Windows 7 is getting closer


The Windows 7 team announced it will be available on October 22nd – that’s the date in the stores, so I don’t know if we’ll get the version for education (ie the Volume Licence version) any earlier. Even if it was earlier, I can’t believe it would be in time to roll it out before the end of the summer holidays (shame). Given the positive feedback that seems to be flowing around the current Release Candidate (did you know you can install that and run it free until July next year?), perhaps we could collaboratively build a list of devices people have been running it on – especially some of the entry-level netbooks and laptops.

As an aside, if you, or a student you know, is going to buy a new laptop this summer – eg all those sixth formers heading to uni – then the Windows 7 team also mentioned that there will be news soon on the Windows 7 Upgrade Option. My understanding is that this is similar to the “Tech Guarantee” we’ve offered in the past, where if you buy a new PC after a certain date, you qualify for a free or low-cost upgrade to Windows 7. More details when I have them…

What does Windows 7 run on? Share your experiences

Time for sharing – what devices have you got Windows 7 running on already, and what spec? Add a comment to the blog, or drop me an email via the link above, and I’ll publish a table in a couple of weeks, based on typical experiences of computers that are in schools today. Given the experiences of running Windows Vista on older laptops, the real interest is not going to be “Does it run on what I’m going to buy this summer?”, but “Does it run on what I bought last summer, and the summer before?”

Here’s my list so far, for my own laptops:

Manufacturer Laptop Basic Spec Notes
Lenovo X61 2GB RAM, 100GB Disk My every day laptop - Better performance than Vista
Samsung R40 1GB RAM, 80GB Disk My demo laptop - Simple install and didn’t require any additional drivers later.


And finally, my second favourite feature of Windows 7

After I told you my favourite Windows 7 feature last week, I’ve now decided what my second favourite feature is – you can setup the default printer according to your location.

imageThis is great for me, as I use my laptop in the office, at home, and out and about. I’d be working at home, hit PRINT, and then realise it was going to a printer somewhere in Reading. And there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve had to ring somebody and ask them to grab something urgently from the printer and put it in the shredder!

Now, with Windows 7, I have set up my default printers so that at home it prints on my inkjet (connected through my home PC) and in the office, it will print to the nearest printer to my desk.

Your staff can avoid that awful “OMG, I’ve just printed my CV in the school office” moment!

Comments (9)

  1. arichards says:

    Have had Windows 7 Beta and RC running on a number of machines and I am very impressed. We installed it on a variety of machines and even on some teachers laptops for them to play with. The machines we used ranged from an old HP laptop to a brand new HP desktop.

    Specs of the machines ranged from Celeron processors up to Core 2 Duo and the main selling point for me is the speed. Windows 7 runs noticeably better on machines that have had Vista on. It even runs on machines that you would never consider putting Vista on.

    I think Win 7 will breathe new life into PC’s we were considering scrapping because they couldn’t cope with Vista and given the current climate of funding in education that can only be a benefit.

  2. kristianstill says:

    I am interested in the compatiability with schools moving towords netbooks this year for students. Currently shipped with XP… will microsoft shipping future netbooks with Windows 7?

    If we as a school move to Windows 7 offering students netbooks that then return to XP would seem a little pointless.

  3. Ray Fleming says:

    Hi Kristian,

    It’s a good point. Today many of the netbooks ship with Windows XP rather than with Windows Vista because the manufacturer has chosen XP, or because it isn’t beefy enough to run Vista.

    The experience with the Windows 7 Beta appears to be that it’ll run quite happily on almost any netbook (as long as it has the disk space – unlike my 4GB Eee PC 901!).

    So I think we’ll see netbooks switch from XP to Vista very quickly after release, because consumers won’t want to buy one if it’s only got XP on them


  4. ProCon says:

    If I understand correctly, Windows 7 will run on current netbooks but Windows Vista doesn’t?

    That’s breaks a MS trend.

  5. cornelia1234 says:

    My primary concern would be the compatibility for programs that I need for my day to day work.

  6. Dominic says:

    Ray, good article and thanks for the tip about default printer, what a great feature!  Recently, I purchased a Samsung NC20 which came with Windows XP.  As soon as I got it out of the box I booted to a Windows 7 install disk and have no regrets whatsoever.  It runs fine, found all the drivers to make it work and is a great user experience.  The startup from sleep/hibernate is very fast, almost instant and the aero screen is incredible.  Really looking forward to October 22 for the final release.

    I’ve ordered a memory upgrade because I can’t help using the netbook the same way as I use a PC and find I’m running out of memory.  If I had few apps, emails and browser windows open I could save £15.

  7. arichards says:

    We also have a Samsung NC20 and it runs Win 7 fine. I was looking at the new eePC T91 tablet netbook and according to reports in the press it will be shipping with Windows 7 when the OS goes RTM.

    If you haven’t had chance to look at the new T91 it is amazing and with the new touch capability in Win 7 it could be a real driver for getting more netbooks into the classroom

  8. gtaylor says:

    I’ve been running my Samsung NC10 netbook with Windows 7 RC for a few weeks now and it runs very well, it’s slightly slower to boot than XP on this hardware but that’s easily offset by the sleep mode, it will wake in 2-3 seconds typically. I now have 2Gb RAM in but really haven’t noticed much difference it ran great with just 1Gb RAM.

  9. davecoleman146 says:

    We have run windows 7 on a wide range of hardware and we plan to install the RC in one of our it suites this summer. I believe 7 will be the best windows version for a long time.

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