Windows 7 - After a month use

In a previous post I already wrote about my first Windows 7 impression after I out or pure frustration upgraded my home PC that is hardly ever used. Based on the positive first impression I decided also to upgrade my Vista business laptop. This was not an easy choice, because it's a Sony Vaio with a not too good reputation on driver support and drivers are, according to Microsoft, usually the cause of all Vista problems.

The main issues I was having with Vista was very poor battery life, poor Wifi connections (dropping connections and just refusing to reconnect) and many failures with the sleep functionality (an essential feature for a laptop). I was actually so fed up with Vista that most of the time I preferred to use my private MacBook..

I decided to do an upgrade, because I didn't expect proper driver support, it seemed a safer option. The upgrade went smooth, but extremely slow. I guess it took 4 hours or so to complete. Immediately after the upgrade I installed the MP3 patch and a Beta Antivirus application. All settings and applications migrated perfectly, including the fingerprint reader and other drivers. This is actually very interesting, because I still have all the same drivers installed as when I was still running Vista... Microsoft, the story that the drivers are the cause of most Vista problems is for that reason not TRUE!

In the first days I experienced some very weird behavior with Office 2007 application, they were extremely, extremely, extremely slow to start, but like a miracle this resolved itself after starting them a number of times. Now they are fine. I still do have some minor issues, like the 10 year old bug that Outlook doesn't close properly. Pressing the window close X doesn't properly close, but File-Exit does. I also have some issues with TweetDeck (Adobe Air) it has a problem when I minimize and go into sleep mode. Now a month later I run everything I need, actually not that much, without real problems. I haven't had any blue screens and only a few times Sleep - Wake up problems, like a drained battery due to refuse to go to sleep.

The key requirements for a laptop are definitely better with Windows 7. Battery life is about 30% better (no scientific test), I haven't had a single Wifi connection problem and I now confidently close the lid to go into sleep mode. This all resulting me to use my Windows machine more frequently again, but still prefer my Mac though...

What would I still like to see improved? Microsoft you can do it, if you really want it! Battery life is still not good enough, Wake up from sleep and booting is still too slow and further you need to improve some user interface behavior. For instance you need an additional click when starting something from the start menu and it took me a week to figure out how to start a second instance of a pinned task bar application.

Microsoft, you did a good job on improving the basics and fixing many Vista bugs, but I miss any added value in Windows 7. It's a good Vista SP3 or at best a $20 upgrade for the DVD. I really hope you take this in consideration when deciding on pricing.

5 comments

Fully agree on this post with one comment...I still haven't figured out how to start a second instance of a pinned task bar application. Like a new IE instance or windows explorer. Please shine a light

Ronald

Press 'Shift' when clicking the icon in the taskbar.... or right-mouse click and you see a menu item in the jump list (yes that is how Microsoft calls it)

-Aad

I'm also running Windows 7 now for almost one month (not on a laptop, but on my home PC). I didn't upgrade my Vista installation, like you did, but did a fresh install on a new partition. Installation went quite fast and smooth and the 1st time I started, Windows 7 was fast as hell! But, after some time starting up slowed down. Perhaps because I installed some devices (like eSata drive). Shutting down Windows 7 still goes fast though. Vista took ages after a while...

I also added Office 2007, but I didn't experience the same issues you mention though. It runs fine and Outlook closes normally.

Even installing a Windows 7 beta device driver for my Creative X-Fi sound card works immediately and I didn't see any blue screen yet (yes, this time Creative is fast with their driver. Probably learned from the last time when they came a few months too late with it after Windows Vista arrived...).

The only odd thing I noticed is that one (or more) of my local hard drives (I got 4) goes into sleep mode after some time (you can hear the click). This is normally not a problem, until you start e.g. the Windows Explorer which tries to access all connected drives and has to start it up again. It's like Windows 7 is freezes completely for some seconds... Weird...
Perhaps it's because of wrong power settings, but I didn't change that from the beginning, so...

What I like is that you can move the Windows Gadgets arround, but... why would you need this??

What you didn't mention are the accelarators, which I think is a good new feature. Like e.g. marking a piece of text on a webpage, right mouse click on it and e.g. directly start a Google search with that text. This saves time!

Something else that I noticed is that my Windows 7 system reboots (at least once) when you leave it running for some time (let's say one hour) doing nothing. I haven't figured out yet how this is caused and what I do to prevent it.

-- Werner.

Hey Werner,

To prevent the reboot after one hour: keep on working instead of drinking coffee ;-)

Marco

I have been running Windows 7 for 3 weeks. I have to say it feels more comfortable than Vista and Windows Server 2008. I biggest issue I ran into was getting BSOD's when copying large files off a network drive (something I rarely ever do). The culprit was AVG 8.0 Pro. I was receiving the BSOD with tdx.sys. Ended up uninstalled AVG and installed EEST instead. So far no BSOD's. I also disliked IE8. It was incredibly slow opening websites. Occassionally IE8 would crash. Other times I would click something and it would become non responsive for minutes. Finally, some websites looked horrendous - even in compatibility mode.

All in all, I like Win7 - though I didn't have issues with Vista until some wireless driver issues causing BSODs.

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