The OS Quest Trail Log #45: Windows 7 Unleashed Edition

image of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

image of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbowMicrosoft seems to have found it’s pot of gold with the release of Windows 7. It seems to be getting universally positive reviews. My experience with it is still that it just works, which is what I want from an operating system. After all, let’s face it – all it is is an OS. Amazon reported record breaking pre-orders in their UK store which other news outlets reported reported record breaking pre-orders at Amazon (possibly misrepresenting the UK store limitation). Microsoft is even promoting 3rd party PCs on their website for the first time. I don’t keep close track of PC prices but some of the deals seem rather sweet.

There’s been some stories about Windows 7 being slower to startup than past versions when you wait for things to fully settle down. I haven’t timed it myself since I have nothing to compare to. But also, this is the first Windows install I’ve used that reliably sleeps and hibernates. I only reboot my PC for patches and software installs, it reliably (and quickly) wakes when I need it.

As for the waking from sleep part, it wakes faster than my iMac running Snow Leopard that sits next to it. The iMac isn’t slow, just not as fast. It also runs slightly older hardware.

I’ve yet to run any software that doesn’t run on Windows 7 and haven’t had to use the XP compatibility feature.

There’s always the possibility that Microsoft will screw things up. Their pricing is still confusing. It’s true that the various editions are less confusing than under Vista, but that’s relative. Still, the cheapest way to get Windows 7 may be with a new PC. Unless you qualify for a student version and get a working copy. It seems like there are always deals around and if your not in a rush it may be worth your while to wait for one to pop up.

Software Updates

WordPress released WordPress 2.8.5 recently which they tout as a “hardening release” that plugs some vulnerabilities including one being used for a denial of service attack. I successfully upgraded my sites without any noticeable side effect. WordPress 2.9 is also expected to be released in November.

Windows Home Server / Windows 7

Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 is intended primarily to improve it’s integration with Windows 7. Despite early hopes to release it with Windows 7 it’s not expected until sometime “before the end of the year”. I’ve been holding off installing the beta because, well, it’s beta but also because I’d have to uninstall it for the final release. I’m not sure I want to rebuild the server and restore 6TB of data if the beta or uninstall bites me. It does work with Windows 7, there’s just a few inconsistencies. My PC does always wake for backup (an issue PP3 says it addresses). I may decide to go for it in a moment of weakness. If I do, that will guarantee a production release within days of my install.

4 thoughts on “The OS Quest Trail Log #45: Windows 7 Unleashed Edition”

  1. I got my girlfriend to get me a student version of Win7… it worked pretty well (had to download it twice as the first one was corrupted somehow). It's Home Premium Upgrade only, so that's the only choice. And it comes as an installation program, not as an ISO. But there are instructions out there to create an ISO from the installation files. I haven't tried that yet since the normal installation went fine.

    Overall, I am having a hard time deciding on upgrading everywhere. As you say, it just works. Which is great. All of my current OSes just work too, so what would be the point in spending money to stay pretty much in the same spot?

    One of my machines suddenly decided it doesn't want to boot. It has a dual boot of Win7 RC and XP, but if it won't boot, what's the point in buying it a new OS until I diagnose the issue?

    I may try putting my machines to sleep now, though, since you say that works better.

    -Mike

    1. @Mike, have to agree if stuff works no sense upgrading, but I was never a fan of Windows XP. When I built my main Windows PC (just before the Windows 7 betas) I got an OEM version of Vista because it was the cheapest option. Didn't use Vista long enough to form and opinion before I went to Windows 7 beta on it. My netbook came with XP and while I waited for the production release it was pretty much a done deal that I'd put 7 on it.

  2. You need to get a newer Mac. In the only picture I have seen of your Mac its an older white plastic iMac. That tells me its at least 2 or more years old and probably using only a 32bit CPU, with Intel Graphics.

    How does this compare to your Windows 7 computer?

    I have 4 Macs in my home and one Windows 7 Ultimate box. The Windows 7 Ultimate box is a quad core, 8gig of RAM desktop (7200RPM drive) that I used to run ESXi on. My oldest Mac now is a 2007 Blackbook, so all of my Mac's have 64bit/Core 2 CPU's in them. Even the Blackbook with a 2.4ghz Core 2 and 4gigs of RAM with Snow Leopard boots up faster than my Windows 7 Ultimate box.

    I do Windows Sysadmin, and VMware administration at work, and use a Macbook at work to do so, with a Parallels Windows 7 VM.

    If I quit IT I would NEVER use a Windows box again. From a consumer standpoint I think OS X is so much better than Windows.

    What I would like to see is a great review of Windows 7 and Snow Leopard running on a new 27inch iMac. Take the top 10 user needs and walk through how each OS does this. Count the steps and time the whole deal. That would be a great comparison.

    1. @bettieblue – Getting a newer Mac is not an option @ $1700+ for the one I'd want even tho' yes, my iMac is a older core 2 duo that boots the 32-bit kernel. I don't need a new iMac, the one I have works fine for how I use it. For the money I paid I want 4 years out of it. The comparison would be interesting, but personally, I've lost interest in the whole "which is faster?" debate, I'm not straining either one. For me Windows horsepower is much cheaper since I can build my own PC and upgrade any areas that are lacking in performance. And yea, the Windows 7 PC is newer with a quad core and 8GB, but what I wanted was also much cheaper than 1700 bucks. OS X has better and more elegant applications from 3rd parties. If I was doing something heavy duty like video editing then I'd have a dilemma as I'd want elegance and horsepower all in one. As for boot-up time it's a non-issue now that Windows finally is reliable waking up so I rarely boot either Windows or OS X.

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