I decided today would be a good day to dual-boot my laptop with Windows 7 RTM. I figured with all of the hype around it, being faster and better than Vista, a trial run wouldn’t hurt. Worst case, I boot back into XP and delete the second partition. Since I’ve only been using W7 for an hour or so, I’m only going to touch upon some of the immediate highlights.

Installation. The installation is DVD-based, and just like Vista, it’s colorful (GUI). It also supported by USB wireless mouse and keyboard! The speed and ease of the installation is fantastic. I should have timed it, but I really don’t think it took more than 20 minutes. It felt quicker, but I’m sure it wasn’t.

Initial boot-up & log in. After adding the computer to the domain where I work, restarts, log-in’s, and desktop loads (to the point where all programs have finished loading) were extremely fast. Also, Microsoft has removed all of that fluff that’s included when you initially log into a Windows XP machine. The desktop is clean of clutter, and it already includes a cool background.

Device Manager – check device drivers. I figured as with all previous Microsoft operating systems, there’s bound to be a few devices that need the manufacturer driver. This was true for the video and sound driver. No big deal though, as I went to Dell’s website and downloaded what I needed. Obviously it was lucky for me that Dell has Windows 7 drivers for this laptop! After loading up both drivers, I did a quick reboot, and things started looking more clearly.

Antivirus. We run Symantec Endpoint 11 MR4, but it wouldn’t install properly. We downloaded MR5, and it loaded perfectly.

Legacy applications. We use Numara Track-It for our Helpdesk, which installed with no issues.  In addition, we use the typical Server Administrative Pack tools (for Windows servers). In Vista and Windows 7, the standard adminpak.msi found on Windows 2003 servers no longer works. I had to track down the new version, called Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) made especially for Windows 7 RTM. That dropped a nice shortcut in Control Panel that included all of our beloved tools. Even the once-hated Windows UAC has backed down quite a bit during all of these software installations and system changes.

So far, I’m very impressed with Microsoft’s new OS. Some will call it Microsoft’s redemption, some will continue to be haters. Take it for it is, and for what it’s worth! As I get to test out W7 in greater detail, you’ll read about it here. Below are screen shots of my system config, for your information.




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