A few thoughts on my experiences so far with the Windows 7 Beta that’s been running on my laptop (my main computer) for a few weeks now:
– Speed is good, except when coming back from hibernation. Recovery from hibernation takes approximately twice as long as it did under Vista. It’s exceedingly annoying, because I rely on this feature daily, almost never shutting down. Even a non-techy friend who occasionally uses the laptop noticed immediately.
– 2 gb of memory is good, but for typical internet and office tasks it doesn’t seem to have improved much over the minimum 1 gb recommended by Microsoft for both Vista and Windows 7. If you’re running Vista, I would try running 7 without any upgrades — it should be fine.
– Since I don’t restart much, I’ve had the little red X box from the corner of a long-forgotten dialog box floating on top of everything in the middle of my screen for about a week now. It’s almost annoying enough to make me restart…tho maybe I’ll just name him instead. “Closeybox” is in the lead for names right now.
– The release date needs to be moved up. This OS is in much better shape in beta than Vista was when it shipped. Because spinning hard drives are so last-millennium, I want to put an SSD in this thing, and I want to time that to the ship date of Windows 7 so I can start fresh with the final release rather than a three- or four-step upgrade (Vista, 7 Beta, 7 RC1, 7). Another year is too long to wait for that.
Anyway, I’m happy overall, and I’d encourage you to try it. At this point you may need to find someone that downloaded it already, because I think the beta window is closed.