Saturday, 6 June 2009

My take on Windows 7 Release Candidate After One Week

Installed my copy of 64-bit Windows 7 Release Candidate last Saturday and have been using it 100% of the time ever since. Did not even think of touching my Windows Vista! Installation was quick, but maybe because I installed it from USB instead of a DVD. I got the steps to do that via Google and you can find my post on that here.

I was quickly impressed with Win7 even after a few minutes of using it. The taskbar (and Alt + Tab) was quite a nice touch with Aero Preview Peek. Moving my mouse to one of those applications will cause the others to be transparent as shown below:
I was initially not used to the taskbar being just icons though there are options to change that to what I was used to. However, after some time, I got used to it and was actually quite impressed with the bigger than usual taskbar.

Boot up and shutdown times appeared to be around the same as my Vista (well, to me, at least, but I did not use any stopwatch to time either). Nice, though was that after logging in, I could access my programs slightly faster than when I did with Vista. My wifi also got connected slightly faster... maybe half a minute or so faster. Unfortunately, the finger print sensor did not work and downloading the 64-bit driver from the website did not help either. Even though Device Manager did not show any conflicts, the figner print sensor kept making some noises now and then and I was totally irritated before I found out it was the cause. Well, this is only a release candidate of Windows 7, after all.

I was under the impression that Windows 7 drivers were compatible with those of Windows Vista so I downloaded all the 64-bit ones from my computer manufacturer's website. I never had install any of these because Windows 7 found them all, save for the finger print sensor described above. However, I did try to re-install the Bluetooth driver and that was the first time Windows 7 hanged on me - no blue screen, nothing. It just froze and I had to switch off the computer manually, like holding the power button for a few seconds.

Gadgets were also more flexible now that I can move it around, though I still keep it near to the right. However, I did use Windows Vista at office on a colleague's computer and I tried to drag the gadgets out of the side bar and it did come out! Strange. Never knew it was possible. Anyone can tell me something about that?

Another thing that was impressive was after using Firefox for a few hours and then closing it, I noticed the hard disk did not run and run and run. This could not be said for Vista, where the hard disk would run and run and run for what felt like a minute or more after I closed Firefox, effectively slowing down the system.

The desktop wallpapers can now change by themselves every now and then but that did not really affect me as I always run my applications with the windows opened to the max. Well, it could be useful if I find that one day, I had nothing better to do than to just sit down and stare at the desktop. Or if I get a really huge LCD screen with really high resolution so that I don't have to run my apps that way I am doing now.

Do note that my current Windows 7 RC speed may be faster because of...
  • My Windows Vista came together with my computer and along with it, a lot of crapware. I have uninstalled what I presume to be all of them but... I wouldn't know...
  • My Vista is a 32-bit version so it did not utilise all the RAM I got in there.
... but I wouldn't want to argue with the experts out there who generally agreed that Windows 7 is, indeed, more efficient.

Some other minor issues were that User Account Control (UAC) was no longer that prominent. In Vista, the UAC appeared every time I tried to go into Device Manager or when I wanted to edit my network connections. It also did not appear when I called up the Update Manager for Ad-Aware. The new Windows Media Player also appeared to be more polished. There was something that I got to like in Vista - the network icon at the bottom right that would show a small green ball when connected to the internet - is no longer in Win7.

1 comment:

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