Microsoft takes the wraps off Windows 7 tonight, but thanks to the UK's looming postal strike Reg readers have been playing with the final, shrink-wrapped product for days. So before you go out and spend money on the new OS and/or a new PC, you might be interested in our what ad hoc panel of real readers has to say. First up is …
Been running it for a couple of days.
It's MUCH faster than XP on my Vaio W series Netbook, very stable, fast to resume from hibernation. It found all but one of my devices in the default Microsoft driver set, the other one was a Sony specific driver, which I grabbed from the Sony US site (Sony Europe are dragging their heels on releasing Win7 Vaio drivers).
All in, VERY impressed (more so I snagged 3 copies at £40 pre-order price). It's very rare Microsoft get anything right these days (Vista and Xbox to name 2), but Win7 is close to perfect as they have been for a VERY long time...
7 days later...
I've had 7 (The Eval) on a machine for a while now. Not in a Virtual Box, but a bare metal install.
Initially it was lovely. I fully agree with and support the feedback the Reg has had. First impressions were EXCELLENT. It booted quickly, even competing with Ubuntu 9.10 Beta. It ran things beautifully, and almost suppased the XP experience.
A 6 weeks down the line, it's a dog. I need to make clear, this test machine only has Corel X3, Inkscape, and Filezilla installed. 7 has been slowing down terribly though. I've been through the Start up settings, and there is nothing starting up in the back ground. Yesterday I got to the log-in screen in 30 seconds, and then after putting in my password, it took 20 minutes to give me a desktop. I actually waited (well, went out for a fag and a tea), and kept an eye on it.
Programs are loading slower and slower, the response from mouse clicks is taking longer and longer.
I've been all over the machine with Viri scanners, I've checked the boot sequence, I've done everything in my knowledge, and I see no obvious reason for the slow-down. It just strikes me that 7 is the same as ever with the Windows Cruft Effect.
I'm going to wait before applying it across proper 'production' machines. As usual for at least Service Pack 1, but I'm now watching carefully. I think in a few weeks, we'll see a lot of stories about 7 starting to grind to a halt. Many will be attributable to 3rd party software, but I know in my case there is sweet FA on this machine, and it's still grinding to a halt.
Interesting times ahead. How long will the honeymoon last I wonder....
Windows 7 > Windows Vista
I've been using Windows 7 since beta, over release candidate and am now running the RTM for over 2 months (MAPS user here). I have to say I'm very impressed with the OS upto now.
I have 2 computers that I use extensively, a desktop with WindowsXP (ofcourse) and a laptop with Vista (preinstalled SOB).
First I installed Win7 beta on the laptop (I really wanted to get that Vista out of there) and all went smooth. Then I installed the RC on the laptop (upgrade) and on the desktop aswell (clean install).
about 2 months, with the arrival of the RTM versions, I installed Win7 Ultimate 64bit on the desktop and Win7 Professional 64bit on the laptop.
Everything works as expected there are only 2 pieces of hardware that don't work anymore (Dymo labelprinter with unsupported USB and my good old 4 port Promise SATA TX4). So far, all software (including games) installed and worked flawlessly, even on the 64bit OS.
Interface is good, only have a little beef with the Explorer: I want my bottom status bar back !!! Why did they remove this ? When I'm browsing a disk, and don't have anything selected, I want to see how much space is left on that disk. When I select stuff, I want to know how big it is without pushing ALT+Enter to find out. These features were in XP, don't see a reason to not have them in Win7.
Ah, and the other thing: when you enable hidden and system files, and then try to delete a folder with a movie in it, it always always always makes it very difficult: first it can't delete the thumb files it created, then it can't find them and then, when it works, it needs admin permissions: this needs to be fixed.
Overall, Win7 is the first MS OS since WinXP which I would sell to people. In the last 3 years I have not sold 1 pc with Vista on it.
Windows 7 is actually alright!
I've been running it for a month or so now (got it early via MSDN) and I must say it is good!
Quicker boot times (although this is mainly my new and awesome SSD), better support than XP for Usb devices by FAR (I can swap em out a lot and it just automagically handles it). It feels like it handles games better ALT+TAB is much nicer.
Yesterday I plugged in a Mobile Device for the first time, it automatically installed Mobile Device Centre and connected to the device for me. Now that's cool. :)
Windoze No Longer
Been using this via technet for some time now. Much Improved
No one noticed the lack of browser choice?
So what happend to the browser chooser thing that we in the EU should have got?
Either it got dropped or the wrong version has been shipped. Whoops!
Not complaining, rather have a proper version than an EU molested one. Just wondering.
Windows7 & BSOD in 3 hours
I find it strange that EVERY review I've read of this OS is middling to good. It STINKS! Within 3 hours of the install I hit the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death - a thing I've only seen once or twice in YEARS of running XP. No video drivers available for the system I'm installing it on - admittedly old but that's not a reason for NOT having the drivers. Had to use XP drivers for Audio and other things so - NO - very much NOT impressed.
I saw no improvements at all - no speed improvements - GUI has only had minor tweaks - all of which are available as freeware for XP. I have to learn the thing for work but it's not impressive at all. Just another Millennium experience from Windoze.
our users are all impressed so far...
personally i'm more of an osx and debian person these days but i an responsible for the work network which includes about 12 pc's under daily use.
we bought some new shuttle kit a month or so ago for a few users and have been running Win7 on it without any problems. all of the users involved had been using Vista previously and have been pretty effusive over the upgrade. from a support perspective we've had no issues (other than incompatability of xp profiles, which we had with vista as well).
in addition this week we've been experimenting with upgrading our legacy desktops (Dell Pentium 4 GX260s running at around 2Ghz with 1Gb RAM) to Win7 to see if we could get rid of XP. This wasn't even remotely possible with Vista but has worked flawlessly so far with Win7 (after some hackery to get it to use old Win2K graphics drivers). It's still a little early to tell but the Users in the test group have made plenty of positive noises.
I took the opportunity to go 64bit - something that I know I could have done with XP but back then there didn't seem to be a point - and to be honest I haven't been sure whether that alone is the reason for the speed increase I've seen.
Installation: astonishingly straightforward and fast, with the least number of questions to interrupt I can remember. Full credit too for getting them all out of the way early in the install. There are none of those annoying pauses where you come back to the 'puter to see it's waiting on you to click 'yes'. With 7, come back and it's all done.
Startup: much quicker than XP with a Vista-ishness to the appearance but none of the lag.
Interface: lots of nice improvements. I love the 'recently used list' has expanded to show recent documents for each application, and have been astonished by the breadth of driver and application support. I use a lot of esoteric apps and nothing I've asked it to do has created a problem.
Shutdown: miles faster than XP. Apps which stopped responding on XP just close properly and it's powered off in moments.
I'm quite cynical about Microsoft - the learning curve for Office 2007 for example - but I'm already evangelising Windows 7 to people because it is light-years ahead of XP and everything that Vista should have been.
If I have a criticism it is the marketing limitations that have artificially imposed restrictions to create different versions. I want to join my home domain and use the Media Centre. Why should this only be possible with the most expensive version? This use of feature-disabling to artificially create delineations should be outlawed. It leaves an uglyl scratch across an otherwise fantastic product.
Well I got my win7 ultimate a week ar so ago after selling my soul to host a win7 'party' event....(better known as 'sunday lunch with the family'...) and to be honest I'm quite impressed with it!
My gaming rig struggled with only 2gb of ram playing warcraft etc under vista, smooth as you like with win7 which seems to have far superior memory management compared to vista.
The UI seems generally perkier, system seems more stable, and (I know its a small thing but it was a bugbear of mine!) desktop widgets finally stay where you put them! Windows sidebar under vista never quite seemed to run right or remember where things needed to be....
Overall I'm feeling quite positive about it.......win7 parties are still a lame idea though....
I got an RTM version of Win7 (from the MS Alliance) and installed it on my Toshiba laptop.
1 it took well over an hour to install (3 GB RAM, 2.2 GHz core 2 duo, good hard drive, so I don't think it's the hardware)
2 it wouldn't do the update install, I had to do a custom install. That, of course, stuck all my old data and apps into the Windows.old folder. And, of course, my old apps don't work anymore.
3 Mickeysoft has a way to move your old _data_ from the Windows.old folder. But not your old apps. In theory you have to delete the Windows.old folder once you've moved your data (so that you can have some space on the system) and then reinstall your apps. All of them. Alternatively you can attach the external USB drive that has your full clone backup and use one of the various 3rd-party system migration utilities (approx US$50-100, depending on which one you pick) or Mickeysoft's own heavy-duty migration utility ($260, and you'd better have an Active Directory server hanging around) and move your apps over. Or you could do what I did: clone the clone back onto the laptop and go back to Vista.
So can one actually do an upgrade?
I thought the EEC or someone had helpfully decided that we couldn't?
Had it for a while now
Thanks to Microsoft launch parties I have had my copy for a while and I'm enjoying it. It seems fairly snappy and installed in about 30 minutes (shrink wrap was no problem for me as my copy didn't have any). I did a fresh install rather than an upgrade.
Personally I didn't have a problem with vista though. I was a late comer to it and it never gave me any grief.
My main reason for upgrading was to make the jump to 64 bit.
They managed to polish a turd?
Windows 7 is what Vista *should* have been and is therefore a worthy upgrade to XP.
I ran a late RC for months without a hitch and it performed faster than XP SP2.
At home, I've switched to Mac, but at work I'm very keen to get a replacement for XP as my primary OS, with XP and Debian virtual machines installed (Important, as I'm a web dev)
I'd advise any Vista user to upgrade - but there's a fairly hefty price tag involved.
That's the show stopper.
The upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 should be a damn side cheaper - almost as an apology for producing such a shit operating system.
We've also got the same old confusion as Vista - different versions of Windows 7.
It stinks of a poor marketing ploy - "premium / ultimate / etc." - just release a single version and be done with it!
For many existing XP users, the price will be the issue and they will likely hold off upgrading until they buy a new PC.
Technically savvy XP users will probably have run a release candidate to evaluate it and will make decisions based on that - if I hadn't switched to Mac, I'd be replacing XP with Windows 7.
For Vista users, the choice is harder - the promise of an OS that actually works and a ticket out of hell will be worth the cost.
Experiences so far
I've been using Windows 7 for about two months now and it's all working fine but I have noticed two noticeable issues.
1. If you leave IE8 open for a few days with many tabs open, it seems to cause problems which can be noticed when going to the Tools menu. The 'internet options' button is dimmed out and other strange problems begin to occur. May happen on any OS with IE8 but as it comes with it, it should be mentioned.
2. Copying large files, roughly 500Mb or more, across a network causes the system to slow to a crawl, the cursor jumps across the screen instead of a smooth motion and this continues until the copy has finished.
Other than that...it's been great!
Really quite good
I've been using it on 2 machines, one an HTPC the other a work machine since the RTM some time ago. TBH I've had little to no issues, couple of BSODs which I tied down to a bad memory stick.
Just installed UBUNTU 9.10 on the work machine in dual boot ith W7 and they live together very well, in the past whenever I tried this the GRUB usually ended up screwing the W7 boot or screwing the UBUNU one, this time the W7 partition is chainloaded perfectly from the UBUNTU GRUB. I have had a couple of driver issues on the work machine I have yt to find a working 64bit driver for a Toshiba 453 printer/copier, the vista 64 one doesn't cut it.
The HTPC machine has a tuner card, firefly RF remote control, Quad Core 6600 with 4GB DDR2. It has to run 4GB of RAM due to the limitations of the Hauppage Dual tuner, pah!, but no other issues found, this machine is on 24/7 and only reboots when updates require it. During installation the installer detected the cheapo SATA RAID card I use (Rosewill 209) but didn't install drivers, following the final reboot into windows a quick visit to windows update donloaded and installed the required drivers. The 4 drives which were actually 2 XP spanned volumes were immediately picked up and correctly mounted.
Overall impressed, UAC lasted about 5 minutes until I figured out how to disable it!
Phil's an idiot
Secuirty prompts can be turned off if you're that bothered by them - then he says he's going back to linux which does it anyway - whinge for the sack of it.
I've done a fresh install on my tablet, main PC, and HTPC and run the upgrade on the wife's pc - all perfectly fine - fresh install on my SSD kitted man PC was around twenty minutes (no matter how fast the SSD is still need to get the data off the DVD ;) ) and the upgrade went smooth on the missus machine, no problems upgrading, all apps still there and functioning and took around an forty-five minutes.
HTPC install was around thirty minutes (standard, relatively new HDD in that) and plays Blu-ray & HD-DVD's aswell as Vista did with the requisite drivers and apps installed (though cyberlink need to update there test tool as it stated the OS was not compatible with HDCP ;) ).
In fact out of all of it the only niggle is the audio seems to be dropped when resuming from sleep mode on the HTPC - just need to work out wether it's the realtek onboard sound or the ATi HDMI pass through that's borked and, at a guess, update a driver.
Driver support btw being fantastic - only ones I needed to install were my X-Fi and creative webcam (which hasn't been supported since XP but if you extract the x64 XP driver and point "update driver" in device manager at it both Vista and 7 recognise it and the cam works). This says more about how crap and cheap Creative are with there drivers than MS is with there OS.
I received my copy of Windows 7 Pro on Monday and test-installed on a spare 160Gb drive.
It crashed when I tried to install the latest Win7 ATI drivers for my ATI 4770 card. Not a blue screen, just a black screen halfway through install and PC dead.
On subsequent tries the card drivers failed to install - I had to resort to the version available on Windows Update.
My M-Audio card isn't supported yet (they're still in Beta for the drivers), and contrary to what I was led to believe the Vista 64 drivers won't install.
Zonealarm won't install, as the Vista version claims I need Vista SP1.
Couldn't find the XP virtualisation either, I'll have to find time to dig deeper.
Steam installed OK though, as did a few tools I use. But for me - and not MS' fault - the current dealbreaker is the M-Audio support, I'll have to wait until they're ready.
The ATI driver crash was a little bit alarming, though.
E6600 Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz CPU, Gigabyte Mobo, 6GB ram, ATI 4770 512MB card, Audigy 2 Plat Ex and M-Audio Firewire 440 soundcards.
So the reasons you should buy W7 is because it installs fairly quickly and it works a bit better than Vista???
At the new job I've got Windows 7 and it's nice to know that the maxim about not complaining because things could be worse certainly applies.
Vista is excrement, pure and simple; when they screw up the interface so much that nothing stays how I left it and there manic insistence that grouping things alphabetically is the only way. I'm not 4, I can tell in a list of words where the As stop and the Bs start (or is that A's and B's ???) I don't need a line and pointless space being taken up.
And next time I go into the directory it'll have changed what columns are there again and how the items are viewed.
The search disfunctionality!!! If someone can explain how they came up with the idea of listing the folder path in semi-reverse order
instead of "c:\a\b\c\d" you get "d(c:\a\b\c)"
In what reality does that make sense???
It starts searching as soon as you type, then stutters along while trying to keep up with the full thing you're typing in. WAIT. Let me finish typing before you start, the button is there after all which should let me do this.
The paperclip has taken over the operating system
So along comes W7 and my god they've proved that you can't polish a turd.
The reviews of Windows 7 all concentrate on piffle...you shake a window and the others minimize and if you have a touchscreen (I don't know anyone with one, do you?) you can ...touch the screen :-O
What about having the power button replaced with the Button of Screaming Death. Instead of it popping up a page saying, log off, restart & shutdown there's a button with which a single click does one thing...you can set that one thing but windows update (i presume) keeps changing it to "Shut down" because it wants to restart AGAIN. To restart/log off/etc. you have to click on the tiny drop down next to the button...just don't miss or poof and the computer turns off mad
To the left of this is the search button which you CANNOT TURN OFF. I wouldn't mind so much but you can turn off it's ability to search and pretty much everything else it's supposed to do, but you can't get rid of it. If I can stop it doing anything, why can't I get rid of it altogether? And the clear search button is jammed right next to the Button of Screaming Death so 1 false move and poof the computer turns off AGAIN
That and the groupby colums at the header of the columns in explorer mean that you've got to play mouse sniper to make sure you get the right thing otherwise...screaming pain. AGAIN
You used to be able to position items in folders like you do on the desktop. Not any more.
In explorer there's an option to turn off the tree view on in the left panel tracking where you're navigating in the right. Why? and why when I expand a directory in the tree view by double clicking on the directory name scroll the window up so you can't see the tree you've just expanded?
The UI is as broken as it was in Vista, but now, more so
The system tray...you want to minimize something, feel free but then you've got to go and customize the notifications for each application so you can get it back.
You can move the items round on the task bar which is handy but if you've got 2 of the same program open, they're nailed together.So I can't put one copy of studio next to the word doc that the spec in and another next to a word doc with related material in.
So the only vaguely good idea is half-baked.
I'd got quite used to the side bar and found some of the gadgets handy in their block on the side of the screen, so if you maximized, you could see the gadgets.
W7 gadgets just float around without the sidebar, so they either get in the way or you can't see them. half-bakedness incarnate.
I want to know what colour crayons the designers used to make this pile of poop
There may be a better user interface than the windows 95 interface which basically this still is. But breaking, buggering and generally annihilating user interface rules and any sense of logic means that vista & W7 are moving us farther from it.
I like it.... but...
How do you sync the directory tree with the location you have browsed to in the computer 'explorer'?
How do you make the start menu display pop-up menus like 95/2k/XP?
Boots fast, smooth, even aero is ok (i7 920+6Gb). Thumbs up to our overlords from Redmond!
so good it's hard to write anything about it.
It's difficult to write something about it because it works so well.
I largely skipped vista. It's on my wife's laptop and I occasionally have to help her out with things she doesn't know how to do.
Windows 7 has been running on my work laptop for about 6 weeks now, I'm part of the corporate beta test for my employer. What I like about it most is that it all just works, straight out of the box and it keeps working. No real driver issues, no problems with older programs. It boots reasonably quickly, it gets out of sleep mode with incredible speed and it reconnects to wlan so quickly that I've checked the Wifi access points to confirm that it did in fact complete a whole dhcp request.
Only dislike I have is that out of 3 desktop gadgets two have spontaneously disappeared.
Damned with faint praise?
Possibly the best I can say is, It Doesn't Suck.
OTOH, I won't be migrating to Win7 any time soon. It's too expensive and doesn't offer anything other than a cleaned up user interface.
"Why it doesn't have virtual desktops like Linux and OS X I don't know, that is the most useful feature that it lacks."
Be thankful that they were able to get at least one working right.
Phil: "I don't feel the need for the 3rd GB of ram anymore and I think it resumes from hibernate much quicker." If we have the same "hibernate" in mind, I expect the time taken to be mainly however long it takes to read however many gigabytes of RAM you have either installed or in use, I'm not sure which - i.e., hibernate just dumps all your RAM to the disk file of equal size and resume just reads it back. If it's more sophisticated I won't complain - i.e. saves only 1 GB if only 1 GB is currently in use? Is it smart enough to do that? Does that mean that RAM data isn't put back into the same transistors it was originally copied from?
Two thumbs up
Had a couple of copies of RC1 on different machines. Also a couple of copies of the RTM (both Ulitmate and Enterprise). Installed on Desktops and laptops - not particularly high spec machines. Also passed a couple of copies of the RC1 version to some users to test out at home.
In each case the installation went well - no issues at all in fact. A couple of odd items with some specific software products (Java based and a legacy product) which we did resolve eventually, but other than that, everything runs really well.
The general feeling of the users that we have allowed to test it is also very positive - about the only negative comment so far was that it looked a lot like Vista and they were expecting something else. Most people seem to be quite keen to move over to 7 - and with the improvements, it might be better for us.
Going to get some new laptops in the next week - they will have 7 on them, so we'll see what our sales reps can do to bugger it up!
for a clean install of 64 bit Win7
Just installed Home Premium 7 on Samsung NC10
Took a couple of hours (including transfer of DVD onto bootable USB stick). No driver isses and all hardware working - runs quicker than I expected as well.
I've been running the release candidate for a while on my main machine so pretty much knew what to expect.
All round, I'm very pleased with the NC10 and Windows 7 (I even installed it over and in preference to Ubuntu Netbook Remix).
of the browser ballot screen
Suggested tag line
"It's better than Vista"
They would have saved themselves millions if they'd adopted that as that tagline.
Tried out build 7000 a while ago as virtual hard disk on bare metal like @Ian Bonham and I too found it to grind to a halt after a few weeks, could just have been the early build. Got a promotional copy of Ultimate7 last week and it was a doddle to instal over Vista, it even picked up my XP install which Vista failed to do when being reinstalled.
Don't install Windows 7 on your old mac, then ;-)
Re: Windows7 & BSOD in 3 hours
"Had to use XP drivers for Audio and other things so..."
And you wonder why it blue screens? You might as well use linux drivers for all the good they'll be doing. (And I bet it's not the OS crashing but the drivers)
Personally I've been using Windows 7 Ultimate for a couple of weeks now and I love it. Way way better than Fista (which certain MS employees will know I had a bitch of a time with before that crud was dropped on the public). Installation was a diddle - not a single piece of unrecognised hardware. By far the most positive impression of an MS OS I've ever had. (The SSD may have something to do with that, but to be logged in from hitting the power button in under 30 seconds is still pretty good going.) I'll be upgrading my other machines in the coming weeks...
Windows 7 RTM
Been using it for a number of weeks, and I have to say that it's extremely good. Having said that it did BSOD not 20 minutes ago when waking up after a suspend—no apps were running. My "Made for Vista" Dell laptop is noticeably quicker—stability wise, it's about the same. Would I swap my Mac for it? Not a chance! There is little between the two OS's now, so it comes down to preference, and I just prefer the OS X workflow and some of the apps that are only available for Mac. It won't be replacing Ubuntu on my Mini 10 either. Ubuntu does everything I want it to out of the box for free, so why pay even a small amount for an alternative OS! All in all, congrats to Microsoft on getting it right.
That's about it really.
Used the RC for a while now
I've had the RC running since it came out so over 4 months on my NC10 Netbook and it runs better than XP did on the same hardware (READ it hasn't slowed down). Thats an Atom processor with 1Gig RAM. During that time i've really had no issues.
UAC can be turned down to a less intrusive setting if you need to but I can't say I really notice it, initially when installing apps and setting up I noticed it a bit but under general use it's not an issue. Then again I don't spend most of my time performing endless admin tasks and uninstalling reinstalling software. Maybe that's the issue people are they're using poor software that tries to write to Program Files and Windows which of course UAC makes a fuss about for good reason.
I've been using goScreen (www.goscreen.info) for ages now with Vista having been used to virtual desktops on Linux for years. It works pretty much as well as the Gnome version (for all the things I do with it, YMMV) and can be configured to use keystrokes to switch screens too like Gnome. The only thing it doesn't do that I used on Linux is alter windows' system menus to add "Put this window on Woxkspace X", but there are keyboard based workarounds for that.
its good but
I have been using this for a while now, first the RC and now the Signature Edition (LOL)
installation was on to a new system not an upgrade, I have never been a fan of upgrades, too many horror stories to risk it, and theres nothing like a good backup to help clean out stuff you dont want on your active system anymore.
Installation was quick about 25 minutes on a Phenom II X2 550 3.1ghz, 4gb 1600mhz Ram and 2x 750gb 7200RPM Sata II drives in Raid 0 (finally I can install raid drivers from a usb stick :) )
so its great I have even managed to get some old games working that XP didnt want to play with after SP2.
My only gripe is that some of the network (wireless) drivers are not completely stable yet
Ralink PCI cards being the worst, at least I have a good connection from my Philips 80211n dongle.
With the .n ralink card I would get steadily more and more network dropouts, and timeouts, just running pings identified packet loss to both internet and router even though the card showed as connected with full 5 bars signal.
All in all a great improvement over vista, and imho equal to XP but with new features and ready for the future, oh and 64bit, I could never get all the stable drivers I needed for xp64 so gave up.
re: No one noticed the lack of browser choice?
The EU backed down (after all the office looking into it, getting a big wedge of Microsoft dollars I suspect). Now Microsoft will send a Windows Update down at some point in the future, that offers you the choice of changing from the default IE8 install.
just to say
Can we keep this thread clean and free of shouting and abuse for once - I'm rejecting any sniping about fanboyism because it's boring and irrelevant. Please keep it to your verdict on Windows 7, good or bad (I have no bias on that). Ta.
I normally use Linux and XP only for the occasional program I really cannot run on it. On the other hand I've never had any problems with XP which I treat as what it is: an operating system to run other programs and no native MS programs that come with it such as for e-mail, photo viewing & editing, word processing & spread sheets, audio & video, etc. etc. There are much better programs for those tasks.
Besides I've not yet seen a comparison between XP and Win7. Faster installing (which I've done once for XP) & booting (which gives me time to make a cup of java) are no critical and convincing issues for me. Neither are visual enhancements. My XP runs configured for performance with all visual effects turned off.
Windows Explorer and Windows Media Player (and Windows -Live- Mail) have been crippled to make them look "nicer" and simpler. And on a home computer that's where I spend most of my time (at least for native applications).
Good but still some problems
Probably the best Windows yet. What Vista should have been. However there are some problems that I've been experiencing using the MSDN version that's been available for weeks
Here are the problems:
1) PPTP VPN problems. Screws up DNS lookups, UDP packets get routed wrongly. XP worked properly but Windows 7 has the same bugs as Vista in this regard.
2) Roaming profiles have stopped syncing properly. It tells me to look in the event log but there's nothing there.
3) Boot-up has slowed over time which is not caused by new software being installed.
4) No multiple desktops like in Linux. I've had to buy a utility to do this.
5) When you enter a folder it doesn't auto expand in the folder pane.
6) Still comes up with erroneous can't connect network drives errors.
7) Disconnects you from mapped network drives at the drop of a hat.
The Good things:
1) Looks great.
2) Doesn't take bloody ages to dim the screen for UAC prompts.
3) When you click on a filename to rename it, it highlights only up to the dot. My fave feature.
4) Search doesn't suck.
5) Dragging a window off to the top, bottom or sides will auto expand it to fill various part of the screen. Dragging to the sides is particularly useful for side-by-side comparisons.
6) Calculator with units conversion. About time.
7) Pretty responsive.
8) Most importantly it plays TF2 properly. Always got lag problems under Vista.
9) Some very nice backdrop pictures although the fish is missing.
10) It doesn't suck.
Crashed during install.
And to add insult to injury suggested it was my fault because I had removed a USB device (I hadn't).
The only people impressed with Vista Service Pack 3 are those who haven't used Mac OS X.
I run W7 on my Mac Pro. It's ok. But it's just Windows. Same old registry same old security problems same old BSOD.
You can polish a turd sure. But it's still a turd.
I've been using Windows 7 RTM for a few weeks now on my desktop and laptop thanks to MSDNAA. The installation process is slightly smoother than Vista's (and certainly exceeds XP) and the final result is fantastic. On both machines I didn't have to go and find a single driver, it even installed the latest graphics drivers on the desktop. Sleep/hibernate activity seems to have been improved too as it's much faster and more reliable.
The new taskbar is pretty good, I love the right click quick access functions and the new hover to see the entire preview function.
On both systems it's been rock solid, not a single crash, bluescreen etc. I am extremely pleased with W7.
re: virtual desktops
I still don't understand why Microsoft haven't introduced some sort of virtual desktop feature in Windows. There's a virtual desktop manager for Vista I've used that seems pretty decent, and on XP there's the powertoy, but why the hell isn't it native?!
(That being said, it's the only gripe I've found with Win7 thus far, having been intermittently using the Enterprise edition on a work machine for the last month or so. Perhaps Vista was actually just a very expensive, lengthy and obscure exercise in expectation management?)
Vista to Win 7
I bought my laptop with Vista on and found it to be quite good, better than XP. But after a few months it did slow down a bit with the many applications and files i'd forced onto it.
I've run the W7 RC for the past few months and tried to ignore the initial 'new OS syndrome' of everything being faster but after months of use it hasn't slowed down at all (unlike Ian Bonham above)
The new taskbar I thought would be a waste of time and I now find much more efficient. The compatibility mode ACTUALLY WORKS! several apps which refused to work under Vista now work again.
Install took around 30 minutes and it found and installed almost all of my hardware.
The change in file structure takes some getting used to but being a little untidy usually with my files it does help me keep things in order better.
Boot time from hibernation is superb :-D
I would hate to go back to XP now.
Installed it on a couple of work machines yesterday, but just for testing.
Yes, it's a light year ahead of Vista and even XP. But it smells of catch-up, not innovation. There's not a single element that's made me go 'Wow' or 'OOH' - unlike all the OSX and Ubuntu upgrades that I can remember.
So good. But not good enough.
One major problem I have - what the fuck is with Virtual XP? It's a bolted-on crock of shit. Surely, SURELY Win7 is not so different to XP that it needs to slowly boot up a whole virtual machine to run one little legacy application, and on top of that poke in the eye, expect us to configure and support that virtual machine?
Compare it to Rosetta for MacOS X, which opens in the blink of an eye and seamlessly runs software designed for a whole different bloody physical architecture! I use Rosetta every day but had forgotten that it even EXISTED.
Since Virtual XP was announced, I was thinking of upgrading our office machines within the next couple of years to Windows 7, as there's several legacy applications which almost certainly won't be upgraded. But sorry, the actual experience of Virtual XP is total FAIL.
5) When you enter a folder it doesn't auto expand in the folder pane.
In explorer, Tools => options
The bottom box "Navigation pane" tick
"Automatically expand to current folder"
That one bugged me too for it's pointlessness
2) Doesn't take bloody ages to dim the screen for UAC prompts.
So does what XP does not vista :P
4) Search doesn't suck.
Search is the same as vista, doesn't search well, doesn't let you search higher or lower in the file structure without going back and reentering your criteria
I always like to delve into the bowels of any new Windows and find ancient blocky Windows 95 icons.
Sure enough, those tatty old pixellated icons are still there in v7.