Windows 7's Opening Weekend

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Microsoft is riding high after Redmond officially launched Windows 7 on Thursday. So far the reviews have been positive, and many Windows users aroun

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d the globe have been itching to get their hands on the new operating system. However, it hasn't been all roses for Windows 7. The launch saw some unexpected glitches, and some compatibility issues still need to be resolved. So far, Windows 7 news has seen a mix of positive reviews, bullish prospects for the future and some customer frustration.

The Downside

Reboot Glitch

Some Windows Vista users have reported an issue upgrading to Windows 7 where their computer gets stuck in an endless reboot cycle, according to Computerworld.

Vista users complained of the problem on a Microsoft forum, and say their computers stop the upgrade process two-thirds of the way through. The

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n, the system says the Windows 7 upgrade had failed, and that it will restore Vista. Instead, however, the computer tries to install Windows 7 again, resulting in an endless series of failed installation attempts and reboots.

Microsoft is currently collecting information from users in this forum thread to try to determine what the problem is.

Windows 7 Student Edition

Microsoft loves to offer deals to students looking to get a copy of Windows, and this time around was no exception. Redmond offered a Windows 7 upgrade to students for $29.99. Students were able to download the discounted OS from a dedicated Website starting October 22.

But some students reported problems installing the new OS once they downloaded it. As the weekend progressed, four separate issues surfaced, including Windows 7 installs getting hung up and corrupted download files. Two issues involved users trying to upgrade from a 32-bit operating system to Windows 7's 64-bit version. Microsoft has posted information and solutions for these issues on this forum thread.

Drivers and Patches

Compatibility issues with peripheral hardware like printers and scanners were a big problem with Windows Vista. To counter similar issues with Windows 7, Microsoft has made the process for approving hardware drivers from third-party manufacturers much more stringent.

But as InfoWorld's Martin Heller points out this means you may experience some issues with getting your external hardware to work with Windows 7. These issues may only be problems in the short term, but it doesn't make upgrading any easier.

The Upside

Windows 7 Selling Well

Weekend sales results for Windows 7 were not available at the time of this writing, but Microsoft did release its quarterly earnings report on Friday

windows 7
. Although the company's revenue was down compared to this time last year, Redmond still did better than most analysts expected. A good chunk of the company's revenue was attributed to Windows 7 pre-sales worth about $3 billion, according to WindowsITPro.

Bullish Prospects for Windows 7

Forget about Apple's impressive earnings report; the financial sector and industry watchers are putting a lot of faith in Windows 7. David Daoud, research manager with market research firm IDC (also owned by PC World parent company IDG) says Windows 7 may fuel demand for new computers in 2010, and that demand will help sales for both PC makers and computer chip manufacturers.

Computerworld, meanwhile, says many businesses plan to switch over to Windows 7, something that didn't happen with Windows Vista. Finally, China's Xinhua News Agency is also bullish on Windows 7, believing the new OS will boost economic recover for the entire IT sector.

Installing Windows 7 on Netbooks is Easier

Microsoft, over the weekend, released a tool that allows netbook owners to install Windows 7 using a USB thumb drive. The tool allows you to put copy a disk image of Wind

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Graphic: Diego Aguirre
ows 7 on to a 4GB flash drive, and then install the new OS on a netbook. This is handy since some netbooks lack an optical drive to make them cheaper and lighter.

Getting Windows 7 on a netbook using a flash drive was possible before, but Microsoft's new tool makes it that much easier. The new tool also fits into Microsoft's goal of getting Windows 7 on as many netbooks as possible.

So Windows 7's first weekend among the public looks like it was Microsoft's most successful OS launch yet. There were some unanticipated problems of course, but Windows 7 may have finally pushed the specter of Windows Vista out of the spotlight. For Microsoft, that's got to feel good.

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