back to article Windows 7 lessons - the must know before you buy

Today's launch of Windows 7 by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer marks the end of a 12-month product turn around - one of Microsoft's fastest. But what price did Microsoft pay to build Windows 7 so quickly? And what should we expect from Microsoft, and the Linux competition, as the company tries to entice people into …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    That'll be the Dog of Venice, will it?

    "But Microsoft doesn't want you to think you can use Window XP Mode to doge the upgrade to Windows 7. "

  2. Rob D

    Great argument

    So your point is what? They now made this too quickly? You really think nobody had thought of win7 previously & been planning for a long time...?

  3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    "latte-drinking European socialist regulators"

    I don't think so. The craze for latte drinking strikes me as a Frazier-cum-Starbucks thing, and very sober and American. European regulators drink alcohol.

  4. Dave 129

    It's all about price...

    Windows 7 is still too expensive. That's it basically. I am interested in upgrading, but not at the prices MS are asking. In my mind it's a slightly more advanced service pack and should be priced accordingly - especially for Vista -> Windows 7 upgrades.

    If MS really want to drive uptake, then they need to drop the price to under 50quid, otherwise, why bother?

    When Win ME came out there was a Win 98 -> ME upgrade for under 40quid, why can't MS do that again?

    Also what happened to the so called "family pack"?? I am not seeing it anywhere!

  5. William Hart 1

    Windows 7

    I have not seen W 7 in action yet. But I have been reading the reviews froma variety of sources. It is not clear to me what W 7 offers me that I do not already have with Fedora on my laptop and Ubuntu on my netbook. Other than the price, of course.

    (you do not seem to have a emoticon for 'Meh')

  6. Richard 81

    Only way to win me over.

    Pricing. Basically, I won't pay more than £70 for an OS. I'd prefer less, but that is where the line is drawn. Even if they sell it at £150 in order to make a solid profit, I want my half-price or better student/academic license, thankyouverymuch.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    "latte-drinking European socialist regulators"

    I don't think so either. It was nothing to do with socialism (which is only a dirty word in America anyway).

    It was to do with Microsoft having repeatedly broken the law in the past, something they were also found guilty of in the USA, and preventing them from attempting to do it again.

    It got me a cheap full copy anyway, so who cares?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    yup, latte is an american drink for people who don't like coffee ... Italians may have cappucino but I remember hearing on a TV prog about Italy that it was a sin to drink it after 10am. No, European regulators undoubtedly drink cafe noir or espresso.

  9. Ryan Clark


    Just got a BSOD on my win7 home laptop. Not seen one of those for a long tim.

  10. Richard 81

    Holds his horses

    Just spotted the £30 Win7 for academics thing. Colour me chuffed.

  11. rob 27
    Black Helicopters

    balot screen

    None on my install of Win7 Home Premium. All it did was make me do was have to physically type the address to go get the browser I wanted.

  12. Paul Wilzbach
    Gates Halo

    XP and netbooks

    "We are in an awkward situation now because they are giving away XP in the netbook market - they are literally giving it way to OEMs," he claimed then and sticks to now

    For a monopolist, isn't this (illegal) predatory pricing?

  13. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Down

    Have to agree...

    The only thing wrong here is pricing. I got it for 37.95 (legit) but really this should be 70 quid for full home premium tops.

  14. Paul 4


    After reading on here I thought it was hundresed... Whats wrong with the price? £58 for the upgrade, £150 for the top price version. I think I might upgrade for £58.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "latte-drinking European socialist regulators"

    (getting the point yet, El Reg?)

    Look spot-for-brains, if the US regulators had actually ensured MS had paid the price for any of their previous violations, you wouldn't need to be making that kind of stupid and entirely inaccurate comment. We don't have regulators just bureaucrats, and they're definitely not what most people outside the USA would call socialist.

  16. The BigYin

    I like my XP

    But I would upgrade for the right price (say, under £50). £155 is way too much for an upgrade (I checked the prices, I'm moving from full-fat XP) - I can almost by a complete new PC for that!

    It's a crazy price and just a money grab by MS. If Apple can do an upgrade for £25, so can Redmond.

    At £155 it's touch and go which is cheaper; Linux or Windows7. And before the Lintards start; yes, Linux will cost me that much (new printer for a start, never mind my time).

  17. Fred 24


    Nah! I'm staying with Ubuntu because once you've seen a better way why go back?

  18. Gary F

    It's driving me nuts

    Where has the "remember settings for each window" checkbox gone? Each time Win7 boots I get a big messy pile of explorer windows on top of each other in the middle of the screen. Why is Win7 allowed to have amnesia when XP had a good memory when it comes to where I want each window to be positioned and how each one is presented to me? Dumb, dumb, dumb. How the heck do I feed back to MS?

    One step forwards and one step backwards. It's not even Marmite because I both like and hate 7.

  19. simon 43

    W7 Family Pack

    Dave129 - I've just picked up a 3 licence family pack from my local Currys for...£129.95 - a shade over £43 per shot, 32 or 64bit version both on the DVD.. PCWorld (obviously) and Amazon are also listing the Family pack.

  20. jdelassus

    Don't Buy Windows 7

    Bring down the other half of the evil empire - don't buy Windows 7. There are many alternatives. Now is a good time to make the break.

  21. Bruce Ordway

    the must know before you buy

    Did I miss something new in this article?

  22. beast666

    ffs Freetard

    I posted elsewhere... dl your Win7 and spend a few hours getting osx to boot

    Win 7 is good and boots faster than Osx, but you'll never ever leave osx once you get it sorted...

    Trust me!

    (God do peeps actually pay for os's except at work?)

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Dear God no!

    Please dear God, not the perfect kids and their PC abilities! Aged 4, out-stripping the abilities of most PC support techs?! Especially not that smart-arse little Asian girl with her sodding digital camera, oh no, please!

    Apple ads were cringe-worthy enough, full of GAP, khaki-wearing trendy, coffee house types and their bloody Macs, but the "I'm a PC" ads were just so 1990's, full of BLAH! I'M A PC! BUY WINDOWS! BLAAHAHH! BUY IT! BUY IT NOW!!!!

  24. beast666

    Buy nothing...

    Just buy nowt... It's not hard.... google is your friend


  25. Anonymous Coward

    predicting lacklustre uptake...

    Judging by geek comments across the net, although it's a worthy upgrade to XP, the price and "what do I get?" seems to be the big kicker for adoption of Windows 7.

    There still seems to be no major compelling reason to upgrade for many die-hard XP "home" users and I predict that from a business perspective, it will be even worse.

    Business is historically incredibly reluctant to upgrade - the mantra "if it aint broke" has plagued microsoft before and still continues to do so - as seen with the hefty percentage of win2k & internet explorer 6 usage that continues to this day. The financial burden of upgrade, at the tail end of a recession, will surely result in poor business sales.

    For Vista users, many of them are going to feel shafted - such a short time after the big hoopla surrounded by the Vista launch, followed by massive failure in uptake, they now are going to be asked to shell out loads of cash to upgrade PC's that are basically, newly purchased.

    Only those with spare cash are going to bother, the rest will struggle on with Vista, the more technically savvy will have "downgraded" to XP.

    A better move would be a FAR cheaper upgrade route for Vista - take a leaf from Apple - a $30 upgrade and windows 7 would fly off the shelves and I suspect, would also lesson the financial blow from the slew of pirate copies that are more than likely being sold in the East aready.

    Inevitably microsoft will retain it's massive market share for years to come, but the 800lb gorilla is still showing signs of ill health and those gnat like circling planes in the cloud are starting to become a major nuisance.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Please kill me now.

    Dear God not more 'which OS is best' conversations. Do teccies ever talk about anything else?

    Let me guess - Windows 7 will take input from some device or other, display stuff on a screen, or a printer or some other output device, and let you perform the same tasks you performed yesterday but with slightly less convenience than now because MS - like fucking supermarkets - just can't seem to get their head around the idea that if you move things around it doesn't make people do different stuff it just pisses them off because now they have to do the same stuff a different way for reasons which seem entirely arbitrary.

    Will Windows still not be able to shut services down properly and require a reboot to do some stuff that other OSs don't?


    Will there be irritating messages that bug you time after time and make you want to smash your head against the wall out of sheer frustration?


    Will there be intractible problems which some Microsoft Professional will post answer about on forums, but - not having read the fucking question first - will get the answer utterly wrong. Will this information then be perpetuated like some Satanic game of Javanese Hipsters? Will you ring Microsoft requesting technical support, wait 28 lifetimes in a queue and then be told you'll have to pay some ever-increasing fee for resolving a problem that Microsoft have themselves created in virtue of not testing their operating system properly, making it non-open-source, and reserving the right not to come clean about exactly how it does what it does?

    It's all so predictable I feel like I've literally become Phil Connors and am doomed to re-enact the same conversation time after time until love saves me. Only love won't save me. Nothing will save me. The devil himself is dancing around my monitor, laughing and pointing and yet like a condemned man I'm compelled to continue by forces beyond my understanding.

    In fact I'm beginning to wonder why I even commented on this article. I mean - what did I expect? A meaningful conversation?

    Well, fuck it - wake me up when computers can sprout wings and do magic (real magic that is: Paul Daniels and his furry wigs can fuck right off). This is just the same shit as it was 10 years ago, only re-hashed for the

    set count = 1;

    do while 1 = 1

    PRINT 'WEB ' + count + ' generation';



    And Debbie McGee can fuck off as well.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Now witness the full power

    Of this fully operational and bloated operating system!

  28. Saucerhead Tharpe

    Apparently the Win7 Master brain is a Brit

    Just seen the advert, apparently the brain behind Win7 was a British girl in a taxi.

    So at least if we need support it's local.

    And the Vista machine just says it wants an update.

    <paranoid>Is this a update to break Vista and get us onto Win7</paranoid>

  29. jim 45

    Dave 129 said it

    ... and so did some others: at these prices, the upgrade is an absolute non-starter. I have absolutely zero interest in W7 Pro at $199. I just laugh and turn the page.

  30. mrweekender


    Win 7 boots faster than OS X!? Er... nope, try Cnet's recent OS comparison, I think you'll find OS X whoops it's ass my friend!

    Win 7 is Vista with a major service pack, nothing more. Still susceptible to a lot of viruses. Someone wrote some crap about those pesky viruses attacking 3rd party apps and not the Win 7 code - sorry but just more FUD by the bucket load!

    If you believe the marketing you'll buy Win 7 and you deserve it!

  31. John Carter 1

    who cares how long an OS takes to start up

    Why do people always talk about how quick it is to start up as a reference point. A decent OS should never need to be shutdown and restarted unless an update is required and even then perhaps not. I couldn't give a rat's arse how quick it is to start, nor how stable it is or if wifi works or not. Because they should already be in place. It just shows how little we expect from IT when we get excited because the on/off button works and the sodding thing doesn't crash.

    What we should be measuring is how does it make what I want to do on it more efficient than before and I mean functionally not technically.

    My macbook hasn't been restarted since the last update, which was what? 2-3 weeks ago.

    rant over

  32. OpenSauce

    Windows now only for PC gamers and business lamers

    The main Linux distros are good enough these days, and KDE4.x can look similar to Aero with the right hardware.

    If you are a PC Gamer, mostly stuck with Windows, although some mainstream now supported under Linux and Linux/WINE.

    Businesses tied by 3rd party applications in a chicken & egg situation. Roll on browser based apps please!

    Try the upcoming Ubuntu and openSUSE first. Chances are you won't need Windows. Then, make (paypal) donations to the main Free/Open Source projects you use the most. The dosh you'd have spent on Windows.

  33. N2

    pricing is screwed up

    I keep reading that Microsoft 'really want you to use Windows 7'

    I take that with a rather large pinch of salt, after being robbed blind for several years on windows licensing, I cant see any justification for high prices.

    So try matching Apple for price as opposed to trying to copy their software

  34. tempemeaty

    All your data are belong to us....

    Softpedia found Vista collects user data.

    "...the IPv6 Network Address Translation (NAT) Traversal service (Teredo) are the features and services that collect and deliver data to Microsoft from Windows Vista."

    ** Will Windows 7 continue the user data harvesting that Microsoft started doing with Vista? **

  35. Doug Glass

    Now This Is Odd

    My windows XP SP3 fully patched machines still worked just fine today. So do all my favorite programs as well as all those I don't especially like. So does the Toshiba NB205-N310/BN my wife just took deliver of today! I just don't understand how this can be! How can all these machines , and the new one, still work so well and do ALL the things we want them to do? Frakk!! I obviously broke something and the PC Police will be on my a$$ before I can make this right.

    Dayy-umm!! This has go to be one of those "Mission Impossible" moments whereby the tape destroys itself after I listen to it. All my archived data files, multiple "100 year" CD and DVD copies, multiple ISO files and such have got to be in imminent danger. I am so glad my state has the "Castle Doctrine" embedded in its laws. Uh, crap ... where's my model 18???

  36. Jim 46
    Thumb Up

    Just started using Vista

    I only just upgraded from XP to Vista a couple months ago. Seems like a lot of the problems people complained about in its early days have been ironed out - seems to work great.

    I look forward to upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 in three years time, once *its* problems have been sorted out...

  37. Wibble

    How do you delete IE?

    I found it bloody difficult to get Firefox installed and Google as my search provider in IE.

    Just how do you delete IE from Vista 2 / Windows 7?

    Not overly impressed thus far. But then again it's installed as a VM on my Mac. I wonder if it'll be used more than the Vista VM; a couple of times a year to check that websites work.

    Aside from that, can't see the point.

  38. James White
    Thumb Up


    I've been using WIndows 7 through the beta, RC and the RTM version. It's a much better operating system than Vista and XP. The biggest difference for me is how much more responsive it is. I'll be upgrading the rest of my company asap.

    By the way, you failed to mention that to use XP mode you need at least the Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions

  39. Norfolk Enchants Paris
    Thumb Up

    's OK

    I am having mostly good results from my Win 7 machine. It's quick, looks great, and seems very stable. Support for older hardware is not so great, even though it helps older kit work faster than XP or Vista ever did. My old Dell D400 laptop has a few graphics driver issues when unplugged. I'm sure I will get to the bottom of it. Or write some new drivers.

    I was interested in the article where they said that they didn't add this or that into the OS, even when people asked for it. I was dumbstruck really - someone actually managing the scope of a development project! What next? I assume, with absolutely no knowledge at all, that Vista suffered partly because the project didn't manage to keep all the requests out of scope and tried to make it everything.

    To those people who can't see the point, I guess that's what people said when Win 95 came out. I know someone who is still happy with his Win 3.1 computer. After all, solitaire and freecell still work great for him...

    So from me, it's a hats off. To a project well executed and to a useful, well finished product. At last.

  40. Neil Greatorex

    @ The Silver Fox

    No need for me to comment, you've said it. :-)

  41. Adam White


    Seriously, this cynical, malodourous scatalogical anti-life equation of a satire is going to be Microsoft's advertising vehicle? THE Microsoft, of Microsoft Excel fame? That's madness.

  42. Tom 106

    This article and it's author

    Why spend money on Windows 7 when one can make do with vista/xp and await the next release, which will most likely have a huge boost in it's touch screen abilities, thus making hardware such as keyboards and mice obsolete objects for the simple tasks that we utilise on an everyday basis.

    Windows Olympian anyone?

  43. Big-nosed Pengie

    What should we expect from the new Linux competition?

    Same as we got from the old Linux competition: a rock-solid, user-friendly, highly advanced OS with thousands of applications available for the asking, by virtue of its design virtually immune to all the malware and spyware that infest Redmond's toy OS. Oh yeah - it's free, too.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I never had a single issue other then my sound card on day one release of Vista. I installed 7 today and i love it.. Installed with no problems at all. To those who keep touting Linux. It will never be mainstream user based. It's server side and thats where it will dwell in eternity. Even the windows like Linux disto's don't interest the general populus. Sure are alot of crappy biased reads here.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Touchscreen tech is pretty neat

    One thing I did like that Windows 7 has over Mac, the touchscreen capabilities. That looks really neat, obviously you need one of those new HP tablet, swivel laptop thingies, but the touch screen photo browser does look pretty damn neat in comparison with OSX sad, flat desktop.

    However as one witty poster pointed out, "Hmm, touchsreen on new Windows 7, right in the middle of a Flu pandemic! Fantatsic idea, Windows is now capable of spreading even more viruses!"

  46. WinHatter

    stopped reading after

    ... before you buy.

    I'll sure wait to have my hands on a pirated copy, before I buy.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waiting for the dust to settle

    I'll be waiting for some time before I consider a move to Windows 7 - maybe a year or two. Fundamentally, there has to be some tangible benefit to me to consider migrating to a new OS.

    About "latte-drinking European socialist regulators".... I work at a European organisation and we don't have latte here - coffee is either filter or espresso but we also have assorted types of tea, fruit juice, wine and beer available in the canteen. All sudsidised by the taxpayer.... thanks for that!

  48. Scott 19


    At the people getting in a tizz over what sort of coffee people drink, here's another one for you to stress over then :-

    MS < Apple < Freeware

    or even worse

    Playstation > xBox

    Some people need to just "calm down"

  49. Annihilator
    Thumb Up

    Come on down, the price *was* right

    To all the whingers about costs... did you all miss the pre-order sale? Bought a copy back in July for £80 of Win7 Pro, and a copy of Home Premium for about £45. And thanks to the monumental balls-up around the "E" versions, it's a full version thank-you-very-much. Delivered care of DHL Wednesday morning.

  50. Martin Glenn
    Thumb Up

    Is boot speed an issue

    I dont want an OS that boots in uber quick time, I like the coffee feature, Turn on, Make Coffee, Smoke a Cig, Eat a 3 course meal, Read War & Peace. Have another coffee. Spend a week Trekking in the Amazon, Come home, Make a coffee, Smoke a Cig and maybe just maybe the sytem had booted when you got back to it. Ok I exaggerated slightly.

  51. bex

    even more expensive

    as a casual system builder (10+ a year) windows puts a big chunk of money on the price of a pc

    XP home was a few years ago £53 oem for system builders windows 7 will be £80 a bih hike in a couple of years

  52. bex

    even more expensive

    as a casual system builder (10+ a year) windows puts a big chunk of money on the price of a pc

    XP home was a few years ago £53 oem for system builders windows 7 will be £80 a bit of a hike in a couple of years

  53. Bill Norrie


    ...should I 'upgrade' to Windows 7? I have a perfectly good laptop and a Desktop PC which both run XP Pro and all my Applications, but according to the compatibility test, neither is capable of running Windows 7. So, I would have to buy newer models, just to 'keep up to date'.

    No Thanks - I'll stick with XP which works fine and I'm sure there are many more like me..............

  54. Matt Hawkins
    Gates Horns

    Browser Ballot Screen?

    Installed Win 7 last night. There was no Browser ballot screen it just installed Internet Explorer and I had to download Firefox and delete all the IE shortcuts myself.

    What happened to the European ruling? Did Microsoft just ignore it in the end?

  55. rhdunn

    I'll have a slight problem upgrading to Win7

    as my home PC is running Ubuntu. Happily, I have upgraded to the latest pre-release version of Ubuntu, and it is great. Not perfect (no software is), but the Ubuntu guys have done a good job.

    From what I can tell, Microsoft have created a decent OS with Win7 -- improved and streamlined the features offered in Vista, just like they did with Win2000 to XP. Time will tell how it does.

    Things are looking interesting with Snow Leopard and other OSes (the BSD's, OpenSolaris, Android, Moblin and more). Consumer choice and competition is a good thing.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    "XP mode ... Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions"

    "to use XP mode you need at least the Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions"

    I'm glad someone's been reading the small print.

    FFS how difficult would it have been to say that in the article, especially in one that has SKUs in the subtitle?

    Or is that requirement just MS BS, and it actually is available in the cheaper ones too, so long as you don't mind it being disabled at some point in the future by some Windows Genuine Advantage equivalent (disabling which would be perfectly legitimate on those systems which aren't licenced for it)?

  57. redbook

    XP Upgrade? Not bloomin' likely Ms' Poppins

    And yet no in-place upgrade from XP to Win 7. You have to do a 'custom install'. Read delete XP and start again. Hardly the best incentive to move to the greatest OS ever in the whole wide world*

    *Some sentences may contain utter bollocks.

  58. Pete 6

    I'll bet that...

    ... the same people holding onto XP are the same people who initially refused to upgrade to XP from 98 stating the same old reasons again and again.

    And you couldn't pay me to use Linux. I happily forked over £65 for 7.

  59. Anonymous Coward

    @Martin Glenn -I exaggerated slightly.

    We knew. You shouldn't be smoking around your computer.

  60. Paul Harper

    Not buying Windows 7 Ultimate and MS Office 2007

    I am going to install OpenSolaris and take a weeks holiday instead.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Upgrade from Vista a complete disaster

    Those with XP should be thankful that there is no option to upgrade to 7 directly. As one of those caught out by the 62% bug in the upgrade from Vista I can tell you that you don't want the hassle.

    One of my machines I will probably just go for a completely clean install (especially since it will also allow me to go 64 bit as well). The other one has too much complex hardware and software installed on it (Cubase 5, Waves plugins and a MOTU 828) to go through the hassle of reinstalling everything from scratch. It is of course this machine that hangs at 62%!


  62. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    tempemeaty, mate... So that old article says "Microsoft will get your "Internet protocol address, the type of operating system, browser and name and version of the software you are using, and the language code of the device where you installed the software." Oh dear. Nasty, evil, horrid Microsoft!

    If you don't like the sound of that data being collected by anyone, then please, WTF are you doing using the Internet? What information do you think that your user agent, yes, *your user-agent* sends to, for example, every web site you visit? Oh yeah... Kinda the same as the info stated in that article. Oh dear! Nasty, evil, horrid user-agents!

    Of course, your IP address is transmitted with *every* request you make whether you want it to or not... It happens to be how things work. Oh dear. Nasty, evil horrid Internet! Down with the Internet. The Internet is evil. OMG! FMWN?! (If you are in the UK, then I would suggest that our very own governments' snooping databases should be of a more immediate concern).

    Personally, why waste your time posting such dross when you could quite happily make good use of such time taking the piss out of the 'Twatter Twats' happily 'Twatting' their life away (or some other such social-networking related bullshit) ;)

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