So against the advice given on the packaging, I’ve decided to install Windows 7 RC onto my main work computer. Nothing like being at the bleeding edge to find out what works and what doesn’t work.
So far, the experience is probably getting about 7/10 but I primarily use mainstream stuff so it is taking me a little while to find out what works and what doesn’t work. The installation has gone onto a Dell E6500 with 4GB RAM. The installation was very quick and didn’t ask many questions. Boot times are fantastically quick – particularly compared with Vista on the same laptop.
Today, the second day after installing the OS, I’m starting to find the problem areas …
No Bluetooth supported by default for some reason. Some people have reported success with a Vista download from Dell so I’m in the middle of downloading that at the moment to see if that fixes it.
Configuration Manager isn’t working – the client installs but it doesn’t grab any patches or applications. The ConfigMgr admin is looking at that, although I don’t think it looks too good. A shame really – I can appreciate that the OSD side of things might not work but patch and application deployment breaking?
Sony’s SonicStage isn’t installing. Unfortunately, this piece of software has a downloader bit that then goes and fetches other bits … I’ve got a horrible feeling that it is going to be passing the OS information and that is preventing it from working. It reports "Data was unable to be retrieved from the server. Please check your Internet connection and try again". I’ve tried application compatibility to make it think it is running under Vista SP1 but to no avail.
We use a Squid proxy at work and that uses Samba for the underlying authentication. I had to add a registry key to Win7 to drop the authentication level back down to LM compatibility. We’ll probably be moving the proxy functionality over to ISA/TMG later this year so I’m not quite so concerned about that one.
I was hoping that since Microsoft had said this release was feature complete – and that they are using it as the base for hardware companies to get their drivers done – that it would be a better picture. It isn’t all bad news – it is a very nice OS to use – but I’m concerned that some companies might see it as an opportunity for dropping support for older hardware.