Windows 7 Impressions

I’ve been perfectly content with Vista Business 64-bit for the last four months on my computer. It works great because unlike most people, I have modern hardware and know what I’m doing.

With nothing else to do, I decided to install Windows 7 RC 64-bit . Two attempts to download the 3GB x64 ISO (first one didn’t save correctly), partitioned my drive with GParted Live, and proceeded to use what most people call “the best Windowz everz”.

First off, I’ve been using Windows 7 in a virtual machine for some time. When the first public beta came out, I ran it and wasn’t highly impressed. It was hard for me to feel the difference between it and Vista. Start-up time? Slight improvement. Overall use? Same, if not worse. Interface? I hate the larger Taskbar. Windows 7 didn’t compel to write any reviews.

But now, with the Release Canddiate out, it’s in a more pristine stage of development. The early kinks should be sorted out, and I should have an operating system vastly superior to Vista.

Or so they say…

Whenever I install Windows on a computer, the first thing I always do is to disable unneeded services. My Vista setup starts with about 30 services. I got Windows 7 to 29, but it felt much slower than Vista. It took longer for it to overcome the grogginess of a cold start. It took longer for it to open up the web browser from a cold start. I’m impatient, and those 2-3 seconds matter a lot to me. Where’s the improvement, Microsoft?

I tested the memory usage on Firefox open with a few tabs of actual webpages. Typical everyday scenario.

Vista Business x64

It’s actually 855MB. Took a bad screenshot, too lazy to change it. Expected usage.

Windows 7 RC (Ultimate Build 7100)

Windows 7 does use much less memory than Vista by 50MB. Not a significant difference to me, but it could help lower-end computers. I don’t care for the other memory optimizations, because I couldn’t feel the difference in day-to-day tasks. Is this the only real gain for me? Everything else has been a wash, and I cannot understand why people tout Windows 7 as something better than Vista by a mile.

In my use, Vista Business 64-bit is still better than Windows 7 Ultimate RC 64-bit. Vista is snappier, faster, and from a cold start, more responsive. Control Panel in Vista opens up faster. But of course, I have been tweaking Vista for the last four months and 7 is still fresh.

A step in the right direction? For those with older hardware, yes. For the idiot Vista complainers, yes. For those who find few faults in Vista, not yet.

I need some concrete proof from Windows 7 to persuade me to change. With the upgrade cost of Windows, I can slap on 4 more gigabytes of memory instead. The latter option sounds more appealing.

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