W00T! Window 7 and Server 2008 R2 RTM

Beta is Over

I started gathering information for this article right after the Windows 7 and somewhat quieter Server 2008 R2  release to manufacturing (RTM) announcements on Wednesday. As the hours go by more and more people are starting to weigh in on what they think about the products.

Predictions and opinions are mixed and some facts are still unknown. But, I have gathered the most important facts for you and then I’ll chime in with my own two cents. Why not? Everyone else is doing it.

There is a very intricate time table for whom can get their hands on what when. I made you some neat and tidy little charts to help you find out when you can first get Window 7. Please note that these dates are for the English version of the projects only. For info on other languages see the Windows Blog and the Windows Server Division Weblog.

Windows 7: Who Gets What When

Windows Server 2008 R2: Who Gets What When

Well at least it is cheaper then Vista… There are also talks of a family pack that lets you install Windows 7 on up to 3 computers, but the details are not confirmed at this time.

Here are the six, count-em six, versions of Windows 7:

Windows7 Versions and Prices

So to buy or not to buy?

With Windows Server R2 the answer (money aside) comes down to whether or not you could use some of the many new features that R2 has to offer. Do you need the reduced power consumption, a ton of new PowerShell cmdlets, all the improvements in security and failover, and of course vitalization up the wazoo? You can even reinstate Active Directory objects from the “recycle bin” after you delete them – how cool is that!

Whether or not to hop right on the Windows 7 bandwagon is the hot questions that everyone is debating right now. Is 7 just a Vista Pig in lipstick? I say Vista already had lipstick but what it really needed to do is go on a diet. And I guess it did – most people agree that 7 is leaner and quicker than Vista.

Yes, it will be impossible to upgrade from XP to 7. Yes, 7 might not be able to run well on the underpowered old XP machines. I hate to say it, but if you have machines that are that old maybe it is time to replace them anyway.

And, please don’t keep whining about the lack of backward compatibility. People like my husband think it is a great injustice. He was correct – back in 2007 when Vista first sprang that problem on us. But if you haven’t done anything about it by now you only have yourself to blame. We need to move forward people. Only grandma can get away with refusing to embrace change.

What about usability? I think usability is all about what you are used to. I primarily use Vista now so when I get on an XP machine I don’t automatically remember where and how to do things. That doesn’t mean that XP is suddenly more cumbersome then I remember; it just means I am suddenly more cumbersome with XP. 7 will feel awkward at first, but you will get used to that funky task bar I promise.

As far as I am personally concerned, the only question that really needs answering is will Windows 7 work on my netbook? Microsoft’s Windows 7 Starter solution is just not a viable option. Limiting the user to three applications at once is just plain silly. Even if it will work, how will I get 7 onto the machine with no DVD drive?

The Windows 7 Challenge

So I issue a challenge to Gosia my fellow Train Signal Product Manager, known XP lover, and borderline Vista hater: Try out Windows 7 and see if you like it (after you get used to it).

Will the new UAC still bug you? Will you love the fact that 7 will know what network you are connected to (work or home) and change you default printer accordingly? Will the search box make you extremely lazy like Vista’s does for me?

Let me and the world know in an answer post in a month or so. Can’t Wait!


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