Paul Thurrott writes about Windows 7:
Was it possible, even remotely, I wondered, that the Windows 7 RC had improved matters enough to make this OS usable on this old hardware, a machine that was slow and out of date the day I got it over two years ago? I didn’t think so, but I needed some UMPC shots for the book, so it didn’t really matter. I fired up Windows 7 Setup on the device and got to work.
To my surprise, it runs just fine. Not just acceptably, it runs well. It runs as well on this little piece of junk as it does on a 2009-era netbook. This UMPC has an 800 MHz Celeron processor and just 1 GB of RAM. It will not accept any USB memory keys for ReadyBoost purposes, so there’s no way to even improve the memory situation. But it doesn’t matter: Windows 7 just runs and runs and runs. It runs well enough to play a full resolution H.264 DVD rip in Windows Media Player (windowed or full-screen) without a hitch. In fact, I brought the thing to the gym Friday and watched 30 minutes of that movie while doing some cardio. Perfect.
Now, I don’t care if you think Steve Jobs is your own personal God and Microsoft is merely a footnote in history. You have to admit this is freakin’ amazing. I actually installed Windows 7 on my old Athlon XP 1800 box. And it runs like champ. But here is the most surprising thing of all: in some ways Windows 7 is even faster than Windows XP on the same hardware.
Prediction: Apple will spend millions on new commercials making fun of Windows 7. They will probably run some spots that try to paint Windows 7 as just Vista with a new set of clothes, a haircut, or some fancy makeup. This will be sadly hypocritical, because you can make the same argument against Mac OS X vs. BSD. But, at the end of the day, anyone who takes a genuine look at Windows 7 will have to admit Microsoft has done something, well, insanely great.
Tip: Be sure to rate your computer (search for Windows Experience Index in the start menu or control panel). Windows 7 will actually use the results to tune your system for better performance.