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Summary:

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 […]

windows-7-logoSo 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…

windows-7-ram

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.

  1. When I saw a netbook story my first thought was, “huh, this seems like something Kevin would write about.” I was pretty surprised to see you credited with the article, though.

    It’s good to have you back, Kevin.

    This is the first thing I’ve seen to really get my jazzed about Windows 7. Maybe I’ll have to download the release candidate after all.

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  2. Shawn Roberts Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    I downloaded Windows7 RC last night and put it on an MSi Wind with 1 gig of ram. Just getting it running was quite an accomplishment for since I held on installing any of the beta versions because I did not think that I could do it.

    I have used it just a bit, but I really like it – it runs better than XP which was on the Wind and I assuming better than Vista would on a Netbook.

    I am encouraged with what I have seen so far from 7 and am excited to use it a bit more in the future.

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  3. austinandrew Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Be careful Kevin. Your brethren at The Apple Blog will surely find a way to dispute this :)

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  4. I don’t understand all the “Vista sucks on netbooks and Windows 7 is better” hype. I’ve been running Vista Ultimate on a 1GB Aspire One and the performance has been fine. Getting the right video drivers installed is the key.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tby/2997435909/

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  5. I found a bunch of sites explaining how to install from a usb drive, but they were all somewhat complicated. I found this ultra simple way to do it without a dvd drive, without a usb flash drive, or anything else. Never heard of the site before but it was so simple I had to post it here, it took literally 2 minutes to set up: http://www.intowindows.com/installing-windows-7-without-using-dvdusb-drive-method-2/

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  6. Welcome back Kevin, good to see your post.

    I did a fresh install of the 64bit Win 7 RC on my desktop (quad core, 8Gb) and it runs buttery smooth. I am really loving it, especially as I’ve been using OSX for a while now on my Macbook Pro. I’ve been very impressed by both operating systems.

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  7. That’s all good but when they release Win7 aren’t they going to cripple it for netbooks (ie only run 3 programs at once)?

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  8. John in Norway Thursday, May 7, 2009

    I’m running it on my Toshiba m200. It runs fine most of the time but every now and then it seems to pause as if it’s confused about what it’s supposed to be doing. :)
    I’m not sure about the new input panel, it seems to be a bit too fussy for me and it takes longer to correct things.

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  9. It’s looking that way Alan You’ll be able to upgrade quickly though without a reinstall by paying MS for a more complete version and ‘unlocking’ those features. It’s all about protecting license costs and margins!

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  10. Welcome back Kevin.

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