I had an all day meeting cancelled at the last minute today.  It was just the opportunity that I was looking for to get on with a project that I’ve been wanting to do.

My two year old Toshiba M400 laptop has been feeling a bit sluggish lately.  It was due to be ‘refreshed’ and I figured the time was right to try out a test version of Windows 7. 

I spent some time this morning getting things backed up and was ready to go… only thing was that I was getting a little risk adverse.  I needed to leave in about 3 hours and I need my laptop this evening for some work from home.  Hmm… ultimately I decided to go ahead and give it a try since the prep work was done.

Our internal IT has it set up to install a new OS via a network boot, so I selected the Windows 7 and Office 14 install.  I answered a couple of questions, provided my network credentials, and off went the install.  An hour or so later, I was presented a log-in screen for Windows 7!

This is frequently where the work begins – finding drivers, making sure the basics still work, etc.  But there wasn’t any of this.  I logged in, launched Outlook, and the basics were in place.  I pulled my backed up files across and installed my XM radio gadget.  My basic ‘office machine’ was back in place in under two hours, complete with music – very cool!

To be honest, I haven’t been paying much attention to Windows 7, but I like what I see so far.  There are some nice usability improvements, it seems to be very compact based on hard drive usage, and performance has been good.  It will be interesting to see how this version will handle some of the development tools that I will install later – SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, AX? 

I just ordered a laptop for home use last night and am debating about putting Windows 7 on that when it arrives.  Is Windows 7 ready for family use?  We have an old laptop running XP today, so we could possibly leap frog the Vista era at home.  I guess I’ll have a few days on this to get a feel for it.

In the spirit of moving to current technology, I’m writing this with Windows Live Writer.  I’ve historically used Word for blog posts, but Live Writer can handle pictures and other formatting better.  So far, so good with Live Writer as well.  You’ll know it worked if you’re reading this post…