How compatible is Katmai with Windows 7?

I tried an upgrade to Windows 7 with both Katmai and Visual Studio 2008 installed. How did it go?

OK, as pretty much everyone knows by now, Windows 7 hit RC. So I decided to upgrade my Vista box at home. I'm gonna take a minute for a diatribe because I'm still just so upset with the whole Vista experience. You can't tell me that the devs at Microsoft didn't know that Vista performed like a dog because I've got it on a pretty beefy system and it's slow as hell the second I put just a couple apps on it from a fresh install. I'm pretty upset that everyone at Microsoft either didn't test Vista or didn't care when the results turned out so poor. There's just no way, and I mean no way, they could not have known that Vista has such horrible performance problems. And they pushed it out anyway. This is the kind of stuff that has earned Microsoft the reputation it has. I will say that over the past couple releases, the SQL team at Microsoft seems to be doing a far better job than the Windows team.

I tried the upgrade, and during the system check, it shot up to warnings: Visual Studio and Katmai. I pushed ahead, and the upgrade went for about four hours before failing. It gave me some error about not being able to read something from memory. And of course, there wasn't a log stored on disk, so it's very difficult to troubleshoot after the fact. I still have no idea whether those two warnings are what actually stopped the install. But there's more to the story.

[ Here's how to get the Windows 7 RC | Thus far, Microsoft has been mum about its plans for Vista after the Windows 7 launch. ]

The Windows 7 install rolled itself back and reinstated Vista for me, and it seems to have done a bang-up job. My Vista install doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear even though Windows 7 was mostly installed and was just transferring apps and files -- kudos to the Windows team for that.

Since then, I've chosen to test my apps on Windows 7 by installing a clean version on a different disk on that same system and just doing a dual boot config for a while.  So Windows 7 installed just fine that way, and I have been able to get Katmai and VS08 installed on it and running just fine. The Katmai install shot up some warnings about having known issues with Windows 7, but I just pushed past those warnings and all is well. Installing Katmai SP1 appears to be the key, so if you want to slipstream SP1 before you install it, you'll probably bypass the warnings completely.

I've also installed Office 07 and a couple other apps and things seem to be running without any issues. And I have the same experience as Martin describes in his blog. Apps open a lot faster in Windows 7. Outlook opens like lightning, and so does Visual Studio. The difference between the two OSes is like night and day where performance is concerned. Now that I've proven the concept, I'm going to back up all my stuff one last time and do a full fresh install on my main partition.

Now the big question is had I had Katmai on SP1 to begin with would it still have shot up the warning on my Windows 7 upgrade?  I don't know, and at this point I don't really care.

So that's all I have to report. Katmai and Visual Studio 08 both work just fine on Windows 7. You'll be very pleased with the performance.


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