What better way to try Windows 7 then installing it on the Mini 9? Having read all the commentary about the smaller footprint of the new OS I couldn’t resist.
If you want to try this yourself, the procedure is exactly as if you were installing Vista. You will need the drivers folder from the Dell, along with the contents of the Program Files\Wireless Select Switch folder from the XP install and the R192569.exe file from the ZIPFILES folder which is on the support CD I believe.
Installing Windows 7 is a pretty quick and easy process - much faster than Vista. Once installed, follow the same procedure as with Vista to install the hardware drivers from the drivers folder you copied, then run the R192569.exe installer to get the battery driver on. Finally, copy the Wireless Select Switch folder into c:\program files and add an icon to your startup group which fires up the WLSS.exe program - that will allow you to toggle Bluetooth and wireless LAN on and off.
Once that’s done, follow the steps that Paul Thurrott has on WinSuperSite about enabling the ‘awesome bar’ (does anybody else besides me hate that name?).
I then installed AVG AntiVirus. The corporate version we have failed completely to install, so I turned to AVG Free. That installed fine, but complained at first about being unable to start the resident scanner. A couple of reboots and updates sorted that with no intervention from me and it now works fine.
Office and Live Writer are now installed and I have 4Gb free of my 16Gb SSD. I haven’t fiddled with performance tuning yet - the OS ticks over using about 550Mb of RAM. With Live Writer and Internet Explorer 8 running I have about 300Mb of RAM free.
First impressions? Great! Quick, easy to install, UAC is improved, like the new Taskbar UI… I now want to try out some of the other features such as Bitlocker To Go. I hope to get a Server 2008 R2 test environment running as well so I can try things like DirectConnect etc. If I make progress, I’ll post more.
Bottom line: Windows 7 - the OS the Mini 9 was built for.