Windows 7 reviews still shine one week in

It may still be too early to tell, but early reports from both news sites and users say that Windows 7 is a winner.

Rebecca McAlpin/Microsoft/MCT
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, speaks at the global launch of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system on Oct 22.

Windows 7 enjoyed a warm reception this week. The fresh software won over many reviewers and users – and seems to have successfully washed away the stain left on the company by Windows Vista.

However, as we wrote in our official Windows 7 review roundup last week, Vista received great initial reviews. Soon after the older operating system launched in 2007, opinions soured.

As Reuters reminded us:

In a 2006 review, PC World said, "All in all, Windows Vista is a great leap forward for the operating system." While he stands by those words, writer Preston Gralla said he regretted not testing Vista on a wider variety of hardware, because many issues arose after the event, when users had had time to play with the software -- a requirement that he believes is diminished for Windows 7.
"I certainly have learned from the Vista experience to try as hard as I possibly can to try to get the kind of hardware people are using to review it on," he said.

The wire service pointed out an important lesson that many tech sites seemed to follow this year.

So, one week in, how is Windows 7 doing? Pretty well, according to most indicators.

Reports still say that Windows 7 offers better battery life for PCs. Speed tests show that it's not actually quicker than XP or Vista in most situation (though it does shut down faster) but some how Windows 7 seems speedier in aesthetic, intangible ways. And many users are pleased with the reduced fluff-ware footprint, thanks to Microsoft scaling back the amount of extra software that comes pre-installed with Windows.

A helpful but very un-scientific sampling of Monitor readers also relayed mostly positive experiences with the new OS.

"One thing I love about this OS… It’s faster then XP, I haven’t had one driver, software or speed problems," wrote Monitor commenter Andrej. "Everything is fully customizable, and from the start, your UI is clean, simple, and ready for the user. The OS is the people’s again."

Commenter rockon0921 was also pleased with Windows 7. "Well the time I’ve had with 7 it is by far better than vista," he writes. "Run like xp with some nice eye candy. Tons of options to personalize to your liking and not really alot of software compatibility problems and for those out there with mac I mean I don’t have 1200-1500 to spend on a cpu."

But not all of our commenters were happy. "Having used every single version of Windows since its inception I can honestly say I had more problems with Windows 7 yesterday than all the rest of them combined!" wrote Jay after our review roundup. "Simple routines would hang with the infamous (Not Responding) that I got so tired of in Windows Vista, but this time I had to shut down the computer manually in order to get rid of them."

And Steve Farley commented on our site that Vista has scared him away from the new OS, at least for now. "I paid $150 for Vista and installed it on my Dell laptop, nothing worked on my PC after that. I had to buy a new copy of XP and pay a guy to install it for me because like I said nothing worked, no C drive. All total, $300 for NOTHING. I don’t think I’ll fall Microsoft hype about how great W7 is. I can’t afford it."

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