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Windows 7 Preview: Less of the Same




I’ve had the beta version of Windows 7 installed on my Intel Core 2 Quad, a Compaq Presario, and an Atom-based netbook for about a week now and so far, Microsoft’s upcoming operating system gave a fairly good impression.

I’ve been a Windows Vista user for about a year now and I am fairly satisfied with its performance. A lot of the problems I encountered before were mostly related to the 64-bit version of Vista Ultimate and compatible drivers. So, trying out Windows 7 for the first time didn’t really made a huge impact. And contrary to what other have reported, too me somewhere around 1.5 to 2.5 hours to completely install Windows 7 which is dependent on the rig I’m running it on.

ms windows 7

During my guesting at Mornings @ ANC earlier today, TJ and I talked a little about Windows 7. I said it was “less of the same” — the overall feel of Windows 7 is still similar to Vista. The pop-up confirmations are still there to verify your every action and the navigation style is the same. It even has the same decade-old Windows Registry System which I think Microsoft needs to re-do from the ground, up.

Yes, the toolbar is different and behavior of application windows have changed a bit but to the untrained eye (those who have not used Vista before), the difference might seem skin-deep.

windows 7

So what makes Windows 7 attract positive reviews from a lot of people who have tried it (and even those who haven’t)?

Well, for one, I felt that Windows 7 was a stripped-down version of Vista — less clutter, less eye candy effect and thus, less obnoxious.

Secondly, the machines we have now are far more powerful than they were 3 years ago when people first beta-tested Windows Vista. We have Core 2 Duo and Quad Core rigs with 2GB to 4GB DDR2/DDR3 RAM so system requirements are not an issue for most people. The performance of Windows 7 on these machines are fantastic. Imagine if people tested Windows 7 back then with the PC configuration of that time.

To me, Windows 7 is faster, more functional and smarter. Some even claims it nearing the way OS X behaves though I can’t attest to that as I don’t use OS X. There are a lot of tricks up its sleeve, shortcuts to more commonly used functions and ways to de-clutter the desktop. It even has some special features set aside for tablet PCs (which I will share once I completed the testing on one).

Lastly, there’s very little issue on device driver compatibilities. Since Windows 7 mostly adopted Vista drivers, adding up new devices on the system didn’t present any problematic issue. This wasn’t the situation when people migrated to Vista from XP.

Windows 7’s introduction to the public was made in good timing and I believe it can evade the curse that plagued Vista for years. I think Microsoft has a winner here.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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33 Responses

  1. Huan22 says:

    I feel Windows 7 will be Microsoft’s angel of salvation from the fiery hell of vista(just exaggerating, I am a vista user myself).

  2. Robert says:

    Vista is a curse! Even though I am a Vista user until now, I am just on the support. Honestly, I am not expecting good about this new release. I am thinking if they will create a new OS, they should give themselves time to beautify or make the OS undeniably amazing, perhaps 6-10 years would be great. I just hope Microsoft could surpass Windows 98 and XP’s great performance!

    Robert
    http://www.KuyaRobert.com

  3. TechPinas says:

    I don’t really have major complains about Vista — but if Windows 7 promises to be better overall, then that should be ayt. :)

  4. can i used Windows 7 to my P4 1.70 GHz, 1.69GHz, 256MB of RAM. cause i want to try this beta version, im using XP..
    thanks.

    [email protected]

  5. sky says:

    “And contrary to what other have reported, too me somewhere around 1.5 to 2.5 hours to completely install Windows 7 which is dependent on the rig I’m running it on.”

    What?! Mine installed in less than 30 minutes! While not the 15 minutes some have reported, it wasn’t long enough to keep me impatiently waiting — honestly, I sat through the entire installation! It was THAT fast! And this is a 1-year-old laptop, btw. C2D 2.0 GHz, 2GB RAM, 160GB 5400RPM hard drive. Almost obsolete specs in today’s standards.

  6. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    supposedly Windows 7 will run faster than Vista and XP and can run on Netbooks, so it should work on lesser specs. I tried installing to a usb drive but I couldnt make it work

  7. yuga says:

    @sky – how did you install it? USB or via DVD? did you include the internet updates during installation? I did it 3 separate installations from a PC to a laptop to a netbook and the fastest I got was over an hour.

    It’s possible the additional internet downloads slowed me down.

  8. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    internet downloads? i copied iso files to usb drive and booted from there.

  9. chingy says:

    @yuga

    I installed mine somewhere between 30 to 45 mins, so far this is the fastest OS installation I encountered. Did a clean install via DVD, everything went smoothly from beginning to end. So far I’m having problems with my Realtek soundcard, only the left speaker’s working, still trying to find a fix but it seems everyone’s having trouble with it as well.

    As for my Windows 7 evaluation, I’d have to agree with Yuga. It’s pretty much a modified and improved Vista. Everything looks cleaner, its a lot more efficient, and remastered all the quirky functions Vista used to have. As for its performance, its somewhere between my XP setup and my previous Vista setup.

    Oh by the way, I’m using an Athlon X2 2.4GHZ. I know its an aging processor compared to your Duo’s and Quadies, =P I’m still waiting for the Phenom II’s to hit mainstream. =)

  10. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    honestly it seems like windows 7 is like the Windows 98 to Windows 95, nothing new, just improved.

  11. Soft Guru says:

    internet downloads? i copied iso files to usb drive and booted from there.

  12. guys 2long naman jan. Pwedi kya sa pc un windows 7?

  13. madzman23 says:

    @ [email protected] – Hey buddy, the minimum System Requirement for Windows 7 are:
    * 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    * 512 MB of system memory
    * 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
    * Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory
    * DVD-ROM drive
    * Audio Output

    So I think your memory needs to upgrade, even if you changed your memory to 512, although you can install it. Your system will slows down also because of its graphic animations. I will recommend to stick on Windows XP so that you’ll not get pissed about your system. If you really want to used Windows 7, better get a new high-end system. ;)

  14. seoulbox.com says:

    its still on beta so, there’s a lot of possibilities that might happen. :)

  15. Erik says:

    i want to try windows 7 .. any one can give me a link or where i can buy dvd for this os ?. thanks

    tia

  16. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    dont think they sell dvds, download it and copy files to USB drive, its about 3-4GB the installer. if you dont have broadband, then go to Netopia or local internet cafe, download ISO, burn ISO to DVD and there’s your windows 7 installer.

    Noone gave the beta link I believe:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/

  17. chiemartin says:

    There are always the “minimum” and “recommended” system requirements with every software package, including OS, but honestly, it can run on lower specifications.

    I have a 16GB SSD attached to the mini-PCIe slot on my EEE 701, partitioned 9GB for the Windows 7 installation. I used the public beta build 7000 and ran Windows Update, which used up around 6.5GB.

    Installation was such a bore, taking around 2 hours I think, considering my 701 was set at stock speed (630MHz). Ahahahaha. When everything was done, the boot-up was pretty quick. If it ran at 900MHz clock speed, now that would be way prettier. ;)

    Another thing to note, after the Windows Update, everything worked perfectly. All drivers were updated. I didn’t have to pop-in the Asus driver CD at all.

    If you have a netbook and would wish to participate in our discussions of Windows 7, visit our forums: http://www.netbooks.ph/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1057

  18. Unknown Soldier says:

    I maybe rude but for me…

    Windows 7 is Windows Vista SP2! Period!

    Windows XP > Windows 7

    but…

    Ubuntu > Windows XP! LMAO =))

  19. Maurice B. says:

    hmmm. can we use windows 7 for netbooks? I have a windows xp sp3 on my rig and its a Blue h1 netbook. Whats the difference between these OS? i tried vista and didn’t like it cuz of driver problems and it crashes alot with my other laptop, so i chnge it with XP sp3.

  20. Patrick says:

    I’m off to try Windows 7. I use Vista on my laptop and despite a few quirks, it’s miles better than XP.

  21. Erik says:

    w*f . i download windows 7 beta last night. It took about less than 14 hours to finish. But i’m so unlucky because when im installing i got an error ..

    [ Windows could not collect information for [OsImage] since the specified image file [install.wim] does not exist. ]

    Screen shots

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=zkk74j&s=5
    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=o5ztw6&s=5
    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=53wjs4&s=5

    Anyone can help me ? About this error ?

  22. klystech says:

    Windows 7 is indeed a cleaner vista, Vista is just like Windows ME of the past. Vista served as a large scale test for the new version of kernel architecture to be implemented for the next versions of windows. Vista is plagued with bugs and dis-functions, this are flaws in the new kernel. Which eventually had been minimized in Windows, but still windows OS are still plagued by BSODs, which it had inherited in older versions of kernel, which until now unsolved and no way to be solved… Unless they fully open their architecture in the community, and be ready to scrutiny, then I think great minds of the open source community will be able to solve it. :)

  23. jhay says:

    I’d wait for the final version to come out before making the upgrade.

  24. Kevin says:

    “Some even claims it nearing the way OS X behaves though I can’t attest to that as I don’t use OS X.”

    I watched a few videos and am still downloading the ISO, but I can assure you that the taskbar is nearly duplicating OS X’s dock functionality.

  25. @ madzman23
    thanks for the info. It would mean a lot to me. Haiz… Sayang naman i cant try windows 7. Wla pa kasi ako pang upgrade ng PC ko. Cguro tri ko muna XP SP3 4 d min tym. hehehe :)

  26. Josh says:

    @madmanz23 hey don’t give out false info! the minimum requirements of win 7 are:

    Minimum recommended specs call for:
    1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
    1 GB of system memory
    16 GB of available disk space
    Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (to enable the Aero theme)
    DVD-R/W Drive
    Internet access (to download the Beta and get updates)

    here is the link

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-download.aspx

    i hope the price is lesser than vista since plenty of features were stripped from vista

  27. Jep says:

    interesting article, may i know where to get the Windows 7? i want to try it out myself, when will it be release for public? :)

  28. aeriolewinters says:

    I would like to know if a Northwood can Run 7 provided that it has RAM?

  29. inerman777 says:

    Vista’s fine with me but with this new thing-a-ma’jig from microsoft, I can’t help but wait ’til I get my hands on it.^^,

    I’m almost done with my mid-ranger rig

    Phenom X3 8450
    GA-MA78GM-S2H
    Kingston 2Gb
    Lite-on 20x SATA
    Western Digital 160Gb 7200 rpm

    just need the Radeon 3450 or 3470 and a 2Gb RAM and this is good to go.^^,

    I guess this will do the trick for Windows7

  30. Jacobato says:

    I installed Windows 7 fresh, overwrote Vista in my midrange laptop and it was ready for use in half an hour. Downloading the internet updates took another 10 minutes.

    Overall, a more functional taskbar and the jumplist are to me its killer features. It does save time, especially for users who have multiple application windows open at the same time.

    This same Toshiba laptop am using used to consume about 950MB of RAM right after boot up of Vista SP1. Imagine, with no application running, it eats nearly a gig of RAM. With Windows 7, it uses 650MB of RAM after boot up. That to me is substantially reduction of resource consumption.

    After using it for a month now, I believe I will move my XP and Vista laptops to Windows 7 once it’s officially released. XP is still faster in some applications, but Windows 7 has nearly been as robust as XP even though it’s still at beta. Besides, XP is indeed starting to look very old.

  31. Silverlokk says:

    I have Windows 7 on triple boot (along with Vista Starter and OpenSolaris). Starter is fast enough on my rig:

    Lenovo ThinkPad SL400
    Intel Core2 Duo 1.6GHz
    2GB RAM
    160GB hard drive

    but then that’s Starter. Windows 7 *feels* about as fast, maybe faster. Hard to tell because neither Starter nor 7 come with with the usual demoware that bloats PCs. It *does* have more eye candy than Starter. For instance, if you hover the mouse pointer over the IE icon on the taskbar, you get thumbnails of the open tabs and windows. OTOH, IMHO its handling of tabs still sucks. With FireFox, I can drag a link to a tab. If I try to do it with IE, it just opens the link in the same tab :grumble:

    Took about 25hrs to download the ISO, maybe because this was the 64-bit version and therefore about a gigabyte larger. Have to check the EULA, it *might* be OK to give out a copy of the DVD but you’ll have to get your own activation code.

  32. Justine says:

    Need help…
    Will this work on my system? I have a 2.20 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 Gb of system memory, 160 hard drive.

    I’m planning on getting this OS cause i’m stuck with XP for years now, and i think i need upgrading.

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