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Early Impressions on Windows 7 RC



inkThe Windows 7 Release Candidate is in the hands of MSDN and TechNet subscribers and is due to roll out to the general public on May 5. Assuming Microsoft’s servers can handle the load you should be able to grab it next week. I find it intriguing that several blogs and publications are pointing out that the expiration of the Release Candidate isn’t until June of next year, so you essentially have a year to use Windows 7 for free if you install the RC.

I managed to install it on several devices last night and I really see no surprises based on a very early look see. The Beta of Windows 7 was very solid and I wouldn’t expect to see the RC slide back from that and it doesn’t appear it has. Things feel very solid and snappy. I did a clean install on each device, which is something I always recommend when installing an OS.

I don’t have a touch device handy to check out the touch features, but I’m hoping we’ll hear from Rob on that soon. That said, the improvements for the TIP and Inking are as solid as they were in the Pre-Beta and Beta (InkShow viewing of that here.). Do note that you may have to install a driver or two in order to get some Tablet functionality working, so you be aware of that.

Again, I’ve barely worked with any device that I’ve installed this on so I’ll report more as I do, but in the meantime if you’re getting ready to install the RC, Ed Bott has a list of handy things to know and do as you prepare.



  1. Antimatter

    05/01/2009 at 9:30 am

    I really like the RC, but there are several things I’m confused about. First of all, I don’t expect the multitouch features (like the keyboard or the multitouch right click) to work until n-trig releases new drivers.

    However, panning is still not unlocked, and can only be used with the blue badge tool. How can this be on an RC? Furthermore, touch scrolling doesn’t seem to work in windows media center anymore.

    Are these features being removed?

  2. Nick

    05/01/2009 at 10:16 am

    I have really liked the inking in Win7. The only issue I had was installing drivers, but after running them in Vista mode, they installed fine.

  3. Jake

    05/01/2009 at 12:08 pm

    If my 2730p was a laptop I’d say my installation went perfectly. However, I’ve had a few issues with drivers for the screen. I had to revert to the Vista graphics drivers to get the screen to rotate in tablet mode & the default Wacom driver won’t calibrate. It’s a shame because I’d rather avoid Vista drivers.

    However, I really love the new TIP. It recognises everything I throw at it without training-boy it’s clever.

    Out of interest, what did you upgrade Rob?

  4. JonGH

    05/01/2009 at 2:58 pm

    I just purchased a Touchsmart tx2 and am really enjoying using it. I tried Win7 on my Toshiba M200 and also my desktop, given the issues others are reporting with drivers, I think I’ll hold off from installing on the TX2 for now.

  5. GoodThings2Life

    05/01/2009 at 3:07 pm

    Jake, I’m planning on upgrading my 2730p over the weekend, so I’ll be interested in seeing if there’s any better solutions for what you’re describing. If I do, I’ll post them here.

  6. GoodThings2Life

    05/01/2009 at 3:13 pm

    It’s amusing to see panic surrounding drivers. From my experience with the W7 beta release, most of the Vista drivers work fine and have no significant impact on performance in those moments when Windows 7 drivers aren’t specifically available. I think I have a handful (at best) of drivers I downloaded extra for my Latitude E6400 that were “designed for Vista.”

    It’s rare that OEM’s release driver updates for beta-stage products, but by the time release candidate products are released, OEM’s start jumping on board within a few weeks, so the drivers people are missing now will likely be released soon.

  7. Jake

    05/01/2009 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks GoodThings2Life, I’ll look forward to seeing how you get on.

    I hope you’re right about OEMs and driver development although I’m not as optimistic as you.

  8. Oliver

    05/01/2009 at 5:29 pm

    @GoodThings2Life — I installed the beta under bootcamp the other day, and Windows update offered me a Win7 driver for the Macbook Pro nVidia graphics card. So some OEMs are definitely putting out drivers “already”.

    Does the RC work with the same registration keys as the beta, or do we need to get new ones?

  9. Andy

    05/02/2009 at 2:48 am

    I’ve been using the Windows 7 Beta 7077 build for about 2 weeks now. I must say, I’m fairly impressed. It’s very snappy, even on my secondary machine (Athlon X2 4800+, Geforce 7900GS, 2GB of DDR-677, and some pos HP mobo). On my main machine, it’s lighting quick, the interface is very smooth, and there’s a lot of nice little additions that make it feel awesome overall. My game performance in most games is up by a little bit too, which was a nice surprise.

  10. Dale

    05/05/2009 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve got a 2730p too. Managed to get a working Windows7 x64 machine in about 40 minutes but I’m having a few niggles with one or two less essential bits and bobs…

    I can’t get the Authentec Biometric drivers to work. Some drivers were installed with Win7RC but they did not work. I’ve also tried the beta drivers on the Authentec site but not had any luck there either.

    Looking at the device manager, I’ve also had a few drivers with the old yellow exclamation mark. A couple were PCI drivers which seem to have disappeared by downloading the Vista64 chipset drivers pack from the hp website.

    Still have a COM4 driver with a yellow (!) and an ‘unknown device’ (ACPI/HPQ0004) in the Details tab which I’m having trouble finding the relevant drivers for.

    Also had issues with the Wacom and Intel Graphics drivers as Jake described above.

    Any help with these little problems would be very gratefully received.

  11. Dale

    05/05/2009 at 5:43 pm

    Progress Report –

    Authentec beta drivers do work afterall, but only if you uninstall the Win7 installed ones first.

    Can also confirm that Windows Home Server with Power Pack 2 recognises my 2730p as a Windows 7 laptop and have seen no problems with it so far.

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