I finally switched to windows 7 from XP. I suspect most of you are using it already, but if you aren’t… my recommendation is, switch. It’s got a lot of very nice features.
The actual installation process was a total breeze… I stuck the DVD in, told it to run a fresh install, waited a while, then it was running fine. It had all the drivers I needed already, so I didn’t have to go hunting around the internet looking for driver updates.
It boots much faster (orders of magnitude faster than my heavily-loaded XP does obviously; unless my memory is playing tricks significantly faster than even when I’d freshly installed XP and had just antivirus and firewall to load on startup). Organizing files is vastly easier and significantly more flexible – libraries, tagging, better indexing and searching, it all combines to make it easy to put stuff out of the way but still easy to find when you want it. Security is better handled from what I’ve seen. Customization options are more self-explanatory and easy to find. The GUI works and doesn’t seem to be applying any noticeable strain to my comp., although I’m still getting used to some of the changes in it. It’s actually easier to run a Windows-95 program in Windows 7 than in Windows XP (generally), and generally backwards compatibility hasn’t been a hassle (so far). And flourish, onestop, and town.mid are still included. There’s a few personality quirks I’m still adjusting to, but so far it’s been a major improvement.
For those curious as to why I finally switched, I got the virus from hell… Avira, Avast, AVG, Ad-Aware, HijackThis, and Spybot all failed to find it (although they at least thought they found a few others). Checking startup, registry, scheduled tasks, and current processes made it look like whatever it was had actually corrupted a legitimate file instead of just inserting itself somewhere. And I had the sneaking suspicion the virus was laughing at me. It was definitely one of the least subtle viruses conceivable – search result hijacking, frequent OS crashes and BSODs, corruption of hard drive indexing requiring CHKDSK, incredibly slow performance, adware popups, creation of a hidden admin account and modification of permissions to permit remote access (!!)… I’ve been in no-internet-access blackout for the past few days arguing with it. At least it didn’t replace my desktop background with an Engrish warning that my computer was vulnerable to malware and I should buy some “anti-virus” software. Although I did have to admire the irony of a web search for “virus hijacks search results” being hijacked. Eventually I decided it was time for the nuclear option of reformatting; as long as I was going that far I figured I might as well upgrade hard drive and OS while at it. I’ve still got the old hard drive and I may make it a little hobby project at some point to find that virus and kill it … while safely disconnected from the internet.