Whassup, Windows 7 “RC”?

As some of you know, I’ve been using (and abusing) Windows 7 for a few months now.  I was an early adopter of the “beta” version, which has since been superseded by the “RC” (Release Candidate).  Microsoft offered the “RC” version download for their MSDN / Technet subscribers on April 30th.  Their servers were hammered, but I managed to squeak in and download the 64-bit edition, which I promptly installed on my work machine.  The install went very smoothly, and completed in only 30 minutes or so.  After that, I reinstalled Office 2007, Paint.NET, FileZilla, Live Mesh, Hyper-V Manager, SQL Management Studio, and a handful of other apps that I use regularly.  Getting “my world” setup again is a bit of a hassle, but it (honestly) only takes a few hours these days.

win7rc_start

So… without getting too detailed, the Win7 “RC” is really an improvement over the “beta”.  The setup screens are much nicer to look at, the login screen is improved (if a bit “bright”), and even more devices were detected automatically.  In fact, everything was detected and installed without hassle.  There are additional (and very cool) wallpapers included, better user icons, subtle program icon changes, and more jump lists for supported programs… like Remote Desktop (yay!).  Going from “beta” to “RC” is, understandably, very evolutionary, but I’ve noticed many needed improvements.  Performance is also very good, though I didn’t have any complaints before.

On a bigger note, we are now using Windows 7 on our home computer!  We had purchased a new system, but I was waiting to get it dialed-in until the latest version of Windows 7 came out.  This past Friday, I backed up our home machine, swapped the harddrives into our new box, and installed Win7.  Will I have drivers for everything?  How will the family adjust?  How will it perform?  All good questions…

DRIVER SUPPORT
Windows 7 “RC” includes all the necessary drivers for the machine itself – including network, video, and sound.  You know… the important stuff.  I was able to download a Vista 64-bit driver for our Samsung color laser, which worked just fine.  Our scanner, unfortunately, was more difficult.  Canon does NOT have a Vista 64-bit driver for their (relatively old) LiDE50 device, but this site had  the answer.  Downloaded, installed, and the scanner is working great! 

Program compatibility has (so far) been surprisingly good as well, but we’re still getting all of our apps installed.  We’ll see how that goes.

GETTING THE FAMILY TO ADJUST
I’m pretty flexible when it comes to my computing environment, but more and more my family demands that the computer “just work”, so swapping to a new OS can be a bit of an uphill battle at home.  The excitement of a new, faster computer helps somewhat, as well as new wallpapers and things like that.  You know… the “bells & whistles”.  It’s only been a few days, but everyone seems to be adjusting pretty darn well.  Nice!

THE PERFORMER
Our new home machine is, of course, much faster than our previous.  If all goes according to plan, this machine ought to run circles around our previous box.  So far it is.  Launching apps are nearly instantaneous, switching users is no longer laborious, and the box just feels “snappy”.  Pretty good for $520! 🙂

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So… that’s my mini-review for Windows 7 “RC”.  The publicly-released download will be available tomorrow, May 5th.  Even better, the “RC” install doesn’t expire until March 2010, which is well after the (expected) final release of Windows 7.  Get your copy and install away!

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3 Responses to “Whassup, Windows 7 “RC”?”


  1. 1 kevinleroy May 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Over the weekend, I installed Win7 RC on my MacBook Pro and absolutely love it! It boots way faster than Vista ever did. I really liked Vista a lot but man…Win7 just rocks! When it comes out I may just convert my Home PC over to it…Don’t know though…since I already spent money on Vista… 😦

  2. 2 yipcanjo May 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I’m like you, man — Vista was fine for me, but Win7 is *just better* in every way. In fact, I’m building up two new computers for friends this week, and it kills me to be installing Vista on them. NOT because I bemoan them using Vista, of course, but rather because I know that they could (should?) be running Win7! If the OS didn’t expire in March 2010, I’d load it up in a heartbeat!


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