Well I’ve been running the latest release canidate for Windows 7 for most of the last two weeks and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed, it’s good, very good.
I am not one of those who suffered through Vista. As a matter of fact, except for a few friends that I helped out installing some software or cleaning it up when it was running slow and taking forever to boot up I’ve avoided it entirely. All the PCs in my house are pretty evenly split between XP or a Linux distribution. It didn’t take me long after hearing about Vista and the horror stories to make me decide that I wasn’t going down that road. It was about the same time I was starting to discover the joys of Linux and my mind was set that I would be perfectly content to just move on down that road and away from Windows entirely if Vista was the best the boys in Redmond could do. Well Vista isn’t the best they could do and I am predicting Windows 7 will be an absolute slam dunk for Microsoft.
MAXIMUMPC has a great overview and benchmark review of Windows 7
If you haven’t tried Windows 7 yet and would like to try it, the release candidate is still available for a free download until Aug 20 (wow, can’t believe I just provided a positive link to MS in my blog!).
A few things to keep in mind if you decide to give it a shot
Please plan ahead for the Beta and RC expiration dates. To avoid interruption, you’ll need to rebuild your test machine using a valid version of Windows before the software expires. Windows will notify you that the expiration process is beginning and two weeks later your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. The Beta expires on August 1, 2009, and bi-hourly shutdowns will begin July 1, 2009. The RC will expire June 1, 2010, and the bi-hourly shutdowns will begin on March 1, 2010. In both cases, you’ll need to rebuild your test PC to replace the OS and reinstall all your programs and data.
Pricing for the full versions is a little high (check out Amazon but basically $200-$300 for a full version, about half that for an upgrade from Vista, finally something nice to say about Vista). This won’t matter for most people as they will buy a machine with Win 7 already on it. If you are in the market for a new machine now, most definitely buy one that has a free upgrade to Win 7 or wait until it is widely available (Oct 22 release date).
Of course if you don’t want to spend the bucks for a Windows upgrade or to install on a newly built machine, there are lots of great Linux distros you can try.
Windows 7, it’s what Vista should have been and a worthy replacement (finally) for Windows XP.