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Doug's Mailbag: Windows 7 Heaven

Doug asked, and readers answered. Here are your (overwhelmingly positive) thoughts on the recently released Windows 7 RTM:

I have been running the Windows 7 RTM for a few days and am quite pleased with the overall result. It is easy to use and quite stable thus far. Will be interesting to see if businesses pick it up. Hopefully they do so faster than they didn't with Windows Vista.

I have been running the RC since it came out on a couple of machines and now have the RTM (Enterprise/x64) on my primary laptop and desktop. I had been running Vista with varying levels of annoyance and was quite happy with the RC in comparison. Vista was barely functional for us and we were avoiding it completely. We have not felt that way at all with Windows 7. In fact, we have the RC running on several netbooks without problems. I must say we are pretty pleased so far.

Install time, boot time, and overall initial speed and stability seem to be on mark so far. I have a few gaming issues, but they only occurred after I installed ATI's Windows 7 drivers instead of the baked-in Microsoft drivers. It picked up every bit of hardware in my home-built machine -- didn't even flinch. I expect that if I'm stable over the next few weeks, and after other benching/testing, we'll use this as our upgrade path from XP Pro. We avoided Vista wherever possible, but on modern hardware I think Windows 7 does the trick nicely.

A really solid release, easy to use, loads on to a bare drive in under 45 minutes. But patches still take time. I like it -- gave it about an 85 out of 100.

I had Vista -- didn't hate it but didn't love it, either. I didn't jump on the Windows 7 beta train, but when the RC came out I took the plunge. Now with the RTM, I have to say there is something to love about Windows again. Windows 7 is what Vista should have been. I'd recommend everyone take it for a test drive. The OS is responsive and the new taskbar is wonderful.

I installed Windows 7 RTM Ultimate x64 on my work laptop as soon as it was available. It works so smoothly that I was really impressed by how it was easy to switch from Vista x86 to Windows 7 x64. I have a poor machine right now, but it's awesome how all things run. All my productive software is running as expected (the only small issue spotted so far is the Skype add-in for IE). My vote is 10 out of 10.

I went from Vista x64 to Windows 7 x64. I did a clean install from DVD, which went well. I have reinstalled all my programs and everything has worked well. The only problem I ran into was with Symantec Endpoint Protection 11 (Windows 7 complains about a driver related to SEP and blocks it from loading), but Symantec still seems to work OK, though.

I have tested out BitLocker To Go and it works quite well. The new taskbar, Libraries and all features I have tried have been easy to use and just work. Windows 7 seems more responsive than Vista. Overall, in my few days of testing Windows 7, I'm very happy.

The upgrade from my Dell Latitude E4300 running Vista Business x64 took a few hours, but went flawlessly. It pulled all my settings and most of my software worked except my Cisco Anyconnect VPN (it worked after I reinstalled). The performance of the laptop is very good, but I was a little disappointed with the boot time, and it seemed to take longer (but still less time than Vista) to give me control of the desktop. This is probably due more to upgrading versus doing a clean install. Also, Windows 7 installed all its own generic drivers. I will probably perform a clean install in a few days.

I am a little disappointed that Dell still has no Windows 7 drivers on its site. I installed the Vista drivers, which generally went well, but some of them reported that this was an unsupported OS (I was able to get around this by using compatibility mode). Also, Symantec Endpoint Protection still does not have a version for Windows 7, and after installing it, Windows 7 reports some errors regarding this installation -- mostly annoying messages. Also, I noticed that after installing SEP, it adds about 20 seconds to Windows 7 boot time, and about 10 or 15 seconds more to release full control of the desktop. Hopefully, this will change when Symantec releases a version compatible with Windows 7.

All in all, it is much faster than Vista and runs really well. It comes out of sleep mode and hibernation really fast. I think by the time all drivers for Windows 7 are released, it should be a solid OS.

Doug mentioned an incompatibility problem with his LaserJet 1000 printer and Windows 7, but he wasn't sure whether it warrants loading XP Mode. Chad thinks he should just go for it...for the greater good, of course:

I have been meaning to test out that printer in XP Mode and see if it will let me print from inside Windows 7 as long as that's running. Haven't had a chance yet, so if you want to test it that would be great. I look forward to having you do the dirty work and report it to me via your column.

Check back on Friday for some of your thoughts on open source. Meanwhile, share your thoughts by commenting below or sending an e-mail to [email protected]

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/12/2009 at 1:17 PM


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