I’ve gotten my hands on a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. Not like it could have been worse than Vista. The upgrade process went completely smoothly, copying all my programs, settings and files over from my Vista installation. I’m still planning to install a clean version, but first I need a hard drive and more RAM (more on that later).
- Speed — for all the reports of improvements over Vista (which slowed down on a regular basis), it doesn’t seem that much faster. Start up and shut down times are only marginally faster, and Windows Explorer seems a bit faster (especially with large folders of videos). So far, Flash seems to be the most problematic — Firefox slows up a lot when I’m watching Flash movies.
- Taskbar — the redesigned taskbar was pretty weird until I changed it to small icons, so it matches about the height of the previous taskbars. So far, the new icons aren’t too great of an improvement — the running applications are indistinguishable from the quick launch buttons. That said, the new system tray is great.
To be honest, there doesn’t seem to be many groundbreaking changes.
One large change with Windows 7 has been that Microsoft has been promoting 64-bit a lot more. I decided not to go immediately switch to 64-bit since that would have required a clean install, and I didn’t have the resources to back up. Not to mention I only have 4 GB of RAM, which makes 64-bit a lot less worth it.
My plan is, however, to buy a new hard drive (already done at a Black Friday sale) and 4 more gigabytes of RAM (not yet done). Once this is done, I’ll install a clean version of Windows 7 64-bit and experience the magic (drivers and programs not working with 64-bit).