With permission, this is an email I received from a co-worker named Nathan Abbott, who sent me a quick run down of the improvements and drawbacks to Windows 7 Beta after testing it this morning. Sounds like there are still some things Microsoft needs to improve, like the TCP/IP network stack. But progress has surely been made from Vista.
Well I have spent a few hours with Windows 7 and here are my initial thoughts and feelings.
1.) The network stack still needs work. M$ implemented an enhanced TCP/IP stack and they still have bugs they need to work out of it. File transfer times are still a bit sluggish. I tested 10 MEG, 100 MEG and 4.0 GIG file transfers and XP still beats Windows 7. I did notice that after turning off their IPV6 Helper service, files transferred a little faster.
2.) There are still too many services that start on startup or have a delayed startup. A base install starts with 38+ services on boot up. I trimmed it down to 28. I have attached screenshots [above].
3.) The default setup (before I trimmed services) is actually pretty good. It is very responsive, unlike Vista x64. So even if you don’t trim the services back, the default setup is very usable. I have attached screenshots of the services that I left set to automatic. I recommend setting everything else to Manual, then reboot.
4.) The disk access (I/O Read and Writes) has been DRAMATICALLY reduced. In Vista the system seemed to access the disk way too often, it was a constant grind on the system. That is not the case with Windows 7.
5.) That being said, Memory usage is also down from using over 1 GIG on start up to just a little over 650 meg on startup, which is double what my XP box uses, but hey, it’s half of what Vista was using…
6.) Programs seem to open and close very quickly, maybe even faster than my XP setup. Also, when you close a program, the computer responds very quickly and flushes the memory that the program was using. Vista had problems doing that.
Overall look and feel is ok. The taskbar at the bottom takes some getting used to, but it is ok. Boot up time with trimmed services is around 30 seconds to a login screen and after logging in about 8 seconds until you get a usable desktop. Not bad.
I will continue putting it through its paces today. I have some games I want to throw at it and some benchmark tests to run. I also noticed that like Vista, it seems to scale it’s memory usage with how much RAM you have in your system. I ordered another 4 Gigs of RAM this morning and will see how it scales when I load 8 Gigs. total.