I (Greg Porter) recently dumped XP as my home machine operating system. The main reason I had XP was to play games, and now that new games require DirectX 10, which requires Vista, I said goodbye.
So I went with Debian.
I decided to try running some Windows machines with VirtualBox, the virtualization stuff from Sun.
I made a 40 GB vm, and loaded the copy of Windows 7 beta that my co-worked Byron made for me. I gave the machine 1024 MB of RAM. Windows 7 loaded fine, ran fine. The 2 apps I need to run on Windows are TurboTax, and Outlook (until I figure out how to free my old mail). Turbo Tax wouldn’t load. The copy of Outlook 2007 I had wouldn’t load (says “file is missing”, doesn’t load anywhere, I must have burned it wrong…) Symantec Endpoint Protection v11 antivirus wouldn’t load. The free version of AVG 8 worked fine. Windows 7 running on 1GB of RAM as a VM seems fine. Not laggy, usable, seems good. I like it so far.
Since I need TurboTax, I decided to make a 2nd VM and load Vista on it. Same size, same options as above. Vista loaded. Loaded TurboTax and Office 2003. (2007 wouldn’t load, bad DVD?). Vista is noticeably laggy and sluggish, so what they say about Windows 7 being less bloated seems true, at least for me. I should say that Office 2003 wouldn’t load as a regular guy, I had to enable the (hidden) administrator account and run the install logged in as administrator (yes, I tried the “run as” thing first, no dice). Loaded the Symantec Endpoint Protection v11 antivirus, it loaded OK. Fired up Windows Update, let it patch Vista and Office. It loaded 68 patches and then wanted a reboot. The machine wouldn’t reboot. Bluescreened every time. Tried recovering from CD. No dice. I think this is the first time I’ve ever loaded Vista at home, and I must say I wasn’t impressed. XP has always treated me well. Windows 7 was nice. Vista sucked.
Well, anyway, I was preparing to load a third vm as XP, and then something my co-worker Brian said about Windows 7 popped in my head. He told me “you know, they’ve got a compatibility checker that’s supposed to be really good.” Hmm. Turned the Windows 7 machine back on, put the TurboTax CD in, right clicked on the installer, picked “Troubleshoot compatibility”, told the compatibility wizard “This ran fine on XP” and voila, it worked! Fscking awesome!
So I’m a disgruntled Vista user, but a happy Windows 7 user.
They look almost exactly the same, GUI wise. No default gadgets on the desktop in 7, but I think they are lame anyway.
I attached the picture I use on my Windows 7 desktop in case you care.
Thanks to Byron who made me the Windows 7 disks.
Thanks to Brian who told me to try the compatibility thing.