I’ve been fighting it for a while now, mostly because I had such a lousy experience with windows Vista, but I thought I would finally give Windows 7 a try. I downloaded the release candidate, burned it to a DVD, and installed it in Boot Camp on my Mac Pro at work. The verdict: It crashed. For some reason it crashed, and so I installed XP instead.
Not to be done in completely, I tried the same process on my iMac at home, and the results were functional, at least. After a few restarts and installing Boot Camp drivers, I was ready to take on the world. So, my initial thoughts:
I like the size. It took up 10 GB of space, compared to 15 GB that Vista took up. That alone is a huge improvement.
Security: Very annoying. Much like the annoying tools in Vista, it keeps asking me if I really want to install files, and every time I run a file I need to give it permission (at least until I reboot). Not too bad, except when I get to a flash-intensive website, and I have three or four requests to let Flash run. Luckily, after I do give it permission and reboot, I don’t have the problem.
Management: It’s been a while since I have had to support IT for Windows, but I have to admit I like the Control Panel here in Windows 7. It’s a lot like the early Windows OS releases (the best in my opinion was Windows 2000), so I feel at home. There are a lot of new features that I need to get into, like the Gadgets, but other than that, it looks good.
Mac-like: It’s amazing how much Windows 7 feels like my Mac! The Windows Explorer looks a lot like Finder, the feel is far more like a Mac. I don’t think I like the start menu though.
Windows: The windows try to second-guess your every move, and often times this means optimizing in a way you don’t want. I really don’t like that, it makes me feel like Windows doesn’t trust me to make the right decision. Maybe there is a setting to turn that off. I hope so.
Performance: It runs great on my iMac, and so far I haven’t had any complaints. I installed Office 2007, and it works perfectly, allowing me to work from home if I need to. I also have Virtual PC installed for those Virtual Machines we may have to get ready for various lab classes. Again, no problems so far. It all looks good.
Final verdict: It is a much better experience than I had with Windows Vista, which is a good thing because we will be using Windows 7 in our labs once it comes out. The overall rating would be about a 5 out of 7. I wouldn’t switch from Mac OS X or Linux for Windows 7, but it makes for a good Virtual Machine when I need to use Outlook or other Windows-only apps that WINE can’t handle.