Realizing we’ve talked about this a bit in the past, I wanted to touch on this again. Yes, I am a happy full time Ubuntu user. But here at the house, we also have an Intel iMac and a netbook running Windows 7 Starter edition. Today, I helped set up a new Acer desktop machine for a family friend. It’s running Windows 7 Home Premium. Here are my feelings about the experience.

First of all, with a new machine and plenty of resources to spare, any OS will run like a champ. My own machine is new, runs with 3 or 4 gigs of RAM, dual core CPU, etc. Couldn’t be happier. And the Acer with Windows has about the same in the way of specs. Plenty of power.

Setting up the OS was a breeze — username, password, etc. All brain-dead simple. The speed at which printer drivers, hardware, and so on installed were, again, fantastic. I could not have been happier. I was a bit bummed to find that I had to download the 64 bit printer drivers for the OS from HP’s Web site, as the disk provided was not having it. But that is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. It’s Windows 7 64 bit apparently — no biggie.

Everything was a breeze to update. Background processes ran well and I ran into zero compatibility issues whatsoever. Both IE and Firefox worked great and even the UAC was no bother to me personally. After I installed MS Office 2007 for the owner of the machine, I tested out things by trying some documents. I still HATE the new look to MS Office, but was very pleased with the speed of how it performed.

Looking back on the experience it seems that my early Windows 7 impressions have been reaffirmed. This is an OS that runs — and runs very well. If I was not a die-hard Linux guy, I would use this in a stone cold second. To this end, I would say well done, Microsoft. But the sales of Windows 7 already appear to reflect this.

My gripes? Ah, well, I am not a fan of the vendor lock-in “feeling” you get with any proprietary OS. The biggest headache remains product keys, though. And then there is the look to MS Office. Very powerful software, but again with the proprietary file formats and awful “ribbon” UI. Most people love it; I’d rather play in traffic than look at it myself. It just feels like they are oversimplifying something already simple. But again, the software works VERY well and I have to commend that. All in all, a great experience and I will be recommending Windows 7 as an option for friends who prefer Windows.

[awsbullet:Windows 7 The Definitive Guide]