While beta OS downloads from Microsoft don't normally sound like a whole lot of fun, largely due to MS being notorious for developing buggy software, Windows 7 could be an exception.
So far it has received a lot of praise from the press and public alike and I have read many reports of people ditching Vista to use Windows 7 as their main OS. Even though it is only in Beta a lot of people are reporting that Windows 7 has good driver support, is stable and is faster than Vista. Many people are even claiming better frame rates for gaming.
So with all these compliments I decided to install it on my home PC. Recently it has been playing up so I was going to do a fresh install anyway so there was no better time to try out Windows 7.
Download and installation was a breeze, you can get Windows 7 beta from here. The download took a while with my speed only reaching around 0.5 Megabyes per second. Once it had downloaded everything went smoothly.
In terms of load times and how the OS performs my initial impressions are quite similar to Vista to be honest. I don't think I have seen noticeable improvements but I have only played around with it for a short period of time.
Without a doubt the biggest difference most people will notice is the new Windows Taskbar. The new taskbar is no longer just used to manage windows but it is now a full application launcher which is being compared favourably to the OS X Dock. In fact Gizmodo have declared it beats the OS X Dock.
Another important difference you will notice quickly is the removal of Windows Sidebar and the ability to use gadgets on your desktop. Side bar was just a pain in the ass it just ended up getting in the way, however having the Gadgets on the desktop means they never really get in the way, when you minimise everything they are just their nicely visible in any spot you have placed them.
If we look at other review the general consensus appears to be that Windows 7 out performs Vista however Infoworld found that XP still outperforms Windows 7 in terms of multiprocessing. Infoworld did state that this is likely due tot he fact that Windows 7 has a lot of extra code for muticore optimisation's and the benefits of these changes won't be felt until core counts climb well beyond today's dual-core and quad-core implementations. Gizmodo also found that Vista was pretty much unusable on a Dell Inspiron Mini 12 but with Aero switch off it was quite usable and more than capable of light multitasking.
Overall Microsoft seem to be be on with a winner with Windows 7.
Check out some more review of Windows 7: