Yesterday, I pre-ordered a copy of Windows 7.
Now, I am a hardened Mac fan nowadays - and I'm not really a big fan of Windows. However, I do recognize the need for a Windows OS (from the user perspective).
Occasionally, I need to use Microsoft's Visual Studio - because it provides an excellent debugger and is also the IDE we use at work.
I also like to run PC games every once and a while, Valve's Steam service has some great games on there that I've collected over the years - such as Half-Life and Half-Life 2, as well as being able to play (and indeed edit) games such as The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
I have to admit though, there were a couple of things other than that that made me whip out my credit card.
First of all, it seems feedback regarding the release candidate of Windows 7 has been nothing but praise - I haven't read a bad word about Microsoft's new OS.
Secondly, price. Previous efforts from Microsoft have weighed in at over the £100 mark - and that's just too pricey for software in my opinion. Because the EU ruled that Microsoft aren't allowed to include Internet Explorer in their new OS, apparently this has caused Microsoft to run a pre-order campaign that allows users to buy it for half-price at £45.
Finally, this isn't Windows Vista. WV made me want to tear my short, spiky hair out. It was buggy, slow and had a poorly designed user interface. It was expensive and needlessly 'glossly', chewing up valuable CPU and GPU time on effects that couldn't necessarily be disabled.
According to my friends on the forum I visit, (http://www.rllmukforum.com) my concerns have all been answered.
I have to admit, I'm a little excited about the new OS. Even as a child, I was always excited to find out about all the little intricacies of a new operating system. Yes, I was that kid. The one who installed Windows 95 from 25 floppy disks or however many it was..
I was also persuaded by a fellow geek at school to try out IBM's OS/2 Warp - and not knowing what a partition was at the time, consequently blanked my hard drive.
So, last night as a I left work I left the release candidate of Windows 7 downloading (note: A release candidate is literally that - a piece of software that been through the testing process and is now seriously being considered for release..) and I'm looking forward to installing it in a few days. (I think I might need a bigger hard drive..)
Providing the release candidate for public release is a good move from Microsoft in my opinion. It allows me, the consumer, to consider if I actually like Windows 7 enough to warrant a purchase before the product is even released.
I'll have basically two months to make my final decision before W7 is released in early October.
The question I'm now wondering though is, will my poor little Macbook be up to the task? (Another good reason for downloading the release candidate!)
My Macbook specs at time of writing are:
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2ghz.
120GB hdd. ( :-( )
Paltry Intel x3100 integrated graphics chip.
It's only really the GPU that lets me down, so I hope that the rest of my, quite frankly, beefy specs, will do fine with W7. But I guess, we'll see.
I'll report back when I know more..
You can download a copy of Windows 7 release candidate here.