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Old 08-15-2009, 10:54 PM
Paul R. Coen's Avatar
Paul R. Coen Paul R. Coen is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 140

Originally Posted by Joshua M. Putnam
You should go to Windows 7 >_>

The Windows 7, 5 second login time on the T-400 is a lot better than the 5 minute login I was getting with Vista

We can't yet. Too much of the software we're relying on hasn't been officially updated to support Windows 7 at this point. Also, the Helpdesk wouldn't be ready for it (how could they be?), so it would just repeat what happened with Vista last year, to some extent.

And a fully-configured Windows 7 system - which has to download domain group policies, has to start services like Zenworks so you get the antivirus updates, etc. is going to take longer than 5 seconds to log in on a T400.

However, I did just use a T400 (last year's) for a full week at a conference. It had the 64-bit version of Windows 7 on it. I was able to get the Novell client (mostly) working, but that's still a work in progress, same with Zenworks. The antivirus package works, but hadn't been updated to inform the Windows 7 security center that it was active. SPSS seemed to mostly work, Firefox and various plugins were fine, so long as I stuck to the 32-bit version of the browser. But there were a lot of little quirks (mostly in other applications that hadn't been updated yet, not Windows 7), so it's not at the point we can deploy it. But I do have to say that overall, it was not just better than Vista - I'm actually looking forward to being able to use it.

And it did start up and log in faster than Vista on the T400, just not 5 seconds.

So we're not going to be supporting Windows 7 this fall - there's just too much stuff to line up, too much documentation to update, too much training to figure out. Even the logistics of building computer configurations and distributing them is a bit different.

We might use it in one of the computer labs starting in January (BC 13) so we can take advantage of more than 3GB of RAM for the Adobe applications, assuming everything lines up correctly. We're just putting new computers in there, and Windows 7 does work well on them. But again, we're still waiting on a few other pieces, so it's Windows XP in the fall in that room. But Adobe has fully updated its applications to work with 64-bit Windows as of CS4, so I'd like to be able to take advantage of it in that room for Photoshop, Premiere, etc.

We're likely not going to support the 32-bit version of Windows 7, though, and continue to use Windows XP as the supported 32-bit OS. There's not much point in creating a "Windows 7? Ok, which version?" question with every single support call. When we first went with Vista, a lot of apps didn't quite support the 64-bit version correctly, so we stuck with the 32-bit version. That's rapidly changed, and it looks like the 64-bit version of Windows 7 is going to be much more widely deployed than the 32-bit version.

None of this is official yet (although not supporting Windows 7 in the fall is pretty much set in stone), but we've been kicking around a lot of these issues over the past couple of months. We're really waiting for various software vendors to release their final support for Windows 7 so we can really test it, and then move to building our configuration.

In terms of switching - for myself, it's not a big deal. At work, I have to make sure the stuff I need to do my job works, and I can put up with quirks. At home, whatever. I've probably used (personally or professionally) about 20 different operating systems or platforms over the years (and that's lumping together things like Windows 95 and 98, only counting very different Unix variations, treating Linux as a single OS), so switching to Windows 7 personally really doesn't seem daunting. It's making sure we have all of the tools we need lined up to make sure it goes well - with the number of different applications we have to deal with, it's more like corporate IT, except that we don't lock down your computer.

I have to say, though, at first glance, it just had to be better than Vista. And it's far, far better than that.
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