I installed the new Beta 1 of Windows 7 for a little spin, to live test the new features and see in action the upgraded user interface.

I used my home desktop, running under Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (8.10). Credits go to the hamsters under the hood: an Intel Pentium D820 Processor (dual-core 2.8GHz), 2.5 GB Ram 667 MHz, onboard video, on a Western Digital WD800JB HDD.

For virtualization i used the latest Ubuntu version of VirtualBox, with a config of 1.5GHz RAM and 128MB video, with a 30GB file virtual disk image (.vdi) placed on a ext3 partition.

Stage one: install http://twitpic.com/118r1 Nothing special to see here, no noticeable differences compared to the Vista installation process.

http://twitpic.com/118ya - Cute hardware checks

http://twitpic.com/1192b - Installed in about 30-35 minutes from an ISO image file and it took 23.2GB of disk space. Looks nice, works pretty well, 128MB video set, yet no Aero :(

http://twitpic.com/1196k - I got Experience Index 1 on aero and 3d using i945g build-in video adapter. With no virtualization Vista’s Aero worked just fine on this pc.

http://twitpic.com/119a8 - No major/visible updates in the Media Center.

http://twitpic.com/119ca - The games are pretty much the same as in Vista, love the Mahjong, yet I miss the Texas Hold’em.

In the bottom right corner  of the screen notice the little space. It’s the new “show desktop” icon. I like the new taskbar arrangement, i like also that you can customize it to make it look/feel almost like the XP/Vista taskbar, but I fear that the new windows' management will let users forget about opened windows, resulting in increasing memory usage and lower responses from the OS. A huge bug/feature is the number of windows titles available when placing the mouse over an icon, limited to 5.

http://twitpic.com/119d4 - Nice narrow sidebar, it contains a button to Control Panel Home, but useless, because you’re already there :)

http://twitpic.com/119li - Windows 7 comes with Internet Explorer 8 beta out-of-the-box

http://twitpic.com/119md - Windows7 also comes with the newest Media Player, version 12

http://twitpic.com/119mr - Pin to taskbar creates quickly a launcher for an app that’s already running, for later use

http://twitpic.com/119nd - 29 Processes in use and a low 401MB PageFile. The system, over all feels a lot faster than Vista. No antivirus and/or antispyware were installed until now.

http://twitpic.com/119s8 - cancel or allow? the magic slider allows you to set the nag-level of it. Glad that they’ve putit there.

http://twitpic.com/119t7 - Last, but not least, you can still find in Windows 7 the DLL Hell. A bunch of files for noobs to delete and destroy their systems.

Hope you enjoyed this quick trip in the world of Microsoft Windows 7 Beta 1. It’s a nice operating system, a very good one, considering that it’s the first beta, way better than Vista, and it makes me foresee that most of the Windows Vista users will upgrade to Windows 7 as soon as the final version will be released. Anytime soon I’ll install it without virtualization, to test its' engines at full power.

Soon i’ll come with more updates and more thoughts about this fine Microsoft release. As i was earlier saying to dianamaria, Microsoft managed to impress me in a pleasant way.

Please share your experience with Windows 7 and spread the word! imho, it’s a good OS.