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I Installed Windows 7

windows 7 in VirtualBox on windows xp
Image by nick see via Flickr

I’m not going to do an in depth post on this, mainly because there are already loads of them out there and there will continue to be reviews beyond October.  Just thought you may be interested to know my thoughts on the new desktop OS.  Firstly, in line with XP and Vista there will be various versions of Microsoft Windows 7 – do not get the Home version!!  Home versions are always massively crippled and you’ll spend time hating the system.  I also believe that the Home version is best used on netbook, not on a desktop or laptop.

So, having a spare hard drive, I installed the system on my Dell Latitude D600.  Yep, I accept that this is an older machine, but shouldn’t that mean it would be more supported?  Only outside of Redmond it appears.  The only way to get Windows to recognise and use the sound and video cards was to get the XP and Windows 2000 drivers and install them using the compatibility function.  By the way, the compatibility function worked very very well.  However, in the sense of supported hardware, Linux wins hands down.  The only piece of hardware that is usually not supported out of the box is my wireless card.  Under Windows 7 almost all of the hardware was unsupported – including my ethernet card!

That aside, the OS is actually very nice.  It is attractive and the menu system is pretty straightforward and usable.  I can’t comment on the pretty graphical effects because I didn’t bother with them. For balance, I don’t use them under Linux either.  I just want to use the system, I don’t need the sexy 3D bits and deformable windows – even if I did, I would turn it all off after a few days of use.

Once I had installed Firefox, VLC, and an anti-virus program I was ready rock and roll.  The system was a fair bit slower than my Debian install but otherwise there was no great difference in terms of using it.  So I stopped using it.  Huge kudos to the Microsoft team for allowing the release candidates to be downloaded legally and to be used for free.  Yes, they get lots of free testing labour, but the trade off is that we get to use it early and to give feedback to improve it.  Who knows, maybe this is one step closer to having a true open-source Microsoft OS?

So yeah, if you wish to stick with Windows and haven’t yet gone to Vista, it’s definitely worth waiting a little longer until Windows 7 goes live.  If you have switched, from the horror stories I have seen, you should definitely get the newer version!

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  3. MrCorey says:

    I tried to install the beta and it trashed the hard drive. A linux CD helped me fix that issue. Since then, I've parted out that drive and don't have a spare toplay with. Otherwise, I'd have taken the RTM and tried it, as you did. Good stuff.

  4. Dominic says:

    W7 is a hell of a lot less tedious to install than Vista, count your blessings!

    Oh, and the 3D thing – it's not all about "the sexy 3D bits and deformable windows" stuff – tho that does get all the attention. I have very little love for MS's implementation of a 3D Desktop, but I would still rather have it than not. Live miniature views of a window are surprisingly useful and hard to do without when you're used to them, but just the smoothness of the display in general when you get the processing of it out of the CPU (which really isn't up to the job) and into the GPU (which is) is worth quite a lot.

    e.g. Try click-dragging an Xterm around quickly on a standard desktop, and then again on a 3D-accelerated one, with a CPU monitor running at the same time. You'll see two things: The CPU maxes out on the normal but barely moves on the 3D; and the Xterm will partially-render dozens of times all around the screen as you move it too fast for the CPU to keep up with on the normal, but will be a lot smoother on the 3D.

    One of the many things that makes me regard Vista's 3D as crap is the fact that even though it has ten times the hardware requirements of Linux's, you can STILL move your mouse so fast you get multiple cursors rendered…

    • ray says:

      The ability to close a window while it's minimised by hovering over it and then clicking the X is nice, I guess. Not sure it's quicker than right clicking and closing though. As to the 3D stuff, I don't tend to need to move windows around very often and I tend to only have a few open ata time so none of that is apparent to me – as ever, YMMV though. So, for *my* needs, it's unnecessary.

  5. Dominic says:

    Moving windows was just an example, not a be-all :P GPUs are just much better at doing a lot of GUI tasks – that's what the 'G' means :)

    On my old desktop, just moving the mouse quickly was enough to get CPU usage into double-digits. Everything rendered on the screen is a graphics task, be it windows, mouse cursors, or menu bars. A 3D desktop makes better use of hardware even (especially?) if you have none of the 3D effects turned on: It gets your idle GPU to do all the things it's best suited for, and frees up your CPU for all the other important stuff.

    Quite a few years ago, my friend had the same computer as me – an Amstrad CPC – only I had a colour monitor and his was green-screen. He used to argue endlessly that all the extra colours I got on my screen were worthless, that he could do everything with his monochrome screen that I could on my rainbow-like display. And he had a point – you could browse the Web today using an old green-screen.

    But nobody does – even though you can work around or do without the benefits of having full colour, it's just nicer to not have to.

    3D GUIs are the same – everyone's gone crazy with the eye candy and doing things just because they CAN. In the same way, people who get hold of something like FVWM and find out how much they can do with it find all kinds of horrible things to do with colours and textures: for example..

    But just because everyone's going nuts with the novelty, doesn't stop it being a better way of rendering a desktop.

    Unless you're using Windows. In which case it's just a better way of convincing people to buy an expensive new graphics card. Because it's crap. ;)

  6. Sire says:

    I've just had some tech guy install a complete system including 4 hard drives for backup, and I asked him how come they were still using XP, and he said because Vista sucked and they wouldn't touch it. I wonder if they would use the Windows 7 once it was released?

  7. Andrea says:

    cool, i've yet to install mine, been meaning to mess around with it… also didn't want to do anything with vista as my experience with it hadn't been, at the very least, satisfying, i have decided 'a long time ago' to skip it and wait for windows 7…

  8. AutoMotive says:

    Well, I'll try to install Windows 7 in a short time – due to your post I've become interested in it.

  9. kuhinje says:

    Thanks for the advice. I'll stay with my XP's for a while and get W7 sometime next year.

  10. Jaren says:

    Windows 7 is a blessing for all that is supposed to be an operating system. We were given windows vista after XP and people still use XP they do not want to move forward. With windows 7 I believe even those will update themself.

  11. Computers says:

    I am eager to use this one also. But still using a WinXp.

  12. i have installed W7 . i took much time but after installation i am the relieved man. its good. thanks

  13. Samy says:

    Yes I myself using window xp, I think that it is much lighter then vista. But i heard from many persons that window 7 is also good as compare to vista.

  14. ,,,,Good info dude ^_^,,,,how to instals to dekstop but suport two OS windows and Mac.hakintos 10.57

  15. Windows 7 says:

    I have been using Windows 7 for the past 2 months and let me tell you its really a piece of mind. I was really impressed with the UI and enhanced Security features. I did not even install any anti-virus program for a long time and I had no issues at all with my Windows.

    Its really a great Windows. I would say one of the greatest ever after XP though :P

    I preapared a list of Freeware programs that can be used in Windows 7. I tried and tested them all. They work great with Windows 7 x64 as well. I am using x64 bit version. Try them, you don't have to spend a penny for them. And believe me the list is great.

  16. P. Veazey says:

    i'm not impressed. I'll switch back to XP.. I can still use the hard drive space being used by Windows 7.

  17. I'm waiting for my Windows upgrade disc to arrive. I'm hoping for a smooth upgrade as the computer is only a few months old.
    My recent post Missing Network Card Driver

  18. Well.i’m instal W-7 and not suport two OS.
    Os mac and W
    some one please tell me
    Good post sir thank’s

  19. Windows 7 says:

    I switched to Windows 7 and I really like it. Features are just awesome.

  20. Could Windows 7 accomplish everything that's expected of it? I can say probably not, but it makes a damn good attempt. I found installing XP, Vista and Windows 7 on the same hardware over the space of a week also proved that point: Hardware just worked when I booted up Windows 7 for the first time, while my machines were practically catatonic with XP until I dug up the drivers, and gimped with Vista until I dutifully updated.

  21. I've had 7 for a little while, and the best part about it is how unexciting it is. Nothing burst into flames, there haven't been any driver issues, and I can keep doing my same old stuff without hiccups. Unlike a certain Vista installation a few years ago…
    My recent post Improve Windows Vista Startup Speed