Happy Windows 7 launch day!
I thought I would share some of my observations and a few additional references for your review. I have been using Windows 7 for day to day use since the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version was available and also kicked the tires during beta.
- Outside of the fact you need to back your data up (always a good thing) and re-install any additional applications, I have never seen a smoother, easier update for a Windows operating system. It all just worked.
- I have both 32 and 64 versions installed on my two machines and I have noticed no difference in setting up the systems. This is a stark contrast to my experiences with 64 bit versions of XP and Vista.
- All, not some, of the users I know that have swtiched to Windows 7 have had great experiences so far.
- The interface looks good without noticable performance overhead. I really do like the Aero themes.
- I never had a good appreciation of how many things just didn't work well with Vista. Win 7 has many examples of features I either had issues with in Vista or now have a better appreciation for when they work correctly in Win 7.
- UAC (User Access Control) is one of those things where it now works as I would like it to; namely tell me when the computer really needs to, not every time I almost anything. Telling tale here is I have left my UAC setting as-is to date. It took me less than 1/2 hour for Vista.
- Desktop gadgets are no longer restricted to a pre-defined area so you can add gadgets to your desktop where ever you want.
- Boot process is faster. I can get working faster.
- XP mode. If you have old applications that need an older OS to run, use XP mode to run a virtulalized version of XP on your Windows 7 computer.
- Better memory management and exception handling. More on both of these items in another post.
- Many, many others...
- The taskbar takes some getting use to. I ended up turning this features back to a more XP/Vista like experience, but I now have turned this back to the default Windows 7 behavior. It's different and I am stilling trying to find out what ends up being more effective. I often have too many applications and windows open at the same time.
- Mapping non-domain drives. Picky, but I spent more time than I wanted to trying to figure this one out (I used the Net Use command).
Overall my experience over the last month with Windows 7 has been great. I have not been, or have seen, this much excitement and positive buzz around a Microsoft operating system since Windows 95.
- When choosing between variants (see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/compare) you need to determine the product (Home premium, Professional, and Ultimate) and whether to use 32 or 64 bit.
- When choosing between 32 or 64 bit, I believe it still comes down to how much memory do you use. In XP and Vista, I always told users (and the system requirements state the same thing) that if you use more than 2GB or memory for your applications, you should be used a 64 bit version of the operating system. (more one this to come later).
- SolidWorks 2010 will officially support Windows 7 at SP1.
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