Win 7 Dog and Steer Show

There aren’t many people who would turn down a free lunch at the best steak place in the city, but that’s just me.  I tried valiantly but couldn’t get out of it.  It might have had something to do with the fact that it was a Windows 7 promo, put on by one of our vendors.

People pointed out that I’d get a free copy of Win 7 for showing up.  I wanted to take the upgrade and not get Win 7 for not showing up but I suspect my boss had other ideas.

Before you fanboys start oscillating in your shorts, I installed Windows 7 Professional on actual hardware yesterday.  I have to say that the twenty minute install time was spectacular.  It has not crashed at all.  Aside from the nearly thirty minutes it took to make 7 look closer to the way I prefer, I’m pretty happy so far.  They definitely could not have hidden the `add to domain’ function any better.

The machine is a Dell Optiplex 740 with a dual core AMD processor, which is our standard machine these days.  I bumped the RAM up to three gigs because it seemed the thing to do (and because that’s what I have in the XP machine next to it).  My intent is to run the two machines simultaneously, with the same software, to see how 7 works out.  If I like it as a desktop, we’ll start installing some of our crappy proprietary work apps to see if they all play well together.

Oh yeah, I do have one rather serious complaint about 7: it’s locking my domain account.  When I lock the OS and try to get back in, it tells me that my account is locked out.  Since I haven’t tried three (or even one) times to log in, this locking behavior is befuddling.

Mr. Microsoft

The main reason I don’t go to these things is that they’re sales presentations first and informational second.  I have zero tolerance for salespeople.  The presentation was largely via Mr. Microsoft, a fact that worried me.

It turns out that Microsoft appears to have some of their stuff together these days (moreso than Vista, which they copped to).  The question that remained echoed the most recent Mac commercial: Why should we believe you this time?

The desktop portion of the talk was very interesting and he took some questions from the peanut gallery.  My impression was that he was being pretty honest.  He even recommended thoroughly testing the OS before deploying it.

Food

This was the best steak place in the city and as such, had some really good steak.  Since I have my own way of doing things, I kinda prefer the steaks we make at home.

Anyone walking within five hundred feet of the restaurant would know we were a room full of GEEKS.  It was frighteningly apparent.  Women stayed away in droves.  We thought we saw a woman among us but it turned out she was with the vendor.  She sure smelled nice though :)

The Enterprise

They brought our attention back to the speaker, who started his presentation on the datacenter.  Here’s where things started to sound even better and get less believable.  Microsoft has started impersonating the iPhone: Yup, there’s an app for that.

Not that they didn’t have some interesting apps but it was a bit difficult to refrain from asking why we should believe them and why is this so gee-whiz when linux could do it all along?

Meanwhile I somehow managed to behave.  It became almost impossible when Mr. Microsoft decided to take a few whacks at the competition.  He actually started a sentence with “VMware has spread a lot of FUD…”

I didn’t hear the rest of the sentence.  My mind went back to the most recent Microsoft FUD about linux.   Asshats.

Let’s face it: Hyper-V is a bit late to the dance, guys.

In Conclusion

If you’re a Microsoft fanboy,  now is the time to rejoice.  They have a product or solution for every part of the journey from your desktop to the servers, including the omnipresent Cloud.  It sure looks good.  2008 R2 Server can perform miracles, although I’d certainly settle for less.

Of the assembled masses, most seemed curious and concerned.  Only one of our number was planning a Win 7 rollout soon (I hear his group is called the Special Suicide Squad but we wish him all the luck regardless).  I heard a tablemate repeat my favorite bit of Microsoft Wisdom: Wait six months or until the first service pack before adopting a new version.

The Goodies

Well, there was dessert.

Ok, and I had my choice of 32 or 64 bit Win 7 Ultimate.  I don’t even know what Ultimate is but I did choose 64 bit.  I’ve had great luck running Ubuntu since I started using 64 bit.  It’s like a wild hardware upgrade for free.

Later on I found out that the people who didn’t take advantage of the invitations received two copies of Win 7 Ultimate. Poor fellas.  [joke]