Vista or Windows 7?
May 21, 2009 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Vista or Windows 7?

I've been running Ubuntu on my laptop but I just bought a new laptop (to run Ubuntu) so I want to turn the old laptop into a Windows machine. The laptop shipped with Vista so I could restore to that.. but using Vista was painful.

My question: aside from the fact the Windows 7 RC isntall will stop working in few months, are there any other advantages to run Vista over Windows 7 RC?
posted by cowmix to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Windows7 will stop working in a year, not a few months (June 1, 2010). I'd go with 7 over Vista. I'm typically an OSX and Linux fan, but I'm surprised how happy I am with Windows7 running on my netbook.
posted by zerokey at 10:14 AM on May 21, 2009

What are you going to use the laptop for? Are you just going to fool around with it, or do you need it to work?

Windows 7 is still beta. That means a lot functionality, particularly when installed on a laptop with proprietary hardware, won't be there.

If you're going to run Windows 7, do it for fun. If you need the laptop to work reliably, without weirdness, install Vista.
posted by wfrgms at 10:16 AM on May 21, 2009

Actually Windows 7 becomes gimped on March 1, 2010. Vista after SP1 is decent, but Windows 7 is much faster. I'd definitely recommend it - I haven't had any issues with the W7 betas over the last few months.
posted by wongcorgi at 10:18 AM on May 21, 2009

Anything but Vista.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:24 AM on May 21, 2009

Response by poster: wfrgms : I'm going to do some video editing and play a few games.. maybe run Eclipse.
posted by cowmix at 10:26 AM on May 21, 2009

I personally haven't had problems with the Windows 7 release candidate. I'd recommend trying it and if you have issues just working with Vista instead. I doubt you'll run into any, though! I love it
posted by azarbayejani at 10:29 AM on May 21, 2009

Response by poster: azarbayejani: Do the Vista device drivers work on Windows 7?
posted by cowmix at 10:43 AM on May 21, 2009

I don't see many reasons to stick with Vista once Windows 7 comes out (actually released, not the Release Candidates we have now).

From what I've seen, Windows 7 is an improved version of Vista, just as XP was an improved version of Windows 2000. There's less of a jump from Vista to Windows 7 than XP to Vista.
posted by meowzilla at 10:49 AM on May 21, 2009

I think the worst that could happen is that it fits the need well, you like using it, and come next spring, you're going to have to open your wallet to keep it. If you're open to that, I'd choose it over Vista any day.
posted by Steve3 at 11:08 AM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: I upgraded from Vista and the only driver that wasn't installed on the install of 7 was the my graphics card. All I had to do was do the Windows troubleshooting and it downloaded the drivers for me.

7 does a great job automatically finding drivers for anything. A midi controller that took like 3 hours to configure on vista when i got it was set up in a minute on 7.
posted by azarbayejani at 11:12 AM on May 21, 2009

FWIW, I've had luck with XP drivers (WLAN for a Thinkpad T42) as well as Vista drivers under W7.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:25 AM on May 21, 2009

FWIW, I just built a new desktop computer and I went with XP. I'm skipping Teh Vista, and I wasn't quite confident enough about 7's finality to run with it. If you're going to be playing video games, especially high-end 3D games, you might hit more unsupported DirectX things or missing drivers with 7 than with XP or Vista. But it also might not be that terrible.
posted by Plutor at 11:34 AM on May 21, 2009

Best answer: I've been running Vista for 8 months (UAC turned off) without any problems at all. (background: I also use XP and Macs at work, have an Ubuntu laptop, and install tons of open source and free software.) I've never understood what people's problem is with Vista. The only problems I've had is with some older XP software that doesn't like the fact that my Vista computer is 64-bit.

Maybe the early adopters got screwed (as early adopters tend to do), or maybe it's just groupthink, but Vista works fine, stays out of the way, and does what it's supposed to do.

Haven't used Windows 7 yet.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:18 PM on May 21, 2009

If your laptop has less than 2 GB RAM, go with Windows 7. Otherwise, you will should be okay with Vista.
posted by Simon Barclay at 12:22 PM on May 21, 2009

I have been dual booting both for a couple of weeks. The current release candidate of W7 seems really strong -- I have had no problems running anything I have thrown at it and it is a much snappier OS than Vista. I have it running on a desktop with off-the-shelf parts, so I can't say how it will do with proprietary laptop components.

Given that it a beta, I wouldn't trust it as my only OS, but since its your backup machine I don't see any good reason not to try it. Plus, its currently free, so why not try it before investing in Vista. Plus, come December (or whenever the W7 release is) its unlikely that anyone will be purposely be investing in Vista, so you will be saving yourself an upgrade.
posted by rtimmel at 12:42 PM on May 21, 2009

fyi, windows 7 looks and runs great, but according to the MS page there isn't a way to upgrade it from RC1 to the final version, which means that you would need to do another clean install of drivers, apps, etc...
posted by yonation at 1:11 PM on May 21, 2009

I know a number of people who installed the pre-release candidate version of Win7 on their laptops and netbooks and it worked fine- better than Vista even. If I were in your position, I'd install the Win7 release candidate and get the "real" version when it's released. Keep in mind if you go this route, you will want to do something in about a year when MS decides you should no longer be using the beta version.
posted by jmd82 at 1:14 PM on May 21, 2009

Another vote for 7. I've been running it on my ancient-history desktop for a few weeks now, and it works pretty well (I've avoided Vista like the plague so can't comment on any differences). They seem to have improved the UAC, since it hasn't been too intrusive (it was still annoying in Beta 1, but RC1 is a lot better).

My only real complaint is that games are significantly more sluggish compared to XP, but this is stuff that was barely running well under XP in the first place.
posted by neckro23 at 2:08 PM on May 21, 2009

I've used both vista and windows 7 (in vmware ), and haven't seen enough differences between them to make me want to run what is essentially an unsupported beta product for professional use.

If you're just messing around, then win7 is probably fine- but if you need it to earn your daily bread, I'd stay away.
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:55 PM on May 21, 2009

Speaking as a card-carrying member of the Mac faithful, I've got Windows 7 installed via Boot Camp, and can safely say that it's pretty damn good. Noticeably faster than Vista, a breeze to configure when you need to, and best of all, UAC is now useful rather than just causing you to curse the jaw-dropping idiocy to allow something so simplistically crude and irritating into the computing experiences of millions.

Echoing what others have mentioned, it also seems a lot better at finding the appropriate drivers without forcing you to Google until your eyes bleed. The odd compatibility problem, but if it didn't have problems here and there it'd be a shipping product.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 7:52 PM on May 21, 2009

I've got Windows 7 on a netbook and on my big desktop. It's fine but I've had some crashes. I fully expect that any setup I've got will need to be tossed when I get a real Windows 7 installs. Driver support is not 100% yet (some minor missing features). There seems to be no good way to mount ISO disc images yet though that should be getting fixed soon.
posted by chairface at 9:13 PM on May 23, 2009

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