Is 7 a 'good' Windows upgrade, and other questions

  GrumpyTrucker 10:04 23 Jul 2009

Hi all.

I don't particularly like risking my system with Beta versions or RCs (just in case a roll back doesn't work) so haven't tied out the new Windows 7 (pity a more energetic name for it couldn't be found). I wanted to but just couldn't quite bring myself to try it. Is this version of Windows, for once, actually considered by those in the know as being a piece of MS software that works and does what it says on the tin?

Almost every consumer version of Windows (i.e. not NT) since 3.1 (well, maybe 95) has been pulled apart and generally viewed as a waste of development time: 98 was seen as not a huge leap from 95. Millenium was criticised for many things, as well as seemingly having a memory hole. XP upset all the NT users and Vista seemed to upset just about everyone. Is 7 likely to be the OS that brings Windows back to being a useful OS?

Also, this 'no browser' thing. Why? I know the EU decided MS was being anticompetitive by including a browser as this was 'restricting the trade' of other developers' browsers. However, the same could be said about the inclusion of notepad, a defragger, and just about ANY piece of software in Windows that a commercially available alternative exists for. Stretch the point and Messenger, Mail and others could be next.

As much as I often refer to Microsoft as Micro$oft or M$ (same as everyone else) I can't help feeling that they've been unfairly treated here. After all, OS X comes with Safari - a browser - and Apple haven't been told that OS X Snow Leopard has to have Safari removed for the EU market. And when yo uconsider that most Macs these days bundle in photo editing and web creation software, then Apple are more guilty of anticompetitiveness than Microsoft, yet no slap on the wrist for them. I know their market share is still smaller but if it's EU Law then it should apply across the board surely?

And lastly, I see a few threads around here about the low cost pre-order versions. Firstly, does anyone know why Ultimate isn't included in this? And is Ultimate that much different to Pro anyway? Secondly, has anyone had a definitive answer as to how these versions install? IS it a Full Retail or Upgrade version? If Upgrade, does the original OS have to be INSTALLED or can we use a virgin HDD and just stick our old OS disc in to check eligibility? The MS Shop seem to be giving conflicting info on that one. Once 7 is installed, what will happen to my full retail version of Vista Ultimate? Can I still install it on another machine or will the key become invalid?

I really want to preorder at this ridiculously low price but want to be able to either reinstall Vista if I have to, or install my fully paid for OS on another machine. If it's an option that'll work I might stick another HDD in and dual boot install 7 on that HDD with Vista still running on the original - just in case there's any programs that won't run.

Anyway, that's the lot. Any and all opinions welcome.

  mehtdosa11 11:00 23 Jul 2009

hi, you made some interesting points in your post. personally i really like w7,[ i didn't try vista after all the bad press]. i had in fact left windows xp, to use linux but w7 has brought me back! i think w7 is going to be the OS that microsoft always hoped vista would be.

i have tried both the beta and rc versions and in fact have ordered the home premium at the low price. ultimate is available now at amazon although only at a measly £30 cheaper than the official price [£229]. i suppose microsoft were being generous with the home editions, but not that generous when it comes to the more expensive versions!

as far as i know w7 is only at the moment being offered as a fresh install, so you're idea of using a second hard drive is a good one. i installed the beta over xp, and the rc on a new fresh hard drive with no problems.

although one thought has occurred to me, when w7 is due to be released, there should be lots of pc sellers with a glut of vista machines. so hopefully there might be a few bargains to be snapped up, which then could be converted to w7, assuming you can get a version at the lower price.

  GrumpyTrucker 11:17 23 Jul 2009

Thanks for the reply. I am definitley thinking about going down the dual boot 7 & Vista route. At least then if I do stumble across anything that won't run I have an option. I wanted Ultimate (only cos thta's the Vista I'm using) but think Pro will suffice. Home Pro seems be getting thin on the ground - PC World have already sold out their pre-orders - so anyone after Home Pro should get a wiggle on and find one.

Good to hear that they've finally moved a step closer to pleasing more people. I've browsed the MS site and looked at some of the new features and it SEEMS to be an improvement. Has network transfer speed been improved over the hash that is Vista?

  Pine Man 12:25 23 Jul 2009

I, like you probably, have used every o/s since Windows 3.11. As far as I'm concerned Vista was by far the best! Until now.

I have been running Windows 7 RC1 for some time now and it appears to do better what Vista attempted. I have a boot manager and decide at boot up which drive to start, either Vista or windows 7. It is NOT dual boot so neither o/s is dependant on the other BUT you can access the files on both systems via Windows Explorer regardless of which system is actually running.

As soon as I was aware of the heavily discounted pre-order option I bought a copy of Windows 7.

Windows 7, in my experience, is very fast and stable. My only criticism is that Microsoft lost an ideal opportunity to improve UAC. It is different but still not good. Norton have a free program to modify UAC in Vista to give it a 'memory' and I only hope they develop one for Windows 7.

  GrumpyTrucker 13:13 23 Jul 2009

After reading a few threads on here I have decided to bite the bullet and try the RC (Gawd help me), seeing as it's supposed to be easy to get rid of if installed on a seperate partition/HDD. And that it what I am now using to view this site.

First impressions? Seems OK. Not 100% sure about the new taskbar look - icons instead of name for running apps will take a bit of getting used to I think. I know the labels can be turned on but some grouping is lost.

Having to download a Mail program seperatly was a pain, so heaven help the non-too-savvy when having to get a browser! I think this unbundling of apps is going to cause a few issues somewhere along the line.

  laurie53 20:46 23 Jul 2009

Even if I can't get a cut price offer I will certainly not be going back to Vista when my RC expires.

I will buy the full price version, though for the laptop I will go back to XP, but never to Vista.

W7 is the best yet, and I have been using Windows since 89/90.

  Rob_08 23:05 23 Jul 2009

Cant UAC in 7 just be turned off ? If it can be, i may consider keeping one of the two copies i pre purchased. I have absolutely no use for it.

  ambra4 05:48 24 Jul 2009


"Can't UAC in 7 just be turned off?"

Yes UAC in Win7 can be totally turn off

  Pine Man 08:08 24 Jul 2009

As ambra4 says, yes it can be turned off but I like to use it as a warning for new operations, which could be risky. This is feasible with Norton UAC but not with Windows 7 unless Norton bring out a version for it.

  Rob_08 21:00 24 Jul 2009


Glad to hear it can be turned off, but i hope it doesnt nag you afterwards to turn it back on though.!


Using it as a warning for new operations sounds reasonable to me.


  GrumpyTrucker 21:31 24 Jul 2009

That seems to be the problem. You can turn it off - but that's it, it's off. Or as far as I can tell anyway. It has 4 levels:

1) Notify when anything tries to install or make changes & changing Windows settings

2) Notify when anything tries to install or make changes but NOT when changing Windows ettings

3) Same as above but without dimming the desktop

4) Never notify.

Not much leeway really

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