Last July, in preparation for going back to school, I bought a new HP laptop to replace an old Dell laptop which was just about on its last legs. Of course, the HP came with Vista Home Premium, but had a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.
Well, I updated Vista to Windows 7 just before Thanksgiving, and in some respects, I was mildly disappointed. Some of the features that the original Vista provided changed with the new installation. For instance:
1) Windows sidebar no longer has a paging or float function. For example – I run the laptop with an external 22” display, which is larger than the laptop’s 16” screen. If I have 6 or 7 gadgets on the 22” display, and then use the laptop’s display (which only can handle 5), the gadgets overlap. With Vista, the gadgets go to a second page accessed by arrows. I understand that this can be corrected by a third-party workaround, but it’s still annoying.
2) Gadgets also have another annoying “feature” when moving from the laptop screen to the external display. Normally, gadgets are displayed on the right-hand side of the screen. When connecting a larger external display after using the smaller laptop display, the gadgets appear in the middle of the screen, forcing me to move them manually. Again, this is supposed to be corrected by the aforementioned workaround.
3) The version of Vista that came with the laptop would allow automated backups over a network connection, either internet or a local file server. Windows 7 Home Premium will only allow automated backups to a local drive (USB, Firewire, or eSATA connected drive). Again, this can be corrected with third party software, and that’s extra money unless you can find a freebee. Of course, the next level of Windows 7, Professional, includes this feature. Grrrrrr…..
Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 was relatively painless, but long. The initial setup to start the installation process was about 20 minutes, but the actual installation / updating took a mind-numbing 8 hours!! Of course, this was an upgrade while keeping existing programs and files, not a clean install that would wipe everything off the hard drive. I would expect that a clean install of the operating system would take less time, but to install programs and restore data could make up the rest of the time.
Thus far, Windows 7 appears to be stable. I haven’t had the system freeze up with a blue screen of death, but it was several weeks before that happened to me with Vista. Windows 7 also appears to boot and run slightly faster, and uses less memory.
Anyone else out there have a similar experience?