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Windows 7

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So, I managed to find a working Windows 7 link and downloaded the 32-bit ISO!

I kicked this off under VirtualBox – 985MB base memory (I don’t know why, but VirtualBox wouldn’t let me allocate anymore), 32MB video memory and a 20GB virtual drive.

The installation is simple and relatively quick. A good start. The virtual drive, which I’ve set to expand as required, is 5GB in size, so I’m assuming that’s about the base installation size.

Now, I don’t have Vista but I have seen it and had a brief play. Windows 7 is similar in looks but even with the above virtual hardware it wasn’t too slow. I like the new way of applications in the taskbar appearing as icons – they blend in completely with the quick start tray icons and, indeed, when you launch one, the background behind the icons changes to show it’s in use rather than simply a shortcut. This reminds a lot of the Apple’s OSX.

Anyhoo, it took me a while to get a working network connection (found the Intel Pro/1000 MT Desktop option worked. And then I only got that and sound after installing the Guest Additions (explore the disk and make sure you run the appropriate .exe in Vista compatibility mode).

It’s nice – I can’t really get a proper idea without running it natively and with a decent hardware setup, but I’m impressed with what they’ve come up with in such a relatively short space of time.

My only downer so far is the system tray – or rather the lack of options with it. They’ve introduced new “all in one” system tray options that report issues, etc (this time reminding me of Linux) – however when diagnosing my network issues I was looking for the normal network icons and matching options. Once the network was working all of this disappeared and I was left with… nothing. I’m guessing I have to go into the control panel to then change any options, but I’m just used to havign a nice clickable icon (I bet you can turn this back on with the options, though). I don’t know, my issue is hard to explain, but I was missing some of the more technical options to hand. However, I’m sure all of this makes the OS a lot easier for non-IT minded people.

I’ll keep it installed, have a play occasionally and report back what I find out. All I have to do now is register it… if only the Microsoft site would return long enough to let me do that.

Posted by David Artiss

Enterprise Happiness Engineer for the WordPress VIP team at Automattic. Gamer, film lover and general fan of all things Marvel, Star Trek and Star Wars. Failed comedian. Writer for The Big Tech Question. World's Greatest Grandma.

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