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Disclaimer: former MCSE who quit administering windows altogether.

A minor aesthetic change which requires a minor intuitive leap for the power user is a major change for most home users. Sure, the steering wheel is on the other side of the car, but thats minor. Except that now the user has to learn how to drive on the other side of the road.

I loaded up windows 7 to look. Where's add/remove software? Wait, that changed and I need to set the control panel to classic to see it. Uh, where's classic mode at. Turns out you select the drop down box to Large/Small Icons for it to change the icon selection entirely. What? I spent a while longer searching for where to install OS components (IIS, etc). Minor irritants to me. Major headaches for my Father, Sister, Brother, etc. Even moreso when they call the family tech who can't figure what the hell they're talking about.

I change to the interface IS a change to the OS as far as all by %1 of users are concerned.

When you click Start and see a textbox which is labeled search, do you not think, what if I type "add remove". Google has taught me this, so when I see search I expect to enter keywords or search criteria and that expected results are returned.

Guess what it works.

Classic what? Click what? Where's what?

Just search for it.

Implying the rest just seems archaic, especially from a user perspective.

Just search for it.

Have you used an OS prior to Windows 7 and/or OSX?

Search on windows actually working is a huge step forward. Many users have simply not adapted to this actually being something worth trying.

I'm one of those people. I switched to OS X somewhere around XP SP3. Have never used Vista on any of my own machines, and only run Win7 on a VM to get access to IE 8 and 9.

Search on Windows is horribly broken. One of the first "shortcuts" I learned on OS X was Cmd+Space and typing out the application I wanted to run. Spotlight immediately brought up what I wanted. Windows never did that for me, or spent 45 seconds or more with a spinning hourglass to return a document that happened to be named similar to a program I wanted. I don't care if it works better now, they've set a precedent in my mind that it is broken, because it was broken for the ~15 years I used their OSes.

Again, time to change how you've been using computers for years. Sorry Grandma.

I agree that when you're very familiar with the control panel, it's frustrating to have to adapt to the non-classic categorised view. However there are clear advantages to some changes, and I would argue that the Windows control panel is more usable now than it has been in the past. The large directory of icons with no clear grouping by function is a user interface nightmare, and it's only because we're familiar with it that we can navigate it.

And for reference, if you go to the control panel in Windows 7, "Uninstall a program" is right there on the bottom left. If you want to install a program (like IIS), clicking "Programs" takes you to a convenient menu that lets you "Turn Windows features on or off".

It's not quite how it was, but it's actually more intuitive. I'd imagine that you learned the old way of doing it by trial and error. The new system makes that process easier.

You're advocating the retardation of progress for the sake of familiarity, which has never worked for any company at any point in history, and I fail to see why Microsoft would willingly fall into that trap.

You innovate or you die, and Microsoft is dying. The iPad is killing them. Maybe not quickly and obviously, but it will end Microsoft's dominance in less than a decade.

Actually, XMLHttpRequest killed Microsoft. I posit that this self-inflicted wound caused far more damage than any or all of Apple's iDevices.

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