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Windows 7: My First Impressions

Windows 7

I never expected to like Windows 7 as much as I did.

But I did.

A lot.

Windows 7 has changed my impression about Windows. Not only does it *look* good, it runs good. Installation was surprisingly easy and very straight forward. Imagine that?

I used Apple’s Boot Camp Assistant software to perform the install. Installation took about 20 minutes and involved 2 reboots (One for the install, one for the updates).

I purchased the Home Premium upgrade package, having owned Windows Vista Ultimate, and performed a clean install to a new hard drive partition. I was prompted to enter my Windows 7 serial number and authentication ran without a hitch. Windows 7 also automatically picked up my wireless network.

Printer and scanner drivers were found quickly and installed without incident. What are my first impressions from moving around Windows 7? The OS not only looks fantastic, it’s *gasp!* actually very fast and usable. My video card is an older ATI 2600XT 256MB and window performance was very snappy.

The OS feels cohesive – much more so than Windows Vista. The fit and finish of Windows 7 is absolutely solid and is a testament to the MS engineers who worked on it. There are minor niggles I’ve encountered – such as the lack of a keyboard shortcut to eject discs, or the fact that audio does not work yet (I’m assuming its because Apple’s Boot Camp drivers have yet to be updated to work with Windows 7). But that’s about the biggest “gotcha” I was able to find so far.

According to Steve Ballmer, 8 million people beta-tested Windows 7 during its gestational period. It really does show with this release and the engineers behind it deserve to be recognized for their efforts.

Windows 7 makes me more curious about the platform. I actually want to start using it on a regular basis. I’m planning to install my primary apps (Maya, Photoshop, Painter) over the next few days to further evaluate the OS during day-to-day use.

Do I like Windows 7 more than Snow Leopard? It’s still too early to tell. My first impressions of Windows 7 are very positive, about the same as it was for Snow Leopard. On the same hardware, a 2008 Mac Pro model, Windows 7 *feels* faster and snappier than Snow Leopard. A true comparison can only take place once I’ve had a chance to run my main apps on Windows 7.

This release, in my opinion, brings Windows (finally) on par with Apple’s Mac OS X.

Should you upgrade to Windows 7 from an older version of Windows? That’s your call. I’m glad I did.