Over the past 2 days, I’ve gone full bore into Windows 7. I’ve installed RC0 on 2 of my laptops, and so far I’m happy with the results.
The first installation was very quick and easy. I had an unrecoverable operating system error on my XP installation, according to the hardware guys, and needed to reformat my machine. I had just pulled down the bits for Win7 RC0, so I replaced the defective XP install on that machine with the 32 bit version of Windows 7. This machine, a 2 year old off-the-shelf Dell with 2gb of RAM, performed quite well during and after the installation. The install process only took 40 minutes, and Windows 7 had drivers for everything but my video card which, oddly enough, had to be configured using the 64 bit Vista driver. Performance is excellent; the time from login to desktop readiness seems a little longer than on XP, but apart from that, it performs as well as the older OS. My install of SQL Server 2008 Dev was easy and uneventful.
The second install was done as an upgrade to my Vista 64-bit machine. I’ve only had this laptop for about 6 months, and have been disappointed in the performance despite having invested in hefty hardware. I installed the 64-bit version of Windows 7 on this box, performing an upgrade rather than a clean install. The upgrade took much longer than the clean install; it had run for over 2 hours when I finally gave up and left it to run overnight. However, once completed, I could tell an immediate difference in performance. It boots and loads my profile at least 30% faster than Vista, and so far I’ve found no compatibility problems. I do have a message that warns me of a problem with my video driver management software, but the driver itself still loads up without error. I had to reinstall the sound driver, but the Vista version on HP’s website installed quite nicely. Both versions of SQL Server (2005 and 2008 Dev) seem to run fine in the upgraded OS.
So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the ease in which I was able to upgrade these systems to Windows 7. I’m hopeful that the RTM version will be as easy a transition. I’ll be sure to pass along any major problems I find, particularly those that affect SQL Server, Visual Studio, or their derivatives.