- Windows 7’s Aero theme introduced a drastic visual improvement with its glass look and sleek animation, making it visually appealing even today.
- Windows 7 had pre-installed games and gadgets, providing offline entertainment options and useful desktop tools, unlike its successors.
- Windows 7 was less invasive and annoying compared to modern Windows versions, as it didn’t have built-in ads, bloatware, constant data collection, or frequent updates like Windows 10 and 11.
Back in the good old days, when I was but a little pipsqueak, I remember using the Windows XP on my main Pentium 3 OEM PC. I didn’t know much about operating systems then, and XP was enough to run my copy of Need For Speed II and GTA Vice City.
Fast forward a few years later and my knowledge about PC parts and operating systems grew. I heard about the disaster that was the Windows Vista release, but there was hope since an even better Windows was right around the corner. Sadly, my Pentium 3 was just not powerful enough to smoothly run Windows 7 when it was released, so I bided my time and stuck with XP for a while.
When I did upgrade to a Core 2 Duo, one of the upgrades I was most looking forward to was installing Windows 7, and it was so worth the wait. Here are a few reasons why I still love Windows 7 and think that it is the greatest of all time.
3 The Aero theme is a breath of fresh air
It’s so good it still holds up today
I’m not saying that the original Windows XP theme looked bad. In fact, people who upgraded to it from older Windows probably hold similar feelings for Windows XP that I do for Windows 7. But in my opinion, the visual quality improvement introduced in Windows 7 was more drastic than any other major Windows release.
The Aero theme on Windows 7 was initially released on Windows Vista, but since Vista wasn’t widely adopted, had its fair share of issues, and was only released to bridge the gap between Windows XP and 7, we can ignore it.
The highlight feature of the Aero theme was the glass look on open programs, which had a slight translucency to it and made even the day-to-day tasks beautiful. This, combined with a brand-new set of desktop icons, iconic wallpapers, and a fresh coat of animation made the OS truly stand out then and look good even today.
2 Pre-installed games and gadgets
I don’t count these as bloatware
Back then, my parents weren’t too fond of giving me internet access on my PC. This meant that I had to rely on disc media and whatever was on my PC at the time. There isn’t much you can do without the internet on a modern OS, but Windows 7 had the perfect solution for it. Baked right into the start menu were 8 offline games that you could hop into at any time.
The most memorable one of the bunch, as we can all agree, was Purble Palace. Fond memories of this game are deeply ingrained in my memory. There was also Chess Titans, the game that actually taught me how to play chess.
Additionally, Windows 7 allowed you to put gadgets on your desktop. These were similar to widgets on Android at that time but were very useful. I particularly remember being infatuated with the CPU info meter, which looked like a car’s speedometer and had me moving around open windows, just so I could watch the CPU usage meter increase. In Windows 10, I have to use third-party software to put widgets on my desktop, and it’s a huge bummer to see this beloved feature go.
1 Less annoying and invasive
Buy Game Pass while I’m installing Windows? I’ll pass
Windows 7 is officially dead
While Microsoft ended official support for Windows 7 back in 2020, many die-hard fans are still rocking this operating system on their side machines. The only caveat is that the OS will not receive any security updates, and many newer software will not function properly on it.
If you like the simplicity and stability of Windows 7 on a modern OS that is fully secure and doesn’t breach your privacy, Linux is the way to go. You can install one of many Linux distros, including Ubuntu, and use all of the modern applications without worrying about Microsoft spying on you or your system constantly crashing for no reason.