I'll admit it. I still run Windows on a few machines--mostly because I have software that needs it (like flight planning or my scanner tools). And it's good on a notebook where drivers are tricky in Ubuntu at times.

But I've also been using Windows XP Professional on all my Windows boxes (one desktop, one laptop, and one HTPC) for a long time now. However, as of a couple days ago I'm running the Windows 7 Beta on my Thinkpad T61. And you know what?

I completely agree with the reviews I've seen. It's good. I basically never touched Vista (since it was teh suck) but Windows 7 is snappy, easier to use, and the transition from XP isn't that hard at all. Plus it has drivers for everything.

This definitely doesn't feel like a beta at all. In fact, it reminds me of the Windows NT 4.0 beta days. I ran the beta as my desktop operating system for quite some time and loved it.

For a long time I believed that nothing produced by Microsoft would displace Windows XP Professional, but I'm really starting to think they've got a starting chance. And if it's even a bit faster and leaner when the full release comes, that's all the better.

I just hope there's an in-place upgrade option for those of us using the beta. And I hope they're smart about the pricing--especially if they really want to get folks off of XP.

Posted by jzawodn at February 12, 2009 07:01 AM

Reader Comments
# Mike Woodhouse said:

To me, a Vista victim due to my feeble inability to downgrade my new, SATA-based machines to XP (which didn't know about SATA), Win7 feels like the evolution from XP that Vista should have been. It's still Vista, but because the driver model hasn't really changed it actually supports most hardware, it has the (major) fixes that SP1 brought that made the think just about bearable and a lot of the other rough edges (and Vista was in effect a rush-job rewrite, don't forget) have been smoothed away.

So it's almost kinda mostly the real release of Vista, now that we're past the billion-user beta program. It's still not exciting like XP was, more like a relief, but that's good too.

on February 12, 2009 08:11 AM
# David Edmondson said:

The installation page (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-installation-instructions.aspx) says:

"You won't be able to upgrade from the Beta to the final retail version of Windows 7."

on February 12, 2009 08:34 AM
# Joe said:

Can you stream KQED using Windows 7?
I get a never ending connection problem.

on February 12, 2009 09:38 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


I'll try but can't see why it wouldn't work. I usually stream using WinAmp.

on February 12, 2009 10:09 AM
# Sebastien said:

Why still bother with Windows? I admit I have to use it for a few things as well, but nothing that requires more than a VM (and runs well thanks to XP;). As an open-source advocate why would somebody continue to use a product issued from a company that only seeks domination & monopoly and that keeps attempting to kill the free (as in freedom) open source movement?

I agree though, that Linux is best but takes a lot of time to tweak and install drivers on, specially laptops. However, there is a middle line: OS X. It is an hybrid open/close OS that lets me use what I want and run FOSS natively thanks to its UNIX roots.

Why not?

on February 12, 2009 03:50 PM
# Joe Zawodny said:

I'm still running XP Pro on my laptop and occasionally on Parallels on my Mac. Primary reasons: Some must have software only runs on Windows, I still have a bunch of valid licenses, XP is reliable and reasonably fast.

I'm in the market for a very fast laptop (considering something akin to an Alienware M17, but cheaper) and was hoping that Windows 7 would not suck. I will wait for Win 7 before I buy. So, this unbiased quick review is reassuring.

on February 13, 2009 06:48 AM
# Sebastien said:

You should seriously consider a 2nd gen Macbook Air. I recently switched and that little one is fast thanks to the SSD! If you are gaming, then it is probably not for you, but as a development machine that is ultra portable and a solid desktop replacement when hooked up to a external screen/keyboard/mouse, I can't think of anything better.

FYI, I use VMWare Fusion, always got better performances out of it than Parallels. (And man the SSD is a blessing for VM performance!)

I wrote an informal review of my switch to a MBA on blog, you might be interested to check it out! (http://iblog.there4i.am/?p=4)

Good luck!

on February 13, 2009 09:15 AM
# Joe said:

Sorry for the red herring on KQED.

Streaming media plays just fine.

It is a problem with IExplorer not passing the .asx file to the default media player in Windows 7/7000

Here's an example http://video.dot.ca.gov/asx/Kingvale-eb-80.asx

Of course Firefox plays nicely and asks and passes it right on over to your player of choice, but the irony of .asx not being passed from IE to WMP is a chuckle.

on February 13, 2009 11:09 AM
# Jim Howard said:

I've read that there will not be a way to move an existing xp system directly to any of the seven flavors of win 7.

If you want to preserve your existing installation you'll have to upgrade to vista, then to win 7.

I hope that's not true, but it certainly has an MS smell abou ti.

on February 14, 2009 08:33 AM
# Peeping Tom said:

Despite all the negative opinions of Vista I have few bad things to say about it other than wireless networking suckiness, but I bought a new laptop about the same time it came out that "designed" to work with Vista. The initial learning curve was a little stinky but not that bad.

Windows 7 beta was great on the same machine (until it was stolen from my house last week) and I will definitely be upgrading when it is release in MS Action Pack.

I must say that MS's decision to release a multitude of version kills me. The support issues that go along with multiple version has to be expensive and confusing, and does it really make more money for them in the end?

Sebastien, MS is not the devil incarnate, and support of Apple seems ironical when you dislike MS so much. Snobbery and elitism is as unappealing to me as putting out crappy products. Life goes on.

on February 14, 2009 03:15 PM
# Robert said:

I'm also running the Windows 7 beta. I didn't have as good of luck with drivers as someone who said it was driver friendly. My test box is a 3 Ghz Pentium with a Gig of RAM and a standard motherboard with integrated audio, video, network - It's maybe 3 years old.

Windows 7 does not recognize the onboard video correctly at all. I'm using a 5-6 year old AGP video card right now instead that is utilizing the standard windows vga driver (video gives a 1 on the score). Also, I bought a brand new usb wireless adapter, no go. Instead, I used a 4 year old standard usb wireless card and bingo, worked fine.

Windows 7 does boot faster and overall, I like the look and feel of it. Even though it's a farther along beta than some betas I've been a part of, I still need some large improvements for me to buy a real license.

on February 14, 2009 06:33 PM
# Peter da Silva said:

Microsoft has yet to come up with a compelling reason for me to upgrade from Windows 2000, let alone XP. So far the only reason I could see for even switching to XP is if I buy a new computer that I can't install Windows 2000 on. I expect that will eventually happen, even though I'm not a "gamer" -- my computer will break beyond my ability to repair and I'll buy a new one with whatever version of Windows is current then.

I'm not sure what the first poster was talking about, though: Windows 2000 runs just fine from SATA so I'm sure Windows XP must as well.

on February 20, 2009 09:42 AM
# Dizi izle said:

this far always believing in my computer with Windows XP even if it is always erorr fell ill virus

on February 23, 2009 08:02 PM
# Mark said:

I've been running Windows 7 beta for a while and it really was an improvement until......my password expired. When I tried to enter a new one, Windows 7 came back saying "procedure not found". All attempts have failed even in SAFE mode. Any ideas?

on February 26, 2009 04:22 PM
# Joseph Hunkins said:

This is good news and another reason to wait until 7 for an upgrade from XP. One has to wonder how much MS could have saved by simply skipping the Vista fiasco altogether. I remember my and other folks' first experiences with it at MS MIX06 three years ago which foreshadowed all the troubles to come.

on February 27, 2009 07:04 AM
# KrOcO said:

I have same problem, my Windows 7 password is expired and when i'm trying to change it i get this "The specified procedure could not be found".

I need help


on March 6, 2009 11:08 AM
# John Gruenenfelder said:

Peter da Silva: Unless you did some magic, Win2K isn't using SATA. Most everybody needs some new driver just to get XP to use SATA. It's working for the same reason that you could probably still boot DOS if you wanted to: BIOS compatibility mode.

It slows everything *way* down, but lets you access your SATA drive like an older IDE drive. It solves the chicken in the egg problem, i.e. how can I download the WinXP SATA driver if I can't install XP to begin with?

My current machine has the same feature in its BIOS. Since I was installing a recent version of Debian/testing, I turned it off. But if I wanted to put XP on I'd probably need to temporarily enable it.

This is actually one of the reasons I use Vista. I've got a dual-boot Debian/Windows system. I keep Windows only for playing games because it's often too hard to get them working in Linux when using ATI video drivers. I could get rid of all the pretty stuff on my Linux desktop and it might work better then, but then I might as well just run Windows and get all the performance. Go into Windows to play games, go into Linux for everything else productive. And if I somehow need to be productive *and* need Windows, then I've got VMs to get me by.

Anyway, PCs have changed enough in the past nine years that I don't think I'd want to run Win2K at all. Things like decent ACPI support, PCI-Express, 64bit CPUs, better timers, etc., etc. I wouldn't want to run an old version of Linux either. Why let all that extra mobo hardware sit idle? It might not be mission critical, but it's there... might as well use it.

on March 14, 2009 12:17 PM
# watzabatza said:

I completely agree with the reviews I've seen. It's good. I basically never touched Vista (since it was teh suck) but Windows 7 is snappy, easier to use, and the transition from XP isn't that hard at all. Plus it has drivers for everything. ----> absolutely you are correct. I use windows 7 too. i don't like vista, too heavy compare to windows 7.

on March 17, 2009 05:28 AM
# Sean Reynolds said:

Hey KrOcO,
I have the exact same issue!!

"The specified procedure could not be found".

I have windows 7 installed in a VM under Fusion. And when I reset my VM the other day, it told me my password was expired.

I went to reset the password and thats the only message I get. Endless loop. It kicks me back to the login page.

If I put in a wrong password, it wont even tell me its expired, so I know I'm using the right password.

Any Ideas?

on April 23, 2009 08:17 AM
# andreas lee said:

that is the right decision not to touch vista, Jeremy. i used vista on my first and second laptop and they're getting slowed down, day by day.
when i read your post, i wanna try windows 7.

is windows 7 better than XP ?

on May 22, 2009 05:40 AM
# Austin said:

So it seems like all they did to Windows 7 is copy Mac OS X. All the supposed "cool" features have been in existence on a Mac for years. Hmmmmm. Also the new commercials that promote Windows 7 as being "everyone's idea" are very interesting. So everyone decided that they didn't want a product that didn't work. So everyone suggested things that Mac users liked and suggested that Windows incorporate those things so that their operating system would work and now that they did and their product works it's everybody's great idea? Interesting. A product that does what it is supposed to do is everyone's great idea...

on November 2, 2009 05:31 AM
# joeyjuviyani said:

Looking for Windows 7 Activation Patch from Microsoft? Get the same here: http://forums.techarena.in/operating-systems/1305115.htm

on February 12, 2010 05:01 PM
# Blackjack Schule said:

The new XP mode is VERY easy to setup and use. After a quick 10 min setup I installed TMPgenc authoring works 4 the way i have on Vista in the past and it works. You can even create a shortcut and run it directly by way of a virtual window. This is the first time MS has impressed me in some time. The only annoyance I found is using past projects, you had to "point" to the video files and the locations are marked to let you know they are virtual HDs. Internet ardware all worked flawlessly. I never had luck with VMs before so this was nice. You can even use the VM on other computers, just make sure you write down the user name and password as the default names are a bit funky. anyway, hope it helps, I use this quite a bit.

on June 15, 2010 04:20 AM
# brahimbb17 said:

thanks a lot for the post,

I have a question, I steel trying but that dont work for me, any one have idea ?

on July 15, 2010 08:36 AM
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