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Windows 7 Beta First Impressions


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259 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   LarryFlowers

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:16 AM

Test Bed: 3 year old Dell PC, Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz, 4GB Ram. nVidia 7900GT 256MB Ram.

OS: Windows 7 Beta v7000 from TechNet

Installed Programs:
1. Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate
2. Free AVG V8
3. Adone Reader V9, Flash v10,0,12,36, Shockwave
4. Java v 6.0.110.3
5. Propalms ClntMgr Version 6.0
6. Windows Live Messenger Beta
7. Zune V3.01

1. Installation: I placed the DVD in the drive while in Vista and started the install from there. I selected a clean install. Completed in 24 minutes with no difficulties. Additional 12 minutes for configurations. After installation, I checked the Device Manager in the Control Panel, all devices were correctly identified and were functional. Windows 7 even correctly identified my new Dell 23" LCD and correctly set the screen resolution to 2048x1152.

Frankly, this is the cleanest and best Windows installation experience I have ever had.

2. Program Installations: all programs installed themselves in a normal fashion with no difficulties or extra steps. With 1 exception, all programs functioned as expected after installation. The single exception was the Netscreen Remote VPN client which failed to install the driver. This was not unexpected as the incompetents at Netscreen can't do anything correctly. They took nearly 1 year to build a remote client that works with Vista. I suspect that I can get this app working by editing the registry if I work on it.

3. It is necessary to install a few updates and especially make sure that the update at KB961367 available at http://www.microsoft...&displaylang=en is installed before doing anything with MP3 music files. Some Beta users reported corruption of MP3 files. This download will keep that from happening.

4. The Zune installation went smoothly and my Music Library was located. Music and Music Videos played as normal in Zune and Windows Media Player 12.

5. The Vista Sidebar is different in this install. No preset sidebar gadgets. Some sidebar gadgets work normaly, some do not function (weather.com) I will do more with this later.

6. The venerable Quick Launch is gone. This area just to the right of the Start Button is a user favorite and I am not sure how I like what was put in its place. In the first Picture attached below you will see the Start Button with 4 large icons to the right. The first 3 are there by default: IE, Library Folders, and Windows Media Player 12. They can be removed. The 4th icon is Outlook and it is there because it is open. Each program you open will appear in that manner. You can Pin additional programs to the task bar as you did in quick launch but they will appear as large icons. I will have to live with this one a while before I know if it is a "hate it" item.

7. In the 2nd Picture, I have the mouse pointed at the Internet Explorer logo and it displays an image of the dbstalk page that I have open. This happens for any program icon on the task bar.

8. In the third picture you see what happens when you have multiple tabs or Windows open for a program. In the example pictured, I have 3 tabs open in Internet Explore... note the image of the icon has 3 blue IE "stacked" on each other. When you mouse over you get an image of each page... hold the mouse over the page and it will appear on the screen full size, move it away and it disappears from the full screen and click on it and it opens.

8. The Libraries folder is the new Windows Explorer.. this is a fairly major change area and will deserve its own posting at a later time.

Overall, the PC is quite "snappy" and feels much faster than its previous Vista version, though I can't quantify it, and most clean installs are always snappy at first so time will tell. Programs open quickly. The computer is extremely responsive.

Another note... Chat rooms have always been a Java nightmare for me and others. They will inexplicably lockup and crash, especially when you have more than 1 chat open at a time. Many have experienced it. On Friday night during the CE, I had 2 chat rooms open for over 5 hours... not so much as a hiccup in Internet Explorer 8 & Windows 7. Again this is just one night and it could be a fluke but I want to ask... did Windows 7 fix Java?:rolleyes:

My impression of the OS so far is very favorable, overall I like it and I am not having any real difficulties figuring out how things work.

For those of you who would like to set up a dual boot machine with Windows 7, PM me with your email address and I will be happy to forward instructions on how to do it for both XP and Vista.

Microsoft's free Virtual PC 2007 is another way you can run 2 operating systems on one PC for testing purposes.

Edited by LarryFlowers, 10 January 2009 - 08:46 AM.

Larry R. Flowers
Winder (Atlanta) GA
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1st DirecTV Receiver Install Nov 1994
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#2 OFFLINE   dave29

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:54 AM

glad you install went well. windows 7 is very promising.
for some reason i cannot get windows 7 to install as an upgrade or a clean install on 1 vista machine and 1 xp machine. i have an older version of windows 7 installed on another vista machine, it went fine. i am thinking that my copy of 7000 may be corrupt. everytime it gets to the "expanding files" task, it gives me an error code, and crashes. i may play with it a little more today and see if i can get it to install on a wiped HDD.

#3 OFFLINE   HIPAR

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:21 AM

Can it be downloaded and installed from the hard drive?

When does it begin to issue expiration notices?

--- CHAS
But I don't want to go among mad people

#4 OFFLINE   dave29

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:35 AM

Can it be downloaded and installed from the hard drive?

When does it begin to issue expiration notices?

--- CHAS


you have to burn an ISO

it expires 30 days from activation without a key

#5 OFFLINE   nj1313

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:37 AM

Once downloaded from the microsoft website (hopefully very soon:)), how do you get a key code to keep it longer than 30 days?

Also, will my programs that run in Vista not work running in Windows 7?

Are there bad compatability issues?

Thanks,
JD

#6 OFFLINE   itguy05

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:42 AM

Interesting to see how much they stole from OS X. The Taskbar looks almost like a clone of the Dock, the icons in the Taskbar, etc.

Then again, that's MS's MO - take others ideas and tweak them a little and call them your own.

It does look interesting and a step ahead for Windows users. Hopefully MS has learned from the Vista Debacle (and Office 2007 Mess) and Win 7 will be good. If not, I expect OS X marketshare to continue going through the roof.

If you want to play, I'd skip the Virtual PC and get VirtualBox (www.virtualbox.org) or Vmware's free desktop product (www.vmware.com)

#7 OFFLINE   LarryFlowers

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:51 AM

You must own a Mac?:lol::lol::lol:


Interesting to see how much they stole from OS X. The Taskbar looks almost like a clone of the Dock, the icons in the Taskbar, etc.

Then again, that's MS's MO - take others ideas and tweak them a little and call them your own.

It does look interesting and a step ahead for Windows users. Hopefully MS has learned from the Vista Debacle (and Office 2007 Mess) and Win 7 will be good. If not, I expect OS X marketshare to continue going through the roof.

If you want to play, I'd skip the Virtual PC and get VirtualBox (www.virtualbox.org) or Vmware's free desktop product (www.vmware.com)


Larry R. Flowers
Winder (Atlanta) GA
Twitter @larryflowers
HR20-700 HR23-700 H24-100
1st DirecTV Receiver Install Nov 1994
i'm a PC Guy

#8 OFFLINE   itguy05

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:14 AM

You must own a Mac?:lol::lol::lol:


Most definitely. Been a Mac user since 2002. Had Linux been there I'd be on that.

I get paid to fix the inadequacies in Windows by day. I don't want any of that BS when I get home - I want a machine that works, a laptop that reliably sleeps and wakes. I want a machine that wakes when I open the lid, sleeps when I close it and works 100% all the time.

In all seriousness it wasn't until I started with Linux and later OS X that I realized how bad Windows really was.

Imagine no registry, just editable, readable XML files for configuration...

Imagine programs that are self contained and can be installed/deinstalled by dragging and dropping.

Imagine multiple desktops (I love spaces on OS X) seamlessly integrated in the OS.

Imagine full time backup that works and works unobtrusively. It has saved my butt many times.

Imagine being able to upgrade without reinstalling your OS. I've gone from 10.1 -> 10.4 on the same machine with solid stability.

Like I tell people, there's no 1 killer feature that makes OS X better, it's all the little things that come together to make it a much better OS.

Like the iPhone - all it does has been done before but the usability is what gets people.

OS X is not perfection - it's just the best option we've got at this time.

#9 OFFLINE   Greg Alsobrook

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:21 AM

Is that guy me????

!rolling !rolling !rolling

Well said itguy05!! :)
Opinions expressed by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect
those of DBSTalk.com, DIRECTV, Dish Network, or any other company.

#10 OFFLINE   LarryFlowers

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:23 AM

First this isn't a Mac vs. Windows thread. I am glad you are happy with your Mac. Call me when you get a 10% market share. It is the other 90% I have to worry about and that is what this thread is about. Windows 7 will be the new OS for a long time to come. it will continue to hold market domination and will continue to be the choice for most corporations. Testing the product is vital to making the use of the product as good as it can be. it is during this phase that we can at least attempt to minimize problems and familiarize ourselves with what we have to deal with in the future. That is my purpose. I am reporting my experiences here in hopes of helping others and as a place to those who may have trouble with the beta can come here for help and information.

I am sure that you and many others will have plenty to say about the faults of Windows 7 and frankly I encourage you to do so... just start a thread for it please so this one can be helpful to those who need and want it.

Thank you
Larry


Most definitely. Been a Mac user since 2002. Had Linux been there I'd be on that.

I get paid to fix the inadequacies in Windows by day. I don't want any of that BS when I get home - I want a machine that works, a laptop that reliably sleeps and wakes. I want a machine that wakes when I open the lid, sleeps when I close it and works 100% all the time.

In all seriousness it wasn't until I started with Linux and later OS X that I realized how bad Windows really was.

Imagine no registry, just editable, readable XML files for configuration...

Imagine programs that are self contained and can be installed/deinstalled by dragging and dropping.

Imagine multiple desktops (I love spaces on OS X) seamlessly integrated in the OS.

Imagine full time backup that works and works unobtrusively. It has saved my butt many times.

Imagine being able to upgrade without reinstalling your OS. I've gone from 10.1 -> 10.4 on the same machine with solid stability.

Like I tell people, there's no 1 killer feature that makes OS X better, it's all the little things that come together to make it a much better OS.

Like the iPhone - all it does has been done before but the usability is what gets people.

OS X is not perfection - it's just the best option we've got at this time.


Larry R. Flowers
Winder (Atlanta) GA
Twitter @larryflowers
HR20-700 HR23-700 H24-100
1st DirecTV Receiver Install Nov 1994
i'm a PC Guy

#11 OFFLINE   Hansen

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:32 AM

Larry

With regard to size of the icons pinned to the Task Bar, you can change it to make all icons and the size of the Task Bar small. My recollection was that I right clicked the task bar, selected properties and there was a box to check somewhere in there to change to small icons. Sorry about lack of detail...on mobile.

#12 OFFLINE   LarryFlowers

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:47 AM

I'll try that... that's what we need here.. spread the info:)!

Larry

With regard to size of the icons pinned to the Task Bar, you can change it to make all icons and the size of the Task Bar small. My recollection was that I right clicked the task bar, selected properties and there was a box to check somewhere in there to change to small icons. Sorry about lack of detail...on mobile.


Larry R. Flowers
Winder (Atlanta) GA
Twitter @larryflowers
HR20-700 HR23-700 H24-100
1st DirecTV Receiver Install Nov 1994
i'm a PC Guy

#13 OFFLINE   Hansen

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 11:04 AM

Larry

Another nice feature I found is the ability to customize how the notification icons in the task bar notification area behave. In the notification area of the task bar you'll see a little up arrow. Click on it and you'll see an option to customize. Click that and it opens a window to change how notifications behave for each program.

I'm really liking Windows 7 a lot. Just hoping that I can get one of the 2.5 million product keys so that this is not just a 30 day trip. Any word on when MS is going to reopen the website for the beta?

#14 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 12:02 PM

Here is the Performance score between Windows Vista 64-bit and Windows 7 32-bit. Other than the hard drive, everything is the same between the two setup. I don't have Windows Vista 32-bit, so I cannot generate a performance score. Also, the computer will be open today to replace the 2GB of RAM with 4 GB, which means that I will NOT run a Windows 7 64-bit report. Also, when I ran this report, there were some driver issues with the Windows-supplied nVidia driver.

As for the hard drives.... there are two completely different drives from different manufacturers, with different sizes, and different caches. I use a hard drive cartridge on my system so that I can swap between operating systems by just shutting down and removing the drive.

Attached Files


Edited by Mark Holtz, 10 January 2009 - 12:22 PM.

"In an effort to increase your cable and satellite bills beyond the point of affordability and to further pad the pockets of our executives..."
Check out my list of links.


#15 OFFLINE   dirtyblueshirt

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 12:53 PM

My test bed was an early-2008 iMac Core2 Duo 2.0 GHz 20".

Install went great (was done over vista, after a failed upgrade). Apple's Boot Camp drivers from the Leopard disc installed without a hitch.

Issues:

The ATI graphics driver crashes. BSOD has occurred twice, in a total of about 20 hours of usage. Not unexpected for the beta.

Symantec Endpoint Protection v11 doesn't work, but AVG Antivirus is a working substitute.

I use the ActiveCard Gold software to log into some government websites as well as my work email (Outlook 2003 Web Access (OWA)). ActiveCard will install and run, it even will recognize and properly request the certificate when I visit the OWA page. However, I also need to input a PIN number, and the PIN popup never shows. No work email.

The sound driver (realtek audio) installs, and all seem to be working from the aspect of the system.... except no sound is actually heard.

Aside from those issues, I must say i'm very impressed with Windows 7, and look forward to its release. It looks like the polished OS that Vista should have been.
Aaron Slater
Anaheim, CA
Network+, Security+, All-around NiceGuy™



#16 OFFLINE   Hansen

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 03:12 PM

I'm really liking Windows 7. It's a lot like Vista...so, if you've used Vista, then Windows 7 will be familar...yet you'll notice some differences. I have to admit I'm impressed with how well it runs on my test system. I'm running Windows 7 32-bit on a Dell Inspiron 600m laptop (mfr June 2004). It has a 1.5ghz Celeron M processor, 2 gb of PC2100 RAM, 40 GB harddrive (5400rpm), ATI Radeon 9800 graphics. It really runs extremely smooth and fast on this old laptop. It takes a bit longer to load up on start up compared to Windows XP but it's not that much longer and I can live with it. Once up and running, it is very quick for this hardware. I expected it to be significantly slower than XP but it's only a slight difference. The real limitation of the laptop is the old graphics card that I can't do much about but it seems to be holding it own well enough. So far, I can see no reason to go back to XP...aside from the fact that when the beta testing is done, I'll have to buy Win 7.

My install went well. Did a clean install. The only hiccup was the wireless adapter driver. The laptop uses the Intel Proset 2200 BG wireless built-in card and Windows 7 did not load a driver for it. I had to go to Intel's website on another system, obtain the driver and load it on the laptop. Once I updated the driver, it worked well. Surprisingly, Windows 7 had a December 2008 driver for the very old ATI Radeon 9800 video card in the laptop. I'm glad there is a current driver but the ATI supplied driver is somewhat limited in the various resolutions available, thus causing the icons to be a bit larger than I like. But, let me be clear that is not the fault of MS or Windows 7...that's an ATI issue and my old graphics card issue. Given how old the card is, it works well and I'm glad there is driver.

I did have one problem with the touchpad and keyboard. Not sure why but it occurred after installing Windows Live Essentials. After it was done installing, the keyboard and touchpad stopped working. Forced a shutdown with the power button and restarted without any improvement in touchpad or keyboard operation. Had to do a System Restore to a point that said "before install of Direct X..." After restoring to that point, the touchpad and keyboard have worked without a problem. Must be some conflict with the DirectX driver and the drivers for the keyboard and mouse. Not really sure.

So far, I have installed:

Windows Home Server Connector software/HP MediaSmart Server software
Avast Professional
Adobe Reader
Adobe Flash
Intel Proset Wireless Management
iTunes
Windows Live Essentials

Anyway, Windows 7 is looking good so far. Nice job MS.

Edited by Hansen, 10 January 2009 - 03:18 PM.

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H20-100 via HDMI to Toshiba 19" HD LCD
H20-100 (now retired and collecting dust) via HDMI<DVI to Sony 42" HD plasma
H21-100 via HDMI to Sony 40" HD LCD (in outdoor pavillion)

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#17 OFFLINE   Grotto

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 03:19 PM

I installed Windows 7 this morning on a Dell Inspirion 1526 laptop. I did a clean install, and Win 7 found all the drivers for everything. I was very amazed at that. I've never had a clean install work this well. It seems faster than Vista, which is also great.

#18 OFFLINE   xIsamuTM

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 03:30 PM

so should i dump my copy of vista black?
Here I am! Rock you like a Hadoken!!

#19 OFFLINE   dirtyblueshirt

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 03:33 PM

so should i dump my copy of vista black?


In my opinion, when Windows 7 comes out; yes.
Aaron Slater
Anaheim, CA
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#20 OFFLINE   Hansen

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 03:37 PM

Let me also add that I'm impressed with Windows 7 use of system resources. I'm showing roughly 650 mb to 750 mb of memory in use (which is on par with what XP used for me on this system). In fact, Win 7 is using less memory than my MS Home Server running Windows Home Server that uses Windows Server 2003 as it's backbone.
HR20-700 (networked) with 750gb eSATA drive via HDMI to Panasonic 42" HD plasma
HR20-700 (networked) via HDMI to Pioneer 50" HD plasma with customized URC Complete Control MX-3000 touch screen remote using RF
HR20-700 (networked) via HDMI to Samsung 19" HD LCD
H20-100 via HDMI to Toshiba 19" HD LCD
H20-100 (now retired and collecting dust) via HDMI<DVI to Sony 42" HD plasma
H21-100 via HDMI to Sony 40" HD LCD (in outdoor pavillion)

SWMLine dish

DirecTV since 1997





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