I have installed and have been running the Windows 7 Release Candidate for a few days now. I also had the Beta version for a few months. This release candidate is very stable and works well with all my hardware on first boot (as did the Beta). I have decided that I will use it as my main OS.
I have two large hard drives on this PC, one has Vista Home Premium on it and the other is Windows 7 RC. When I boot, I get to choose which one to start. This is called a dual boot configuration. I still have my fully functional setup and files for Vista, so even if an issue arises while using the RC, I have Vista to use. This can also be done with XP installed.
I am also installing Windows 7 RC on my oldest Dell Dimension 2400. The install was not a dual boot configuration. I formatted the hard drive and installed it. I have one issue. The older Dell specific Creative Live Sound Card is not working. I did not find any drivers available for it. This is not a fail on the part of Microsoft. It IS a fail on the part of Creative. They do not support older cards on newer OS’s as a rule. They refuse to release updated drivers, so you are forced to buy new hardware. I will go out now and buy a basic sound card, but it will not have the Creative brand name on it. Otherwise, I am very impressed with how Windows 7 runs on this older PC. It runs better than Dell’s version of Windows XP ever did on it.
I do not buy OEM PC’s anymore. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer and these include Dell, HP, Sony, Gateway, Acer, etc…I build my own. While I lose the (lack of) support that comes with a PC from those folks, I also lose the crapware, spec’d down hardware, and lack of install disks. When I buy PC hardware, I always get a three year replacement warranty, thus negating the need for an expensive paid for extended warranty from the OEM’s. This self-built PC was originally made in Oct of 2003, using top of the line components at the time. I have made a few upgrades overtime, and now it is a very powerful desktop capable of running anything I throw at with blazing speed. My costs for such over the last 5.5 years is less than had I purchased an expensive OEM PC (of equal quality).
I hope folks pay attention to the very many positive reviews Windows 7 has received and check it out. The desktop is stunning, the new dock very nice, the speed is improved, and the list goes on and on…