Windows 7 Microsoft takes the wraps off Windows 7 tonight, but thanks to the UK's looming postal strike Reg readers have been playing with the final, shrink-wrapped product for days.
So before you go out and spend money on the new OS and/or a new PC, you might be interested in our what ad hoc panel of real readers has to say.
First up is Gary, who says installation took a blisteringly fast 30 minutes "end-to-end from removal of shrink wrap and checking what was left in situ". And what was left in situ? Everything, apparently.
Phil, a self-confessed Linux fan, was more restrained, but after upgrading Vista on a work laptop, declared: "I'm fairly impressed really."
Installation was not as quick for him as Gary, taking over three hours. Phil doesn't mention any problems with the shrinkwrap, so we presume it was the installation process itself that slowed things up.
That said, things were similarly straightforward:
"The upgrade process gave me a list of about 5 programs to un-install," he says. "Which I did, it was some drivers, iTunes and the Google Toolbar. After that the whole thing was automatic, I just left it sitting there... At the end of it, Windows put back the drivers I removed, and I reinstalled iTunes which worked fine without any configuration, my library and apps were all there. I have to say that is about the most successful Windows upgrade I have ever personally experienced."
Once installed Phil says it just, kind of... worked.
Sure its different but not in a way that doesn't make sense. I haven't once want to drop kick it out of the Window. Well not yet anyway.
And there are still some Vista-like annoyances, as far as Phil's concerned. "It still pops up that stupid box asking for administrator rights but at least now it doesn't take about 5 seconds to dim the screen! The desktop is faster on the crippled intel chipset in my laptop. I don't feel the need for the 3rd GB of ram anymore and I think it resumes from hibernate much quicker. It still takes a while to startup, but doesn't everything these days. The update to explorer is good."
Gary was even more effusive in his comments:
fast, stable - lovely interface - very quick.
"Well Done M$ Teams! ... I have the feeling this is where they start to become serious Apple rivals as this now starts to blur the line between Snow Leopard and MS on the GUI front," he shouts.
Phil was more measured:
"Why it doesn't have virtual desktops like Linux and OS X I don't know, that is the most useful feature that it lacks. Virutal desktops is such an important feature for how I use computers now that I could live without in on a desktop machine."
In conclusion, Phil said it's "much better than Vista. Probably a good update for XP."
But before Microsoft slaps itself on the back, he adds:
I will be sticking with Linux for the most part
So, as good a response as Microsoft could reasonably wish for, we'd say, though we suspect Reg reader Neil's experience is going to be typical for many readers.
Sorry I didn’t reply sooner – not for fun reasons like installing Windows 7, but more because I don’t have a new machine to put it on yet!
Thanks to all the Reg readers who've let us know how they're getting on with Windows 7. If you want to let us know what you think of the OS leave a comment below, or email us here.