Reasons to skip Microsoft's Windows 7 Beta download

Reasons to skip Microsoft's Windows 7 Beta download

Summary: As many of you know, I'm a hardcore Mac guy - but I wasn't always this way. My experiences with Windows Vista sent me over the edge, prompting me to add the "hardcore" next to my "Mac guy" title.


As many of you know, I'm a hardcore Mac guy - but I wasn't always this way. My experiences with Windows Vista sent me over the edge, prompting me to add the "hardcore" next to my "Mac guy" title. Still, I was excited to hear that Microsoft is releasing a beta download of Windows 7 on Friday - a move that might slow the switch-to-Mac momentum out there if the beta testers offer positive reviews. Just this morning, I thought about looking for my own Vista notebook. (My wife put it away after I was ready to literally toss it out of a second-floor window.)

But then I decided against the download and install. Given what I now know about the process, it already seems to be more trouble than its worth. Consider the following:

  • The beta of Windows 7 (or is it really just a great big Vista service pack?) will be available to the first 2.5 million people who download it on Jan. 9. I know it seems silly to ask but... is there a specific time on Jan. 9? Here in Silicon Valley, our clocks will be among the last in the world to reach the midnight hour.

  • Windows 7 Beta will expire on Aug. 1, 2009. Huh? Expire? So everything just resorts back to the older crappy version of Windows?

  • Be prepared to lose data. This excerpt from the Windows Blog:

As much as the Windows 7 Beta completely rocks, part of the beta process is discovering bugs and reporting those bugs. Some of those bugs could possibly lead to data loss. I tend to be a risk-taker myself and have gone all-out with the Windows 7 Beta by putting it on almost all my PCs both at work and at home, but not everyone should do this.

  • Finally, even if you love Windows 7 and are willing to let it expire in August because the buzz is that it will be available again by the holiday season - think again. Windows executive Bill Veghte told CNET that Windows 7 actually might not be ready in time for the 2009 holiday season. "I'm telling them that it could go either way," Veghte said. "We will ship it when the quality is right, and earlier is always better, but not at the cost of ecosystem support and not at the cost of quality."

I know, I know. Many of you are probably thinking that I'm biased because I've gulped down Apple's Kool-Aid and probably have already been labeled a Windows Hater. But I wasn't always like this - Windows made me this way. That's what made me switch - before switching was cool.

In all honesty, I want Windows 7 to be a success. I want to install it on the Windows Vista machine I have so I can recover some of my lost investment. I want Microsoft to take the time it needs to make sure that Windows 7 is a product that's exponentially superior to Vista (that shouldn't be a tough task - it can't possibly get worse.) But it's hard to get excited about something that potentially won't even arrive until 2010. (Really. The company is already talking about delays and the beta hasn't even been released yet.)

Thanks for the download offer, Microsoft, but I think I'll pass. With only 2.5 million downloads available, I'll leave mine out there for someone who really really really wants it and is willing to take the time to install it. Me and my Macbook will just keep working from right here on the sidelines.

Other coverage:

Windows 7 Should be a Fixta Free For All Six Vista annoyances fixed in Windows 7 Report: PC makers to provide free Vista-to Win-7 upgrades starting July 1 Better the Windows Vista devil you know than the Windows 7 one you don’t?

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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  • head in the sand then?

    We know you have drunk the flavor aid and all bets are off. That RDF is a real mind bender. Yea, better skip 7, could be a real downer.

    Yawn. It's a beta. You just test it out, you don't put your life on it. Any tech guru worth his salt ought to have five machines laying around just waiting for this. How else can you intelligently comment?? This is your job, right? Talk about head in the sand . .

    I got 7 on an old Dell XPS P4 with 2 gig Ram and it glides - like butter. I also have it as a dual boot with Vista on my Tosh laptop.

    Vista runs great for me too. I had to stick with it a while but it's fine now. Did you even do a fresh install on your laptop?
    • Win 7

      Is this guy for real ? He hasn't tried it, knows nothing about it and doesn't want to know. I have been using the beta for a week now and it rocks ! I like Vista too. Had no problems with it and dual boot with 7.I think MS haters should keep their mouths shut unless they actually know what the hell they are talking about. I know Mac users that have had basically the same problems that some Vista users have had. Same shit , different pile !Between this blogger and PC World, you would think the world was flat.Sure MS isn't an upstanding company with a pure reputation, but lets face it, without Bill Gates and MS we would not have the tools to even own our own computers. We would all be still using the abucus !This is not a comment on eggman, I just hit the wrong button.I agree with him.Lets get this other idiot out of here so we can enjoy reading again.
      • Mostly agree.

        I'm a ten-year Linux user with a minor Linux tech blog, and even [i]I[/i] have installed and looked at Win7. On the point of staying aware of advancements, I totally agree.

        About BG/MS spawning the computer revolution, though, you couldn't be further off. I've had a home computer since 1978, and there were always lots of competitors to take that top spot. If Gate's family hadn't arranged for him to get the IBM account, IBM would have found another supplier, and that company would have filled MS's shoes. Windows began in 1984. There were many competing operating systems at that time -- many options for GUI systems. One of those would have taken the lead in GUIs. MS was nothing special except that it was more ruthless than many (but not all) other businesses in the market.

        History is not on your side on that point.
        • depends on your definition of the start of the "computer revolution"

          If it's when the first machine was built, when the first OEM put out a couple thousand machines, or when the average lower middle class could easily afford a desktop or two.

          If it was left to IBM or Apple, etc, only the upper class would be a part of the computer revolution.
      • Utter nonsense.

        If Microsoft hadn't been the tool for the monopolisation of home computing, some other self interested Corporation would have taken up the mantle.

        However, had it been ANY other company, they'd NEVER have done I.T. such a dis-service as Microsoft has.
        • How do you know?

          >However, had it been ANY other company, they'd NEVER have done I.T. such a dis-service as Microsoft has.

          How do you know? Have you verified it in a parallell universe?
    • Sam Diaz. Any relation to Jesus Diaz from iGizmodo?

      Both of you do sound similar in the militant iBoi
    • Only Beta...

      I agree, you would be a fool to put 7 on your main machine or a production machine - actually the licence agreement forbids the use of the product on a production machine, ISTR.

      This is traditional beta testing, as opposed to the "it sort of works and we can't be a***d to support it," beta versions from Google.

      That means not putting it on live systems, but running it in parallel to your existing systems, looking for bugs and reporting them back to Microsoft.

      If you aren't prepared to test it properly and report any issues and bugs to the Microsoft Windows Dev Team, then you shouldn't be downloading it anyway.

      I thought about signing up, but with my workload at present, I just don't have the time to test it properly, so I left it to those who have the time to do it properly.
    • head in the sand then? Yep.

      Call me crazy, but I have been working off of a clean install of 7 since it became available. Yes it resembles Vista in many ways, but there are notable improvements to the features within the UI that I am loving. So far the experience is without flaws and my machine is humming along like a well oiled machine even with all my apps installed. I also happen to be a fan of Vista based on my experience with it. On top of that I have never felt the need or had the desire to jump on the MAC bandwagon. Perhaps because I have never been one to need a boost in self esteem by adopting the latest trend. I realize Vista, and now 7, may be a bit complicated to use for some people, so maybe what Microsoft should do is dumb the interface back down and call it Windows XP2.
  • Well said.

    I wish I had seen this before I posted my response. I
    inadvertently duplicated your work. :)
    • duplicate away

      I predict it will be duplicated many times today - it's so obvious. It's rather humorously closed minded. Unprofessional, to be sure. I would not be surprised to see it pulled in a few minutes.
  • Apple zombies, more pathetic than ever

    Now, seriously, can somebody be more patetic than the mactard who wrote the blog?
    Or did he think windows users are so stupid than they don`t know what a BETA is? That it is not the final product, that i can have bugs and you use it at you`re own risk. And it will expire because ms is not giving away a free os, it is for testing purposes and to see how the general public likes/hates the os.

    But hey, apple users probably are that dumbed-down, because we are basically talking to a group of individuals who had issues working with a 2 button mouse, and even in 2009 they can`t figure out how to make a mouse with a right click
    • When making fun of someones mental state

      you should ALWAYS check your spelling.
      • When making fun of someone ...

        ... making fun of someones mental state you probably should know the difference between a "mental state" and the ability to spell. One has nothing to do with the other, quick draw!
        • good thing I wasn't making fun of him....

          and Retarded can be considered a mental state.
          • Who is this "Retarded" of which you speak?

            I assume you are talking about a person as you decided to capitalise the word?
    • Funny that you should call others pathetic...

      I won't mention your bad spelling, or your 6th grade level

      But it's really pathetic when you proudly announce your
      ignorance to the world at large.

      Just for your information, Mac's have had right-click
      context menus since OS 8, which was released in 1997.
      When you try to make your point by using an example
      that's more than a decade out of date, it's obvious you
      have no real point to make.

      So, who's the dumbed-down person here?
      • Mac users .. sheesh ...

        I work with mac users all the time, although, I'm more of a pc guy myself. Regarding right click, 90% of the average people I work with get confused when you mention the idea of pressing a key combination, a finger combination (two-finger click) or a right click on the mouse - they freak out like its a new concept even though, as you said and I know, it has been there for quite some time. only power users who have bought a non oem mouse know what the right click is - this does not include your average user who purchased a third party mouse yet has no clue what the line down the middle of it is, separating the 2 sides to the left and the right ...

        The write of this blog though, I don't think he's used Vista in a while ... I was hardcore for XP, stayed away from Vista, downgraded EVERYONE to XP from it ... now I'm hapily running 2 machines with Vista ... with no problems - it jsut takes a little learning, a little getting used to, kind of like switching from one OS to another - what part of "NEW" doesn't the write of the blog understand?? Its revamped, reorganized has new features - of course it'll be different! Try it again, get used to it - I'm fully enjoying Vista with NO problems! Let go of your misconceptions of it from when it was first released, install the numerous patches (Don't say a thing mac people - Macs have just as many updates, patches and flaws as windows - most times though, there are no installation problems under windows though - remember 10.5.2 mac people, and how badly it screwed up your precious machines????) ... and after its up to date, you'll have a beautifully running machine, as long as you purchased something that didn't cost less than $650! Oh, once again, don't say a word mac people - your cheapest machines are $1k and cost a fortune to repair!
      • Right click since 1997?

        Wow, how progressive!
      • Close

        Mac's might have had context menus since 1997, but they didn't ship a mouse with a right click button until late 2005, nearly a decade later.

        Undoubtedly, this was mostly due to Jobs not wanting to admit he was wrong about the situation.