We have all seen Apple’s Mac/PC commercial’s slamming Windows 7 as being a disappointment. Is that true? Are we being given the same promises as always without delivery by Microsoft? Let me relate my experiences.
A friend came to me with a Vista laptop that was having problems. My suggestion was to upgrade to Windows 7, the friend agreed, so I got a Windows 7 upgrade license and attempted to install it.
The first problem I encountered was the upgrade. Vista was really strange, and wouldn’t run Windows Explorer among other things. There wasn’t much installed, but I wanted to retain the accounts and some other configuration information, so I thought I would try to upgrade the system. The admin account seemed to be particularly broken and the installer wouldn’t run off the dvd at all. The next logical step was to boot from the installation media and upgrade from there. After taking 5 minutes to get to the setup screen, the installer informed me that the upgrade could only be run from withing Windows. Fine, so the machine was rebooted, and the guest account was used to start the installer. The Admin password was supplied, finally Windows 7 informed me that the machine couldn’t be upgraded because Vista Service Pack 1 wasn’t installed. Since I suspect that Service Pack 1 was what broke the Vista install initially, and because the machine wouldn’t connect tot he Internet I decided to skip that whole thing.
The next step was to reboot from the DVD and do a fresh install. There wasn’t anything valuable on the machine, so I just reformatted the primary partition and did a clean install. This actually went very smoothly with minimal human interaction required.
Windows 7 was then installed, and seems to work very well. The bootup is fast, networking seems to work correctly but it did drop off the wireless network and had to be reconnected twice. It only took a few minutes to find the final problem of the day. An attempt to visit the Adobe website and install Acrobat caused IE8 to lock up. At first I thought this was a fluke, so I tried again. I manually killed IE8, went to the Acrobat Reader home page, and again, IE8 became completely unresponsive. After some research, found that Windows 7 and IE8 have problems with Flash. Interestingly, my IE8 install on my XP laptop seems to be just fine.
So, final conclusion, Windows 7 seems to be a definite upgrade from the previous Microsoft OS. The upgrade process is a little clunky, especially compared to what Apple managed to do with Snow Leopard, of course they weren’t trying to upgrade from Vista. I am a little disappointed that it only took me about 10 minutes to find a bug, and it is with a major browser plugin. Otherwise it seems solid, but only time will tell.