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Lenovo: You’re Going to Want Windows 7



Lenovo’s Matt Kohut is really enjoying Windows 7, and he thinks you will, too. He’s noticed that Microsoft has improved so many utilities in Windows 7, the value proposition of various ThinkVantage utilities has him asking the following question:

Yet, our dilemma is clear — at what point does Windows offer ““good enough” functionality that we should abandon our own tools and focus on something else?  Speaking from personal experience, I am wondering if I am going to install Access Connections when I start to use Windows 7. Windows leaps forward in its control of all types of connections, including 3G/cellular connections ,and I’ve found that 90% of the functionality I need is built in.

Matt then poses the following question to all of us mobile users and wants to hear what we think:

If you were in charge of our software development team and had to prioritize funding for our ThinkVantage tools and secondary utilities, which ones would you keep? Which ones would you drop?  Which of our tools are ““almost there,” but need another feature or two in order to make them a ““killer app” for you?

What say you?



  1. Bristolview

    02/27/2009 at 7:49 am

    I tend to agree that Win7 is a big leap forward. I use a Lenovo x61 but I’ve been a ThinkPad user for many years. The included tools really add little value, and actually degrade the machines in my opinion. Like many others, I need to work with a wide variety of PC’s. The Lenovo machines one unique PC’s with non-standard utilities that can interfere or override other system controls. The Lenovo tools work five, but they really are not needed. The “only on Lenovo” tools put an added burden on my IT guys, as they have to now support 2 ways of doing things, 2 ways to debug… So my comments for Lenovo, thanks for the tools, but I don’t believe the are needed anymore. Just let windows handle it, we’ll be fine.

  2. Mark (K0LO)

    02/27/2009 at 9:07 am

    Lenovo needs to spend its programming budget on writing and maintaining good drivers. Forget about the ThinkVantage utilities; in most cases Windows has better ways of doing things.

    Since the current crop of Lenovo drivers is buggy, maintenance and upkeep of the drivers should be top priority.

  3. giup

    02/27/2009 at 10:58 am

    Thank you Rob and Matt for bringing out this topic. You have no idea how frustrating it is for me to deal with the ThinkVantage utilities. I found them a hassle without real benefits.
    Already in Vista, they feel just duplications of default functionalities, and they have this ugly look from the 90s.
    For the basic users they represent no value, just a distractions, and not a pretty one.
    The advanced users on the other hand like to pick their own tools, and might end up not using any from Lenovo.
    The only real value for me is the ability to control the tablet buttons and the hotkey combinations. But in order to do that I have to install 3 different utilities (hotkey driver, some other screen magnifying utility, and the power management utility). The worst thing is that it doesn´t always work, so despite 3 years spent trying to fine tuning my system, as of today I can´t use Fn+F3 to switch off the monitor or Fn+F5 to switch wireless connection (it works for Bluetooth not for WiFi). All the other hotkeys do work properly, go figure.
    No, really, please, abandon this path. It might be for me the single reason not to buy a Lenovo in the future.
    Sorry for the rant, but when I read this post I couldn´t refrain myself. Please Matt, listen to me!

  4. [email protected]

    02/27/2009 at 12:37 pm

    Well guys, I don’t completely agree with you. It’s true that some utilities are pointless, but the hotkeys, the wifi/bluetooth manager and the fingerprint/security softwares are usefull for me at least. The power manager is probably slowing down the computer, but I like the way it looks and I’m still using it.

    I must admit, I haven’t tested Win 7 on my laptop yet, but so far I think some utilities are worth using.

  5. Clayton

    02/27/2009 at 12:42 pm

    I’d say make everything less disjointed and repetitive. All the thinkvantage applications scatter folders and icons and control panel applets everywhere, and a lot of the tools and options that are actually useful could be consolidated into fewer easier-to-use menus–There are at least three different places on my X61 tablet to adjust various tablet pen settings.

    So yea, make it clearer and less jumbled. Drop access connections–it’s really useless. :)

  6. GoodThings2Life

    02/27/2009 at 4:26 pm

    While I have never used a Lenovo system, I have used countless Dell and HP systems at companies I’ve worked for, and I’ve always hated the OEM-provided “tools”. From Dell QuickSet to HP QuickLaunch buttons to the various “Wireless Assistants” that exist, they are obnoxious and cause far more confusion than help.

    I’d prefer Lenovo (and others) spend more time focusing on providing as simple and clean a setup as possible and extend the development savings of those tools back to the customer through lower system prices. Essentially, give us back the advantage that Apple has over their systems— provide a purely clean, works out of the box configuration with and let the consumer decide what they want to add beyond that.

  7. GoodThings2Life

    02/27/2009 at 4:29 pm

    PS– After reading a couple of the comments, I would suggest that if there could be ONE TOOL that provides multiple services that is easy to use, that might be acceptable as long as it doesn’t conflict with the advice above (works out of the box). In other words, I should still be able to remove it and not lose functionality.

  8. Sam

    02/27/2009 at 7:36 pm

    I agree with most of the comments on the lenovo blogs page – please keep System Update around, and invest more resources into it, particularly servers – it takes ages just to download the damn update index file before it shows me the updates! It would be nice if the initial progress bar is more informative too – right now it freezes when it is downloading an update to System Update itself.

    As for the others – I usually remove them on client computers, with the exception of the battery widget, and presentation director (and Access Connections, because it screws with things if you get rid of it, but that might be an XP thing).

  9. Ben

    02/28/2009 at 9:03 am

    Oh my god, I can’t even described how much i hate the included crapware on PCs. PLEASE do not make your useless ‘tools’ lenovo (or anyone else). Windows already does it, and does it better than you. Your stupid crapware is a pain to install, uses system resources, and adds no value. Yet we’re forced to install your crapware just so we can use the buttons! Just make 1 driver that lets us use the ‘advanced’ features of our computer and that’s it! Focus on making the hardware; focus on making a computer where the bezel plastic doesn’t crack and break after 1 year of very gentle use (my x61t).

  10. Michael

    03/01/2009 at 1:20 am

    As a beta tester on an x61 touchscreen, the one thing that I can’t get to work yet is the fingerprint reader…

  11. Ben

    03/01/2009 at 10:16 pm

    @Michael: in windows 7? try the UPEK drivers, straight from the fingerprint reader maker (i think): If you install them, you don’t need to use the thinkvantage fingerprint software at all. it’s basically built into windows 7.

  12. Snowii

    03/04/2009 at 3:26 am

    giup: try to install “Lenovo System Interface Driver” I think I had similar problems when doing my last “selective” reinstall and that one turned out to be quite crucial for the functions you’re describing.

    Alson no need for the magnifier… that doesn’t affect anything…

    And as of my preferences… I think Win7 is quite capable of dealing with pretty much everything on its own so no real need for special apps… just do couple of light menus so we can still use all the Fn functions and I’d be more than happy! :)

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