Windows 7 Will Run On A Prehistoric Pentium II 266 MHz With 96 MB RAM!
Vista did not earn its horrible reputation primarily due to the lack of support of an astounding number of drivers; the hair raising User Account Control; too many overpriced versions; or the utterly pointless Aero graphical interface... no... the main reason most computer users got nauseous at the sight of Vista was that unless you were running an IBM Blue Gene/P Solution Supercomputer, Vista would turn the majority of previously snappy computers under Windows XP into slugs trying to crawl up a steep Mount Everest incline covered in molasses.
My main system is just about as state of the art as you can get. An Intel Core i7 920 at Turbo, booting off a VelociRaptor, with a RAID1 1TB mirrored drive setup for data, and having access to a full 12 GB of DDR3 RAM. If all those specs don't mean much to you, just think of it this way. This PC is the equivalent of a Ferrari Enzo. There are a few cars out there that are faster, but dang, not many. And it will run rings around the average commuter's automobile.
This PC was originally set up with Windows Home Premium 64 bit edition as out of all the varied and myriad versions of Vista, this one was the least expensive one that provided the functionality I required. From the start it was one fast system but I had absolutely no idea just how fast until I installed Windows 7 RC1 on it as a test.
Absolutely every aspect of the system's performance increased dramatically. Bootup was considerably shorter to the desktop, applications launched much faster, data copying just zoomed, and everything on the desktop and off felt much snappier. Note that this is with not the slightest modification to the hardware configuration, but just replacing Windows Vista home Premium 64 bit edition with Windows 7 RC1 64 bit edition.
It seems that Microsoft has received the message loud and clear that computer users are not going to put up with gargantuan monolithic operating systems, and thus Windows 7 is truly a breath of fresh air! It is finally the modern operating system that I would be able to install on virtually any netbook without a moment's hesitation.
Just how much more efficient Windows 7 is over its Vista predecessor was made amply clear by an experiment by a member of The Windows Club Forum. He was able to get a working installation of Windows 7 on a Pentium II 266 MHz with 96 MB of RAM and a 4 MB video card.
Again for the technically challenged, let me put this into perspective: This individual did the equivalent of getting a Blu-Ray movie to play on a stone tablet with a flint acting as the blue laser beam. Getting a prehistoric dinosaur such as that computer which would be adequate only for running Windows 95 to boot the very latest 2009 version of Microsoft's newest operating system is nothing short of a miracle, and one that Vista with its overwhelming minimum hardware specifications could not begin to achieve.
Not that I endorse digging out your twelve year old computers out of the basement to start installing Windows 7 as that's not the point. Windows 7 will install on just about any modern computer (no matter how haughty or basic its specifications) and provide great performance on all of them. Hopefully it will serve to take the bad Vista taste out of the mouths of millions of computer users who were disappointed and disgusted with that operating system's massive flaws.
With Windows 7, Microsoft finally got the operating system right... to the point that it can be considered, hands down, the best operating system Microsoft has ever issued, and considerably better than all of the competition, including Linux and Snow Leopard!