Hi Lori,
Yes, you are right that Windows 7 does have a better Sapi voice called
Anna. It is better than Mike, Mary, and Sam. However, it still isn't
as good as the Scansoft Real Speak voices or the AT&T Natural voices
in my opinion. So even though I own Windows 7 I don't really use Anna
much myself because I own better quality voices, but for a free voice
it is pretty good.
As for the Windows 7 interface it builds a lot upon changes introduced
in Windows Vista, and is quite a bit different from Windows XP. If you
haven't used Windows Vista prier to upgrading to Windows 7 then many
of the changes will come as a surprise to you as things are somewhat
different now.
For example, when you bring up the start menu instead of a single menu
or list the screen is split into columns  with your frequently used
programs, search field, all programs menu, etc on one side of the
screen and your user directory, documents, control panel, etc on the
other. It isn't difficult to navigate, but you will have to explore
the new start menu some to figure out where things are. You may have
to go into the start menu properties to turn some things on/off such
as the run command if you want it.
Another change is the old menu bars seen in older versions of Windows
such as XP are pretty much a thing of the past.  Now, the old menu
bars have been replaced by the menu ribbins like those in Microsoft
Office 2007 and Microsoft 2010.  A lot of Microsoft's products are
going that way, and that is the new look and feel you might say for
all future software so you might as well get use to menu ribbins
sooner or later.
Another important change you'll have to get use to is a lot of the
Windows 7 windows are integrated into Explorer, and have a web view
look and feel to them. For example, if you click on control panel by
default it will show up as a web page with links to click on to change
security settings,  user accounts, preferences, programs and features,
etc. Way different from the control panel you know and love from XP
that's for sure. I believe in some cases you can change it back to the
XP look and feel, but in many of the cases you are stuck with the new
look and feel.
So bottom line if you come at Windows 7 expecting a newer version of
XP forget it. Windows 7 is a whole new ball game, and needs to be
treated as the new operating system that it is. Even Vista doesn't
quite compare to Windows 7 because Microsoft majorly over halled the
operating system removing several things that were in Vista to make it
faster, more stable, support a wider range of hardware, etc while
living up to being the first solid Windows operating system since XP.
I'm quite happy with it, and don't mind leaving Xp behind.
Finally, as for your audio games there are a few issues you need to be
aware of, but in most cases they are easily fixed.
One major issue is that most of the audio games out there from
Draconis, L-Works, GMA,  Kitchens Inc, etc were all written in Visual
Basic 6 which is no longer officially supported on Windows 7. There
is, however, an easy solution to the problem. If you download and
install Jim Kitchens Winkit setup you will get the complete Visual
Basic 6 runtime library and DirectX libraries which restores support
on Windows 7 for Visual Basic applications. This means if you do that
you should be able to run  most of your pre-Windows 7 games without
too much problem.
Another issue is that Windows 7's security polacies have changed.
Unfortunately, most game developers have not yet gotten around to
rewriting or updating their software to properly support  Windows 7's
User Account Control security system. It is often responcibile for
effecting the operation of several old games. One way to resolve this
problem in the mean time is to disable UAC support on Windows 7. It
will increase the risk of viruses and other malware, but on the other
hand does resolve many compatibility issues with games and other older
applications designed for Windows XP and earlier. Personally, I think
that having UAC on provides a better layer of protection, but if you
want to disable it to support older applications then it can be done.


On 5/12/10, Lori Duncan <lori_dunca...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> You're right Thomas, thanks for that I was outraged before about the prices!
> I wasn't going to pay 32£ odds for a voice which I can easilly access
> through Jaws.  As I see it companies take advantage of their customers, if
> we buy a product we pay the money therefore it should be up to us what we do
> with it.  On the other hand Microsoft should be giving out better Sappi
> voices, because even Microsoft Mary is starting to get on my nerves!  I know
> they have a new Anna voice with windows 7, but I don't know if upgrading
> would do me any good, for example will it mess up my windows xp interface,
> start menus etc.  For another will my audio games be harmed in any way?

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