Windows 7: Now You Can Buy It

By Alec Meer on October 23rd, 2009 at 10:39 am.

Pro tip - you want 'home premium'

Purely because we haven’t mentioned it and probably should – er, as above. Should you buy it? Hmmm. It’s pretty good – a far more pleasant desktop environment than Vista, and noticeably nippier in certain areas. But, long story short, it ain’t gonna make a blind bit of difference to your everyday videogaming, unless you’re into running framerate counters at all times and watching ferociously for an occasional 1-3 frames per second difference. If you’re buying a new PC though, make sure it comes with 7 rather than Vista. Oh, and do install the 64 bit version – very few compatibility problems (really old games are the most likely thorns in the ointment) and it means you can use more than 3Gb of RAM.

Of course, knowing our audience, anyone who’s genuinely interested in Win7 has probably been running A Version for months anyway….

, .

149 Comments »

  1. TotalBiscuit says:

    Supposedly it comes with both 32 and 64 bit versions as standard. Unless my copy is powered by magic and wishes.

    • Tunips says:

      The retail boxes have both 32 and 64 bit dsics in them. Various OEM and special offer or ebay affairs may or may not. Pay attention, consumers!

    • Spacewalk says:

      Black magic and the wishes of dying children.

  2. James G says:

    As you said, been running the RC for a few months, and installed the full version on Wednesday. (The UK got it early because of the postal strikes, just in case anyone from other countries thinks there was anything untoward going on.) Still in the process of re-installing everything. (The Steam backup is useless, I recommend the manual method. 1) Archive entire steam directory. 2) Install Steam client on fresh install. 3)Ensure steam is close and extract old directory over new install. 4) Delete packages.gfc in steamapps directory. 5)Load steam.)

    I usually hold out until the first service pack before considering updating, but didn’t experience any major issues with the RC. Also, unlike with the shift to Vista, there haven’t been any major changes under the hood, so driver support is already solid.

    • Dan (WR) says:

      Re: Steam – do you need to do the whole directory? I thought you could just copy over the Steamapps folder.

      I’m really not looking forward to all the backupery/ transferring/ reinstalling gubbins. I’m also not sure what happens with SecureRom games when I’m reinstalling stuff as I’m a bit fuzzy on the whole thing. :-/

    • James G says:

      I initially tried just copying over the steam Apps folder, and it didn’t seem to find my games as a result, but its possible I missed something out.

    • Jemre says:

      You can just copy over the “Steamapps” folder, no need for the full directory.

    • Tom says:

      Steam lets you backup your games in to one compressed installer.
      Open Steam -> r-click on any game -> properties -> local files -> backup game files… -> select the games you want to backup.
      Steam will create a compressed installer of just the game files, as appossed to the entire steam directory.
      Very useful when formatting. Just wish I’d remembered to do it before formatting. I always forget something.

    • Kadayi says:

      My full copy turned up yesterday. Likewise I’ve also been using the RC for quite some time and so I’m now contemplating the pain of carrying out the inevitable format and reinstallation. Its not so much putting Windows 7 on itself (the OS has its own 50GB Partition) more reinstalling all of the software and games I’ve put on the RC install (I’ve about 200GB worth on my applications partition at present…) as well as setting it so my desktop & documents, pictures etc are on a third Partition (Crazy I know) as well as running the inevitable software patching…

      Still no pain, no gain as they say.

    • Tom says:

      Unfortunately not. You can force an upgrade from RC to RTM, then maybe to final using a similar method, but the amount of time upgrade take make it just not worth it.

    • Bema says:

      @Tom: The problem with using the Steam back-up method is that it doesn’t keep your saved games etc (or it didn’t for me). The Copy&Paste method does.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      I’m very wary of Steam’s built in back-up facility. I’ve had a number of corrupt files with it.

    • coupsan says:

      Uh, Steam back up works perfectly for me. I have no idea why you’d be having any issues with it.

  3. Jonas says:

    In related news, Richard Cobbett is a very funny man: http://www.richardcobbett.com/codex/journal/filingcabinet/windows_7/

    I really like Windows 7. I’ve never used Vista, but it seemed like a pretty valuable upgrade from Windows XP. I managed to secure a free copy via MSDNAA, but otherwise I would happily have purchased it after using the beta and the RC for about a year.

    Most of the improvements I’ve noticed are interface things, and a lot of them seem more or less stolen from Macintosh, but they’ve stolen all the right things, so that suits me perfectly.

    I did have a LOT of issues after upgrading, but I recently tracked down the problem and it turned out to be a faulty SATA port on my motherboard, so I’ve officially been able to absolve Windows 7 of any blame. It gets a wholehearted recommendation from me.

  4. mcw says:

    Does anyone know if the OEM/DSP version includes both 32 and 64 bit?

  5. Fetthesten says:

    I’m one of those crazy pariahs who actually think Vista is pretty neat, so I’ve been holding off on trying Windows 7 so far. Next year will probably be a New Computer year though, so I’m definitely getting Windows 7 when I upgrade. From what I’ve read, there seems to be almost nothing negative about it, so that’s a relief.

    • Carra says:

      It’s pretty neat.

      But I only installed it a year after release. It did have more problems at launch.

  6. Owen says:

    Hmm I’ve always found the Steam backup to be pretty good. Certainly every time I’ve used it, it’s just worked. I just wonder if your experience is a move from XP or Vista to Windows 7, maybe it has some issues.

    I’m lucky in that my g/f is a student thus we can get a substantially reduced price for it. That being the only reason we’re getting it tbh, as no way am I paying £150 odd.

    I do wonder what price they’ll be flogging this at when Google Chrome is eventually released though…

  7. Richierich says:

    As an academic I can buy for £30 till January (Woo!). However, the upgrade adviser thingy suggests my Promise SATA drivers won’t be compatible and ASUS haven’t got around to making Vista ones yet (Boo!). Guess I’ll have to wait.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      Thanks for the tip. I’m there..

    • Dan says:

      I took this offer too. I upgraded from Vista Home Premium yesterday. It only took 6 hours!

      It seems to be working pretty smoothly now though. I also received the message about SATA/RAID drivers, but just ignored it. No issues so far!

  8. Greg Wild says:

    I’ve had it sitting on my desk a couple of days now. Just cannot be arsed to go through the reinstall hassle just yet.

    I can see me running the beta until the every 2 hour shut downs at this rate :D

  9. Colthor says:

    After months of problem-free RC use I got the full version ‘cos of the ‘cheap’ pre-order offer. Installed it yesterday and it promptly ate the drive with XP64 on that I wanted to dual-boot with, as well as the Win7RC partition on a different drive that I actually wanted to format/install to. Well done, Windows.
    Be careful if you’re not installing to the Primary disk/partition.

    @James G: You can move Steam’s directory around as you like, it doesn’t care. You’ll have to create your own desktop/start menu shortcuts is all.

    • Colthor says:

      I mean System partition rather than Primary.

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      For people that want to remove vista from Dual Boot with windows 7:

      If you need to change your system partition(where boot Manager is; if you want to remove your vista installation), the easiest way is to simply unplug that disc, boot from the disc with the new installation. It’ll complain it can’t find the bootmanager. Put your installation disc back in and go for system repair.

      After booting from your NEW system partition, you can format the previous disc through windows, and reclaim all the disc space.

      If your new installation is just on a different partition, you might be able to format the old partition before starting windows.

  10. BigJonno says:

    I have no problem with Vista and a lot of people have said “It’s like Vista, but better!” I’m going to be getting the cheapo student upgrade version when my grant comes through. Thank you, Open University!

    • Tei says:

      I suppose your university have computers (a lot of then). And you pay to attend the university. If every computer have office, windows, etc.. I suppose you can do the number of millions are paying every year your university. Since your university can’t print money, I suppose you get it, yes… you (and the other dudes on your university) are paying these million in licenses. So the “this is cheap” is a bit unaccurate. Hell.. drug dealers will give you the first dope for free. I don’t know why is asking any money for your copy…

    • BigJonno says:

      Yep, it’s the official MS offer. However you do need a valid .ac.uk email address, which the OU helpfully provided.

  11. Ravenger says:

    I ordered it when it was going for £45, which is a great price for a new OS. I’m just waiting for some new RAM and another hard disk to turn up before installing. I’m going dual boot with my current XP install until I get all the gremlins ironed out (if any). The first thing I’m going to do before I install is to image my old hard drive, just in case.

  12. Tei says:

    OS’s are the enemy of videogames.

    The more the OS, the more stuff in background that is stealing resources from the game.

    Windows 7 need 650 MB to do *nothing*, .. for this XP needs 64 MB. If you install Windows 7, is like If you remove from your computer 512MB of memory.

    Also, we have read here lots of new compatibilities problems. Any new version breaks some games. But.. what adds? nothing… a new desktop graphic?

    Buy and install Windows 7 If you hate gamming, have a lot of money to burn, and want the pain and misery of a new collection of compatibility problems.

    • Adam says:

      “Hey guys I don’t understand how ram or pagefiles work so here is a bunch of stuff I just made up because I want to continue using my 10 year old OS”

    • Premium User Badge oceanclub says:

      “Windows 7 need 650 MB to do *nothing*, .. for this XP needs 64 MB. If you install Windows 7, is like If you remove from your computer 512MB of memory. ”

      In my case, installing Windows 7 64-bit allows me to use the remaining .8 GB of the 4GB I’d installed. So, score.

      XP needs 64MB? Sorry, but I’ve never seen even a clean XP machine use that little memory.

      And comparing the average machine in 2001 to the average machine in 2009 isn’t really, well, a comparison.

      But i guess I hate gamming.

      P.

    • Theory says:

      Vista and 7 are far cleverer with memory too: you’ll find that a large part of its memory footprint vanishes when a foreground app (*especially* a fullscreen one) starts running low. Memory comparisons with XP have always been meaningless.

    • Tei says:

      @oceanclub: Any 64 bits aware OS will give you these 8 GB. Theres a 64 bits version of XP for free to download from Microsoft. I am not comparing machines. We are talking about installing a new OS, not to buy a new computer.

      @adam: I do know how pagefiles work. The OS “cache” these pages, …the CPU “cache” these pages, and are automatically load from disk if the CPU need then and has been paged out. With Windows 7, more code is doing no-gaming related things. The 640 MB mark is a indication of how much more.

    • Adam says:

      Yes but the point is a LOT more OS stuff is put into the page file in windows 7 than XP, I run a machine that dual boots XP and Windows 7 (I need XP for compatability testing) and the performance difference between the two is within the realm of a frame or two per second, and some games run a bunch better on Windows 7. And your point about XP x64 is moot because driver compatability is terrible, as is the OSes stability in general.

    • Tei says:

      @adam: hum? theres a registry key in XP to put the whole kernel pageable. It don’t see any dramatic change (where dramatic is +20%). I wonder how you put some pages as not pageable? theres a flag to mark then volatile or some crap?. paging is CPU level, not OS level. Is not a feature of Windows 7, but of the CPU (from the 386 and up).
      Some games on some computers may run better, and a broken clock is right 2 times a day. I don’t have data here, but I fear Windows 7 is one step backward (where a new machine is two steps forward, so we move forward, but slowly). Anyway since your points are soo interesting, I am going to buy it for my EEPC 701 with 1GB of ram and 4 GB of Hard disk. If Windows 7 is that optimized and good at managing memory It will run really good, hell… with eebunty it fly.

    • El Stevo says:

      This is why I still run Windows 3.0.

    • Tei says:

      Windows 3.0 is absurd. But I see not reason not to use Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000. If DX where ported to these OS’s.
      Once a game is fullscreen, who cares what is under the hood?,

      Windows NT 4.0 was really smooth running Winquake.

    • manveruppd says:

      Tei, you’ve got nothing to worry about, Windows 7 really is blazingly fast and much more frugal with its memory resources than Vista was. I know one guy who runs it fine on an old laptop with 128MB RAM! I’ve seen it and everything opens a lot faster than when I was running XP SP1 on a machine with 128MB RAM!

      For the record, pagefiles are slightly more complicated than what you’ve described. They’re not merely a place where the OS dumps all code that’s not currently being executed: they also act as a “dirty copy” of RAM contents, so even code which is CURRENTLY in RAM is usually also cached on the pagefile. Since Vista, MS have changed the way in which Windows handles this caching. XP and 2000 tried to keep as much RAM free as possible, but Vista and later prioritises frequently-executable code, with the result of there being far less disk-thrashing as stuff gets copied to and from the pagefile. Unfortunately, because Vista was an engorged piece of bloatware sucking your PC’s resources like a filthy leech, the benefits resulting from its improved memory management were counterbalanced by the fact that it liked squatting its massive bulk on your RAM like Jabba the Hutt, yanking the chain of your poor bikini-clad CPU shouting “This biatch is MY hoe, yo!”

      With Windows 7, however, they’ve managed to massively streamline it – on one configuration I’ve seen running on a friend’s PC, it only has 15 running processes! That means that we can finally reap the benefits of Vista’s improved memory management, launch countless shit without our hard disk groaning in pain as stuff gets copied between it and the RAM frantically and repeatedly.

      Everyone I’ve seen running it shows that it’s on a par with XP for performance, and it’s sure to surpass it within a few months, as hardware manufacturers will focus on writing optimised drivers for 7. XP is nearly 10 years old now, they’re not as likely to put as much work into writing drivers for it as they are for 7.

  13. Carra says:

    I see it’s avaiable at a student price of €60. That’s a reasonable price, I might get it at that rate.

    Now gog.com will have to add “compatible with windows 7″ though!

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      That’s not going to be too hard. From what I’ve heard, if it works on Vista, it’ll work on 7 and in many cases, even if it doesn’t work on Vista, it’ll work on 7.

  14. Premium User Badge oceanclub says:

    I’d been too lazy to install the RC, but had ordered it because Amazon were offering a very good deal on it a while back (around £40 for the Home Premium edition). Installed it on a Vista laptop last night and it is definitely a lot nippier now, so happy so far.

    P.

  15. Dan says:

    I received and installed it on Monday (formatted the HD, rather than install over Vista and the whole process took about 45 minutes) and I’ve had no trouble at all – I’m mainly playing WoW or Aion at the moment, and both are noticeably faster.

  16. Theory says:

    Like some of the people above I bought it because Amazon had the standalone (i.e. “not upgrade”) Home Premium version on sale for £45. But I’d definitely have stuck with Vista for my upcoming computer if that crazy reduction hadn’t happened: 7 is an improvement, but except in PR terms not a huge one. I actually removed the RC because I was so ambivalent about it. It seemed faster on the desktop, but then again was a brand new install without Steam, loads of gadgets, etc. starting up with it.

    • Theory says:

      I should point out that I’m praising Vista rather than criticising 7 in that comment. They’re both very good.

  17. Senethro says:

    Do you have a valid .ac.uk email address? You can buy it for £30 here.
    http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/studentoffer/

    Donate some money saved to RPS (Or you could buy me Dark Forces on Steam if you’re feeling exceptionally grateful! :D)

  18. RogB says:

    I quite liked the release candidate so should probably have got it when it was 45 quid. However, now its 150 theres not a hope in hell im paying that much. Xp is fine, thank you!

  19. mrmud says:

    I intend to pick up a copy when I build a new PC sometime early next year (once the new 6 core intel is released).

  20. mirdza says:

    Running x64 RC for few months now. Planescape: Torment, Fallout and some other older stuf are working perfectly.

    • frymaster says:

      the main things that don’t work properly (in the 64-bit version) are anything with 16-bit code. Annoyingly, a few win32 games use 16-bit code in their installers

      http://www.markusegger.at/Software/Games.aspx for instance, is a nice fellow who’s created installers for some of the star wars games

  21. Roi Danton says:

    Bought and installed it last week (64bit Ultimate System Builder) and I can’t complain. There are a lot of good ideas in the system design and I didn’t get any driver problems. Actually I could install my AVM wlan stick with Vista drivers.

    I really like Windows7.

  22. monchberter says:

    If you’ve got more than 1 PC, make sure you get the Home Premium ‘Family Pack’, it’s £130 from PC World and you get a license you can share across 3 computers. Makes sense also if you get together with trusted friends to share the cost.

  23. Baboonanza says:

    My old PC died a couple of weeks ago, giving me the excuse I needed to rebuild for Windows 7. I’ve got the HD 5850 running beutifully on XP and now I’m just waiting for my SSD to arrive before installing 7 on it.
    Excited, but mainly about the upgrade. My last PC was 4 years old!

    • Subject 706 says:

      Also waiting for an SSD, too bad that the Intel X25 80 gb seems to be out of stock everywhere here in Stockholm. Can’t complain though, I got Win 7 Ultimate for free through my job’s MSDN account. Been running the RC for ages, and it has given me zero problems.

    • Rostock says:

      Subject: Buy from Dustin, just ordered one from there ;)

    • Subject 706 says:

      Damn you for giving me a moment of hope Rostock; it is out of stock there too.

  24. Andersen Peters says:

    For those in the UK, if you have any American college student friends (with a valid, MS recognized .edu emails) who you can get to buy it for you than do so. Its one of those weird Steam-esque pricing deals where it is $30 or £30. All in you can save £12 or so, not great but still a better deal if you can pull it off.

  25. Vae Victus says:

    Quick question: I have found a sale for OEM versions of the full Windows 7 OS and they are cheaper than the upgrade version. I’m currently living overseas and plan to install Win 7 over Vista because I left a lot of my media back home and reinstalling isn’t an option.

    Will a full version of Windows 7 install over Vista just like the upgrade version or does it only do clean installs?

    • James G says:

      OEM licenses are non-transferable, and hardware locked. If you upgrade your motherboard say, you’ll be unable to activate the OEM copy. (I actually had vista demand to be re-activated after a BIOS upgrade. While I’m sure you could talk MS into re-activating an OEM copy if this were the case, it is likely to be a bit of a hassle)

    • James G says:

      Oh, and in reply to you question, yes, you can upgrade with a full version, as long as it is version matched: eg. 32bit/32bit Home Premium/Home Premium.

    • Vae Victus says:

      Thanks! I realize the constraints of an OEM copy but I’m installing it on a laptop. Hopefully I won’t have to change the motherboard and I doubt its useful lifespan will be more than a few years. The OEM copy is going for $100 CDN and the upgrade copy is $120.

      But considering I’m upgrading what I assume is an OEM copy of Vista that came with the laptop, if I get an upgrade version of Win 7 won’t the end result be subject to basically the same restraints as using a full OEM version to upgrade?

      Just trying to figure out the best / cheapest way to do this. I live in Norway now and getting a copy here will cost me a kidney. I can, however, order one of the two versions described above instead.

    • Premium User Badge James G says:

      You might be right on that. I’m not entirely sure how upgrade licenses tie into their base, and whether they are transferable. I know that the version of XP I upgraded to Vista will still activate okay, but I’ve seen some suggestions that with W7 onwards this is no longer the case, and that the two product keys are tied intimately together upon activation. So you may be right.

    • Myros says:

      OEM is not hardware “locked” in the sense implied in a reply above. If you change motherboard etc it requires you to click a button to authenticate online which takes all of 5 seconds. OEM just means you wont be getting a box or manual, it is normaly meant to be sold with hardware … but in all other aspects is a fully legal and normal functioning copy of the software.

    • Optimaximal says:

      *BBZT*

      JamesG is right – OEM copies of Windows are sold on the provision that it is going to be used on new hardware as part of Microsoft’s System Builder program. Most resellers are supposed to require you to buy a piece of hardware alongside it, but few rarely do.

      Once the software is installed and activated, it’s locked to that hardware as far as Microsoft are concerned using the same process that’s been in-place since XP’s release – keying certain hardware components (i.e. motherboard, network card MAC address, processor) and deactivating the OS if these keys ever change.

      Essentially, if a pre-built machine dies under warranty and the motherboard is replaced, the OS should not actually reactivate, although most OEMs get around this by selling the machine with one of their VLKs pre-installed and active (which is why you rarely, if ever, have to activate store bought machines). Then, when hardware is changed and you use the recovery media, you enter the key on the license label and activate that.

      If it then dies again, you’ll have to phone Microsoft and explain the situation – as long as 120 days have passed, the key doesn’t flag as a known pirate key and you have a convincing story, it isn’t that hard to get a new activation key :)

  26. St4ud3 says:

    Thank god for MSDNAA. I’m a bit surprised, that all these students here don’t have that program at their university.

    • frymaster says:

      with the cheapness of the offer, I know a couple of students who bought it so they didn’t potentially run into activation issues if they changed computer after their msdnaa membership had expired

      also, a lot of unis (mine, for instance) only give you msdnaa access if you do a course which requires it

    • El Stevo says:

      You’re also not allowed to use MSDNAA copies for commercial purposes.

  27. lumpi says:

    Don’t see why I have to praise the biggest software company in the world for finally producing an OS with similar abilities as that of the second biggest software company in the world (Apple). So yea, applause, Microsoft! You’re only about 4 years late. And hardly anybody really manages to use 3+ GB of RAM… even for videogaming. I know I know… you do. But anyone I know sure as hell doesn’t. Oh, and of course DX10 is a real killer, too. Right? Right??!?!?

    Anyways… I’d rather buy a bunch of new games for that money and run them perfectly well on WinXP.

    • Starky says:

      Go back into your cage Apple guy… Apple stole from Linux builds, Microsoft stole from, whatever…

      Apple OS is horrid, Hell I’d rate the current builds of Amiga OS higher.

      Of course this is an utterly subjective opinion, just like yours… but Apple do a few things very well, it’s nice having virtual midi cable drivers built in, where in windows you need to use something like loopbe1. It’s also nice having an OS that can run games.

      Apple OS is a master of a few trades, piss-poor at the rest.
      Windows is a Jack-of-All-trades, master of one (gaming).
      Linux is linux… Linux is the OS you use for everything but a home computer.

    • Thants says:

      Windows has games because more people have Windows. It has nothing to do with the quality of the OS itself.

    • Starky says:

      And more people have windows because windows HAD games.

      Apple have no one to blame but themselves, they didn’t support games, they didn’t support open hardware – they made expensive proprietary machines and focuses on a niche little market.
      Microsoft grabbed gaming and provided Devs what they needed to make it better, open hardware (to push advances) and software support in the form of DirectX – Apple were too cool for nerdy videogames for a LONG time (publicly and often saying that they had no intention to go for the gaming market), hell until the IPhone basically.

      Apple would be dead now if not for their Ipod line (and a hefty loan from Microsoft) saving the company, but they are still an overly expensive style over substance company.
      Which is fine, some people like style, some people care about brand names and design, a lot of people when it comes to gadget land.

      I’m simply not one of them.

      For years I had to suffer using Macs as I was involved in music production and graphic design, it was very much a love hate thing, I loved them when they worked, but more often that not they didn’t (not the way I wanted them too anyway, Macs work their way or no at all, windows lets you customize) – still they were well ahead of windows machines in terms of audio drivers and software.

      In the line of style -> substance it’s very much:
      [Style] Apple OS ———– Windows ———- Linux [Substance]

      I personally refuse to pay a +50-100% hardware premium for style.

      It’s easy to bitch about Microsoft dominating the market, but you have to remember they got their by making the smarter, better business decisions (then ruthlessly maintained it).

  28. Premium User Badge Wisq says:

    In my experience, Windows XP gives you more than just 3 gigs of RAM — you can get up to 4 gigs minus your video RAM. And yes, some cards have almost a gig of video RAM, but most have less.

    With that much memory, I just turn the pagefile off entirely. I know, I’m aware of all the arguments in favour of having swap memory no matter how much physical memory you have. But those arguments apply to operating systems that have sensible swap algorithms and that use every last bit of free RAM for disk caching, like Linux. I’ve found that Windows is far too eager to push stuff into swap and then need it shortly thereafter, and not eager enough when it comes to using memory for disk cache.

    Also, don’t forget that a 64-bit OS is going to use more memory than a 32-bit one. If you’re right at that 4-gig threshold, it can make more sense to stick with 32-bit unless you want the future upgrade potential.

    • frymaster says:

      not just vram – I know someone with a 640meg graphics card who only sees 2.8 gigs in 32-bit windows

      (he’s also got a RAID card with a large amount of RAM on board, for a start)

    • CMaster says:

      Total of 2^32 bytes of addressable space is the issue. If only someone altered the PC architecture of have a wider data bus…

  29. Duke Nasty VI says:

    I’ve been running Windows 7 since the beta, and it’s quite nice. I can pick it up for free at my university, and seeing as I like free stuff I’ll probably pick it up asap.

  30. Cargo Cult says:

    I finally got round to installing Mac OS X Snow Leotard the other day.

    \o/

  31. Derp says:

    Wait, did you actually just suggest that installing XP 64-bit was ever an option for anyone?

    Cool drivers, bro

    • Colthor says:

      XP x64 was my primary gaming OS for a few years, without any driver/stability problems I can recall, and very few compatibility problems (the occasional old 32-bit copy-protection system, mostly). It really doesn’t deserve the reputation it’s got.

      Moot, of course, as there’s no reason to get it now.

  32. Frosty840 says:

    Can someone go and steal reddit’s comment code? Nobody’s going to read anything I say when it’s way down here. I’ve not read the comment above this one, because I don’t care (sorry, anonymous-poster-above-this).

    I vaguely recall reddit’s code being open-source, and it would be much goodness to have the good comments placed higher towards the top of the comments threads.

    Just a malplaced thought, there. Which, of course, nobody will read. Such is the price of meta.

    • Babs says:

      tl:dr

    • TeeJay says:

      “Nobody’s going to read anything I say when it’s way down here.”

      Most threads have less than 200 comments (usually far less) – easy enough to read if you are actualy interested in the topic and people’s views.

      Re-ordering posts by ‘rank’ could be useful if you get 1000+ comments (eg YouTube) but makes it harder to have discussions, instead of just isolated reactions to the original article.

      ‘User ranking’ of posts can lead to a ‘popularity contest’ syndrome which can work against decent discussion (also the earlier posts in a thread tend to get bigger rankings – both postive and negative – so you are still left with ‘first arrival’ bias).

      If you are really bothered by where your post appears you could abuse the RPS system by “replying” to the first comment in the thread although I personally wouldn’t be impressed.

      If you want people to read your posts then create a reputation for making decent posts.

      If you want to appear ‘high up’ in comments threads then keeping checking RPS for new articles.

  33. Fox says:

    No only one of them.

  34. Fox says:

    Ugh that wasn’t supposed to appear here, please delete if possible

  35. Premium User Badge RLacey says:

    Got it (Professional) as a student for £30. Also got it (Professional) as a retail copy for £80, because I ordered it ages ago and didn’t get around to cancelling. So… do I install on my netbook as well, do I try to flog it on eBay, or do I gift it to my father?

  36. Tom says:

    I was using the RC from release, then the RTM.
    Due to Creative’s god awful Win7 drivers i just though sod it, i’ll go back to Vista.
    I did a forced upgrade from RC to RTM and it seamed to cause a few, niggling issues.
    Now i’m back with Vista I just can’t see what all the fuss is about. Performance on my PC is identical, as is the memory footprint. In fact some games run better and I believe this is because Win7′s resource management is very different to Vistas, and if games don’t take this in to account it can actually impare performance. GTA IV being the best example, although Rockstar did release a patch to help this out a little. But there’s no denying it, it runs better on Vista.
    If you’ve got Vista I can honestly say Win 7 just isn’t worth it.
    Win 7 seams to scale better to lower end hardware and from an accessability point of view it’s much nicer then Vista, but that’s about it. Don’t waste your money – spend it on games instead.

  37. Tom says:

    Also, Win7′s new Media Foundation codecs are a pain in the arse is you use your system as any kind of media device. I’ve no doubt someone will figure out how to disable or a workaround eventually though.

  38. Super Bladesman says:

    Stuck this on my ‘new’ (donated) PC last night – it’s a decent enough rig, 2.8GHz dual core chip, ASRock G13M-GS mobo.

    Stuck 2 new (paired) sticks of RAM in – the PC only sees 1, even in bios. And then Win7 won’t recognise or even really make a decent attempt to try installing, drivers for my SpeedTouch 121g wireless network adapter :(

    Still nice though :) Hopefully time / money / effort will solve the other issues…

  39. dpCapital says:

    ah yes, but can I still run Baldur’s Gate on it?

  40. Nimic says:

    Is it worth it to scrap my trusted XP and get this? I planned on doing it eventually anyway, when I reformat the next time, but I didn’t plan on doing that just yet. Is it so good I can’t wait?

  41. Deuteronomy says:

    Lumpi,

    Well seeing as it’s going to be you, Tei and three other luddites still running XP, I’m pretty sure you won’t be running anything “perfectly” for long.

    You may as well join the Windows 95 gamers user’s group. Good luck with that.

    • Tei says:

      You are wrong. I would totally push Windows 7, if there where some real benefict, and not another bloated Vista version.

      Change for the sake of change could be “fun”, but is idiotic. The OS is not the userspace level, Microsoft seems can’t really move the OS part of his OS. So release new OS versions where changes are made on the userland area / applications area, moving things, chaning icons colors… If these changes where good, that would be Ok, but some changes are for ridiculous fugly interfaces for no reason at all. No change of Windows 7 has made using a computer easier, or faster, or prettier. The Microsoft designers lacks taste and skills, and don’t have enough knogment of the Windows OS to make his work low level enough so these changes become apparent everywhere and are fast. Windows 7 add stuff on top of Vista stuff, that adds stuff on top of XP.
      I will not be surprised If I can show a screen with Copyrights from 20 years, ago and stuff like that, programs that has changed nothing from Windows 95.

      Windows 95 was a huge interface change. And Windows NT was a huge kernel change.
      Windows 2000 was a amazing combination of these two. XP was 2000 with better plug’n'play and a lame theme. Vista is a half-assed new desktop… much less than what W95 was to W3.0. Windows 7 seems this half-assed new desktop more complete, still not like a total change.

      I was, like everyone, tempted to buy it, but after testing it on VMware I am sad, very very very sad that It add nothing, and is another oportunity lost for everyone.

      Windows is following the path of the Mozilla Browser, Real Media, Winamp or QuickTime. More bloat, stuff that is there because corporate politics, and more bloat. Lame and sad.

  42. tKe says:

    You’ll probably be ok as chances are, MS has generic support for the controller built in. It’s just the current drivers are not compatible. Probably a good idea to get hold of an install disk and legally try it (you don’t have to enter a product key until the activation period ends).

  43. Spd from Russia says:

    DX 10 is the only reason to run it for gaming
    AA in UT-powered games (of you have a fast vid card ofcourse)

  44. Quasar says:

    To be honest, looking at the comments, it seems like you CAN run Baldur’s Gate on it. If Planescape runs smoothly I will cry tears of joy, I’ve never been able to get that bitch to work properly under Vista.

    • Starky says:

      Planescape is running fine and happy on my Win7 lappy (with the unofficial patches and the widescreen mod).

  45. bill says:

    “a far more pleasant desktop environment than Vista”

    how? It’s exactly the same… but with a dock.

    I think i’m one of those crazies who liked vista, and so has no particular desire to part with cash to buy the same thing again. It’s never been less than “nippy” for me, and i don’t even have a high powered system.

    I am very impressed by how they’ve turned the vista hate into win7 love… simply by releasing the same product with a new name though.

    • jalf says:

      If you’ve kept an eye on their developer blogs and such, you’d have noticed that there are *quite* a few under-the-hood performance improvements over Vista.

      And I’d say the “dock” (which isn’t a dock. It doesn’t work like the OSX dock) is a huge improvement. Feel free to ignore it as “just surface polish”, but to me it’s made a huge improvement in usability and productivity. This is the first Windows release where I haven’t ever had to worry about taskbar space or how to find room for all my open programs.

      If you like Vista, that’s great. And not wanting to fork out the truckload of cash Microsoft wants to charge is perfectly fair. But calling it “just a rebranded Vista” is about as silly as calling Vista “just XP with 3d effects”.

      With that much memory, I just turn the pagefile off entirely. I know, I’m aware of all the arguments in favour of having swap memory no matter how much physical memory you have. But those arguments apply to operating systems that have sensible swap algorithms and that use every last bit of free RAM for disk caching, like Linux. I’ve found that Windows is far too eager to push stuff into swap and then need it shortly thereafter, and not eager enough when it comes to using memory for disk cache.

      And I just bet that when testing this, you thought you’d be clever, and give Windows a fixed pagefile size, right?

      Because that is what causes Windows to constantly thrash your HD. I’ve left the pagefile settings at default (windows-managed), and I’ve found that my harddrive actually powers off pretty much all the time. Even when playing games. (Suddenly, the game needs to load some resource, and it freezes for a few seconds because the harddrive has to power on and spin up again) – and that was in ancient XP, btw. Windows has been able to handle pagefiles very well for ages. It’s just a shame that amateurs think they can outsmart the OS and force it to use a fixed size, which wrecks its paging algorithm completely.

    • Hodge says:

      I am very impressed by how they’ve turned the vista hate into win7 love… simply by releasing the same product with a new name though.

      Oh come on, don’t be so cynical. They didn’t just change the name – they changed the colour scheme, too.

  46. syllopsium says:

    Planescape:Torment has been fine under Vista for me (apart from the absence of EAX).

    OEM->Upgrade should give you full version I should think but I've not checked. Given that your laptop motherboard will always be the same OEM is probably a good idea unless you want to move the license to another machine.

  47. Nobody Important says:

    No.

  48. Frye says:

    I was never one of the Vista haters, but i am quite impressed with Win7. I don’t really care much about the 500 MB + memory use, nor about vista’s 800 meg. Memory is cheap. However, it gives me a warm feeling in the belly to see processor use at 0% when i expect it to be, and not constantly hovering about 1-2% as Vista was. In this sense, Windows 7 really IS Vista, running like XP.

    My carefully selected tools no longer work though, all i have left is CCleaner and the excellent Windows 7 Manager from some obscure company called Yamicsoft, which is the only tool i trust to disable services. Even though it isn’t quite as powerful as its Vista predecessor yet, i still like it a lot: It will disable (or re-enable of course) windows services based of a bunch of sensible questions, like: do you have a printer at all? Or a scanner? Are you a single user with one internet connection?

    Can’t get my Symantec AV (Corporate) to work though, anyone know a good free virus scanner? Not AVG please.

    • Premium User Badge James G says:

      I had Avast! running under W7 RC with most of the unnecessary extras turned off without any trouble. However I’ve been hearing surprisingly good things about Microsoft’s free security suite, Microsoft Security Essentials, which is apparently unobtrusive, and has an amazingly small footprint. I thought I’d give it a go, especially as I haven’t had a single virus reach the virus checker line of defense for several years. (Okay, occasionally it complains, but its usually something I’ve clocked and have no intention of running.) As a result, lightweight and unobtrusive is best.

  49. ulix says:

    Its been said before, but I’m gonna repeat it to make sure everybody realizes:

    As an university-student (if you’re not getting it for free anyways from your uni) you can buy the game for 35€ or 30 Pounds (or 30 Dollars)!!! (Until January, that is)

  50. Myros says:

    I will probably pick it up eventualy, probably next time I need a new hard drive or something.

    I saw the Microsoft CEO interview on the BBC and had to laugh, when asked a viewer question about why he should buy windows 7 the response was:

    1. Faster boot.
    2. Battery life on a laptop
    3. Eventualy people will make cool apps for windows 7

    Considering I dont use a windows laptop that left things with Microsoft asking me to spend £70 to reduce how long it takes my computer to boot by a few seconds. Thanks MS, but I think I’ll pass ;p

    M