Hands on with Windows 7

  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

As a fancy TechNet subscriber I was able to get a hold of the Windows 7 Beta yesterday. The public will have access to it today at Noon PST. So far I am not all that impressed. Granted I have only been playing with it for about an hour.

Just to lay it out, I am running it in a VM session with 1GB of RAM allocated to the VM using Hyper-V. I am also using the x86 version. The 64 bit version is still downloading. Performance wise it is fine. I have yet to experience a slowdown going through the menus or doing any other mundane Windows task. So it seems Microsoft has made good on their promise that it will run on computers with less than stellar hardware.

One gripe I had about Vista was the immense footprint of the install. Vista Ultimate clocks in at 12GB once installed. Unfortunately, Windows7 Ultimate comes in at 13.2GB. I was hoping that would have been reduced.

If any of you are hoping to see something different you will be disappointed. It looks exactly like Vista. The start menu has changed a little bit. There is no more quick launch which really upsets me as I am a huge quick launch fan. The Control Panel has been streamlined and you no longer have the option to use the "classic" version. The new task bar doesn't excite me but whatever. IE8 is installed and unfortunately the VM I am using doesn't have internet access so I really can't comment on IE8. The Paint application got a face lift and uses a UI similar to Office 2007 which i really like. Wordpad got the same UI as well. The built-in calculator looks a little different and now has a programmer and statistics mode along with the scientific mode. Other than that very little has changed from what I can see.

I have been a Vista user for about a year and have come to like it so Windows 7 will be a natural progression but those stuck in XP refusing to upgrade to Vista will probably feel the same towards Windows 7. Driver support seems to be good as it had no problem discovering my VM devices. There does seem to be a drastic change in performance. Windows 7 doesn't appear to be the resource hog Vista is.

Those in the enterprise who are looking to move to Windows Server 2008 should really look into Windows 7 as their next desktop OS. Server 2008 has a lot of features that are only going to be compatible with Vista and Windows 7, a lot of really cool features that XP and earlier will not be able to take advantage of.

As someone who has only skimmed the surface of Windows 7, I give it a half thumbs up. So far it seems to be a slightly tweaked version of Vista, but who knows what else Microsoft is planning for this OS.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • jflynn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thanks Grinch!
  • suncuigang
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think windows7 beta is better ,for its System configuration requirements is lower than vista.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Anything new to report after two months grinch ? :D
  • Arcath
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quick launch can be enabled in a couple steps, but it's not a solution for the typical novice.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

joebert wrote:
Anything new to report after two months grinch ? :D


Unfortunately no. I haven't really had time to mess around with it lately.
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Getting pretty bored of Windows now to the point where i wish there was another OS that was as affordable as Windows and that there were more computers that ran other OS's as cheap as most PC's you can buy with Windows.

The worst thing for me was experiencing MAC OSX a couple of years ago, nothing will ever better that for me.

Your writeup hasn't really filled me with alot of excitement Grinch, hopefully it is better than the previous versions of Windows.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm starting to feel old. Where is ME when you hated it? lol
  • mit
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I hope it will be better.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:

I have been a Vista user for about a year and have come to like it so Windows 7 will be a natural progression but those stuck in XP refusing to upgrade to Vista will probably feel the same towards Windows 7. Driver support seems to be good as it had no problem discovering my VM devices. There does seem to be a drastic change in performance. Windows 7 doesn't appear to be the resource hog Vista is.


So at this point would you suggest to those of us who haven't touched Vista, that it's probably practical to just wait for Windows 7 SP1 and just continue to leave Vista out of the picture?
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Microsoft's CEO suggests that.

I don't know about waiting until a SP1. Windows7 is amazingly stable. It appears that Microsoft is doing some things right with this release compared to how they handled Vista.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Maybe Vista was just something to keep everyone occupied while they continued to work on what was Longhorn and is now Windows 7.

I used to get painting jobs where there was a TON of prep work to be done and when homeowners or my boss would start breathing down my neck like people were doing for Longhorn I used to jump out of the plan and completely finish a small section of the house to shut everyone up for awhile. Always worked like a charm.
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Okay so I have installed it, and here is my little review:

The first thing I saw was the new start-bar, and other to what Grinch said, there actually is a quick launch bar, it just works a little different, Right click on an open application, and click "Pin to taskbar" which then pins the application there and leaves the icon there even though the program has been closed, which is basically the same as the quick launch bar, but doesn't work for full screen applications like games because there is no start bar to right=-click on ...

I had a few issues with network setup though, I don't really like the way the "Network And Security Center" has been layed out. It is a bit tough to find what you're looking for immediately.

Another thing I love is the "Window Control" (for lack of a better explanation), when you have a maximized window, you don't have to restore it down before you can move it, you can just drag it straight from it's maximized position onto another screen or onto a part of the desktop. Also, dragging a window top the top of the screen maximizes it for you, and dragging it to the side fills the one half of the screen with that window ...

I also enjoy how great IE8 is integrated with Windows 7, having tabs open is really awesome, because hovering over the start-bar icon shows all the tabs immediately and you can immediately switch to the tab you want to switch to.

The layout for "desktop properties" is basically the same as with vista, I am not a big fan of it, I like the XP way of changing those settings more ... also, the Control Panel looks different, and can not be changed back to classic (or not that I have seen)

All my drivers worked except for my sound card, and Genius (company) doesn't have Win7 drivers available yet, so I downloaded the Vista x64 version of my driver and that actually worked, I was pretty impressed.

The new "Libraries" folder is also pretty cool, I can see myself actually using it in the future ... I don't quite know how to explain how the Libraries work but I am sure this article will explain it.

Back to the start-bar, something I have always wanted from windows, is the ability to swap icons around on my start-bar, and it has been imnplemented, I am absolutely crazy about this feature, I like having my start-bar icons in a certain order, and this a great way to keep them in that order.

The file-cop-handler has also been neatly integrated into the start-bar, it actually shows the progress on the start-bar so you don't have to rither hover on it or click on it to see how far it is copying/moving/deleting your files.

Overall, I am pro Windows 7, I am genuinely impressed with it, and I will get the proper version as soon as it is released.
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for sharing this with us.

I am uncomfortable with the amount of positives i've been hearing about this. I mean, it's nice to hear nice things but this is Windows you are typing about? is it really this good?

Any idea on when it is due to be released?
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So far it's really that good. It's due to be releases early 2010 as I understand ...
  • lindsay
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Post 3+ Months Ago

it means that the windows 7 is just like the vista , only few changes in the windows 7 but it i> s good because it has more new features and in the windows 7 IE 8 is used.

but i am still using the xp professional .

so when it will launch i will try to update my windows .
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

No lindsay, Windows 7 is nothing like Vista ... really, it's a great improvement ...
  • Sania
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello,

I've also been using Windows 7 for quite some time, while at first I expected it to be extremely buggy.. but i was relief, other then some simple driver fixes.. I was set and running. Sure, some programs didn't work correctly, but overall. I felt like i got much more stable experience then I had with Vista.

I upgraded to the new build 7068 last month on release, ultimate edition and I haven't had an issue yet. It also has been using 20% less resources then Vista (Currently only have .9gb of ram in use)

The big bonus with windows 7, isn't so much noticeable without trying to play games, even in windowed mode which was almost impossible before on Vista. Performance has jumped greatly in game across the board. Games using the unreal engine do not crash, and can run flawlessly in windowed mode, along with many other games. WoW definitely sees a benefit in this, being able to run multiple clients in windowed mode without a pinch of lag. I would suggest windows7 to anyone who enjoyed the upgrades that vista made, but hated it because well, they were limited by it's massive resource hog and prevented them from having an adequate gaming experience.

Though, I've recently came across one issue so far, the new Windows Media player causes massive lag on it's background services that download album information. I have a whopping library of 40+gb of music, and it slows down my computer quite a bit.. disabling the service is the best bet.
  • krates
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i think the windows 7 is the next XP i need :P

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