Windows 7 was released as a public download on Monday. I downloaded yesterday, and am now testing on my tower system. A clean installation was a breeze and had finished within 30 to 45 minutes. This is much faster than a standard clean install of Vista.
The user interface of Win7 hasn’t had much tweaking since Vista, with the main new feature being the updated taskbar. I can’t decide whether this lack of UI change is indicative of how the final product will look, or whether Microsoft are keeping the new design under their hats for a big flourish at launch time.
Rumours have surfaced about the launch date for the final product. These have indicated an “October” launch, with the writers of various articles about the leak stating that this is October 2010. However, the RC expires in June 2010, and previous history has shown that the final pre-release of Microsoft’s products have had expiry dates up to 6 months beyond the projected/final launch dates. One such example of this is my copy of Windows 98 Beta expiring somewhat after the final release had come and gone. (I forget the actual figure, but I do remember getting around the expiration by resetting my system clock before booting: I was a real rebel back then! :-p)
I’m now also trying an upgrade install using my laptop to see whether there are any major problems on that front. I really should try both a clean install and upgrade install on the two architectures (x86 and x86_64) rather than just a clean on x86_64 and just an upgrade on x86.
The upgrade process on my laptop identified only two issues prior to beginning. Those being the presence on the ATI drivers along with McAfee Internet Security. Neither of these two products are compatible with Win7 at the versions I had installed.
I’ve not decided upon which Internet Security suite I want to settle with, as I have had issues with Norton complaining once I’d installed more times than they allow (even though the installs were all on the same machine) and technical difficulty when downloading McAfee approximately one year ago.
On a technical note, however, I have found Norton to either not prompt enough, or in the right circumstances, or prompt too much. McAfee was the first ever anti-viral product I had ever used, way back in the days of DOS; ever since I’ve always found the product to work well, with my only bad experience being with the third party that McAfee had used for the download store. I guess I can’t really blame McAfee for this third party’s shortcomings.