Hold your breath, back up EVERYTHING, cross your fingers and hit install… 4 hours later and wow! Not a blip on the Windows 7 horizon this is IMPRESSIVE, so long vista!
Sounds like a long time for an upgrade? But you have to bear in mind we are talking about a dev machine with 3 flavors of Visual Studio on it and all the other gunk from SSMS to Japanese mobile phone emulators or in Geek Speak some 80 gigs worth of software.
I kid you not, aside from having to uninstall daemon tools (which was picked up as incompatible by the install process) that really was it. Actually, I went out to a meeting while 7 did its stuff and came back to a MUCH more responsive notebook.
By much more responsive I mean that programs start and close noticeably faster, the notebook boots up and is useable noticeably faster.
There are really only a couple of things that I don’t like, but 2 of them at least have a work around, these are the absence of the quick launch toolbar, the removal of the classic startup menu and a lack of easy access to the file menu in Windows Media Player 12. The first can be got around by adding a custom toolbar to the Taskbar and pointing it at your Quick Launch folder, the second can be hacked using the CSMenu software but I hear it is slow and that you cannot right click the icons so I have not bothered and the last is really more of a niggle in that at whatever point if I am watching a movie or listening to a tune etc etc I want to be able to right click the player anywhere and to be able to browse for a different file (some would say this is really picky but as it it is now, unless I am mistaken, you have to go to the library tab first and then right click. Just seems like an unnecessary hoop to me).
Obviously my notebook is relatively new (A Dell XPS M1530) but I should imagine given the total lack of driver issues and program problems I have had so far that most machines already running Vista should be able to run Windows 7. Notably DELL have said that my notebook wasn’t compatible with Windows 7, but that was actually for the Beta version. Also you have to upgrade to the same or better version i.e. you can upgrade from vista home basic to windows 7 ultimate or Vista Basic to 7 basic
Seriously give it a go! I didn’t actually need to do the backup first but it is always a good idea regardless and to actually be able to do an in place upgrade like this to a noticeably better OS and have all your existing programs run fine is truly a breath of fresh air, I can’t applaud this point enough, some serious effort has gone into this and dare I say it even a non-techie could manage it!!