I just want to share my experience with the latest version of Microsoft's operating system - Windows 7. How good (or bad; for the skeptics) is it? Well, I'd read a few blogs during the beta release and it seemed most people were actually quite positive about it. I mean there were a few niggles here and there, but in general and to my surprise... a lot praise was being given to the upcoming OS.
I say I was surprised and that's because most of the times these blogs hammer any Microsoft product - especially operating systems. However, that isn't the case this time around - and I can see why.
I've been using the Microsoft operating systems at home since "Windows 95" - and I've used prior releases at school. I'm not one to care much about the OS or be anxious about release dates - if something works for me, then I'm content and if eventually I get around to upgrading my PC, then at that point I usually decide whether I want the latest version of the OS or not.
Well I have to say, I've never truly been impressed with new releases. Vista "looked" like it might be promising - but I couldn't describe in words just how much I hate it. It is probably the worst OS I have ever used. And I was thinking, perhaps this was one reason why a lot of bloggers found Windows 7 "so good" - because its a big step up from its predecessor.
Anyway, fast forward a few weeks - I got really annoyed with Vista on my laptop and decided to give Windows 7 a try. I downloaded the latest Release Candidate (RC), which is free by the way... you can get it here.
It took almost an hour to download the 3GB iso file. You need to download the file and burn it to a CD - but its a .iso file - so you need to burn it properly - I used Nero. Just double clicked the file and it did the rest.
I inserted the installation CD whilst still in Vista (just to see what's on the CD). It started an Auto-run screen which gave me the option to test whether my system is compatible and if there would be any issues with software/hardware etc. So I ran the scan . The only thing it said I "might" have an issue with was McAfee AntiVirus. But that's ok, I wanted to get rid of that anyway. So I rebooted my laptop with the CD inside...
From that point it took about 25 minutes for me to fully install the new Operating System and get online, print a document and start watching a movie! WOW! Now that is amazing. The fastest, smoothest trouble free OS installation EVER!... From formatting my drive a clean install - and 20 mins later I'm online! No need to install hardware drivers, sound cards, wireless cards or graphics cards etc. Everything was done. Seriously, I was pretty shocked.
Anyway, I've only been using it for about 8 hours - so I can't really give a in-depth review just yet. But so far, the things that have impressed me are:
Over the next few days, I will be testing it out properly. My main concern is with running graphics and web design software - ie. most of the Adobe packages. I don't really play any games, so that side of it probably won't get tested much. I'll do another write-up when I've had enough time to mess around.
The final release is due out in October 2009. But you can download and try out the RC (release candidate) for FREE! It's a fully functional evaluation copy and will work until July 2010 - so you get almost a years use out of it for nothing! Pretty good I think.
I got an email from Amazon earlier this week that offers Windows 7 pre-orders for about £80 (Home Edition) and £170 (Pro Edition). I'd personally go for the Home Edition since I don't need the extra Pro features - and after the experience today, I'm seriously considering placing an order.
If you're using any of the beta releases or Release Candidates - I'd love to hear what you think about it so far. Would you recommend it? Would you agree its probably the best OS release from Microsoft (at least since after NT)? Leave a comment, share your views.
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