Gearing Up: Time for Windows 7

My work computer has been extremely flaky for the last week.  I’ve had to restart several times per day just to keep my basic functionality working at a decent pace.  It’s not even the general slowness that I’ve come to expect with Windows after several months of use.  Nay.  I’m dealing with 20KB PDF attachments taking 45 seconds to open…which also locks up every other window I try to click on in the meantime…then Excel hangs, and Outlook starts crunching away using 50% of my CPU cycles.  Save-Close-Restart.  Yuck.

I headed over to my helpdesk buddy to have a conversation about re-imaging my machine as I do every 9 months or so.  After a few of the usual question/answer exchanges, I was prompted with a new question: Windows XP or Windows 7?  Umm…is 7 a viable option?  I know XP works well enough…well…it’s not necessarily ideal, but I know what to do if it’s acting up…hmm.  I decided to do some research before I made that final decision.

After some googling and anecdotal research, the best I could come up with was that 7 is a better option than Vista.  Okay, fine, but that doesn’t really give me a warm fuzzy about making the change.  Though the geek in me wants to be on the new OS, I don’t know that I can justify the risk that one of the apps I use at work might crap out in Windows 7.

As if it was scripted, I later opened up Google Reader which pointed me to an article from my How-To-Geek RSS feed called “Run XP Mode on Windows 7 Machines Without Hardware Virtualization“.  Huzzah!  That’s the kind of safety net I was hoping for!

I swap to the new machine today around 3 (depending on my afternoon workload).  New machine, but same model and specs.  There are still some questions that I don’t have answers to, so I hope to have positive answers coming my way the next couple of weeks.  Some of the questions include:

  • How is the battery life of my laptop when running 7 vs XP?
  • How long will it be until I find a reason I need to use the virtual XP environment?
  • Will Windows 7 freeze like XP when I re-dock my Dell D630?

I’ll be having to make a few quick updates as I install some of my go-to apps and explore how I settle in to the new OS.

I’m pretty excited.

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