Windows 7 Impressions

October 28, 2009

Well my friends, my computer now has an operating system. And what a glorious one it is. Less than two hours after starting the Windows 7 upgrade process that would transform my computer from a Vista dog to a 7 champ, I am done and most of my pictures, media, documents and favorites are back in place. And my impressions…

Stunned! Not at all in a bad way though as every good experience I have had with 7 is blown away be even more good ones. Granted, this is probably just the first impressions and I will probably find something wrong with the OS as everyone inevitably does. But at this moment Windows 7 is the best OS in a LONG time.

SPEED: The sheer speed of the OS is amazing. I can’t count how many times I sat and twiddled my thumbs while Vista did something SLOWLY. With 7 it boots faster, shuts down faster, resumes from sleep faster, transfers files faster and plays media faster. Everything that Vista did wrong in terms of speed and responsiveness 7 does right. Switching between tabs on Firefox has no hiccups like Vista did. Opening programs and the media player is faster. More things can be done with less processor usage.

LOOK: Basically the same as Vista which is good if you’ve been using Vista for years and need to keep the basic feel of the UI memorized. The new taskbar takes some times getting used to but I’m already finding it to be helpful and easy to use. The start menu looks exactly the same with the sole difference being the return of the word based icons for shutdown-sleep-etc. The icons and notifications bar on the bottom right hand side of the screen isn’t cluttered and the new functionality is impressive.

COMPATIBILITY: I was worried about my sound card being unrecognized after the Release Client couldn’t install my sound driver. But as soon as the setup process was done the familiar and somewhat irritating Windows bootup sound sprang from my speakers to a chorus of ‘Hallelujahs’. My antivirus program works well with an update coming tonight. Windows Update is already finding a few even newer drivers for my modem and wireless card, though they already work flawlessly. The real test comes when I try to install all my programs. We’ll soon see more about that.

FEATURES: There is no more movie maker, photo gallery or other of the sometimes maligned Vista programs. For the most part the Windows Live Essentials do a good job of replacing their Vista counterparts. Live Writer is one of the best new programs and I have written several of my blog postings with that tool. Live Movie Maker is kind of watered down but it’ll work if you need it to.

All in all, 7 is a HUGE improvement over Vista and I am now starting to kind of like the media player I mentioned in my other Windows 7 postings. Hopefully this OS will be a turning point for MS to make better and better OSes in the future.