I recently found a great deal on DealNews.com for 30% off laptops in the HP online store. I ended up getting a fantastic HDX 18t with an 18″ screen, Bluray player, 4 Gigs of RAM and more. The 30% off coupon shaved $681 dollars off the total price of the laptop, so instead of spending $2,700, it was right around $2,000. So here is the rub… Windows 7 is not out yet. It isn’t publically available. Windows 7 won’t ship with new computers until October 22nd. The Blue Gurus are Microsoft Partners and Small Business Specialists. With our Microsoft Action Pack Subscription, we get Microsoft software for internal use before it is publically available.
I downloaded the Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit edition image file and burned it to a DVD so I could update the new laptop from Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate. The entire process took 4-6 hours all things considered, but well worth it. I resisted using Windows Vista and primarily used Windows XP Pro until this week. I am glad that I upgraded to Windows 7 on a new laptop. The platform is stable (so far), HP has done a fantastic job making driver updates for Windows 7 available (I had to update the FingerPrint reader drivers and the MediaSmart TV tuner software because they had known compatibility issues)
I have been using Windows 7 for about 4 hours now, installing updates and development software, and everything is working perfectly. It is stable, fast, and figuring out how to change things is easier than I expected. I am also pleased at the lack of annoying Access Contol List (ACL) dialogs asking me if I meant to click on a button or move my mouse every minute. :)
I am going to post an article in the next couple of weeks about the new version of Acronis TrueImage Home 2010. I am going to use this software and an external drive to do snapshot based backups of the entire image of my computer. That way, if anything goes south, I can reimage the hard drive and basically go back in time a week or two prior to the problem. It takes me 8-16 hours to set up a development laptop, so the $50 software investment and $100 external hard drive investment are totally worth it to avoid having to rebuild my laptop from scratch in the even of a disaster.
I will also post another article in the next few weeks about my ongoing experience with Windows 7, especially when I have SQL Server and Visual Studio up and running.