The title might imply that this is a question I’ve been pondering about, but in fact I’ve made up my mind a long time ago. However, I’ve been asked this question multiple times by colleagues (who are usually developers) and friends (who are not necessarily developers). Therefore, I decided to write down my answer once and for all.
I currently have 6 physical machines at home running various Windows 7 builds, as well as multiple virtual machines for testing and other purposes. All in all, I have builds of Windows 7 ranging from the M3 PDC build (6801) through the RC build that was released a couple of days ago.
My primary work laptop has Windows 7 installed in a dual boot configuration with Windows Vista. However, the main reason I still have Windows Vista installed on it is that I’m way too lazy to clean that partition, not because I’m still using it.
Yes, there’s probably some hardware out there that doesn’t work quite well on Windows 7 (yet). I personally didn’t have any driver problems with Windows 7, and I still keep seeing updates to video, network and various other drivers pouring from Windows Update.
Yes, there are also some applications out there that don’t work so well on Windows 7. I’ve had my share of problems trying to install and run Virtual PC on a 64-bit Windows 7 Beta; however, the RC build and the new Virtual PC Beta seem to be getting along peacefully. Office, Visual Studio and the other handful of applications that I need on a daily basis work seamlessly on Windows 7, and the bunch of new features, reliability improvements and performance work make the transition fully worthwhile for me.
Another thing to bear in mind when you’re making your decision is that the upgrade path from Beta to RC or from RC to RTM is neither recommended nor supported. There is a workaround that makes it possible to perform the upgrade from earlier Windows 7 builds, but if you encounter any problems in the process there won’t necessarily be a way to fix them.
These are my two cents; I obviously don’t assume any responsibility for your time or efforts installing and trying out Windows 7. However, I can tell you with absolute honesty that I will never want to install Windows Vista again. 🙂