I waited until the Beta was released to the public to download and install Windows 7. I had a bit better luck through our Partner technet site than others had downloading it; I got the 2.2GB package in under 90 minutes on the super Comcast highway.
I first attempted to upgrade my existing Vista installation (running on a Dell Optiplex GX620). This failed since I had only 2.2GB of space left on my 20GB C: Partition (Gotta love Vista’s bloatedness). There were a couple of other reasons as well, one being the build that my Vista machine was on (which makes no sense to me).
So I threw my profile into another partition and performed a fresh install. I didn’t time it, but I’d say about an hour later I was ready to use Windows 7.
The display looked a bit funky at first, which was not surprising. I switched to an older Intel driver for Vista for my 82945G Express onboard video card. It helped a bit, but once I switched from the Windows 7 theme to the Landscape theme, the colors were much more appealing and I loved the look.
The sound card, Soundmax Digital Audio, did not install. I grabbed a number of drivers, non of which seemed to work. The frustrating part is that Dell never released any Vista drivers for my machine. Eventually, I found the Soundmax drivers for Vista (Dell Support Site) from another blog. The first time installing failed, but once I rebooted the drivers installed.
First impression: It’s definitely a beta, but I already love it more than Vista, which is not saying much.