Windows 7 RC First Impressions

I had the privilege of trying out the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Release Candidate, thanks to my MSDN subscription which is due to expire in the coming months. This is not the first time I tried Windows 7 since I am already trying it during the Beta stage.

Contrary to previous versions of Windows, setting up Windows 7 took me around 22 minutes with few clicks to complete the installation. I opted to test 64-bit this time since I want to maximize the available hardware in my laptop that a 32-bit system won’t be able to fully utilize (that is the OS physically using the whole 4 GB installed in my machine).

A lot of blogs/news articles has been written with regards to the features of Windows 7 so I won’t elaborate/repost them here but since I am more of a developer, I tried setting up the usual tools that I use developing ASP.NET/Silverlight applications.

Way back in Windows Vista, .NET 3.0 is installed by default. This time, .NET 3.5 SP1 is installed by default. Installing Visual Studio 2008 (VS2008) is a breeze without much of a hassle BUT YOU HAVE TO INSTALL SP1. The installation package of VS2008 SP1 includes .NET 3.5 SP1 as well so I would suggest that you have to extract the ISO download and run “spinstaller” to proceed with the update.

Included with the installation package of VS2008 is the Express Edition of SQL Server (SS) 2005. Since it was a newly set-up machine, I haven’t installed SQL Server 2008 Express Edition with Advanced Services. During installation (I have selected SS to be installed, it prompted me that there’s a potential issue with the software and a fix should be applied (that is SS05 SP3) after the installation.I haven’t set-up Silverlight tools but I guess it would be much more easier since SP1 is already present by default.

After installing everything (the base setup), I started running my ASP.NET applications and I never imagined that running ASP.NET applications was fast. Yes, it reminds me as if I am running a web application written in an interpreted language. The response time was fast and I can get up my site up and running with less time as compared running it in 32-bit. I am getting myself accustomed to this and hopefully, once Windows 7 RTM comes out, I’ll stay with that configuration and enjoy faster development times.

To summarize, if you are planning to try developing web applications with Windows 7 using VS2008 and SQL Server, here are the things to note:

  • .NET 3.5 SP1 installed by default
  • After installing VS2008, install VS2008 SP1
  • If you are using SQL Server 2005, install SS05 SP3 after instance installation
  • If you are using SQL Server 2008, install SS08 SP1 after instance installation.

I will be updating this blog once I try installing Silverlight tools in my machine. So far, I am loving it and I am currently using Windows 7 as my main OS right now. 🙂


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