We are starting our evaluation of Microsoft Windows 7. The free download is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.aspx. Note this software will expire next summer, so plan to upgrade to the production version by then. When you download the .iso file the Microsoft web site will provide a license key, which you should save to disk or print.
Our virtual machine environment easily satisfies the minimum requirements, which are stated on the Microsoft web site as:
So We downloaded the .iso, which took several hours on our 15MHz Verizon Fiber Optic line. The file itself was only 2.4 GB, so you figure it out: slow server or slow Internet. Whatever. With a decent Internet connection, such as the one we have here is supposed to be, and a file server that is using the Internet without introducing delay, it should take 2,400,000,000 bytes * 10 bits per byte (8 bits + 2 overhead) / 15,000,000 bits per second = 1,600 seconds / 60 seconds per minute = 26.66 minutes. Our machine was created on a quad core host running at 2.5 Gig with 8 gig of RAM, so we gave the VM two cores and two gig of RAM with a 20 gig HD. Love that VMWare.
Elapsed Time, roughly 3 minutes — the time it took me to quickly upload the above graphic. Seriously. Microsoft has done a nice job improving the installation phase.
First Irritation: VMWare asks for first account and license key information when creating the virtual machine, which we provided. However, we had to provide this information again during installation, so VMWare or Microsoft, or both, missed something here. ALSO, really irritating, we could not PASTE the license key into our VM. Of course, if you are installing on physical hardware, this is a non-issue: you must type the key anyway since you can’t possibly copy/paste it using an OS that is not yet installed. However, we found this unusual, and note that the business thrust will continue to move toward greater efficiency, security, and recoverability, so virtual machines sharing hardware is the future now.
The next screen asked for our preference concerning automatic updates, and we chose the recommend action — automatic. Then on the (next) time screen we specified our time zone, Indiana (East), and straight way we are installed and applying updates.
I was really impressed by the apparent speed of the installation process. The entire process seemed to me to be mostly held up by my taking screen shots and uploading them to this blog, not by the Windows 7 installation. Some significant improvement seems to have been made in this category.
In the next blog, we will install some necessary software and start using our new Windows 7.
Note: this article is the writers personal opinion. It is based upon almost 40 years of experience in small computers and communications, but it is still an opinion.It is presented AS IS. All use is at your own risk.