Posted by: reformedmusings | March 16, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Build 7057

There have been a number of Windows 7 beta builds leaked to the Net. You can find ideas on how to locate them on BlogsDNA amongst other places. Google is your friend.

I let several leaks go by, but finally downloaded 7057 in 32-bit flavor. I installed it in a VMWare Workstation virtual machine. As before, VMWorkstation tagged the Windows 7 DVD image as Vista and set up the defaults accordingly. The install involved several resets and looked pretty familiar. The installation routine restarted the VM once to get to this point:

win7b-install1

Another reset and a light shines in the darkness:

win7b-isntall2

Then we finally get to sign in and see the new login screen:

win7b-login

Then I got this:

win7b-initialboot

Oops. Looks like a glitch. Notepad came up on the first loading with these lines in it. Nothing to do, really, so I just closed it. However, it comes up again on every restart. The VMWare Tools geared for Vista seem to work fine in Windows 7 after installing them.

This installation weighed in at only 7.3 GB of hard disk space vice 8.65 GB for the original beta build 7000. Initial memory use pegged at 452 MB against the original’s 390 MB. Hmmm, going in the wrong direction on that one. Compare these numbers against Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10’s mere 2.9 GB of disk space with a full office suite and multimedia editing, and a RAM load of just 149 MB on installation. Windows 7 still looks like the usual bloatware in comparison.

A few useful gadgets still inhabit the new build:

win7b-gadgets

The 7057 build sports a new set of awesome wallpapers that can rotate within a group. After setting up a few gadgets, making the icons small, and choosing the Landscapes wallpaper set, I had a pretty nice desktop:

win7b-desktop

The Control Panel has been redesigned in a way that makes much more sense than previous versions:

win7b-control-panel

I pulled down the Category list box in the upper right of the panel to show the new way of changing the Control Panel’s display format. It’s much cleaner and handier than the previous beta’s.

This build finally comes with the Internet Explorer 8:

win7b-explorer8

Next, I loaded up Silverlight and some Open Source software which are included in Ubuntu‘s distribution. During that process, I encountered the User Account Control dialogs:

win7b-uac-dialog

I covered the workings of the UAC in an earlier post, and covered what I considered a major hole which was verified here. Microsoft says that they fixed it to some extent, but I don’t have time to check it at the moment, but it still doesn’t require the user to enter a password to make changes. The UAC setting dialog didn’t change much, and the default setting remains the same:

win7b-uac-dialog1

After loading OpenOffice.org, Evolution, and Firefox 3.1 beta 3, I verified that they loaded and worked correctly:

win7b2-opensource

So, even if you feel that you must sell your soul to Redmond with Windows, you don’t have to be buried under the bloatware of MS Office 2007.

Windows 7 still wants you to buy anti-virus software from their limited list of choices. They have Kaspersky on the list, so it isn’t totally hopeless. Ever the non-conformist, I loaded the free-for-personal-use Avast Home 4.8 which works on Vista. You don’t have to be a slave to Microsoft’s advertising partners because Avast installed and ran just fine:

win7b-avast48

It’s running checks in the background as I type this.

ZDNet’s Ed Bott has a very thorough discussion of the changes in build 7057, so I won’t repeat them all here. I will say that 7057’s performance is noticeably better than its predecessor build 7000. Since betas have a lot of debug code embedded and are built for stability, they generally don’t perform as well as a release version. If that holds true here, then Windows 7’s performance will be crisp indeed. Build 7057 seems very solid as well. I have not encountered any significant problems so far.

Of course, Ubuntu still blows Windows 7 out of the water. Windows 7 is loaded with DRM which limits what you can do with the media and hardware for which you paid hard-earned money. It still costs big bucks, as does its MS Office mates and the updated software and hardware you’ll need to upgrade from Windows XP. Ubuntu is free and includes a full office suite, PIM suite, multimedia manipulation programs…everything that you’ll need to be fully productive out of the “box”. It will probably run just fine on your existing hardware. The Canonical-sponsored community updates Ubuntu every six months, so no waiting three or four years for new developments or compatibility with emerging hardware.

BTW, did I mention that the new Star Trek movie comes out in just two months? My Ubuntu knows:

star-trek-background

That’s a lot of stuff running, and the Linux system remains totally responsive. That much Windows stuff would top your RAM and be swapping to disk like crazy. Been there, done that, left it behind. So can you.

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Responses

  1. […] original here: Windows 7 Beta Build 7057 « Reformed Musings Share and […]

  2. […] […]

  3. […] editing and multimedia software. It runs in 175 MB of RAM on initial bootup. Compare that with Windows 7 Beta Build 7057 which occupies 7.3 GB and uses 452 MB RAM on inital loading. And that’s without an office […]

  4. […] didn’t find a lot of system differences between beta build 7057 and the build 7100 release candidate. The RC has pretty much the same rotating wallpapers as the […]


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