New releases of Windows are never really something I’ve been excited about. Nor have I ever been an early adopter of Microsoft products–I used Windows 2000 Professional until Windows XP Service Pack 2 was available, only recently switched over to Office 2007 from Office 2003, and would have never even touched Vista if it hadn’t been rolled-out on to my machine at work. But Windows 7 is something that I am excited about. Microsoft had the ingenious idea to offer the Beta (and Release Candidate) to the general public. Brilliant!
I first loaded the Beta onto a Boot Camp partition on my MacBook Pro and found out that almost everything worked right away. I had to download a number of drivers, but I was expecting this when using a Microsoft OS and an Apple machine. It worked pretty damn well, except for an audio issue, which was fairly well documented by that time–thanks Boot Camp community!–so I wasn’t mute for too long. I noted a few issues, but it was a Beta after all and they seemed fairly minor.
Then the Release Candidate came out. I was building my new desktop at the time, so I decided that the RC would be perfect on the new rig. Boy was I ever right. I have to hand it to the boys in Redmond: almost all of the drivers were included in the install. Right away my networking card, sound card, and all of the other interfaces (save video, but that’s expected) worked! A quick trip to the ATI Driver Downloads page and I was done! I’ve been loving it and haven’t looked back since.
October 22nd is the official release date. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be standing in line at a Best Buy or Walmart so I can pick it up (unless the special pre-order offers return, in which case I’m all over that). I recommend you do the same.
For a complete guide of all things Windows 7, Lifehacker offers this guide, which is definately worth a read.