Running Windows 7 for Fun and Profit

At the PDC last week we all got given "The Goods", in the form of a hard disk full of software and a bunch of dvds with Windows 7 on them. They are heavily marked "For testing purposes only" since we are some way from a Beta release of Windows 7 and you really aren't supposed to use the system for real work.

I thought I'd give it a go anyway. So tonight at 7:00 pm I started an upgrade install on my main Vista machine. I didn't go for a clean install, life's too short for re-installing all those applications. At 10:30 the upgrade had just about finished and I was able to get my first flavour of Microsoft's new system.

It works. It works fine. I'm using my MacBook (which might make for interesting times if I ever try to boot back into OS X) and all my hardware has been detected with no problems. Since the current test release is based on Vista I wasn't expecting driver trouble and so far I've not had any. Setting up the monitors was a bit fiddly, but I soon managed to get them arranged how I like. And after a slight kerfuffle with the login for Outlook I've now got a very good place to work that does all the things it used to.

The whole machine seems a lot more zippy, with applications opening much more quickly and running very well. I've not really had much chance to play with any of the new features, but I don't think I'm going to have a problem living with this test release. If you were at PDC and are thinking about putting Windows 7 on your machine I'd say go for it.