Windows 7: It Doesn’t Suck

Today is the day that Microsoft has been waiting for. Today is the day when they can bin Windows Vista. That’s because Windows 7 is officially available today. The stakes are high for Microsoft. Vista was dead on arrival and Apple’s Mac OS X not to mention LINUX have been taking market share away from Microsoft. Even Google with their Chrome OS is getting into the game as they too see that Microsoft might be vulnerable. For Microsoft, this OS has to be right from the start.

The good news for them is that it is.

I’ve been using the Release Candidate, then the Release To Manufacturing version since early June. I’ve had months to put this through the wringer and here’s my impressions of it:

  • It starts faster, shuts down faster, and is faster when you use it. Bottom line, it’s much faster than Vista.
  • The user interface is basically similar to Vista, but it has a bunch of new tweaks that make using Windows 7 much easier. For example I tend to have a lot of icons on my desktop. Sometimes you can’t find the the one I want. There’s now a feature where I can make all of the windows you have up transparent, so I can quickly find the icon that I need. Nice.
  • User Account Controls which were a target for much derision because of those “Cancel or Allow” prompts is much more refined now. Sorry Apple, you won’t be able to bash that this time around.

One key feature in Windows 7 is XP Mode. This is a option that allows Windows 7 users to run a virtualized copy of Windows XP that will allow you to run older applications that aren’t compatible with Windows 7. Why is this important? Microsoft found that many people wouldn’t dump XP if one critical application didn’t run under Vista. This will help those people make the jump to Windows 7 (or so Microsoft believes. We will see). XP Mode is in Windows 7 Professional and higher versions.

Speaking of versions, there are six versions of Windows 7:

  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

If any of that sounds familiar, it should. Those were the same names that were used with Vista. Clearly Microsoft didn’t want to make things easier for people in terms of what version of Windows 7 they should choose. I sense that the Apple “I’m A Mac” commercial that will bash this is being readied as we speak. Having said that, Windows 7 Home Premium is what home users should aim for. Business users should look towards Windows 7 Professional.

So should you upgrade to Windows 7? I personally always wait for service pack 1 before upgrading to any Microsoft OS. But if you really want to dive right in, then it depends on what you’re running right now. If you’re running Vista right now, you can upgrade straight onto Windows 7 without a problem for the most part. I’d just check to make sure your existing apps are going to run fine under Windows 7. If you’re still running XP, don’t bother upgrading. Buy a new computer with Windows 7 on it as you can’t upgrade straight to Windows 7 from XP without a lot of pain (and chances are your hardware won’t like Windows 7 anyway).

Speaking of hardware, here’s the minimum that you need to run Windows 7:

  • 1GHz CPU.
  • 1 gigabyte of memory (RAM).
  • At least 16 gigabytes of available hard disk space for the 32-bit version; or at least 20GB of available disk space for the 64-bit version.
  • A DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.

I’ll make it simpler for you. If you didn’t buy your PC in the last two years and it didn’t come with Vista, you’re likely not going to be able to run Windows 7.

So, does Windows 7 suck? No. It’s actually quite good. If Microsoft had released this instead of Vista, people wouldn’t be sent running to The Temple Of Steve Jobs Apple Stores to buy Macs. It’s that good. Will it allow Microsoft to get back on top? That remains to be seen, but it’s a good start.

6 Responses to “Windows 7: It Doesn’t Suck”

  1. I agree, I tried several beta versions and finally the RTM. Everything is smooth and almost snappy.

    One thing I don’t like about the interface is the size of the taskbar (even in small icon mode) and that Microsoft Logo (for the start menu) that is bigger than the taskbar in small icon mode; but i fixed it; with startmenu killer and I just added a pinned app (made with autohotkey) that do a WIN key…

    Anyhow, I think it is a good thing upgrading; it is virtually windows vista, but more mature and with interfaces tweak that should have been there from the start…

  2. Windows 7 is base off vista. The search is the same and everything the same pin is different but still I think windows 7 is just base off vista

    so i give it 1/5

  3. Windows 7 may be better than Vista, but it’s still a cumbersome and bloated slug compared to Mac OS X. Not to mention that Windows remains a malware trap which requires processor and memory hogging 3rd party security products in order to function.

    And you need to run XP “virtualized” in order to run old apps? What advantage is there then to sticking with Windows?

    I think I’ll continue to stick with XP running alongside my Mac apps in VMWare Fusion. (How is it a Mac can run a modern, secure OS, plus an older version of Windows, all in less RAM than the latest version of Windows needs?)

  4. Windows 7 is better then Vista but…..
    When you copy files the popped up window still hangs.
    Personally i dislike pop-ups. I use GNU/Linux + KDE 4 and i must say. The notification panel just ROCKS! compared to all those Windows 7 pop-ups.
    Just go see for yourself what happens on KDE.

    I do like the new “pin” task-bar with previews, it has a similar look and feel as KDE 4 and OS X so that switching OS’s is easier.

    It definably is faster at boot then Vista but, XP is still faster. I especially notice this in virtual machines where XP boots in under 20 seconds and Windows 7 still needs more then a minute.

    Also, the Home Premium edition has no XP virtual machine!

    Microsoft is comming but not there yet 🙁

  5. former PC Says:

    well… as this shows… YOU’RE ALL VICTIMS TO THE HYPNOTISM OF BILL GATES, AND YOU’VE NEVER HAD A WINDOWS 7 PC, I KNOW IT!!! WIN7 SUXXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Steven Burgett Says:

    windows 7 Enterprise was badly written, What happened to good old American workmanship?. OH ya it got out sourced to shit man do

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