I’ve read a lot of stuff about the new Windows 7 beta, especially the changes to the task bar and the fancy Aero effects, but there hasn’t been a lot said about its performance.
So about 2 hours ago I installed Windows 7 Beta 1 on my ageing VAIO FS115S laptop that only has a tired old Pentium M740 and 768mb RAM (bless it).
When I did this with the Vista release a year or so ago, my patience lasted about the time it takes the average kettle to boil. I soon gave up and re-instated XP. Vista was dog slow and it wouldn’t even entertain the idea of letting me enjoy Aero, which I suppose would only have made things worse in any case.
Now I’m not a Vista hater. There are some things I really like about it, its just that it took me to purchase a new desktop with an i7 920 processor inside and a beefy graphics card to appreciate it.
When Vista runs well its a perfectly nice place to be, its just that Windows 7 proves that MS got one major aspect of it so wrong. Vista’s lack of performance was shocking, and that was the main problem for me, not UAC, not the re-designed explorer, not the streamlined backup process, or any of the hundreds of things that people have complained about. Nope, I thought most of that was perfectly ok. It was the dreadful performance that got my goat. I hate listening to hard disks thrashing, hate it, like I hate pomegranates or people eating in Cinemas or the music of Chesney Hawks. The dreadful speed that Vista runs at on an average pc ruins the whole experience. The worst example for me being the (lack of) speed when copying and moving files around, it was like watching Mamma Mia on repeat for eternity (sorry Dr. Kermode, have to disagree with you on that one).
So now I’m sitting here with almost what could be described as a smile on my big fat face. There is no sign of Pierce Brosnan’s singing and Windows 7 is still running on my lowly VAIO laptop. Compared to Vista, Windows 7 flies! It’s completely usable, no problem at all, and I have all of the graphical bells and whistles running too, I’m almost stunned!
Not to say that Windows 7 is perfect of course. After the install was complete I had no wireless, no audio and only standard VGA graphics, here we go again I thought. But after a little scramble around to get the appropriate Vista drivers, which wasn’t too tricky, everything is great.
Honestly, it really is great. If Windows 7 carries on like this MS have a winner on their hands. I’m actually looking forward to the release now.
You can give Windows 7 Beta 1 a try later today when Microsoft release it to the masses. I honestly don’t think you’ll be disappointed!