Windows 7 – First Impressions

 

I finally bit the bullet, or more accurately, a hard drive failure finally bit the bullet for me. I installed the Release Candidate for Windows 7 on my main development box. Though it’s only been 2 days, I can say that I like what I see. Even though I did get my first BSoD within 20 minutes of running for the first time.

Happily it found all of my hardware and installed drivers for it, even for some of the newer parts for which Vista doesn’t come with drivers. It also boots up noticeably quicker than XP or Vista, which is quite nice. I did have a problem with sleeping because the keyboard and mouse drivers would immediately cause it to wake up. I disabled that capability in the hardware manager, and now it sleeps fine, even though I need to push the power button to wake it up. A little annoying but not much.

I’m still getting used to the new UI, and that’s to be expected. The glass look is a bit distracting, but I’m sure I’ll grow to like it. I like what happens when you drag a window’s edge to the top or the bottom, that’s a nice touch (it expands the window to the other edge, it’s a simple way to get the window to fill the whole height of the screen.)

Probably my favorite thing is that PowerShell comes installed, along with a PowerShell script editor. No more scratching out scripts in notepad. It has syntax highlighting and a debugger. I haven’t had a chance to delve into it, yet, but it can’t possibly be worse than notepad. My one complaint, so far, is that the output pane doesn’t understand carriage returns, so that output from things like robocopy and rsync can be a bit messed up. But that’s minor quibbling.

PowerShell ISE

Sadly, I experienced a second and third BSoD while writing this post. I was running rsync from Cygwin to copy files from a server for one, and running remote desktop for the other. Well, at least it booted up very quickly.

To summarize, I enjoy the snappiness of the UI and fast boot time and PowerShell and its editor are very welcome additions. It’s still got some stability issues, which will hopefully be ironed out by the time it’s released, but overall it’s very solid. I’ll update you in the future once I’ve gotten more experience with it.