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Windows 7: How happy are early adopters?

What early adopters think of Microsoft's new OS

Microsoft's latest OS is barely even two months olds, yet early adopters have given Windows 7 the thumbs up. We look at why they're happy and any issues they've got.

Getting up and running

As with all things, first impressions count with operating systems. And if you've bought an OS as an upgrade, the first impressions it makes come in the form of the installation process.

There's no such thing as an operating system upgrade that doesn't cause headaches for some percentage of the people who install it.

In the case of our survey takers who installed Windows 7, however, the number who encountered major hassles was very small-presumably in part because Windows 7 is so similar to Vista under the surface. The fact that the vast majority of respondents performed clean installations rather than installing on top of Vista surely helped, too.

84 percent say the process went off without meaningful hiccups; 13 percent say it went fairly well. A total of 3 percent reported major problems, two-thirds of which were resolvable.

Pretty impressive: when PCWorld.com surveyed Windows XP users shortly after that OS shipped, half reported installation difficulties.

The fact that respondents' upgrades tended to go smoothly doesn't mean that they didn't encounter any issues with their new operating system.

Two problem areas stand out. More than 40 had to try and resolve driver issues, and more than a third needed to deal with software incompatibilities.

Other problems, however, were reported by a much smaller percentage of respondents. For instance, e11 percent reported crashes or blue screens of death.

And only 6 percent said that Windows 7's performance was poor, which is a relief given that the original version Windows Vista quickly developed a reputation as a poky resource hog.

Are the percentages of users who reported problems impressively low, or unsettlingly high? That's subject to debate.

But here's something that isn't. Both Windows XP and Windows Vista also suffer to some degree from all the gotchas that respondents said they encountered in Windows 7.

(In this graphic and those that follow, the scale of 0 to 100 percent represents the percentage of survey respondents who answered a particular question as indicated by the bars.)

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NEXT PAGE: Judging the features

  1. We look at just what early adopters think of Microsoft's new OS
  2. Getting up and running
  3. Judging the features
  4. Comparing and contrasting
  5. Since you asked
  6. The bad...
  7. The mixed

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