Yes, I’m now running Windows 7 on my HP TouchSmart PC, instead of using Vista. I knew that the Beta had been released, after hundreds of you had come pouring into our chat room asking if I had used it yet – and what I thought of it. I gotta say – so far it’s running very well!
I wasn’t able to get Windows 7 to recognize all of the hardware. I had to install it twice. The first time, it wouldn’t really work well. The second time, I did the same thing and it worked great. The only thing I cannot get to work still is the multi-touch feature of the TouchSmart. I was surprised to see that things I hadn’t expected to change have done so – and for the better! A lot more features have been fleshed out.
There are a few things I think will plague Windows for all of eternity. Once again, this version of Windows is chock full of the Tahoma font. For that reason alone, I could never think of any version of Windows as more than a Beta. I just can’t stand to have to look at it! I don’t think any self-respecting designer would release an operating system that had the use of MS Sans Seriff Tahoma throughout the UI. It’s kind of sloppy in my book.
However, if you can look past something like this, then Windows 7 will likely be an excellent upgrade for you. It’s definitely a lot faster than Vista. There isn’t any lag at all when doing a search from within the start menu or elsewhere on the system. When I plug in a USB device, it is recognized immediately.
A lot of the things that I appreciate are the things that they’ve seen through. A lot of what we saw added into Vista were taken out even more. They’ve added even more functionality without overwhelming the users. If you’re a power user, my recommendation is that you download Windows 7 Beta and give it a shot. I don’t know that I’d use this yet as your primary system, but it’s definitely worth trying.
I do plan to do a small series on Windows 7, to prepare people for what they’ll see. I am going to focus small videos on things that I have found within this new operating system that I already like. Windows 7 isn’t enough to make me want to “switch back” and away from Mac OS X. But I do like it, yes. It’s an excellent experience so far, and I know many of you are going to be happy with it. It feels so much more complete than Vista – it feels like what Vista should have been. There isn’t a lot of “wow” factor, but they have taken a lot of time to develop features that are important.
If you want to send feedback to Microsoft, you can download the Beta. Inside of every window, there is a direct feedback link. You can give it a star ranking, type in your feedback, and more. Allegedly, Microsoft will be taking a serious look at everything you have to say.
Keep in mind, you will likely run into issues as you begin to use Windows 7. Remember – you’re using a Beta, not a final release! Identifying and fixing bugs and issues is what a Beta is all about. Let me know what your experience is like so far – both positive and negative. If you have excellent tips and tricks already, let us hear from you!
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