Over this past weekend, I upgraded a laptop from Vista Ultimate SP1 to the new Windows 7 Beta (both 64-bit). I decided to throw caution to the wind and forget the whole VM thing. The upgrade lasted just under 7 hours but, before you think that might be a long time, the same laptop when upgraded from Vista Home Premium SP1 to Vista Ultimate SP1 took a little over 6 hours 20 minutes. The laptop is an HP Pavilion dv5 (4gb ram, 2.1ghz AMD dual-core).
There have been no unworkable problems up to this point. The issues that I have had so far are:
- Skype 3.8 did not work. The Win7 installer warned about this and I uninstalled before restarting the upgrade. After the upgrade, I attempted to install the app (ignoring the compatibility warning) and it did install but crashes without an error dialog shortly after. The Skype 4 beta 3 release seems to be working properly so far on Windows 7 64-bit so I will see how that goes.
- Virtual PC did not upgrade properly. I received a message stating that “Virtual PC could not open the Virtual Machine Network Services driver”. The VMs did run but without any network access. Uninstall/Reinstall of VPC fixed this issue for me.
I thought I might have a problem with TortoiseSVN but it has worked after the upgrade without any problems at all.
Visual Studio 2008 and 2005 both work fine after the upgrade. I was expecting that I might have a problem with the Experimental Hive entries for the VS SDKs after the upgrade, but I didn’t have any problem with those either.
My first impressions of Windows 7 are good but I’m not overwhelmingly impressed in the way that some blogs have expressed. Memory usage seems slightly better but nothing to bet exited about. Bootup time has improved for me quite a bit, which is nice. It is encouraging that performance of the beta appears to me to be at least the same as Vista Ultimate SP1 in the worst case and slightly better in some areas.
Some things have moved around on the Control Panel again so that is a little annoying. One example is the Startup Applications that used to be found under Programs. This applet appears to have gone away all together which is puzzling but it is possible that I have overlooked it. Power users know to go directly to the folder but a regular user would be stuck with whatever installers or the OEMs feel like should run at startup.
The new taskbar/quickstart toolbar combo is nice but I can’t figure out a way to start a second instance of an application, short of going back to the start menu. This was a feature of the old quickstart toolbar I would like to have back. An option on a right-click menu would be good enough. Hopefully I’m overlooking an option somewhere. [Update 1/13/09 11:35am – Shift+Click will launch a second instance. That is about the only combo I didn’t try. Thanks to Markus Egger on Twitter for that one.]