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Windows 7, my experience so far

Brad Smith , Jul 03, 2009; 07:46 p.m.

I've been running the Windows 7 64 bit Release Candidate for a couple of weeks after having tested it with a dual-boot setup. The test included all my regular apps. including PS CS4, LR 2.3(,4), and two 64 bit plugins.

Since W7 uses the Vista driver model, I had no hardware problems. Some drivers balk at not recognizing the OS, so I had to right-click the driver setup file and run it in Vista compatibility mode.

It's very pretty, slick, and I'm sure very 'Mac-like', but I don't care about any of that. To me an OS needs to get out of the way and run programs as efficiently as possible. It also helps if the OS is intuitive enough to not make you have to go lots of places and use lots of controls to accomplish common tasks. I don't know how Vista did it (I skipped that, and came from XP x64), but W7 does a great job compared to XP. The 'Devices and Printers' window will let you do anything you'd ever want to do to your hardware in one place (printer settings, hard drive format, monitor settings, camera etc. without going to 'Computer' or 'Device Manager'...). W7 also accesses storage faster and has native support for SSD's.

I can't go into all of it, but it's working great for me in all my photo stuff, and everything else. It's lean, fast, intuitive, OK and yes pretty.

It's available now at a steep pre-sale discount. An upgrade from XP or Vista is $50 until July 11 (both 32 and 64 bit versions are included on the DVD). After that the Home Premium upgrade will be $120. The full version will be $200. It's a free coupon with any new Vista/PC purchase. It ships in Oct.


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Markus Maurer , Jul 03, 2009; 10:30 p.m.

As far as I know XP is still faster but it really seems like the very first time a new OS from Microsoft is stable before Servicepack 3 or 4. If I could only say that about the actual Office , just had to revert to Word 2000 from 2007 for a client for a simple thing like printing labels without blanks without having to program fields. Not to speak of the useless ribbon bars which make most macros to malfunction. Or if Outlook 2007 could print selected text only as before up to version 2003 or export selected contacts only, the list is endless. So, to be safe, I would wait with any upgrade on a production machine for some time despite the promising beta tests.

Brad Smith , Jul 03, 2009; 10:48 p.m.

As far as I know XP is still faster

I've had no issues with pre service pack editions of XP-32 or 64 (but configurations vary), but the service packs rolled up lots of updates to make downloading/saving easier, especially for system builders. But I hear Vista was a 'different' experience.

Michael Axel , Jul 03, 2009; 11:38 p.m.

Markus, you're lucky. My Office 2000 quit working. It just started giving me messages that it was too old to work with XP (my guess is they finally crippled it after one of the updates). NOT a happy camper about that, but I fixed their wagon by just moving off to Open Office. To hell with them. I'm glad Windows 7 is getting such good reviews. I wonder if it will run Office 2000?<g>

HC Lim , Jul 04, 2009; 12:06 a.m.

I set my desktop folders and shortcuts to be large in my Vista Home Premium. But every so often it gets displayed as medium sized icons. Large icons are very neat and pretty but it is so sickening that a premier os cannot remember the icon size. The other thing about Vista is not running a few old software that runs well in XP. I hope XP mode in W7 solves this.

Jeremy Richter , Jul 04, 2009; 12:30 a.m.

I have been running the Windows 7 Beta for a couple of months now as well and have been pretty pleased with it. Nothing inexplicable has occurred, so that has been encouraging. I figure I'll just run it until I have to purchase it next summer. Now if only SimCity 2000 would work on a 64-bit OS...JR

Brad Smith , Jul 04, 2009; 12:35 a.m.

Now if only SimCity 2000 would work on a 64-bit OS...JR

Have you tried it in Compatibility Mode for Vista or XP (by right clicking the executable)?

Brad Smith , Jul 04, 2009; 12:40 a.m.

My Office 2000 quit working.

That's odd. The Compatibility Pack update says that Office 2000 is supported in XP SP2. Hmmm.

Markus Maurer , Jul 04, 2009; 02:17 a.m.

Okay Brad, I will bite if Windows 7 also makes my photos much prettier :-)

Jeremy Richter , Jul 04, 2009; 09:46 a.m.

I will bite if Windows 7 also makes my photos much prettier

I had no such luck, but that doesn't mean you won't fare better. JR

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