I never imagined I'd be doing a review - ever - on a Microsoft operating system. I've run the gamut of MS software on my machines since I first began using computers and I've seen and dealt with the many, many poorly developed results throughout the years. I've always just expected Microsoft to throw out half ready versions and I've always expected to have to tweak them in order to make them work the way I wanted (or expected) them to.
Now, Windows 7 seems to be a totally different story! A decent story actually, one that has even impressed this long time beta testing fiend. For my oldest son to announce that he was going to purchase the product when it became available is pretty telling as well because he hasn't been impressed by any of the Windows OS's until now either.
I began by beta testing Win7 via Virtual PC. I chose the Virtual PC route because I was lazy and didn't wish to install the beta in place of Vista which I was operating at the time. Well, those who know Virtual PC will know what happened. S-l-o-w yes. Constricting yes. So I decided to install the beta version fully on my laptop. I was impressed and during the time when the household slowly converted to testing Win7 for themselves, the decision seemed to be made somewhere along the way that as soon as the product was available on store shelves we'd be getting it.
Windows 7 has been available for purchasing by the public since October 2009 and comes in several configurations to suit home users, professionals and those of us who just need every possible goodie - the Ultimate. If you're tired of your current Windows Operating System then you'll definitely want to grab this one because Windows7 is a winner.
The initial installation is a breeze. The longest part of the process is during the initial start up when Windows searches for and gathers all file information, then the actual installation is roughly 15 minutes (this is based on an almost 3 year old laptop. On my husband's high end gaming machine the installation was quicker). After install is complete you simply either remove the dvd from your rom drive or reconfigure your Bios to reboot from the computers main drive, and the installation is then completed in a matter of a few minutes once you boot into it.
Oooh la la! I love the sleekness of Win7- We decided to stay with Windows 7 Ultimate version and it offers a great interface that allows the user to work quite proficiently. You can have several windows open side by side which makes it great for those who don't have a huge amount of screen real estate to work with but who work with more than one window at a time. Jiggling a window expands it and jiggling it again (with the mouse) minimizes it...or just drag the window to the top of the screen hitting it against the boundary and it will expand. Pulling the window away from the boundary minimizes it to the size it was prior to expansion. The task bar is re-positionable to top, left, right or bottom of the screen and you can pin frequently used program icons to it for fast access. I love the clipping tool and use it quite often. This allows you to take a screen capture of anything that is on your screen and save it as an image...great for bloggers!
For those who have found Vista a hog, you'll like Win 7. Running on my pretty decrepit HP DV6000 laptop it doesn't have any sluggish response time and it works well with other software programs. The only issue I know of anyone having was my son who used a relatively old program that didn't want to initially run but he simply set it to run under an older version of Windows and all was fine. I am using the 64Bit system but Windows 7 accomodates those programs that must run under 86x (32Bit). So far I haven't had any programs that were unable to operate on my system and installation of programs has been without incident.
Compatiblility with peripherals/hardware
Thus far, with 5 computers using Win7 all configured differently and each using a different grouping of hardware - Win7 has kept each of us happy. The only issue we did have early on was when my husband upgraded his motherboard and he had forgotten to upgrade a video driver. His system would continually reboot. Once he upgraded the driver though his system worked fine and has been doing so since.
Next to XP this is the OS system to have if you are a PC user. It operates smoothly, it appears to play nicely with much of the software and hardware configurations out there. There is less bloat with this OS and personally I love the many ways you can actually dress your desktop up while using it. There are numerous themes and the way you can make your system work for you with Win7 installed, beats any other version of windows thus far.
A stable, easy to use, pleasant to work with OS - Microsoft seems to have finally gotten it right.