The highly anticipated beta was in so much of demand getting it was not easy. I still laugh at those complaining, I remember when a Beta was only released to circles such as Technet and MSDN, which come at a cost. Okay, enough about that.
I used an old laptop for this testing. Irony is this is the same laptop I did Vista beta testing for. For Vista it was a dog but functional. The machine is starting to show its age with the hard drive and optical drive having issues from time to time. In the last two years I have been using this for all of my Linux testing and at the time I did a restart to install Windows 7 the machine was running Ubuntu.
Install: One word; WOW. The install process was so much quicker, quicker than Windows as well as Linux (GUI assisted install). This was a complete new install, to include wiping out the drive contents, so with a bare drive and no OEM drivers Windows 7 installed and came up with no issues. No special hardware on this laptop but it is not necessarily current. I have not found any hardware that did not work.
I love that Powershell is installed and now I will have to start learning Powershell V2 since in a professional capacity I have been pushing hard to learn Powershell V1 to deploy in a production environment.
First task was to install Windows Live Essentials. This made the process of setting up the machine so much faster. For starters getting the primary tools I use installed, then the content. Just consider the Favorites Synch… it prompted me if I wanted to enable this function, turned it on, and I now have all of the favorites I use on a daily basis… no export/import just sit back and watch the folder content populate.
A few updates came up during my first login session, before the haters start making an issue of that… I have spent several weeks installing OSX and various Linux distros… they all do the same thing (Fedora consistently would blow up after the third bath of updates scrambling the display making it unusable).
Used the Homegroup function to share files… not bad for a free P2P function but with Mesh and Skydrive I will probably not use it.
Several articles have been written about the Taskbar. I don’t like the spacing of the icons but the interaction is great. One of the interactions I liked was with IE running and several sites in tabs, when I move the mouse over the IE icon each tab is shown. Annoyance for Windows Live Messenger it shows two items .
Like most of the complaints I hear about Vista, I was at first not happy with it but after using it I found it was just different and once I used it in normal activities I can see its benefits.
Bouncing around from one application to another, the OS is extremely quick and very stable. I will not be replacing my large screen laptop with this unit but this might be my road warrior. I admit, Vista on my main laptop has been great, IE8 was frustrating at first but it seems to be more stable. Admitting I like Vista I have to say that once available and based on current testing, I will be upgrading to Windows 7. Next to test, Zune; Importing Media (camera); scripting (Powershell… and hey vbscript shows version 5.8 very interesting); Media Center; an office application (probably OpenOffice since I can’t afford another Microsoft Office license) and more Windows Live Essential testing.