Yesterday I decided to free myself from Windows Vista, formatting my laptops hard disk and installing Windows 7 and the Technical Preview of Office 2010. The experience has been absolutely brilliant, fast boot time, slick user interface, network settings accessible in 1 mouse click and Office is pretty cool for all kinds of reasons.
Installation from USB flash drive takes around 20 minutes and is very simple. I decided to format my hard disk for a fresh install rather than upgrading from Vista. I saw this as a chance for a fresh start and didn’t want to migrate my old issues to the new OS.
One of the biggest gripes I had with Vista was the clunky and inaccessible network settings. As an IT Pro I use these settings several times a day and it was something that constantly annoyed me. Windows 7 fixes these issues and quick access to the large number of PPTP VPN’s I have is an instant time saver. Other network settings are also improved too.
The new task bar is less cluttered and the popup previews of open windows are very handy and quick to learn. Shaking the mouse to hide and restore Windows is a great idea. I’m sure Microsoft have included many other features that I will find over the next few days.
My life is in Outlook and it is probably the application I use the most. Installing Office 2010 is simple and Outlook auto-configured using my domain user account settings. RPC over HTTPS performance seems quicker than Outlook 2007. Lots of nice improvements including appointment requests, email grouping and print options are great.
I will be getting to know Excel and Word over the next few days, but my initial experiences have been good. One issue I have struck is with Macros not running. Further investigation required here. I was using the 64bit edition so this may be a compatibility issue. Remember that this is the Technical Preview, not a final product so some issues are to be expected.
Overall I would say the combination of Windows 7 and Office 2010 is excellent and I can’t see myself rolling back ever! Well done Microsoft.