Windows

Windows 7 - It sucks, It's awesome, it's... not released

Windows 7 isn't even in beta yet and there are full performance tests, people complaining that it "looks like Vista" and a whole host of other things. Although Windows 7 will have Vista-perception baggage, at least wait for real code before getting too concerned.

I don't normally write about stuff that's not even released yet as a bona fide beta product, but in this case, I couldn't resist. There is so much stuff being written already about Windows 7 that I thought I'd join the fray. I've read articles out there from people who are running actual performance tests on the Windows 7 pre-release code Microsoft made available. I've even read articles and comments from people complaining that Windows 7 looks too much like Vista. There was even a posting somewhere from someone "proving" that the Windows 7 code was, in fact, simply a minor update to Vista due to the fact that the running thread count was the almost the same.

Insanity abounds.

Windows 7 isn't even in beta. I'm one of those kinds of guys that enjoys getting pre-beta bits to play with so I can get a look at what might be coming. I can't imagine running pre-beta code and assuming that the final product will look even close to the test code. That would be like expecting the new Star Trek movie to be a bomb after watching a leaked snippet of unfinished footage. Heck, at least wait for the official trailer (which is now released, by the way) before condemning the new movie. As for performance tests, remember that people are testing against pre-beta code! I'm cautiously optimistic that Microsoft will introduce performance gains in Windows 7 by the time the product is complete. Windows 7 will probably look a tad like Vista. Last time I checked, Microsoft hadn't chucked Vista out the door and started over. Quite frankly, with the service pack and a few updates under its belt, Vista isn't the horrid wreck that it was upon initial release. I'll be the first to admit that some of Microsoft's interface decisions in Vista have left me scratching my head, but I would be astounded if they simply started over. I switch back and forth between the XP and Vista interfaces constantly - I use multiple machines - and actually find myself preferring the Vista interface. Anyone who is surprised that the Windows 7 pre-beta and Windows Vista share almost identical interfaces should think again. Windows 7 isn't intended to be a paradigm shift. With regard to changes, I think Microsoft did the heavy lifting with Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007. The company has publicly stated that Windows 7 is intended to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Some people are calling Windows 7 names like Windows Vista R2 and Windows Vista SP2 and are lamenting the fact that this will be a paid upgrade, even from Vista. Two points: 1) It's possible - not likely, but possible - that Microsoft will make Windows 7 a free upgrade from Vista. Remember folks, we're still a year out from release and talking about pre-beta code so anything can happen; 2) Yep... it might be a paid upgrade, but if it is ultimately released as the product that Vista was intended to be from the beginning, we'll all be better off.

If you're considering skipping Vista altogether and just jumping to Windows 7 when it comes out, you're not alone. Even though I see Vista as a relatively respectable system at this point, we're going to stick with XP at Westminster for now although I'm not totally ruling out the possibility of some Vista rollouts.

About

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

46 comments
nc30ed
nc30ed

Tried out the full release version today, I hate it from a buisness point of view, just the re education of users is going to be a nightmare, and why do we need to have aero and all the other bells n whistles on a buiness OS I have to admit its far quicker than Vista and so far I have'nt been plagued by any UAC, but nothing seems simple anymore, instead your presented with a mirriad of information whenever you click on something, I want to stay with XP.

lylsiem
lylsiem

The beta is horrid! I tried it for a day and it does not support most video cards, takes way too long to load, does not like Avast!, fights with Firefox, too many useless features and not enough needed ones. I thought it looked like a fancier version of Ubunto. I will stick with XP for now until it expires for good then I will download 7 when it works and never have to worry about paying a dime to MS.

avidtrober
avidtrober

> Yep??? it might be a paid upgrade, but if it is ultimately released as the product that Vista was intended to be from the beginning, we???ll all be better off How so? Vista was intended to be a way to get *recurring revenue*. Can you elaborate on what specific details/features Vista was supposed to have that we really need in Windows 7?

realvannewkirk
realvannewkirk

Ok, win 7 prebeta has been leaked. Big surprise, every release since whistler has been "leaked." From what I have seen, though, Win 7 looks like a step in the right direction. Having been an official beta tester since pre-ME, I have some experience on which to base this response. Using antiquated hardware, by technology standards anyway, Win 7 prebeta performs remarkably well. By antiquated, I mean 3200xp, 1GB DDR, SATA 1.0, n-force 2 chipset. In Vista, this setup is dog slow and I have yet to keep an install of Vista for more than a week. In XP, this setup is still rather peppy, but I can only compare that to much newer hardware running Vista, so my perspective may be a little skewed. In Win7, however, this setup sprang to life. I was very surprised, as having seen screen shots of Win 7 prebeta, I expected Vista-like performance. Granted, Win 7 does not handle the onboard sound properly, but it does have native support for it, which Vista did not. Knowing I was dealing with prebeta, imperfect support is perfectly acceptable. As far as code bloat, Vista definitely wins, hands down. Win 7, judging from the disc size and installed system size, has dealt with that issue. So far, so good. Still no WinFS, and I rather doubt it will be in the first official release either, but the rumor still remains. Now for the flip side. I am NOT a Micro$oft fan, by any means. My curiosity and thirst for knowledge drives me to seek information and experience with any OS that I can possibly install or use on my PC. I've been a Linux newb since the SlackWare 1.0 days and have played with more distros than I care to recall. Win 7 actually reminded me, aside from the goofy glass gui, of Ubuntu Hardy Heron. Oh, remember the native support I mentioned in Win 7? Ubuntu didn't detect and install my wireless adapter, but Win 7 did. Ubuntu still doesn't work properly with my Radeon 2600 AGP card, Win 7 does. I realize those amenities are a major cause of code bloat and install size, but if it doesn't work, what's the point? Just for the record, it took two days of toying with different drivers and settings to get my wireless card working in Ubuntu, only to find that WPA was not supported for that card. Again, this is just my observation. This is the first time in a very, very long time that I have seen even the dimmest glimmer of hope that Micro$oft might eventually put out a usable OS. The reality is that we will all have to wait and see what really becomes of Win 7.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I'd like to see what people thought of Vista before it was released. Google, come here boy, find me pre vista reviews.

realvannewkirk
realvannewkirk

Well, I remember quite well the first longhorn rc1, in fact i still have a dvd of it. My first impresssion was that it was a revolutionary os. it seemed very responsive, especially compared to the then as of yet sp'd xp. rumors of a new file system were the big draw, offering superior security and speed to ntfs. It was great, except, winfs never materialized. i remember the first time i saw that neat sidebar too. it only took a few minutes before it crashed and i disabled it, but it was really cool to look at while it lasted. overall, i was impressed with longhorn. unfortunately, when i got my first copy of vista, things had changed. it was horribly slow, missing all the snappy performance of rc1. this scares me a little, as the beta and pre-beta versions of 7 or also super snappy and offer some great new innovative features. i hope that ms follows through and offers up an rtm as spectacular as the beta.

jck
jck

I saw info/screenshots/quotes from MS people on another site. Yes it looks like Vista...big deal. Yes it has lots of errors...that's expected. However, I hope they actually make the Vista-based processes more efficient...Vista is a huge resource hog. Plus, I hope they fix locking up errors too. Otherwise, it's gonna be tagged as Windows Vista ME Part Deux. lol

davidpla
davidpla

I installed Windows 7 on an old 1GB Dell D610. The installation was clean and fast and it automatically found ALL required drivers. The very first message from the new system was a request to type in the WEP key for my WiFi. The second was to recommend 3 Win7 certified AV systems, available for free download. The system has worked perfectly for 2 weeks

selki007email-throwaway
selki007email-throwaway

A very useful post. That was one of the main complaints I read about Vista. Trying to install it on an existing machine resulted in all sorts of driver issues and expenses for things such as more RAM. Will older programs run on Win7?

realvannewkirk
realvannewkirk

I installed win7 on my old, but still everyday use main computer (athlon xp 3200+, 1GB DDR, SATA RAID 0, Nvidia NForce2 from ABIT) and my experience was far from great. It did install all needed drivers, but the driver for my ATI HD2600 immediately started crashing over and over. No problem there, Vista driver works great, without CCC installed. It also asked me for my WPA2 key (WEP? really?) and started my wireless connection. Great so far. Wireless loses connection regularly now, so its a good thing there's an updated driver on win update, right? No such luck, that makes problem worse, but I do get driver for printer, which now has print function, but no scan/fax. Ooops, I also inadvertently check the box for 1.1 version of ati driver that i had just replaced. Back to the crashing display card. Again, easy fix, but annoying. Looks good so far, especially since win update installed newer drivers for my nvidia soundstorm audio chipset, except now the sound crackles and gets staticy. Still no big deal, I dealt with audio problems for a long time with Vista, too. After a few tweaks, manage to get stable wireless again. Manage to get blazingly fast d/l of mandrake one. Yes, maybe by this time I have gotten a little aggravated with win7 and am thinking linux. Anyway, I burn iso to disc using favorite burn app set to burn at half the speed of smell to avoid errors. Disc burns great, no errors according to very reliable burn app. Failed to check against checksum, my bad. Go to install from disc (to seperate partition, haven't completely given up on win7 yet) and half the install files are corrupt. Nice new coaster for my drink. Reboot win7. wireless no longer working. superbar freezing. pretty picture on monitor is all i have left. So, here I sit typing this response from my freshly installed XP. I miss the pretty stuff, but it is nice to once again be able to actually get things done. I'm not slamming win7, if you read my earlier response, you already know that i am extremely impressed with the great speed i saw shortly after install. On a more recent system, I'm sure my experience would be drastically different, but I've got to wait a few more weeks before I can test that assumption.

selki007email-throwaway
selki007email-throwaway

I'm sorry but had to laugh at all your troubles. But I think you made my point. You're back to XP. I never left and have not had any of those issues. I still don't see ANY actual upgrade. Did you get any awesome improvement in something you really need for your efforts or just some "bells and whistles"?

realvannewkirk
realvannewkirk

like i said, i am still impressed with the speed, and while i had issues with wireless, that particular linksys has given me problems in vista and every linux distro ever. the sound issue is annoying, especially since it had been resolfed in vista, but for some reason the vista drivers didn't want to work. there is also a very good possibility that i caused some of the problems i had, but beta testing an os means looking for ways to break it. keep in mind also that my ati 2600hd agp card has never had perfect support in any windows os since it is a pcie card ported to work as agp. even ati doesn't officially support the card. that is why i figured my experience would be better with newer, better supported hardware. I also realize that i am completely nuts for even attempting to continue using my old soundstorm audio in anything newer than xp, but it just works so very well. back to the beta though, i wouldnt expect a beta version of anything to work perfectly, especially not an os. ive been working with alphas, betas and rcs for a long time and i find it fun because of the challenge of keeping it working. didnt mean to come off sounding like ms naysayer in my previous post.

davidpla
davidpla

The old Dell D610 is still completely stable. WiFi has never dropped out. The gadget showing CPU and RAM usage is showing 9% and 61% respectively (1GB RAM) as I type this, the only packages that would not load were Nero Essentials 8 and Norman AV. Win 7 says that my two bottlenecks are HD speed and Video speed - rest is more than OK! I can only call it as I see it

bkoelrich
bkoelrich

What are the computer system hardware requirements for Windows 7 to REALLY run right? And, what is the outlay of cash needed to transition from XP directly to Windows 7?

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

Any upgrade approach around my school will be very slow. At some point in the next few years Microsoft will no doubt try to End of Life windows XP and force our hands. Most of the PC's around my School (150) could run Vista moderately well, about 20% could run it well. There are probably about 10% that have trouble. One the main reason that I can't jump straight there is that there are numerous Network cards that have been left in the cold for drivers. Some you wouldn't expect like the 3com 905c series. Yes you can make them work by forcing Vista to install old XP drivers. That seems rather hackish for anywhere other than home though.

kgunnIT
kgunnIT

To simply rate a product on pre-beta, or beta, is just obserd. Beta is intended for additional testing and a chance for users to check out what might come with the new version upon final release. I have seen some videos and images of Windows 7, there are some nice features to look for that sound great. I probably won't buy Windows 7, I am an open-source, linux user and use XP at work, but I might consider downloading the beta version.

Angel_Tech
Angel_Tech

No matter what they can possibly change from Vista to W7, it's a fact that if you based your new product (W7) on an existing product (Vista), then you will have the old product with new features and many patches around. That means, more code... how many code lines does Vista have??? 45 millions I think?... And this is not mentioning that Vista requires 2GB of ram to run fine, which makes W7 more scary about how much ram will need.. perhaps it will only run in 64bits systems... This shocks me everytime I think of Ubuntu, which gives you video estability and performance way beyond for less HW resources than windows. I dont use Linux, I work with 300 PCs, all with XP and few win2k :). Anyways, I hope they can get a product friendly for the end-user (IT is excluded) and easy to work with (for IT people)... and of course, I will pray they return to release only 2 version at most (Personal and Professional/Business).. and not having 5 diferent versions... which makes it hard to support... Cheers :)

sar10538
sar10538

Sorry, did I miss the "It's awesome" part somewhere.

ubwete
ubwete

The decidedly geeky approach to desktop OS upgrades, while making interesting reading for the tech trench masses, has invariably been the stumbling block of adoption campaigns at board meetings: no value proposition for the business.

igor552
igor552

I" and try not to use "you"

jarvis_phil
jarvis_phil

It always amazes and amuses me that people get it into their heads that a "beta" version is a Release - when in fact it is only the final part of the product test cycle. So pre-Beta is even further back. The fact software companies make their products available in this state is simply to leverage the mass numbers of eager users for purpose of final testing. Call me a cynic but it is just cheap labour. The product shouldn't even be called a "Release" at this stage - if you try the Beta and or in the this case pre-Beta and the code wipes your hard drives just try and see if the vendor will give you any support.. errr.. nope. Imagine if any other market sector did Beta testing like this - can you imagine if Ford made available 50,000 units of their new "still in final testing" cars for people to play/test with in their own "live" environments.... oh the joy, the carnage, the complaints. In my days as a record producer I learned a very good lesson that has served me well... never show the customer a half finished or even 95% finished version - it will pre-set their expectations of the final deliverable and in so doing no matter how good it is they will always remember the "rough" one. PipMeister.

sar10538
sar10538

Considering the number of bug fixes and feature changes that happen during the life cycle of any MS release, I thought that any actual formal MS release version was only beta at best anyway. Given this logic, pre-beta amounts to what we expect for beta from MS anyway :) Oh, and if any MS released version wipes your drive, fries your hardware, causes Global famine or war between World superpowers, you can always refer back to the protections as outlined in the EULAs distributed with the product. Yes, it would be a scary World if Ford or Boeing did their "final testing" in the "live" environment. Somehow you expect those things to work right straight out of the box, shame we don't get sort of service from software vendors.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

If it were a perfect science it would work perfectly. Make me wonder how anyone can obtain software copyrights when it seems possible to get the job done many different ways. No I'm not in favor of the traditional model of software copyrights.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

I remember playing with Windows Whistler, XP's beta. Not much changed visually from the beta to final release. The UI was pretty much the same. We know already that Windows 7 will look alot like Vista if not nearly identical. Why because Vista's beta was nearly identical to the final product also. Microsoft will not be changing much. Hopefully I'll be wrong. In regards to Vista it pushed into learning an OS that I had always feared, I had always told myself that it was too different and I couldn't learn it. Yes the dreaded Linux. I found out it's not so different and doesn't need to be dreaded. Microsoft needs to take a look at some things happening in Linux, I now much prefer the Gnome interface to anything I've seen in windows. The flexibility in amazing, so is the stability. Microsoft is about controlling the UI, it offers very little flexibility. I doubt I'll be going back to windows at home or on my School Workstation. The best part is that when people ask about it I can give it to them, and there is an army of users on forums who can help them.

doug
doug

MS finally succeeded in driving me away. Have used it since pre 3.1 days. Now only use Vista for a couple of programs that are not available in Ubuntu Linux. Everything else, all internet stuff, all office stuff, all photo editing etc. is done using Ubuntu and free Ubuntu software. With Vista I finally said, "Enough, already." Doug C.

dtdalke
dtdalke

Just try to roll out Ubutu or any other Linux Distro to 200 corporater users. Even if you can find all of the pieces needed to make it work, the users will never be able to figure it. Patch management and system administration would be a nightmare. I have used Ubuntu on and off for the last year, but I always get frustrated and reload with Windows. If you want to browse the internet at home then Linux is fine but it is not ready for the corporate world (unless you have a thousand cloned data entry users).

reisen55
reisen55

This is incredible. We are nowhere NEAR out of the woods with Vista being a total wreck and yet Microsoft is promoting the unknown vapoware known as Windows 7 (of 9 I suppose). What about WINDOWS 5? Oh, that, XP. It should be entirely supported by Microsoft 100% UNTIL they have a solid, tested, vetted product on the shelf for purchase. On Vista, I have a copy of OS/2 WARP that keeps this fiasco in perspective.

chatch
chatch

Yeah in the pre-beta, you need to enable the "hiddne" windows superbar for it to look different. Check out the screenshots at my website... http://chrishatcher.webs.com/windows7prebeta.htm

AbsoluteZero
AbsoluteZero

Just a few more changes.... A couple of tweaks.... And the "hidden" windows super bar will look just like the DOCK on the iMacs. Thanks for the preview!

dennis
dennis

If Windows 7 sticks with the Vista interface, then Micro$oft missed the corporate boat again. My biggest complaints with Vista (and we tried it on limited deployment before reverting back to XP) was everything has moved AGAIN. I got 2 guys to support 150 system with 200+ users on 3 production shifts. I don't have time to retrain run around the plant training and retraining them on a new interface. I'm deploying virtual desktops and integrating their spreadsheets into our ERP package. Ideally this would eliminate Microsoft from our environment, doubtful but at least it will minimize the retraining issue. Vista or Windows7 for home use. Great idea, fluff and pizzazz sells. But for work, I'm a meat and potatoes guy. I just want it to work without so dam many options that only add confusion and wastes time (theirs and my staff's). Dennis

monusz
monusz

Windows 7 is a very small "upgrade" from vista. Remember windows 98? Same interface as windows 95, just like vista to windows 7. I believe if they simplified versons and fixed business issues with vista they wouldn't need windows 7. Or....is it all about the money. i do enjoy alot of the features of vista. I run the ultimate edition on my home pc.I am for vista. I do like it.

itpro_z
itpro_z

I'm sorry, but your post doesn't make sense. I can see where your IT guys will have to learn Vista, but why are your users poking around in the OS? Users run programs to do their work, not the OS. Set up your users with desktop icons, and most couldn't tell you whether they are running Linux or some variation of Windows. Now, if you are referring to Office07, then I can understand, as its interface is considerably different than previous versions, although it is possible to add a classic ribbon to ease the transition. We have about 250 users on our network, running a mix of Win2K, XP, and Vista Business. Vista has fit right in, with almost no problems or complaints from our users. Even Office07, which does require some relearning, has gotten high marks after people get used to it. From our perspective in IT, we have had fewer support issues with Vista than XP. We get calls regularly to fix problems with XP, especially since SP3 came out, but virtually none with Vista. I would think that a "meat and potatoes guy" would appreciate that.

selki007email-throwaway
selki007email-throwaway

The point is that an upgrade shouldn't just not be a major hastle, but should actually improve something. What is the justification for the expense of just purchasing it, let alone any retraining?

sar10538
sar10538

It's fun in the home but in a corporate environment there are so many changes, for seemingly change sake, that average employees need quite some time to get reacquainted with the thing. All the time I get asked the same question of the type that why has it all changed. Maybe some will say it is for the better but every time something changes people have to come to terms with it and they were probably quite happy with the way it was before. In some ways I think that MS has shot themselves in the foot as a lot of argument against Linux adoption is due to retraining and the move to Vista/Win7 now seems a good time to change ships just on the basis that you have to retrain both ways, and the cost benefits start to look quite appealing.

libskrap
libskrap

nearly all of vista seems to be "take what is in xp, move it to a new place, give it a new name, make it behave slightly differently, and it is a new os!", in other words: no useful new features, just move the stuff around. But, since things are in new places, one must remember those changes to implement and adjust the vista system for their own work place quickly and easily. That said, I expect that getting used to vista to be ready for w7 is an effort that is needed. I doubt ms will go back to the xp locations and methods for things. after 6 months of vista, I still haven't found a real value to it over xp. mind boggling -- so much hyperbole, so little delivered.

Kostaghus
Kostaghus

First of all, let me start by adding that I don't agree with you. VISTA, even after major upgrades and patches, will still be and remain what it is: "a horrid wreck" as you well put it. I'm perfectly happy with my Windows XP. I just can't see why I have to pay more for an OS that delivers less. I don't need "extra security". I have my firewall and antiviruses that do just that.

selki007email-throwaway
selki007email-throwaway

Exactly right. XP does everything I need just fine. So, other than filling MS coffers with more money, what are the improvements that makes it worth buying? Will our old programs run on it or does it have the same issues as Vista? Just because they improved something which most of us didn't need in the first place does NOT mean they have come up with an actual upgrade!

quark
quark

My Mercedes is 31 and has served me faithfully all these years. Why "upgrade?" XP suits me fine. So I agree, if it serves it's purpose well, why change?

parnote
parnote

Actually, you don't have to pay anything for an OS that does MORE! Linux!

daniel.weinberger
daniel.weinberger

It's true that much of the extra security features are unneeded and best left to the security software vendors. It't true that 32bit versions of XP are superior to 32bit versions of vista. What you seem to forget is that the 64bit version of XP was a steaming pile. 64bit Vista in my experience is a very stable and powerful OS. I'd love to see XP handle more than 3GB of ram, but I'll never see it unless I want the 64bit version mucking up my system...see above steaming pile comment.

Malleable69
Malleable69

I use XP x64 on two of my systems (my other two systems are on Windows Media edition 2003 I think). What is wrong with XP x64? Besides some software/driver makers failing to make their software/drivers work with x64, what is the problem with this OS? Mal

n.smutz
n.smutz

Any particular reason they couldn't make XP64 downward compatible? Do 64 bit Linux distros need completely different drivers for everything? The (admittedly old) statistics that I saw didn't show much in the way of performance gains with XP 64. There might have been some things that didn't perform as well.

eralper.yilmaz
eralper.yilmaz

Hi, I appretiate MS since it is working on its product to make them better. I believe, Windows7 will be very much like Vista but it will be better. And for some they will choose to use the new OS. I get excited following the new products, new releases and playing around the betas of MS. So let's wait and see, what will Win7 will bring us

carlsf
carlsf

I have been testing Win7 and I dislike the interface changes, and the fact that the "CLASSIC" has been removed. We will be staying with VISTA (ult and pro 32 and 64bit) and XP (pro and home 32bit)

sar10538
sar10538

Unless it's very much the base of the stabilising Vista, who's going to be the lemmings and dive into this thing head first as being the greatest panacea in MS recent history.

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