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gaming Dec 20, 2008 07:59 AM

Windows 7
 
Has anybody tried Microsoft's new OS yet?
I'm just curious if I will have trouble with my softwares (Photoshop, Premiere, etc) if I install it.
It's not official for public until January 7, but a search on Pirate Bay and Mininova, you can see it's availble.

Edit: Will if only work for 30 days...?

Sousuke Dec 20, 2008 11:45 AM

Chances are that if it's not even public yet, there WILL be problems. Pretty much every new iteration of an operating system has issues with programs at first.

Then again, Windows 7 doesn't seem like much of a rehash over Vista. If you use Vista, using W7 might not be all that different at this point. I'd just stick with what you've got for now, to be honest.

Dark Nation Jan 13, 2009 05:01 PM

A while back I had set aside a Partition of my laptop's hard drive for testing out new Operating Systems, and most recently it was devoid of anything. I decided to try out Windows 7 and the installation was VERY painless. The version I got was the one you can get from Microsoft directly, abiet in torrent form, which comes with default product keys since this beta is for public evaluation.

As I type I'm trying it out now. Its nothing revolutionary but I can see the appeal. I can tell this thing would run better on 2GB of ram as opposed to the 1GB I have now, but its better then Vista by all accounts so far. I'm not sure if I'll be switching to Windows 7 whenever I get a new computer, but it isn't that bad. Windows XP is certainly good enough though.

Some of the GUI changes make sense in theory, but are a little hard to get used to, and other parts of it seem completely arbitrary.

The built-in games are animated and look as good as anything else in here. I'm gonna start installing a few applications soon and see how well they perform. Aside from a few hiccups in certain programs (Which were solved by an update and a reboot) nothing majorly wrong has occured yet.

Sousuke Jan 13, 2009 06:02 PM

Despite my comment above, I actually downloaded and installed W7 the other day when it was released. I have to say it's quite nice; but it's still fairly similar to Vista. Some main changes are the 'Superbar' [the new Taskbar], and the folder panel on the left of the Explorer windows. I like this new version, I find it's way easier to navigate.

There also seems to be a huge performance increase over previous OSs I've used. Maybe it's just me though, or maybe it's just because it's a fresh install.

In the way of apps, I haven't had any compatibility issues or anything so far.

neothe0ne Jan 13, 2009 07:29 PM

Anyone know how Windows 7 compares to Server 2008 in performance?

Dark Nation Jan 14, 2009 12:49 AM

Sorry, haven't used Server 2008 so I can't say.

Continued overview:

The layout of the Start Menu and Control Panel and so forth is a mixture I'd guess you say of Windows XP, Vista and Mac OSX. The options are fairly in-depth and while I couldn't properly switch to a second monitor (My LCD TV via S-Video) with the built-in "Screen Resolution", my graphics card control panel did the job instead, so that's one area they need to improve upon.

One underused feature in past Windows versions that's built-in to the system as opposed to having to be hacked in previous versions are Themes (I don't know how much they were in Vista, or rather, how the Vista themes compare here), which are much more of an evolution then a new feature in most respects, but it feels much more fleshed out and mature, for lack of a more proper term. The Theme options add a nice touch for those who like a lot of customization, and once the full OS comes out, I expect more user-made themes to come out/be available (Much in the way you can find Windowdocks or uXtheme hacks on sites like deviantart.com) which, if Microsoft is smart at all about, they'll help the distribution of such a thing instead of hindering it. An option to search for more themes online makes me think that they will support user-made themes, but its only a conjecture at this point.

The system seems mostly stable. However, after a session of Left 4 Dead where I was on the classic theme (To reduce unneeded waste of resources), I decided to switch back to the 'Windows 7 Basic', which is a bridge between the classic theme (Which greatly emulates the Win2K look) and the full on eye candy (which has stuff like transparency) and Windows Explorer stopped working at that point.

A window appeared that indicated so and the rest of the screen turned white. After a few minutes the window changed and said it was restarting Explorer, and a moment later, it went back to the normal desktop complete with the new theme. A very nice update to how windows handles system crashes (I don't mean BSOD level problems, smaller stuff), and I didn't have to go to the task manager, type in "explorer.exe" to bring back the desktop. Windows took care of it itself, which is something they should have done a while back, but better late then never I guess.

The UAC (User Account Control) feature that was introduced in Vista is still around, but its much less noticable and feels appropriate to when it actually DOES show up (For instance, when I installed Steam, it appeared in full, but when I installed AVG Anti-Virus, a minimal sub-version of it appeared instead, which shows that the OS can, to a degree, differentiate between different kinds of applications that might wish to run), where-as in Vista the damm thing seemed to show up every 5 minutes.

Internet Explorer 8 is bundled in of course and it actually isn't that bad. The layout of the top menus is still mostly the same as it was in IE7 and I never really liked that set-up, but it displays web pages and aside from some hiccups on various sites, which might be chalked up to low ram, it didn't really cause too much trouble. I'm still a Firefox user, but this new version is something of a competitor for once, so this is a sign that Firefox will have to step up its own game to keep ahead of the curve, and is something I'm kind of glad to see.

A new version of Windows Media Player is included as well, and one weird thing I noticed, is that when the player is in the "Now Playing" window (With the visualizations/Album art), there is no right-click menu for the normal options anywhere, its not accessable at all. I sent feedback indicating this, so (Not likely) possibly they might correct this later on. Its a small thing compared to other problems that could occur, but I remember it being present in previous versions, so the removal of the convenient menu is something of a head-scratcher.

Anyway that's all for now, if you guys are interested in screenshots, I'll be happy to provide.

FatsDomino Jan 14, 2009 01:27 AM

Dark Nation, make sure you install the update that fixes the Windows Media Player chopping off parts of mp3 files bug.

I've been using Windows 7 since the first pre-beta was released, did all the blue patches and what-not to unlock the pretty, and I then installed the leaked beta 1. Besides a few bugs I can say I'm ready to switch to this operating system permanently (until something better comes out of course).

Sousuke Jan 14, 2009 01:33 AM

Another nice thing they've added to the OS [which is merely eye-candy, but still] is the desktop wallpaper thing. You can now select a bunch of wallpapers, and a 'time frame', and the wallpapers will cycle slideshow-style through the ones you selected.

A nice tie-in for something like The Week Project wallpapers. :3:

Zergrinch Jan 14, 2009 02:25 AM

I am a staunch Windows XP user who doesn't want anything to do with Vista. What can you early adopters tell me about Windows 7's speed and reliability, that might just win me over vis-a-vis XP SP3? Just curious. :3:

The unmovable stubborn Jan 14, 2009 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zergrinch (Post 673810)
I am a staunch Windows XP user who doesn't want anything to do with Vista.

The thing about religion is that no number of rational arguments will persuade the adherent to change his ways. Why would anyone waste their time trying to convert you when you've decided on your own initiative to live in the past? :shrug:

Dark Nation Jan 14, 2009 02:56 AM

We're in the same boat then. I tried out Vista once (Because it wouldn't do well to refuse to use something when I haven't even given it a shot) and hated it. WinXP is/was my OS of choice.

Well, with all the eye candy topped on, my personal experience is that the speed is slightly slower then XP, but my laptop only has 1GB of ram so your mileage may vary.

The 'classic' theme which makes it look like Win2K gives the system a very nice boost in performance and speed (Essentially removing all the eye candy). If you're wondering, in performance the speed is comparable to WinXP and MUCH faster then Vista thankfully.

Professional reports said that Win7's speed was better then XP, but those were likely high end processing stuff like 3D rendering. I'd say its at least better then Vista. The real question is if its better then XP. What say you other testers?

USB devices worked flawlessly so far and I haven't had any "unrecognized device" problems or anything like that.

Here's a look at the Control Panel, you can get an idea of what sort of features are available in terms of security & system stuff:
http://hdimage.org/images/hai2z1oy4x...ontrolanel.png

One feature introduced in Vista was the ability to plug-in a flash drive and use it as Ram. I just discovered this as I was reading your response, I don't know how well it will work, but I've given it a shot:
http://hdimage.org/images/j8mufa1i7e...0_eadyoost.png

Overall, I'd guess the reliability won't be known until the final version (ZoneAlarm wouldn't install, for example) but its speed is about the same as WinXP. Vista is a joke of an OS and I'm glad even Microsoft knows when to learn from their mistakes.

--Edit--
Hmm, after considering what Pang said, I'd suggest you download the torrent, test it out yourself and then decide if you want to stick with XP, or move onto Win7, because ultimately, its first-hand, hands-on experience that really makes or breaks these kind of decisions.

Zergrinch Jan 14, 2009 04:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pangalin (Post 673814)
The thing about religion is that no number of rational arguments will persuade the adherent to change his ways. Why would anyone waste their time trying to convert you when you've decided on your own initiative to live in the past? :shrug:

Now hold on, I have tried Vista, and found it wanting. If I am closing my mind off, why would I even make a post in this thread, Pangy?

The unmovable stubborn Jan 14, 2009 04:18 AM

You don't see any reason why someone inherently hostile to a software product would post in a thread about it? Here, I'll demonstrate.

*ahem*

WINDOWS 7, HUH WELL THAT WON'T BE A LUCKY NUMBER FOR THEM HAR HAR! SORRY MIKKKRO$HAFT BUT YOU CAN'T SELL ME YOUR GARBAGE OS NO MATTER WHAT LABEL YOU SLAP ON IT!1 I'LL JUST KEEP USING LINUX 7, WHICH IS TO SAY THE 7TH KERNEL UPDATE I'VE PERFORMED ON MY GENTOO INSTALLATION! TODAY! *SNORT*

If you say you've given it a fair shot I'll take your word but you can see why I might be cynical.

Fluffykitten McGrundlepuss Jan 14, 2009 04:57 AM

Have Microsoft made it harder to do anything complicated like they do everytime they update a program? I mean, in Excel 2008 for example they organised everything so a casual user can find things easier but for those of us who know how to use the thing properly, you either have to jump through twice as many menus or spend a couple of hours setting it up with all the shortcut buttons you want. I mean, I like the added functionality they put in, it would just be nice if they didn't feel the need to wrap everything in cotton wool all the time.

Zergrinch Jan 14, 2009 05:57 AM

I must disagree. I love the new version of Office. Excel 2007 was tremendously improved with a bunch of great new features (I especially loved the revamped PivotTable). I was a power user of early versions of Excel, and I don't feel that the new version was wrapped in cotton wool or that I have to jump twice the number of hoops. I mean, all the old ALT keyboard shortcuts still work, so it hasn't really slowed me down at all.

I imagine I would now find it rather awkward to return to an earlier version now.

That's not to say that Office 2007 doesn't have its shortcomings. I hate how Word 2007 got the short shrift, with you being unable to group pictures with drawing objects, and the new fancy WordArt not ported over to Word. I also miss the ability where you could drag out toolbars, especially when drawing flowcharts, but I guess that's what Visio is for.

Fluffykitten McGrundlepuss Jan 14, 2009 07:45 AM

Well, it's mainly the layout of the top bar I dislike. My Excel has a rather customised button-shortcut layout and I can't stand the way things are grouped in the new version. I'd rather have a fuckload of buttons than the various sections and menus they have now. I guess it's what I'm used to more than anything, having used Excel this way pretty much every day for at least 8 years but I just find it takes me a lot longer to do anything now. Like I say, I love the functionality improvements, I just dislike the interface which I feel hides a lot of the more complex stuff away somewhat.

FatsDomino Jan 14, 2009 08:54 AM

Well Zerg, if you enjoy Office 2007's ribbon then you'll be happy to hear that Microsoft has brought it to a few programs in Windows 7 and is releasing the ribbon code to developers to use in their own products..

Shin, there are some 3rd party software products you can download that will give you the old Office 2003 look. I can give you one if you'd like.

As for Windows 7's performance... I'd liken it to XP's zippyness upon first clean install. Its system allocation for memory and the way it does things is far superior to XP's though. Vista was heading in the right direction but it was half finished in a few key areas. Windows 7 takes that direction, finishes it, and refines it. So in short better than XP performance and Vista-like features and eye candy.

While it's only still in beta it's still better than any operating system Microsoft has released. If you're happy with what you're using and weren't thinking about reinstalling your operating system any time soon then I suppose you could pass. If not I'd definitely recommend that you give Windows 7 a shot. Even if you only try it out. I've been using it for over a month now. I'm not going back to Vista or XP.

Now I warn you that you may encounter a few bugs. It's beta. Not final. Be aware that you may have to change compatibility modes to install a few things.

For example I live with the fact that I can't really get sleep mode for my laptop to work but because my laptop equipped with an Intel 80 GB SSD is so fucking fast at booting up and shutting down that doesn't bother one bit. Also, I can't change brightness for some reason. This doesn't mean it'll apply for everyone but be ready for this kind of thing. Test just about every feature and function of your machine out that you think you'll be using.


Oh and one more thing. Beta expires in August unless you install a patch to disable the timebomb like I have.

Fluffykitten McGrundlepuss Jan 14, 2009 09:11 AM

There's little danger of work forking out for Office 2007 anytime soon, especially since I installed the patch to open .xlsx files on 2003 and it's only a few clients who use the new version, forcing me to work on it when I'm at their offices so it's kind of a non-issue for now and I'm sure that if I used the new version day in, day out I'd get used to it soon enough, provided it does still let you program macros into custom buttons (Best feature ever in a software package, ever. Every piece of software should let you do this). Cheers anyway though mate.

FatsDomino Jan 14, 2009 09:31 AM

No problem. Every now and then folks can't adjust to the ribbon so I offer it as a option.

Zergrinch Jan 14, 2009 09:42 AM

Mmm, aside from the expiration, that sounds rather promising. Thus far, you have encountered few driver and program compatibility problems, am I correct?

Fluffykitten McGrundlepuss Jan 14, 2009 09:48 AM

I would have thought there would be an option built in to keep using the button bar, to be fair I've not really gone looking for one as I only ever use the thing on other people's computers. I just can't imagine a situation where having every command you use even semi-regularly represented as a small button at the top of the screen wasn't the most efficient way to do things (For those of us without the memory capacity for keyboard shortcuts anyway). I appreciate that they're trying to declutter the window and hide away the less often used stuff so as not to scare off casual users but some of us actually use that clutter and add more besides.

I'm quite the luddite when it comes to new versions of software though. In part because I prefer to use things I'm familiar with and more importantly, because I work for a bunch of skinflints who won't pay to update anything until the version we're using is completely obsolete, thereby giving me little opportunity to use new things. I still have Windows XP set to look like 98 on this computer and I don't use my laptop at home enough to make it worth the time it takes to download new versions to be honest.

FatsDomino Jan 14, 2009 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zergrinch (Post 673853)
Mmm, aside from the expiration, that sounds rather promising.

The expiration is very easy to get around.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zergrinch (Post 673853)
Thus far, you have encountered few driver and program compatibility problems, am I correct?

Hmmm... it might not be true for everyone but a few programs with consistent bugs. For example, I can't get the latest version of utorrent to work but version 1.4 works fine. I haven't attempted slightly newer versions yet though, but basically the newest version just freezes and I have to wait a while before the process goes away in the task manager after I've killed the program. Vuze aka Azureus is a bit better as it's actually functional. However, you just can't exit it properly. And because of that you can't shut down your machine so you have to turn it off manually. I know there a few programs that just don't work period like Daemon Tools but I recommend Virtual Clone Drive (which does work) over that piece of shit program anyway.

I've found no problems with emulators, adobe cs4, nero 9, microsoft office 2007, media player classic (with cccp of course), foobar2000, firefox, Fallout 3, and many other programs. And drivers install just fine. For some of them you might need to change compatibility to vista for it to install since when it checks the installer doesn't know what Windows 7 is and will tell you your operating system isn't supported otherwise. It was a wise decision to have Windows 7 use the same driver system as Vista. That means practically all the drivers you need are already available and compatible.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shin (Post 673855)
I would have thought there would be an option built in to keep using the button bar, to be fair I've not really gone looking for one as I only ever use the thing on other people's computers.

Nope. Don't bother looking because Microsoft doesn't give you the option to switch to the old style. It's not there.

Well I'd say that Windows 7 is a pretty good leap from the 98 interface. You might end up liking it, Shin. One day.

Sousuke Jan 14, 2009 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zergrinch (Post 673853)
Mmm, aside from the expiration, that sounds rather promising. Thus far, you have encountered few driver and program compatibility problems, am I correct?

Acer pretty much nailed it with this one. Pretty much everything he's listed there I've also tested, and they all work fine. The one exception is... I'm using uTorrent v1.8.1, and have no problems with it whatsoever.

I haven't had any problems installing drivers though. Everything seems to be working just fine.

FatsDomino Jan 14, 2009 10:23 PM

I installed utorrent 1.6 and it's working well and pretty much every tracker accepts it. Hurray for no freezing up anymore!

Also, I've learned that you can kill the Vuze/Azureus process. The process just kind of hangs like the latest version of utorrent does for a while. Dunno why. The folks at utorrent probably would blame that I'm using Eset antivirus or something. Whatever. I don't need to use Vuze/Azureus anymore.

Dark Nation Jan 14, 2009 11:18 PM

Speaking of Torrent and other Applications. Microsoft will probably know about it being used.

Giz Explains: The Windows 7 Beta Fine Print

Nothing really surprising as far as Microsoft's always had a hard-on for final legalese print, but those testing should be aware that this is a rental, its for testing, and its not the final version. (In other words: duh)


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