So I finally got around to installing the Microsoft Windows 7 Release Candidate that I downloaded last week. I did have the beta version running in a dual-boot configuration with Ubuntu 9.04 on my MSI Wind netbook, but I’ve wiped the drive. My installation of Windows 7 went smoothly, required minimal interaction and took perhaps 20 minutes. I chose to install it on a netbook first because I know that Microsoft has worked hard to overcome one of Vista’s main challenges: running on relatively low hardware specifications.
Clearly, they’ve achieved that goal based on the screen capture below from my netbook. In fact, they’ve accomplished something that not even Apple has done with Mac OS X, nor has Canonical done with Ubuntu: They have the operating system running without any RAM! If Microsoft can do that, just think of what’s next: computers without displays that project images right in your mind or entering text using a pen instead of keyboard. Oh wait…
OK, I’m joking about the RAM issue, although I was surprised to see that Windows 7 didn’t show any RAM in the System section of the Control Panel. Hey, it’s a release candidate, so there are still going to be bugs, issues and challenges to fix. Besides, I need a little humor in my life these days due to recent events, so maybe this was Microsoft’s way of trying to make me smile. ;)
All kidding aside, I like the new “Pen and Touch” status included with the system specs. I don’t recall if that was there with the beta builds or not, but it’s important. Windows 7 adds touch and ink improvements and consumers need to know if their hardware is capable of using them or not. You can also see that my MSI Wind with no RAM 2GB of RAM scored a Windows Experience Index of 2.1. That number represents the lowest subscore, which was the Graphics component. Next lowest was the Processor subscore at 2.2. Gaming Graphics was a 3.0 while the Primary Hard Disk score was 4.9. Ironically, the Memory (RAM) score was a respectable 4.5; not bad since I was expecting a big, fat zero!
Since I had planned to give Ubuntu 9.04 a good look, I’ll be putting that OS back on the netbook. Again, I’ll do this in a dual-boot configuration so I can pick and choose my operating system upon booting.