mPulse

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Week with Windows 7 RC

Last Tuesday, I created a Windows 7 RC virtual machine for VMWare Fusion. As a fairly technical user of operating systems and the like, our internal IT department figured that I would be the right person to put this new OS through its paces.

Unlike a lot of people who are using Windows 7 and commenting on the new features and functionality, I am here to comment on how well it works with someone who is ingrained in a Windows XP workflow to get his job done.

As a virtual machine (2 processors, 1GB RAM, 40GB disk), Windows 7 is not as resource intensive as Vista threatened to be, and is just as responsive as my XP virtual machine is with the same machine configuration.

Subtle changes to the Start Menu and the Task Bar are easy to adapt to, and so far all of my applications run smoothly (I am using mainly Microsoft applications, so this should not be surprising).

My virtual machine doesn't have an Aero compatible video card, so I don't get all of the cool transparencies and visual effects, but frankly those are eye-candy. I need an OS that just works, and so far, Windows 7 lives up to expectations.

The most surprising thing is that there are no surprises. Building on 2-3 years of Vista development and improving the performance means that most applications already run efficiently. The only complaint I suppose is that the OS takes up a very substantial amount of the 40GB disk. However, as this is not the OS where I store media, pictures, etc., I am not as concerned as I would be if this was my primary computer.

That said, on an old Dell Latitude D610 (60 GB disk, 2 GB RAM, single core processor carved by cavemen) that I installed this the same OS on, it is running fine, except for a large amount of fan action that I didn't hear when the same machine was running Ubuntu 9.04. As well, this older machine has no apps on it, other than Skype, and it has a large amount of the 60BG of disk still left.

Overall, as a day-to-day user of Windows, I am satisfied that Windows 7 is a giant leap over Vista, and I am looking forward to migrating my work permanently to this OS.

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