I had much better luck today getting a installation key and copy of the Windows 7 Beta from Microsoft. I have just installed it in a BootCamp partition on my MacBook Pro and so far, I’m impressed. I decided to put it into BootCamp to get real performance metrics since VMware Fusion would have a certain amount of overhead. And as a BootCamp partition, I should be able to run it as a VM in either Parallels Desktop or Fusion.
So far, I have to say, I’m impressed. The OS is responsive and quick. The boot time was impressive and so far, it looks to be a huge improvement over Vista, even in its beta form. Everything that I have seen so far is in line with what I’ve been reading. Some are already giving it the real what-for by using it as their day to day OS and its working well. It runs on par with Windows XP and has all the enhanced functionality of Vista.
The few visible enhancements, including the Microsoft Dock improved task bar is a good implementation, although its slightly awkward. Like Apple’s Dock, you can drag often used applications to the it and pin them to the dock for quick launch. What is nice about this is that you no longer have two IE icons on your taskbar – one under the QuickLaunch icons and one as the running. Plus, as most users have encountered, the taskbar gets cluttered so easily with lots of applications open in Windows XP. The “new” taskbar makes this much cleaner by only representing each application running with an icon instead of the entire title of the application. Something that the taskbar has over the Dock is the live preview. With multiple IE windows open, I can mouse over the taskbar and a preview will appear for all the open IE windows and I can scroll through them to find the one that I want. To me, that’s very useful, particularly at work where most of our applications are transitioning to the web.
It takes some getting used to the rearranged control panels, but I think Microsoft has improved up on this with real world language being presented with each section that describes what you can easily do in that section. These shortcuts really help those of us who have stuck with XP and sworn off Vista. I am interested to get some real applications running under Windows 7 for testing. I also need to work out the native Apple drivers for my hardware and see if I am able to get my experience score higher. On my first run, without the real Apple drivers loaded, I got a experience score of 1. I am no able to test any of the Aero features or right click currently, but I know all this is because I am running it on the Mac and not the shortcomings of the OS.
There will be more to come soon.