Over the last week, apart from being quite busy with my work (he he working hardly ;)) .. I did some major changes to my computing environment (and my friends). For my self, I installed the latest Ubuntu 9.04 on iBook G4 Mac, completely removing OSX 10.3 (more on this pleasing experience in the next post :-) ).
My friend, who was not quite happy with default Windows XP that came pre-installed with Eee PC, wanted to test out Windows 7. So, I first ran the upgrade advisor for Windows 7 (beta available at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/upgrade-advisor.aspx). This required me to install the .Net runtime which was not installed by default on Windows XP. The upgrade advisor suggested that I can safely install Windows 7 :) On the side note, I also ran this on my MiLeap and my Dell machine back home. For it was quite obvious that MiLeap didn't meet the basic Windows 7 requirements (so would stick to using Vista on it, for the moment), on my Dell machine it noted that I need to update OpenOffice to work well with Windows 7, which seemed reasonable.
So I downloaded the DVD image of Windows 7 RC from (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/). Next, as Eee doesn't come with a DVD drive and I didn't have an USB pen drive at my disposal, I downloaded Daemon tools (http://www.daemon-tools.cc/eng/downloads), that allows you to mount .iso images. Well from here it was pretty easy and straight forward to install Windows 7 side by side with Winddows XP. I did not have to worry about disk partitioning too as Eee already had two partitions with one of them being free.
So how does it fair? I am quite impressed. The aero effects are all very pleasing and surprisingly more useful than what was there with Windows Vista. Though the graphics is not very smooth (as compared to my desktop), the speed is quite acceptable, given than I have Nvidia 8500 GTX with 512mb dedicated card for my desktop contrary to the default Intel chipset graphics that comes with Eee for the moment. I would not put any screen shots for pleasing you though (as all these are quite prominently there at various sites on the Internet, and also official videos at http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/developers/archive/2009/05/07/new-windows-7-videos-on-channel-9.aspx)
Apart from all the (pleasing) reviews that have gone into Windows 7, I like some small but wonderful changes to basic Windows applications:
1) Paint: All the interface changes aside, the default format in which the images are saved is PNG and not BMP. I just like this.
2) Write: Again all the pretty interface changes (finally!!) but good this is that it directly supports OpenOffice Writer formats (opening as well as reading). Though the default options is RTF still, which is OK.
I have not yet tested any third party apps on this installation, but have tested many on my virtual machine setup (including my MeTA Studio ;-)) so I see no problem with major applications that are used daily, with an exception of OpenOffice. It seems there are some issues with 3.0 version but the latest OpenOffice 3.1 seems to have resolved these issues as the Windows 7 upgrade advisor doesn't complain about it.
So the short story is: In most likely hood, when windowd 7 is released, I will upgrade my desktop back home (only the OS)... am not sure though what will happen to my MiLeap ... which is most likely to still run Vista (SP2) ;-)
And well finally, look back for my post on installing Ubuntu on my Mac ..
PS: This post (as usual) was written using Eee running Windows 7 with IE 8.