Because my Mondays until Thursdays are so god damn boring lately thanks to the lack of good blogging topics (in other words, shows), I went ahead and installed Windows 7 RC 64-bit, which was just released by Microsoft.
First things first, this time it was even more painless than the two betas I tried out before this, 6801 and 6956. Install took less time (comparatively speaking) than the two betas and Win 7 automatically installed all the appropriate drivers for all my hardware. I literally could run my PC out-of-the-box. I’m really impressed with Microsoft’s improvements on Windows Update for Windows 7, particularly in providing a reliable and trusted repository of drivers for just about any kind of common hardware.
Feature-wise, I’m liking the new taskbar even more now that it’s nearly feature-complete and refined over months of feedback from beta testers. Hell, Win 7’s development is probably the most “open” ever so far and I’m glad that Microsoft has really learned from the PR disasters of Vista. I’m still fiddling with the look of my task bar, but I’m definitely not giving up my Quick Launch despite the “pin” system. But I do wish MS would recode Windows Live Messenger to have an option to reside in the notification panel rather than taking up a slot at the taskbar permanently.
Stability-wise, it’s pretty rock solid and so far I haven’t been experiencing any trouble yet. It’s good that MS has made WoW64 a real painless process and I had no problems with my old 32-bit apps at all. Also glad that I’m finally able to utilize all 4GB of my RAM now… though strictly speaking it never gets used over 2.5GB so far, ahahaha.
Still having a little bit of problems with foobar 0.9.6.5 reading SJIS tags though, have to reencode them all to UTF-8. Japanese input ｗｏｒｋｓ ｌｉｋｅ ａ ｃｈａｒｍ fortunately. ありがとう MS!.
Gotta say, Windows 7 is working up to be quite a decent release from Microsoft. I love all the little user-friendly tweaks all round (you notice them, really) like the Troubleshooter and better help files too. In fact, I think I might be getting a copy too if nothing major pops up further down the road.