back to article Windows 7 - the Reg reader verdict

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 …

COMMENTS

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  1. MarkOne
    Happy

    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...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    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.

    However....

    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....

  3. Andy 74
    Thumb Up

    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.

  4. Jax 1

    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. :)

  5. Peter 46
    Thumb Up

    Windoze No Longer

    Been using this via technet for some time now. Much Improved

  6. jason 7
    Stop

    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.

  7. lumatrix

    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.

    Bah!

  8. zedenne
    Thumb Up

    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.

  9. Matthew 3
    Thumb Up

    Win7...

    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.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Party time!

    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....

  11. James O'Shea Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Bah, humbug

    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.

    Feh.

  12. Valerion

    So can one actually do an upgrade?

    I thought the EEC or someone had helpfully decided that we couldn't?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    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.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    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.

  15. M 6
    Thumb Up

    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!

  16. Efros
    Happy

    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!

  17. Sampler
    Flame

    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.

  18. Paul Hates Handles

    Meh

    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.

    Basic Spec:

    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.

  19. Glyn 2
    Megaphone

    WHAT

    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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!

  21. Jeroen Wijnands

    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.

  22. Nomen Publicus

    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.

  23. Rick Giles
    Linux

    Virtual desktops

    "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.

  24. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Resume time

    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?

  25. Tony S
    Happy

    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!

  26. John Reid
    Happy

    20 mins

    for a clean install of 64 bit Win7

  27. upthorpe
    Go

    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).

  28. John Reid

    No sign

    of the browser ballot screen

  29. Patrick O'Reilly

    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.

  30. John Freeman
    Grenade

    Ummm...

    @lumatrix

    Don't install Windows 7 on your old mac, then ;-)

  31. Def Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    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...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Shiny

    That's about it really.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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.

  35. Randolf McKinley
    Happy

    Virtual Desktops

    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.

  36. Bo Pedersen
    Happy

    its good but

    I have been using this for a while now, first the RC and now the Signature Edition (LOL)

    anyway

    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.

  37. MarkOne
    WTF?

    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.

    Lame....

  38. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    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.

  39. PETER FREDERIKS

    Win7

    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.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I disagree

    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).

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    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.

  42. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Crashed during install.

    And to add insult to injury suggested it was my fault because I had removed a USB device (I hadn't).

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Yawn

    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.

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. KJ
    Thumb Up

    Excellent

    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.

  46. Captain Underpants

    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?)

  47. OFI
    Thumb Up

    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.

  48. Ian Ferguson
    Grenade

    OK

    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.

  49. Glyn 2

    @AC

    Bad things

    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

    Good things

    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

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old skool

    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.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    @lumatrix

    I think the fact that you yourself have admitted the drivers are for very old hardware, should really set the expectation that you would have issues with the drivers.

    Taking the competiton, this is exactly the same:

    Snow leopard, try and put it on any Mac system over a couple of years old and it completely won't work (sure, they changed to intel chips etc, but still, it won't work).

    Linux, does anyone ever not need to go out and fid linux drivers for their hardware?

    Still think this is one of the best features of Windows environment, the fact you can plug 99% of stuff in and it just works, and if it doesn't, windows update will have a driver to download.

    Overall, having used it for a couple of months now since RC1 and about to move to the RTM one i've got, I can't fault it.

  52. The BigYin

    XPsp3 2005 Media Center

    That's what I have at home. I was perhaps a bit dim and didn't jump on a pre-release version, but XP is working fine and I have as yet no compelling reason to upgrade.

    Win7 Ultimate (which is what I think I need) is about £160) and a decent, Linux compatible printer would cost about the same, so there is no difference in price.

    Windows 7 will do multi-screen properly* (a serious failing of Linux IMnsHO) and that is what will probably swing it for me. Oh, that and my Logitech mouse will work fully in Windows. Yep, guess I'm sold really. Once sp1 ships I'll look into a migration.

    Unless, of course, the Penguin has got its act together by then.

    *Properly; different screens at different resolutions with no square virtual screen, one must scroll lameness.

  53. Mathew White
    Thumb Down

    Uninstall Competitors Sotware.

    "The upgrade process gave me a list of about 5 programs to un-install," he says. "Which I did, it was some drivers, iTunes and the Google Toolbar."

    Erm.... I wonder if it tried to uninstall firefox and any oracle apps present as well?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Sarah Bee fan club

    > 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 show, Ms Bee! Can we hope for this policy to extend across *all* comment threads?

  55. John 104
    Thumb Up

    It's Good...real good.

    Ran the RC for a few months then installed the MSDN RTM Ultimate about a month or so ago. It is SOLID. I had a few BSODs with the RC and odd times but nothing with the RTM version.

    @glyn2

    Search can be turned off. its called the indexing service, or, more correctly on Win7, Windows Search.

    Desktop Icons. Um, Yes you can. Turn Auto Arrange off and you can put them anywhere you want...

    Seriously, are you that inept of a user that you can't figure these things out?

    @Andrew Moore

    And to add insult to injury suggested it was my fault because I had removed a USB device (I hadn't).

    Dodgy hardware?

    @everyone with complaints about dimming the screen.

    You can turn this off in UAC if it is a problem.

    The install is 20-25 minutes flat. Do yourself a favor and do a clean install when you get it, always a best practice. On mul tiple machines I found this to be the case. And yes, asking for everything up front is so much nicer than pausing for network configuration, keyboard, etc. Good job MS.

    As for Gary in the article. Perhaps this is a humorous reversal of skill? The Linux user can't figure out how to install and configure Win7 ;) (I remember the first time I installed Debian...ouch!)

    And regardless of how much you like XP, the fact is that XP is a 10 year old OS. Driver support is waning, peripherals are going to be harder and harder to get to work and its 32 bit. THAT alone is reason enough to move to 7.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Been running it for months (since RTM)

    It is adequate, thats all. It still has allot of the annoying shit from Vista. Getting to your network settings still takes a dozen clicks, and they went around and renamed everything. The names of stuff are not quickly and easily readable. "Network Settings" was much more readable than "Network and Sharing Center". The Control Panel sounds like it was ran through a committee to name everything. The UI still sucks and file copy still bogs down mysteriously.

    That said, its much faster. I installed fresh and switched from XP, and Windows 7 boots noticeably faster. It runs without the ridiculous memory overhead. Not every program works, but allot do. It bluescreened constantly running Aero on my Intel 965 laptop, but once I shut it off, its been really stable.

    In summary: its slightly faster than XP, and only a little less stable, with a considerably more annoying UI.

    I bet it is good enough that most people will embrace it, so like it or not, you better upgrade, or get left behind.

  57. lennie
    Alert

    @ glen 2

    @Glyn 2:

    I take great complaints about your comments on the OS and how it fucntions because most of what you state is false, so I will go through your comment one step at a time.

    1) "And next time I go into the directory it'll have changed what columns are there again and how the items are viewed."

    that is a big lie: once you change the folder and column views they stay changed until you change them again.

    2) "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)"'

    the search function is pretty good, I don't see how you see it as disfunctional. if I want to see file extensions, I hit the start button, type "extens" no need to type out the full word, and "show or hide file extensions" is right there as the second result. the search is fast fast fast. and the drives are listed as they should. I love that it starts searching before I finish typing because it finds what I want before I finish typing which helps in speed of actually finding what I want. I don't know what kind of hardware you're using but on my laptop with a Intel T4200 2GHz with 3GB of RAM and Intel 4500DX integrated graphics, it doesn't stutter at all.

    and NO, clippy is not there anymore.....I miss clippy.....

    3) I never missed hitting the dropdown power options button (on the start menu) on my laptop or desktop, I can configure the shutdown button to either sleep or hybernate when I hit it so there's really no need to use that option on the start menu.

    4) "To the left of this is the search button which you CANNOT TURN OFF"

    I find the search function in the start menu a welcome addition I use all the time, even if I'm looking for a program, I use the search to find it, thigns are much faster to find that way. don't know why you would not want to use it, but that's your prefference.

    and also, there is no search button beside any shutdown button anywhere in the OS. if you're talking about the start menu search box, it does not have a search button because the search box auto-searches as you type....so that complaint is stupid and is a lie.

    I was gonna go through all your full comment and show how lie you are with your "complaints" but then I thought I'll leave you alone because clearly your comment is not worth anymore of my type dissecting.

  58. Mage Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Why?

    If I'm buying a new machine maybe.

    But if I have XP, MaC OS or Unbuntu, what is spending money on Win7 for an existing machine going to give me? DX11? Is that it? Nothing else?

  59. DrXym Silver badge

    Had W7 for a month now

    So far I have no serious complaints about it. The installation was excellent. Virtually all my apps survived an upgrade intact, most of the Vista complaints have been addressed and the good points of Vista (such as better security, desktop) have been carried over and refined. Overall, it's a solid release. My biggest gripe is that Notepad never ever seems to be improved from one release to the next. Even MS Paint finally got a facelift but Notepad is as awful and unusable as ever.

    Even so, if you have Vista or XP and you're happy with it, I don't know if there is a reason to upgrade. At the end of the day it's still just the operating system. The same apps run over the top and for all the change, the point of an OS is to facilitate not be constantly in your face. If things about earlier versions annoy you then perhaps they've been address.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eh?

    "Snow leopard, try and put it on any Mac system over a couple of years old and it completely won't work (sure, they changed to intel chips etc, but still, it won't work)."

    Eh? SL works on any Mac sold after January 2006.

  61. Stefan 2

    No complaints

    Installed on my blazingly fast Dell M1730 laptop and a somewhat aged AthlonXP 3700+ desktop machine (around half as powerful as my laptop).

    The difference between Windows 7 and Vista is: Windows 7 doesn't distract me with a small number of repetitive minor annoyances. It just works. This is, I think, why people are quick to compare and contrast Windows 7 with Windows XP. Windows XP was the last OS to 'just work' without distracting people with bugs, slowness or minor little annoyances.

    This is definitely why Windows 7 is a great upgrade for Windows XP users. Plus, as peoples base hardware gets steadily more powerful, Windows 7 is better positioned to make use of it.

    All in all, a good win for Microsoft.

  62. Andy Bright

    Question

    What I'd like to know is how people rate their game performance after installing Windows 7. One of the reviewers indicated he felt that he no longer needed to upgrade his ram, which is encouraging, is this a common consensus?

  63. Gary O'Brien

    BSOD?

    All i hear is BSOD from people here, what the fuck are you doing on your pc's. I havnt seen BSOD for years now.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Badgers

    @No one noticed the lack of browser choice?

    They promised to roll it out via Windows Update, it's not going to be in the box.

    And they're only going to do that if the EU agrees to drop the investigation.

  65. Humph3
    Unhappy

    Slows down

    I've had the release candidate for a couple of months and my experiences are very similar to the second post ("7 days later...."). After initially being fast and responsive, it has now slowed down to a crawl. This despite the fact that I have installed very little software within it.

  66. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    More of the same old windows

    Seriously, I'm not impressed. It's just another version of Windows. Vista was so amazingly horrible that a version that simply "sucks less" is being treated like the Second Coming, even though it's still the worst operating system in the industry.

  67. Wade Burchette
    Thumb Up

    Best OS I've ever used

    And that is saying a lot since I've used OSX, Linux, and Unix. In college, I could only use Solaris Unix, and I liked it a lot. Of course, Microsoft is an idea stealing company, but that is for another day. (I also see the Penguin huggers and Apple worshipers are out trying to discredit it.)

    I've been using W7 RTM from day 1. Every computer I installed it on had no issues. 32-bit, 64-bit, didn't matter. It is fast, efficient, and stable. Is it perfect? No. Operating systems are insanely complex, so it can never be perfect. There is only one bug that I have found. W7 doesn't work with HD DVD drives, not even the combo Blu-Ray/HD DVD drives. It made some changes that require an adjustment, but you quickly learn to love them.

    The thing I like the most is that 7 just feels faster. Vista seemed slow, even with 8 GB of memory. It may not be quantifiable, but 7 just feels better to use. I also like the fact that 7 support H.264 movies. It still doesn't use hardware acceleration, so HD movies in H.264 tend to lag. VC-1 and MPEG-2 HD movies don't however.

    I had W7 RC1. Thanks to a few internet searches on how to upgrade from W7 beta to W7 RC1, I figured out how to upgrade my RC1 to the final build. Even doing that, it has been stable.

  68. Jaap stoel

    Its an upgrade

    I've tried Vista and 7 as an upgrade from XP and I'm pleased with it.

    The few extra tricks and tweaks to the interface feel nice and are easy to work with.

    The libraries where a godsend when I still had my media on diffrent drives making it a lot easier to work with.

    So far I've not had any issues with stability and everything seems to run very smooth.

  69. Michael C
    Pint

    Well, it is an improvement...

    I'll give it that, light years better than vista in terms of performance, stabiltiy, and look/feel.

    A few notes: (OK, more than a few)

    1) cant resize the fracking start menu!!! since it's now more of a tree than a menu, and browses like explorer, this needs to DYNAMICALLY F***ING EXPAND. You can't even MANUALLY make it bigger.

    2) only way to see traditional control panel list is to change settings on steart menu to display control panel as a menu list instead of an icon. Control panel folder is a web page, not an actual directory...

    3) still can't move a user from drive to drive with a 1 step proccess, have to use a preferences pane to move each sub folder manually one at a time (and MANUALLY create the target folders, which have to be named exactly right btw).

    4) even LESS options for backup, including that now you can only keep 1 system image at a time and have less control over file backups than before (including that in sheer stupidity it deletes your CURRENT GOOD image to make a new potentially bad image, and it does this EVERY DAY if you want file backups every day, so in essence, you no MUST make DVD backups of your system image. They're also equally bugged as Vista and can not be moved/copied once made or the restore utility won;t find them. Since they have further crippled this, don;t even bother, just get a real backup program like acronis, and whatever file backup too came with your external HDD or NAS (or deploy a WHS w/ FP3)

    5) Control panel design is completely inconsistant. took me 5 minutes to notice the stupid "add printer" button in a place noone would typicalyl go looking for it....

    6) Task manager still sucks. they bought Sysinternals YEARS ago, yet nothing has moved from procxp to taskmanager yet...

    7) can resize the icons on the task bar, but they don;t actually change in SPACING, so changing the size give no additional room for icons...

    8) no equivalent to quick launch bar anymore. Have to pin lots of icons to taskbar and have Aero graphics enabled to tell which are running and which are not. Also, if I have an excel window open, clicking the pinned icon switches to it or minimizes it, and does not launch a new instance of excel, which is what i want, so you have to open the start menu to open more then 1 version of the same application.... (maybe there's a keyboard shortcut to do this, but since there's no manual, who knows...)

    9) not a single new screen saver. Theme templates are nice, but not very customizable (can't control what images rotate on the desktop directly, or how often, very little customization outside of colors)

    10) Advanced power options have been further limited.

    11) XP mode is a joke. Seriously, if you;re going to make me A) understand how to run virtual machines, and B) have to patch, secure, and maintain is as a complete seperate machine, the LEAST you could have done was cross integrate the user home folders, let me control the VM hardwaree more directly, automatically share connected devices like printers, and make the cross integrated apps show up in a unified apps menu not segregated under a seperate virtual machine menu system. this is WAY behind VMWare or Parallels integration, and not even a comparrison to Rosetta which "just worked" and didn't require intervention.

    12) networking at home with other non-7 systems is now more difficult for everyday users. Netowork controlls in general are more obscured as well, buried behind difficult to read control panel panes, and less consolodated than before.

    13) still no automated checkdisk/defrag functions. C'mon, it's been 14 years, since NTFS came out, can't we finally get some tools to automatically maintain system health!?!?!

    14) Every program I've launched since i installed launches in full screen mode by default the first time. 7 is good about remembering window positions (mostly), but c'mon, nothing in a multithreded OS should ever launch full screen, as if we didn't run other programs concurrently...

    15) search options still suck, but it seems faster, and indexing seems to behave and not slow down the machine. in fact, without tweaking the Os AT ALL, its faster than either XP or Vista was tweaked to it's fullest on the same hardware.

    16) still no virtual desktops, yet again staying at least 5 years behind all the other competitors.

    OK, for the nicities:

    A) jump lists and libraries are a nice attempt at making browsing more productive. Its easier to get to more recently used things.

    B) mouse-over pinned icons shows all windopws seperately for running programs, making switching easier.

    C) it certainly is faster

    D) No issues with my hardware. Have to get a new copy of Roxio though to keep ISO and CD burning features working that should have been free with the OS since Win98SE...

    E) even viewer window is now resizable. Granted, it should have been from day 1 in Vista, but at least it works now.

    F) UAC is friendlier, snappier, and I can control how often it pesters me. It's still useless as anyone without a clue will simply click OK, and anyone with a clue doesn't need the prompts that an AV client would not already disclose...

    G) It's prettier.

    Verdict: Honestly, to have to sepnd real cash on a real PC to run this "well" you need a decent Core 2, 2-4GB of RAM, a FAST HDD, and descrete graphics. Yea, it'll run on less, but not "well" and certainly not in a state i could use as my only PC. If I'm gonna spend $1000-1500 on a decent PC to run this on, i might as well buy a mac and run it on that with Boot Camp... It;s a worthy replacement for XP, but it's not worthy enough to continue to buy PC hardware. (I'm too old, too busy, and too tired to keep manually rebuilding systems; I want warranties and someone else to be responsible, and at that price, no boxed PC or laptop compares to Mac hardware, i've looked, hard, at leats, not once you considder a few apps like adding backup, AV, productivity suite that's compatible with Office and syncs with Exchange, etc).

  70. borat
    Thumb Up

    Works for me

    I've been running Windows 7 on my Dell Latitude D610 for a few weeks now (courtesy of the MS Action Pack), and I have to say I'm generally impressed.

    Having skipped Vista altogether there's much more that is "new" to me than a previous Vista user, but I particularly like:

    1) The simplified installation process that asks all the questions up-front rather than halfway through. I particularly like the fact that I don't have to jump through hoops to remove English (United States) - by selecting United Kingdom that is the only language that ends up on the desktop.

    2) Hardware/driver support - this is a real leap from XP - *all* of my hardware was recognised on install, including bluetooth, wireless, graphics adapter etc. The only thing that "needed" a driver was the touchpad to enable the swipe-to-scroll functionality.

    3) Boot time is faster than XP, and resume from suspend is lightning-fast.

    4) The interface is very "OS X", and I mean that in a good way - it's a good looking interface.

    5) General speed/usability is good - it doesn't seem to slow down when I'm performing large file operations (which I understand Vista is berated for).

    6) I *like* the new taskbar - the ability to rearrange programs and the "quick peek" functionality works nicely.

    I have to say I wouldn't hesitate to equip a new PC with Windows 7. I certainly wouldn't upgrade the hardware on an older PC in order to run 7 as the benefits, whilst nice, aren't worth the cost of hardware plus the cost of a 7 license.

    In a corporate environment I would be very surprised if any FTSE-100 company started rolling out Windows 7 any time soon - Microsoft are in an awkward position whereby corporates running XP need a damn good reason to upgrade to a new OS, and some eye candy and out-of-the-box driver support are nowhere near a big enough incentive for them to make a change. The fact is that XP (on the whole) *works*, and given that support/patches are going to be around for a while yet I don't see corporate adoption of Windows 7 picking up until 2012 at the earliest.

  71. clint11
    Thumb Down

    Windows 7

    Got an email from ebuyer today stating that the copy I preordered 28/07/2009 would not be send out until next Wednesday, the 29th.

  72. markbriggs

    Windows 7 - I'm actually impressed!

    Had a Vista machine running Vista Ultimate SP2 with 4GB RAM. Everything running fine but decided to put Windows 7 Ultimate on. Took about 30 minutes to install and hey presto - all the good things from XP and all the nice UI from Vista, only really fast and stable!

    I have 3 Mac's in the house too and have upgraded them to Snow Leopard, I'm finding a couple of niggly things with Snow Leopard (64 Bit screensavers not displaying pics properly is one of them) but I'd still bang the following mantra.....

    If you're at home - run Mac OS-X, if you're in the office run Windows XP or Windows 7, and if you're on the road then run Mac OS-X with Parallels or VM-WARE Fusion so you can get the best of both worlds!

  73. markbriggs
    Thumb Up

    Vista SP3

    I really don't concur with those saying that Windows 7 slows down after weeks of using it. I installed it 6 weeks ago now (I'm a Volume Licence customer and got it through MSDN) and it's as quick today as it was the day I installed it.

    The only quirk I have is that sometimes when I fire up IE8 it tells me that my previous browser session crashed and gives me a choice of going to my home page or restoring my previous session??!! Weird!

    It's a good product, and so it should be! I do agree that Windows 7 is what I should have got when I bought Vista - following that logic I feel that going from XP to Windows 7 should be a paid for upgrade, but going from Vista to Windows 7 should be free. I don't mind MS calling it Windows 7 - but we all feel it's Vista SP3!

  74. markbriggs

    That's not quite right what you're saying...

    Michael C - you don't have to open the Start menu to create another instance of an application already open (in your case Excel). Simply right-click the icon on the taskbar and select the self describing application just under the separator bar - in your case righ-click the Excel icon and select "Microsoft Office Excel 2007". Hey presto a new instance opens.

    I'll be the first to criticise where MS get's it wrong, but let's not pretend that Mac's Exchange integration within Snow Leopard is in anyway acceptable in a true office environment - it isn't!

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Missing features

    This might be a bit late but:

    Andy 74, who wanted the status bar in explorer - it's still available. In explorer hit ALT, select View and then tick Status Bar. Not sure why it's still there though - as far as I can tell its functionality has been replaced by the summary bar at the bottom of the explorer window.

    To Michael C, to launch more than one copy of a pinned app, just right click and select a second copy. There's no need to search the start menu for an alternative icon. Also, scheduled defrag has been a feature for years. When you're in the main defrag screen, rather than clicking "Defragment Disk", click the "Configure Schedule" button next to it. By default Windows 7 defrags once a week.

    And to the guy who's installed all those XP drivers and is getting BSODs, maybe you'd be better off with a Mac?

  76. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    A solid update...

    ...but it still reveals a lack of attention to detail in the GUI.

    - The Taskbar icon resizing has no effect on spacing, (as mentioned by a previous poster).

    - The "Start" menu, as in Vista, no longer has that label on its icon. Just bite the bullet and call it the "Windows Menu", I say. (This would also kill off all those tiresome "Need to click 'Start' to stop!" rants.)

    - Little genuine UI innovation—almost every 'new' feature is lifted from other operating systems. (OS X's influence is almost painfully obvious.) However, the desktop-edge window resizing feature appears to be a truly new idea. And well executed too, though I wonder how it'll work on multi-display setups.

    Stability and speed seem to be much improved. (I run Win 7 RC1 on a Macbook Pro in both Boot Camp and Parallels' VM for occasional testing.) Driver support is excellent.

    The only thing that made me sit up and go, "Well Alle-bloody-luia!" is that fact that Win 7's installer FINALLY gets the locale settings right. XP (and possibly Vista, but I skipped that) had an infuriating habit of assuming you live in the US, regardless of all evidence to the contrary:

    "I just *told* you I live in London's GMT+1 timezone! Why the f*ck have you selected 'US Keyboard' as my default keyboard layout? GRR!"

    >> CLICK <<

    >> WHIRR <<

    "'US English' as my default language? Seriously? Are you deliberately trying to wind me up?"

  77. Lupus
    Coffee/keyboard

    @Glyn 2

    I want to get Win7 now, solely to experience the Button of Screaming Death.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Get A Mac

    Skeletor will love you forever!!!

  79. Alex 0.1
    Thumb Up

    Overall decent

    I've been running the RC since it was released and have just switched to final, 20 minute install from start to finish for me and as expected no problems of any kind with it - Haven't seen any major problems that some others are experiencing (either with RC or final), no slowdowns over time, when wiping the RC earlier the system was damn close to as fast as the day I installed it.

    Just to address a few points made by Michael C though...

    4) even LESS options for backup, including that now you can only keep 1 system image at a time

    Not sure where this one comes from, the backup tool clearly gives you the option of only keeping one image at a time or making use of it's available space (it seems to max out at 4 images no matter how much space you give it so certainly could be configurable to allow a set number, but having more than one is a case of simply setting the option).

    6) Task manager still sucks. they bought Sysinternals YEARS ago, yet nothing has moved from procxp to taskmanager yet...

    Curious to know exactly what you're missing here - procxp's system info monitor is covered by taskmon's resource monitor (the resource monitor is actually much better than that included in procxp) and most of the process details provided by procxp are available in taskmon by simply enabling them (view > select columns) along with a fair bit of info that procxp doesn't give.

    8) no equivalent to quick launch bar anymore

    The fact that MS have removed this by default in favour of pinning is annoying, but it's very easy to put back to function exactly as it has on previous windows versions - Right click the taskbar, go to toolbars, select new toolbar, and add the path of the toolbar as "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" - Okay it, and bam, you have your quicklaunch bar.

    13) still no automated checkdisk/defrag functions

    Defrag tool has a scheduler built into it, don't quite know how it's possible to miss this. Automated chkdsk is still missing, but frankly i'd say this is hardly crucial.

    16) still no virtual desktops, yet again staying at least 5 years behind all the other competitors.

    Granted it's not embedded into the OS and available by default as it should be and it's functionality is a bit limited, but MS have had a sysinternals tool available to allow virtual desktops for quite a while, available at:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx

  80. clint11

    Windows 7

    Just reread the email from ebuyer and it says that my order will be delivered, get this, 29th JULY 2009.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what you are all basically saying is...

    ...it sucks.

    I'll stick with BSD, thanks.

    Now where the f*ck did I put my flame-proof coat?

  82. Doug Glass
    Go

    <yawn>

    Oh so..... business as usual.

  83. Andy Jones
    Joke

    Absolutely Brilliant

    Got it first thing this morning. Removed from the packaging, took disc out and installed on the table. 9 hours later, after a stressful day, I have had 7 cups of coffee and not once has the disc stuck to my cup. Unbelievable.

    Now, what's all this crap about putting in on a computer?

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A dream under bootcamp!

    I loved it, it ran very smartly in bootcamp on my iMac, almost tempted me back from OSX!

    It installed very quickly, less than 25 mins, so simple to install, coupld of reboots and done. The Apple drivers that were designed for XP , worked perfect, giving me access to all the hardware.

    Running games under it was a dream. Under XP the games would often simply lockup or crash, especially Fallout 3, not so under W7, they ran perfect. I was seriously conisdering buying a retail copy after the beta, but not at the prices right now. I want the top version but I'll wait a few months, pick one up cheap just for games, when the fuss has died down.

    I wish MS all the very best, I'm just not quite ready to come back yet!

  85. Chris 39
    Boffin

    @ Michael C

    1) Right click Start button. Click Properties. Click Customise. See pane marked "Start Menu size".

    2) True enough, but if you use the search box in Control Panel, you'll find you can find everything much easier, especially as it has tabs and sub options listed in there as well as the few old "categories"

    3) I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about.

    4) I don't need daily backups, so I haven't tried. Windows Backup looks fairly well featured, but I'll take your word for that.

    5) Start, Devices and Printers, Add Printer. Or open control panel and type "Printer". Either way couldn't be much easier.

    6) Yeah, it hasn't changed much, but I can't think of anything much else I'd like on there.

    7) What now? Sorry, I don't get it.

    8) Yeah, there is no Quick Lauch. But quick launch was just a folder with some shortcuts in. Make a folder, copy the shortcuts you want into it, right click the task bar, click Add Toolbar, and point it at your folder. Not ideal, but hardly difficult.

    9) Yeah, a couple of new screensavers wouldn't have gone amiss. Still, not exactly a dealbreaker.

    10) Any further info on that? I can't see anything missing.

    11) Yeah, XP mode is a joke - always was. MS really shouldn't have advertised this as a feature, because it boils down to "you can install Virtual PC and a copy of XP if you like". Still, I haven't found a need to actually use it yet.All the old software I've tried that didn't work was fixed by using the compatibility options, if you right click on the program and change the properties.

    12) I've installed a fair few copies of 7 now, and I have yet to have to do anything to get it to work on a network.

    13) Open Control Panel, type Schedule. :/

    14) I'd rather it did than than just picked a random location and size. Most people only use one app at a time, unless they're copying and pasting from the browser to a word document or something.

    15) I've never liked indexing. So I turned it off. The control panel search still works, so I'm happy.

    16) I don't think the average user wants to use virtual desktops. But there should probably be an option, yeah.

    Windows 7 is far from perfect. But if you take a bit of time to actually learn how to use it, it's a LOT better.

  86. Ocular Sinister

    Yeah, I got it - It Doesn't Suck

    But why should I get excited about it, or bother upgrading? There is nothing in the new features list that makes me want to upgrade. The last time that happened was with Windows 2000 (the move to NT kernel was definitely a good one), though XP had a few worthwhile features too. And seriously, if they must dick around with the user interface, please, at least leave a way for us to get back to the tried, tested and very user friendly Windows 2000/XP interface.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Michael C

    If you use an unattend file (via a thumbdrive, etc) you can specify the location for the profiles at setup time.

    I use this all the time so that all my user data (profile, documents, videos, etc) are all stored on the D partition instead of C.

  88. Simon Neill
    Happy

    Went quite well actually...

    40 minutes between vista 32 and win7 64. New version is definately faster booting, uses less ram and finally I can make full use of that 4th dimm.

    Not so sure I like this wierdness with the window grouping and reducing it to icons.

    But overall, least painful and quickest windows install I've seen in a while. Detected my second screen and set it up automatically and everything.

  89. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Coat

    Verdict: Windows is like US presidents....

    ...because after a true horror show, we get something that sucks somewhat less, though it's still the same underneath.

    Nice show.

  90. Piro

    @Michael C

    "D) No issues with my hardware. Have to get a new copy of Roxio though to keep ISO and CD burning features working that should have been free with the OS since Win98SE..."

    It has a built in ISO burner.

  91. N2 Silver badge

    Lipstick on a pig

    Believe me, i tried to like it & like one of the first posters I found that it was very slick & quick, when it had nothing to do, however install a few programs and give it light use and it all starts to slow down.

    Installation is better than any previous version of Windows, running in XP compatibility mode seems like a dogs dinner, control panel has even more useless icons.

    ribbon menus - ugh!

    New ways to do familiar tasks should be familiar ways to do new tasks...

    Expensive thanks to the Microsoft exchange rate where $1 = £1 or do we have the EU with its pointless beauocracy to thank for that?

    Its Vista but less irritating

  92. Damfoose
    Unhappy

    Bahhhh Posties

    Ordered from Amazon back in june nice and cheep due to the M$ rebaty thing, Now the posties are on strike and I wont be getting it for a few more days if it ever arrives, Not happy in any way shape or form..

  93. Mark 131
    Headmaster

    Good or Bad

    What i have really noticed here is that any gripes really are quite small as to what they are, and as with any OS will be eventually fixed through updates. Yes some people aren't too impressed but isn't the idea really just that it works and does the job which IMHO the general consensus here is it is doing and quite well at that.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Great OS

    At least it does not wipe your data, there's an OS (X) for that.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Very underwhelming

    I've been (trying to) using it since the first beta and, yes, it is the 'best' version of Windows. However, that's comparing it to very low hanging fruit. It is still exceptionally mediocre compared to anything else and as badly thought out in UI terms as all other versions of Windows. Too expensive to upgrade to from XP for the very, very few benefits it would bring and certainly nothing there to make any Mac or Linux user bother with it. I'll not be paying for the final release.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Windows Vista SP 3 - aka Windows 7

    clearly, some microsoft apologist will thumbs up anything that's slightly above average.

    Thumbs up for being ripped off with an unsellable release called Vista.

    Thumbs up for accepting another sad marketing spin to name a SP of vista, Windows 7 and to charge loyal nerds another few hundreds.

    Thumbs up for waiting nearly 10 years just to play catch up.

    and two thumbs up for copying badly ideas from other OS's and advertise them as though they are Microsoft's idea.

    it's truly one hell of an OS with a bright future.

  97. jason 7
    WTF?

    @NC Expensive????

    How can you say its been expensive. I got two copies of Home and a copy of Pro for £190!

    £50 for the next 4-5 years of computer use is pretty cheap.

    Yeah you could use Linux for free but free isnt that great if it doesnt do what I want.

  98. Richard Lloyd
    WTF?

    Better than Vista, but what wasn't?

    It's definitely an improvement on Vista, but there's still some very obvious "flaws":

    * The Classic Start Menu has gone and if you customise your Start Menu like I do (i.e. remove over half the pointless space-wasting entries in it), you're left with fugly large blank areas of the double-panelled wastefully-wide menu. Big step backwards there.

    * I use the Classic theme in Win 7 and you can't remove the annoying "Show Desktop" icon in the bottom right! It's part of the taskbar notification area, but the config dialogue for that deliberately omits that for absolutely no good reason at all.

    * The default taskbar labels for open windows are too large (as is the taskbar itself - 600 pixels on netbooks means you don't want a tall taskbar) and have no text but large icons only - yes, easily changed if you poke around, but the default isn't good.

    * I see the spastic scrollbar behaviour from many Windows releases hasn't been fixed yet. Click on the scroll thumb and drag it down (or up) - if your mouse drifts to left or right of the scroll bar whilst dragging, it jumps huge amounts! WTF is all I can say and this hits me so often, I can't believe other people haven't seen this and complained about it. It's a scrolling UI disaster that's been in Windows for donkeys years.

    * Retail Win 7 recognises a Synaptics Touchpad (extremely common on many, many netbooks and notebooks) as a PS/2 mouse, which I find incredible. This is not only a major device identification failure, it means that there is *no* support to disable "tap-to-click" (or "tapping"), which is the most loathsome thing ever. Yep, the default on a retail Win 7 install is to have tapping enabled and with no way to turn it off - cue major frustrations amongst millions of users! Solution is to go to www.synaptics.com and install their driver for the touchpad using administrator and "Vista SP 2 compatibility mode" when running the driver installer. The Synaptics driver has config options to turn off the dreaded tapping feature - no doubt OEMs will slipstream this in on laptops/netbooks, but it's a major testing failure for MS to let this happen on the retail version.

    Having said all that, Windows 7 is actually quite usable once you configure it to your liking. I'd say it's a definite upgrade for Vista users and a "maybe" for XP users. If you could pick it up for 45 quid as a pre-order, then, on balance, it's worth the money. I'll stick with Fedora Linux myself, which is better than any version of Windows, including 7, at least IMHO, plus it's free as a bonus, which always helps.

  99. Phil 33

    @Chris Morley

    In windows explorer, press the "alt" key to get the menu up, then go:

    Tools -> Folder Options -> General

    then down the bottom make sure:

    "automatically expand to current folder" is checked

    only thing that annoyed me with windows 7 if I'm honest!

    @Ian Bonham

    sorry, 30 minutes to get to desktop points to something serious being wrong with your hardware, disk in PIO mode or on its way out perhaps?

  100. sam bo
    Go

    faster than what ?

    Firstly, I don't have a shiny new machine for my win7 install - it runs on an athlon-2000xp with 2gb ram.

    It most certainly is not faster than xp , just a tiny hesitation after clicking the mouse. That said , Vista was a completely unusable monster on the same setup.

    I am amazed by the number of people that actually use the native MS apps that come with any Windows install - really , why would you ? There are so many superior 3rd party appps available , and often free as well.

    For all those complaining about Explorer , don't use it ! Try Total Commander or better still total Commander PowerPack. It fixes ALL of windows filehandling annoyances (well pretty well all).

    I keep a copy on a USB stick , so that I can use it on any computer I am working on , and really would be lost without it. Krusader on Linux has similar functionality, so made my work with linux comparatively painless.

    Still, it must be admitted that the writing is on the wall for XP, and with new hardware Win7 should be a painless upgrade.

  101. Armus Squelprom
    Coat

    So, what does it *do* that XP can't. do?

    Not being funny or anything, but I've read a lot of the coverage of W7 (including fawning magazine articles surely ghosted by MS PR) and I've yet to find a unique, important function which W7 offers over a properly configured XP Pro.

    Okay, with XP you have to add a few external apps for critical tasks but that's arguably an advantage. I specifically prefer to trust TrueImage backup for example, compared to a built-in function which might be corrupted along with the rest of the OS. Ditto AV, etc.

    So really, all you happy adopters - apart from "new & shiny" what other key benefits are offered in W7?

  102. Bill Bennett
    Coat

    Still...

    ...it's better than Windows Mojave ;-)

  103. Mothballs
    WTF?

    Just Another Lemming

    The very instant that Amazin' finally gets its act together and lets me have my pre-ordered Upgrade version of the W7 upgrade, I'll be dropping it over the top of Vista on this box, while fervently hoping it doesn't all end in tears. I therefore confidently predict that this thread will be dead and buried long before I'm fully up and running again with a shiny new OS.

    As a committed Luddite, I'm open to any and all suggestions as to how I can stick with the 'Classic' interface I've insisted on clinging to, despite improvements that Redmond keep trying to foist on me with each successive version of Windows.

    Answers, on a postman, to...

  104. Mark Eaton-Park
    Thumb Down

    Windows 7 is the USB support for NT

    WIndows 7 is basically a fixed Vista and like the NT4 service pack that supported direct X and USB that was never released they sold it as a new product. M$ should be made to fix Vista not charge people again for the product they already paid for. What exactly are you getting for your money? there isn't any additional functionality, it is solely the interface. If I thought pretty pictures for buttons made a difference I would have bought a Mac. What I want is an OS that will allow me to use my computer productively i.e. to run applications not spend hours messing with the desktop. The OS should be invisible unless M$ are going to include their office, development suit. What I see is a ton of additional processes that I don't need using up my processor bandwidth, M$ should pay me as they seem to run more unnecessary code on my machine than I do. If M$ had said fair enough Vista was a mistake here is what we really wanted you to run and you can have it for free, I would say fair enough but to charge people again and again because they still can't code it right is offensive. Don't bother buying W7 buy snow leopard instead that way if you need pretty pictures to remind your how to use a computer at least it will be stable and wont cost you as much.

  105. Modjo30

    Windows 7 problems

    Had my retail copy a few days,had trouble on install turns out it was my 8800gt graphics card it did'nt like but now I have it up and running I can't install anything even though it's set up as admin,getting annoyed with it

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Do me a Favour, it's a bloody DRM crippled OS

    Windows 7 ? No thanks, Opensuse Linux does everything I need. Microsoft are not getting any of my hard earned cash. It would cost me a fortune to update my 4 desktops & 5 laptops in the family. That's why they all run Linux. In fact Bill would have to pay me before I put windows on any of my machines ...

    Flame Proof underpants engaged.

  107. C 2
    FAIL

    RE: virtual desktops

    Virtual desktops - By Rick Giles

    "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.

    ::

    you mean half-right don't you?

    Seriously, Linux has been able to do many desktops well for atleast 12 years now, you'd think MS would have ripped it off a long time ago.

    ANYwhoo, speaking of the most horific UI EVER ... at work this week we where trying to sort out some permissions problems (the usual stupid MS stuff) and I had to ask myself, what kind of sick, twisted, and malignant mind designed the UI for the last 2 turds from MS! I mean Holy F*cking Shit America!!! Did they hire some schizophrenic sadistic asshole off his medication and have him design this monstrosity or WHAT?!

    Go back to the security UI from NT4 it actually WORKED, and while they're at it find someone SANE to design these dialogs and UIs!

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Beware: No Yellow Triangles for Generic Drivers

    Trying a W7 Enterprise on a Thinkpad R40 (1.5 GHz, 1 GB, 40 GB HD).

    Unlike XP, W7 does not show the yellow triangles for generic drivers if it can't find the correct ones.

    So you get incorrect messages like "video card does not support DirectX', when the generic driver is installed. You have to click on each driver to find the incorrect 'generic' ones.

    Even with correct driver (using XP video driver), still can't get full resolution on LCD screen.

    Usual sloppy, useless, incorrect MS error messages. Business as usual.

    Eight years between XP and W7: not much has changed.

  109. Greg J Preece

    @lumatrix

    So you installed it on a piece of shit so old they don't make drivers for the graphics card any more (and nVidia/ATI drivers go back quite a way), and you're surprised it's no faster than XP...

  110. Winkypop Silver badge
    WTF?

    It's way too early to tell....

    I'm holding out for Win7 SP2 myself....

  111. Mathew White
    Thumb Up

    @Mark Eaton-Park

    And in snow leopard you can type '>console' at the login screen and be done with that pesky GUI!

  112. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    64bit Windows 7

    I'll wait a bit till I see what the problems out in the wild are ... then, if they are minimal, or tolerable, will I upgrade my xp (32 bits) to 64 bit W7.

    One big deal breaker will be if my 32 bit games fail to play well :)

  113. finnbarr
    Pint

    Not much different, with a few annoyances

    I've done a clean install (took about an hour and a half) and this is the result :

    Start up time appears poor.

    Pre-install, the windows upgrade adviser swore blind that the Aero interface would not work on this machine, yet it works fine.

    Apps are running faster than XP (but that might just be down to the new, clean installation).

    Driverless webcams perform poorly, much worse than under XP.

    My StarTech DVI KVM switch no longer functions correctly. When I switch back to the Win 7 machine, the monitor goes black and I have to disconnect and reconnect the switch-to-monitor cable to get it back. This is actually my biggest problem and if i can't fix it, XP will have to go back on until it is fixed.

    It's difficult to see what the advantage over XP is.

    Beer, because I need one.

  114. Faster Better Greener
    Happy

    A Mac users perspective on W7

    It strikes me that this is an awfully long thread about installing a bit of software on some computers. There's so much mild relief that W7 nearly, sort of, kind of, works I'd guess that many of you have had bad experiences with some previous bit of software and were almost not expecting it to work at all. Or am I missing something?

    As a Mac user, I was under the impression that OS updates involve simply taking a DVD out of a tastefully designed (recyclable) box every year or so, watching some nice pictures of deep space for a few minutes and then being rewarded with another issue of the world's slinkiest means of operating a computer.

    Ah, and yes, that OS does seamlessly blend with the world's best OS for operating ultra-portable devices.

    Erm, and yes, there is never any question of hardware/OS mismatch, because the same company produces and controls both to a ruthlessly high QA standard.

    Ahem, and that slinky OS leads equally seamlessly into the world's best eco-system for retailing digital content direct to consumers. Songs for a a few cents/pence a pop; videos for a few quid/dollars; Apps; in-App sell-through.

    From all of which Apple takes a slice.

    Which is why Apple had the best quarter in its history.

    Which is why Apple has more than doubled in value in the last year.

    Have I tested W7? No. Will I ever do so. No. So am I qualified to judge it? Yes, in the sense that there are increasing millions like me for whom MSFT's latest OS is a matter of the profoundest irrelevance. For us an OS is merely a slick window onto an increasingly converged digital content field. And it is we, non-users, who are superbly qualified to make THE key judgement on W7. The judgement of non-use, of couldn't give a stuff, of irrelevance.

    W7 doesn't matter to me.

    W7 doesn't matter to my company.

    W7 is a total irrelevance to both my personal and commercial digital existence.

    I do not care whether W7 is better than its miserable predecessors, as I never have cause to use any of them. Because I don't need to, don't want to, and don't, ever, intend to.

    Worryingly for MSFT, this "judgement of irrelevance" is now shared by a significant slice of the IT-using world. A fast-growing slice.

    If there's a historical precedent here, it's US railroads in the 1950s: lovely trains; but about to be rendered totally obsolete by aviation. IMHO by 2025, MSFT will go the same way as the Sante Fe and Baltimore & Ohio and all the rest of them. The premium market will evaporate, and they'll be left with just hauling freight around the crumbling infrastructure of yesteryear.

    I'm off down the Apple Store to buy a magic mouse. Just for the £55 fun of it. Oh, and to pay for it I'll only have to cash-in 0.4278 of an AAPL share.

    And happy toiling to you all.

  115. Karl Dallas
    Alert

    What about stereo mix?

    I installed RTM on my Toshiba Equium A100 with no problems, except that it would not update, so first I had to back up all my data and then had to reinstall my apps.

    My general impression was good: speedier, less of that infuriating wait looking at the "not responding" message (why couldn't it say "working", which is what Vista really means?).

    However, in my radio work I use Stereo Mix on a daily basis, but found that there was no way I could enable it. (The Toshiba Equium I use had stereo mix working, though it needed a bit of tweaking).

    Does anyone know if the Win7 Ultimate I now have will allow me to use stereo mix?

  116. Piro
    Thumb Down

    @Mothballs

    If you're going to use Vista or 7 without aero on capable hardware, you may as well go back to using XP, because it will simply perform MUCH better in pure GDI+ mode.

  117. Rattus Rattus
    Thumb Down

    After some testing, I'm keeping XP

    Only place I still use Windows at all is on my gaming box. I've played with the 7 RC as well as with Vista and my conclusion is that XP is staying until I really want to get a game that just will not run at all without Windows 7.

    W7 runs pretty much the same as my XP install, no faster and no slower (unlike Vista) so I don't see the point of paying so much money for essentially no change. Any more serious applications will be running on my Linux boxen, anyway.

    I also understand 7 to have largely the same DRM mechanisms that are built into Vista, which I don't like on what I consider ethical grounds. I may not try to infringe copyright but if I do at some point choose to, it will be for reasons I have decided are very good reasons and I don't feel it's the role of my OS to say I can't.

    And finally, the biggest reason I'm not replacing XP - the interface. The warm steaming pile of interface. I don't care if it's pretty, I don't care if it's shiny, I just want an interface that works, that doesn't require a dozen clicks to do a task that could be performed by just one or two clicks. I want an interface that doesn't keep asking me "Are you sure you want to do that?" I am in full agreement with a previous commenter who complained bitterly about the stupid "Button of Screaming Death" (haha). Sometimes I want to reset, sometimes I want to shut down, sometimes I want to log off. Why do I have to click on a tiny little sliver next to the massive button two thirds of the time? Could they not at least have given the two buttons equal screen real estate? And speaking of massive buttons, what's with the giant close button on the windows? I'm quite capable of seeing three buttons with three symbols and choosing the right one for that task at hand. I don't need a giant oblong red button yelling "This is it! Over here!" to close a program.

    Ok, I think I'll stop it there. Once I started talking about the interface I could feel my temperature rising along with the hyperbole level, which should tell you something about my opinion of the interface.

    Long story short (too late!), W7 sucks less than Vista, but I won't be using it.

  118. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: A Mac users perspective on W7

    Thank you for that.

    I'm off to post a lengthy piece on an article I've just read about a new cat product which will give a dog owner's perspective. I think it's needed for balance.

  119. edwardecl
    Thumb Up

    It's not a bad OS

    I've been running Windows 7x64 since about 2 days after the final retail was released on the internet.

    The one and only problem I have had so far is the Windows desktop being a bit buggy, a few times the desktop appeared to stop updating itself, so if you copied something there or deleted something the icons didn't appear/disappear on screen. Oddly enough I had the exact same problem on Vista obviously a bug they don't know about but easily fixed by refreshing the desktop although not fixed until you rerun explorer.

    I had trouble finding Win7 specific drivers, but is to be expected as it was not officially released at the time. Windows Vista drivers worked fine for the most part (except the audio driver which seemed to batter the CPU) but to be fair it did have a Microsoft driver that I used instead until a few weeks later a proper Windows 7 driver was released.

    I can't think of any other problem that are not fixed by running apps in compatibility mode which I have had to do a few times (same on Vista). I still have turned off UAC though, as it is as annoying as hell stopping certain apps from worked properly, and their policy of signed drivers only kind of irritates me a bit, same on Vista though.

    It's a good desktop OS but in my opinion should have been a fix for Vista. Bug fixing and optimisation should not be a pay for item in my opinion. Linux is still the better OS for networking and serving though as windows networking sucks big time, but that's to be expected.

  120. Rob 78
    Jobs Halo

    @Faster Better Greener (Wxxxxr)

    Blimey, someone picked up their XL cool aid this morning. Is there an app for learning to be sanctimonious or are you just gifted?

  121. Mike Dyne
    Thumb Up

    RE: A Mac users perspective on W7 #

    You wrote all that just to say "I'm a Mac fanboi - I don't need Windows7"?

    Wow.

    I like Win7, I have done since the beta, thru RC1 to retail. It works, it's faster than Vista, prettier than Vista, more stable than Vista.

    My fave feature is the "drag-window-to-edge-of-screen-to-resize-it-nicely" trick. :)

  122. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Help

    I'm confused. I've installed this new version of Windoze and now I can't seem to find the Program Manager. What's going on?!

  123. Joey
    Jobs Halo

    Installed on Mac, no probs...

    Just installed 7 on my Mac Pro running Parallels desktop 4 (alongside XP and Ubuntu). Fairly painless by MS standards. No option on browsers though, it is IE or nothing. Surely this is a bit naughty? Just had to turn off all that tasteless 'Aero' eye candy. Are Windows user's life so colourless that they need all this razzamarazz going on within their peripheral vision?

  124. Alan Bourke
    FAIL

    A Mac users perspective on W7

    Oh dear, quite a rant about Windows 7 from someone who's never used it.

    Don't need it at home? Good for you. Not a gamer then.

    Don't need it in the office? Nice one. You obviously don't need to run any payroll, business intelligence or accounting software on your Macs.

  125. Dangerous Dave
    Thumb Up

    doesnt need beefy hardware IME

    I've got it on my mid spec desktop at home plus an aging Dell Latitude X1 lappy (Pentium M 1.1GHz ULV, 2GB RAM!) and both run fine, drivers all installed first time without a hitch

    I tried Vista on the same laptop a couple of years ago (when it hit RTM) and it crippled it and had me running back to XP. Vista was installed Ok but it seemed any disk operation sent the mouse pointer into blue-spinny-circle mode and explorer would be "not responding" for 30 seconds. Looks like MS have managed to sort that at least :)

    Happy with it so far, been running full 7 for a couple of months now via MSDN

  126. Jimmy 1

    Pro UAC

    I did a clean install of Win 7 over XP pro without any problems. What has impressed me most is that the developers have had the good grace to finally acknowledge the superiority of the Linux security model with the introduction of the UAC. Okay, its only a nod in the right direction but at least you no longer have to install an app like "Drop My Rights" in order to retain the convenience of having an admin account and being able go online safely.

    As for the people who advocate disabling this security feature we can only hope that MS have the balls to lock it down completely in service pack 1.

  127. Andy Livingstone

    While waiting

    Enjoyed reading these posts while still waiting for delivery from Amazon.

    Normal Royal Mail postal delivery arrived on time though.

    Will go and press my nose against the front door like an excited kid to see if Santa or Home Delivery Service arrive first. Any bets?

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Alan Bourke

    Not defending rampant fanboyism and Faster Better Greener is frankly talking out of his arse, and this is not intended to be an 'ad hominem' attack, but I've got to pick you up on your counter points;.

    Firstly this whole gamer thing. Niche market that is competing with consoles that, as a combined package, cost a lot less.

    Payroll/Accounting? There are a number of decent accounting apps that include payroll functionality available for the Mac. No, they are not Sage, but MYOB and Intuit to name two produce fine accounting apps for the Mac. So it's entirely inaccurate to say that solutions don't exist.

    Business Intelligence? Since when has data mining been exclusive to Windows? I wasn't aware that OLAP could only be performed on the Microsoft platform. Crystal Reports may be the industry leader, but it isn't the only solution available. That's not to say that the Windows platform is crap! In fact as we are all aware, it's is the best supported platform for business applications there is, but to say that you cannot perform these tasks on other platforms… Bollocks mate! Plain and simple. Conversely, you can produce graphics, music and video with Windows if you want, the Mac is just better supported (generally better software available).

    I'm all for shooting down stupid fanboyism, but using FUD to dispel FUD is futile as it only goes to render your rather relevant initial point well, pointless!

  129. Snert Lee

    Conventional Wisdom Support

    Seems to be proving the old adage: Microsoft Anything v.1 will have grand ambitions but turn out to be crap. However, by v.3, it becomes borderline decent. Because, as we all know, Windows 7 is Vista service pack 3, aka, Vista version 3.

  130. Glyn 2
    Grenade

    Indeed

    @Mosh Jahan" - You're very much "the glass is half empty" type, I imagine. A lot of your complaints are about trivial things that can be easily rectified or only need configuring once after initial setup."

    I'm sorry if you consider the UI trivial and MS breaking the rules it's been saying I should follow on their expensive courses for years

    @John 104 "Search can be turned off. its called the indexing service, or, more correctly on Win7, Windows Search."

    Yes, the search can be turned off, which makes it a bit difficult to do a search. I'm not on about the search indexing I'm on about the physical act of searching and making changes to that search, which is why I was talking about how you request a search not how vista/w7 actually performs it

    See what I put "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"

    "Desktop Icons. Um, Yes you can. Turn Auto Arrange off and you can put them anywhere you want...Seriously, are you that inept of a user that you can't figure these things out"

    Can't see where I said this, about the desktop items. Especially as my icons on the desktop are spaced out just where I want them :S

    Maybe I'm just that inept

    @lennie

    If you're going to call me a liar, you can go and try the computers I've used and the people around me have used and then, and only then, if it behaves completely differently for you than everyone else who I've seen use it, can you call me a liar

    It's easier to read and comprehend where something is when you can see the file paths all together i.e.

    c:\program files\winapps\logfiles\log 1.txt

    c:\program files\winapps\logfiles\log 34234 3.txt

    c:\program files\winapps\logfiles\log 20091021 from a car.txt

    than via folders

    (log 1.txt)c:\program files\winapps\logfiles\

    (log 34234 3.txt)c:\program files\winapps\logfiles\

    (log 20091021 from a car.txt)c:\program files\winapps\logfiles\

    Finding that the log files are in "c:\program files\winapps\logfiles\" is much harder in this view than via the paths column.

    "it doesn't stutter at all."

    So when you type "windows" for example it doesn't start looking for "w"s then refresh and look for "wi"s etc.

    This computer is brand new so presumably it can cope, it's a 3Gb ram 3 Ghz HP

    "I find the search function in the start menu a welcome addition I use all the time, even if I'm looking for a program, I use the search to find it, thigns are much faster to find that way. don't know why you would not want to use it, but that's your prefference."

    If you can't organise your start menu properly and need to search for things instead of arranging it how you want, that's your affair

    And the option to turn it off would be such a crime???

    If you disable search entirely it goes, why not an option in the preferences?

    "and also, there is no search button beside any shutdown button anywhere in the OS. if you're talking about the start menu search box, it does not have a search button because the search box auto-searches as you type....so that complaint is stupid and is a lie."

    Are you blind or stupid? Next to the search box is a little blue button with a magnifying glass in it, when you type it turns into a little blue box with a white cross in it.

    "I was gonna go through all your full comment and show how lie you are with your "complaints" but then I thought I'll leave you alone because clearly your comment is not worth anymore of my type dissecting."

    Calling me a liar after demonstrating your obvious idiocy!!! It's true, it's not worth your "type" or even your "time"

    @Lupus

    No, you don't :P

  131. Dangerous Dave
    Paris Hilton

    @ AC 04:47

    "Even with correct driver (using XP video driver), still can't get full resolution on LCD screen"

    If it's an Intel onboard graphics chip like i have on my work Optiplex 360, you need to manually edit the driver INF file before installation so it picks up the additional resolutions (being a part time linux user i'm used to this *sigh*). I had to do this on my XP and Win7 installs, so not a Windows problem, just Intel writing crap drivers. Intel G33/31 Express + Dell 1909W (1440x900) here.

    see here: http://www.jjclements.co.uk/index.php/2007/07/19/intel-gfx-driver-resolution-fix/

    Paris, because she likes the full width

  132. jake Silver badge

    If anyone noticed I've been quiet for a while ...

    I've spent the last week trying to use Win7 for my day-to-day business. I think a week is a fair test. Yes, on a modern machine, with more than adequate horsepower. Bottom line? I've nuked it, and I honestly wish the IRS would let me write-off my time. What a completely pointless waste of CPU cycles.

    I may, or may not, give Win7 another try at SP1. Probably not.

    Never has so much code delivered so little to so many so late. MS should be ashamed of themselves.

  133. Ocular Sinister
    WTF?

    @Alan Bourke

    Have to bring you up on the whole payroll thing... Both SAP and PeopleSoft run just fine on Linux. I'm more of a PeopleSoft expert and I can tell you that its certified on Red Hat and Novell SuSE (and AIX and HP-UX and, of course, Windows). Client side... well its all browser based, so more or less platform agnostic.

    In any case - the whole point is these applications are moving off-site into service providers. No longer will businesses have to maintain large complex applications like PeopleSoft or SAP themselves. This will be especially true of smaller business that don't have the expertise, money or inclination to be running HR applications. They want to focus on their core business and out-source the maintenance of the HR software 'to the cloud'. And that maybe Microsoft's undoing - in the next year or so I see old Windows servers being replaced by online services rather than newer hardware/software.

  134. bluest.one
    Pint

    Pretty Sweet Actually

    Installation on a Dell XPS 420 went without a hitch in about 30 minutes (clean install of 64-bit). When running Vista the microphone (integrated sound card) wouldn't get recognised unless I installed some crappy drivers; with Windows 7, everything was working off the bat. Win7 installed my Gigabit ethernet drivers (previously I was limited to wireless with Vista until I hunted down the drivers and installed manually) and the Chipset drivers installed automatically.

    The only two things I had to complain about was Explorer defaulting to the stupid libraries without an option to change it (I downloaded a little program to fix that as opposed to changing where the shortcut was pointing) and explorer libraries not integrating with Windows Media Player libraries (as far as I can tell).

    And I can finally have a vertical taskbar that looks like it's supposed to be like that) that takes advantage of my ridiculously widescreen monitor. Native keyboard shortcuts for bunging windows onto the other monitor also make me pretty happy, as does my move to 64-bit out of the box.

    Add to that, native support for all sorts of codecs (Quicktime with thumbnails, etc) and I'm pretty happy with Windows 7.

    Not too shabby.

  135. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Gotta love DHL

    I can't offer a comment on Windows7 because my upgrade is currently in Jo'burg. En route from Germany to the UK...

    http://www.dhl.com/publish/g0/en/eshipping/track.high.html?pageToInclude=RESULTS&AWB=6398462722&type=fasttrack

  136. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Well W7, think I will stick with XP.

    I borrowed a version as I refuse to pay nutil I have tried it, especially after benig burned by vista ultimate.

    So good points.

    It's shiny.

    Freed up my RAM as I put on 64 bit and now have my 4 GB and my 2 x 1GB gfx cards.

    Boots faster than vista. Though not XP or Mandriva, or ubuntu

    Still has the sleep mode and wake up, which is nice and fast.

    Bad points.

    Firewall is a farce, a couple of machines running windows 7, can't see eachother for LAN games. turn off firewall we can, after playign a few games turned firewall back on and stil everything can now get through, as if the machines inherit permissions or set a up a "buddy system" so they don't mistrust eachother again.

    Netowrk sharing. I can't get W7 to see my XP home, XP pro or linux machines, at all, no chance, zip. So I can't transfer files between them. However my linux machine can see W7 and allows me to copy my files across with ease, so that is okay then. The penguin saves the day.

    Homegroup. What a crock of shite. It opens up all files types of a type you declare. So my linux machien after I put in my password had FULL access to every system file, every program and document on my W7 machine. No hassles. I was copying system registires out of the system. Now bear in mind most people use wireless and judging by my street alone, lots still don't secure it and you can see the options for hackers to be far more numerous. I personally can't wait for the neighbours to upgrade to just have a laugh. The Belkin54G unsecured wireless network on my street it a prime example, as is the BThome hub.

    The UAC is marginally less annoying but the "did this prgram install correctly" is even more annoying, I have to tell my machine that a program installed correctly because it can't decide.

    The two selling points, "snap" and seeing windows on your taskbar are in Linux or Vista, not new at all. The scrolling background is also in my Mandriva box. It ain't new.

    The inability to open more than 1 IE8 window or Excel etc, is annoying.

    I can't have sound coming from speaker and headphone, one or the other. Both are coming out different headphoen jacks, however I play gamesi n daylight with speakers and headphones at night. HOWEVER I now have to go into the control panel and then click on a menu to tell my PC this fact. How rubbish is that?

    Multiboot is not even an afterthought. I had XP Pro on the other hdd, the MBR has gone leaving me with W7 pile of turd. So I am now trying to recover the MBR with anything, given the lack of support for third party MBR's I am struggling to revover it.

    132 updates after two days.

    Things like parental controls and moviemaker are a download, why not part of it?

    The same blocky and chilidish icons are still there, I have to do about ten things to shrink them align them and make them less annoying before they don't make me think I am playing with a five year olds desktop.

    Search doesn't suck, the indexing does.

    Admin rights is an "okay" away. Can't wait for a virus to use that facility.

    The "games" directory doesn't auto update, and it is hard to manually edit correctly. So I have to mix and match where games icons are stored, as a result the games directory is being removed and ignored completely. Pointless exercise to have it there and only do half it's job.

    Some games so far will only work if I put them in Vista compatibility mode. (I know, scary)

    Why is there two program files directories?

    On my home network, I have two PC's with the same name. The W7 Pc and the W7 Pc with capitals for it's name. Both have shares, both have users and both have things I can mess around with. Of course I can only see this in Linux and W7

    That is my findings after a weekend of testing. Here is SP1 before I part with cash, and a hope I can get the MBR for XP working again soon. Heck I might even dig out the Vista 32bit as at least that worked on my home network and my MBR file allowed me to have multiboot.

  137. Chris Hunter
    FAIL

    Quick Install? What about some software?

    "I installed it in 20 minutes" is all we hear. NONSENSE! You might be able to load up this steaming pile in just 20 minutes on a quick machine (this quad core 8 Gb 3.2 GHz machine took almost 2 hours), but you won't have any software!

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/fail_32.png

    It's too expensive for a service pack (which is all it is), and it's so badly broken that it's just another typical MS waste of time. Time to first BSOD was 1 Hr 42 Mins - rebooting (sort of) recovered the open files, but then it promptly fell over again...http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/fail_32.png

    No sign of an option to use another browser. Gets MUCH slower after the first few boots, and won't run much software (even MS products from just last year won't run properly).http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png

    Wiped the crap of the HDD after two wasted days with this pile, and installed a proper OS with some applications (latest Ubuntu).

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Quick Install

    My 4GB Ram, 64-bit dual core 3Ghz processor (that's $200 for the motherboard, processor and ram - or about 135 English Beer Tokens) installed the whole thing from scratch, including drivers, adding to the domain, installing AV which insisted it wasn't compatible but just worked anyway and the first (surprise surprise) round of updates took 20 minutes.

    Maybe an upgrade takes longer, but my experience of major OS upgrades suggests you only do that if you don't have a means of copying data to another drive.

    As for Mac "I've never used it, will never use it and therefore I reckon I'm qualified to comment on it" Fanboi - since when was Mac OS the best OS around?

    I could point to at least 3 that are better and none of them have been upgraded since 1995.

    So go ahead, buy a mouse for $100, hope it's 'magic' enough to make up for having to spend twice as much on an intel box with a GUI as everyone else.

    In reply to this dildos comment someone suggested you could only play games on a PC, to which someone else suggested the PC was just a niche market in a console world.

    Both I'm afraid are far from the truth.

    World of Warcraft, the only game that actually matters, is available on Macs and not on consoles.

    Once caught, no amount of 'jump, strafe, shoot' can replace it because pretty graphics can only make up for so much lack of depth.

    My guess is WoW has caused more unemployment through sickies, more failed exams through lack of revision and more illness through lack of sleep than every other game ever written, combined.

    I guess in the end I like Windows 7, and in answer to those that feel XP can give them the exact same thing, maybe so, but only if you're still using a 32-bit, single core processor. What Windows 7 (and indeed Vista) gives in terms of a real features is the ability to use more than 3.25GB of ram and can make proper use of 64-bit processors as well as multiple cores or multiple processors. Yes XP 64 did this to some extent, but not very well. It was incompatible with vast swathes of software, not to mention drivers, and wasn't very reliable with software it supposedly could run. Windows 7 does away with all those limitations and so far it looks like it's extremely stable, even if the program swears blind its incompatible when you install it.

    Part of the problem is that not much has been written yet to take full advantage of 64-bit processors, more than 4gb of ram or multiple cores. This is because there just hasn't been enough time and too much of the business world just stuck to XP Pro. This will change, because even the diehards in the business world recognise they can't continue to use an OS that won't be getting security updates. The speed increases will come, you just have to be patient. Anyone who remembers the first 3D cards of the early 90s knows how this will go.

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