using since day 1.

Comments are closed.