I’ve upgraded to Windows 7 on my main computer (Happy). Sadly, DH’s computer (Allison) can’t upgrade to Win7. There are many drivers for his machine that aren’t available, plus his hard drive is overloaded already, so we’d have to clean that off first.
Happy was running Vista (which I did and still do love), so my upgrade process was the simpler upgrade. In fact, when Win7 was done, I initially wasn’t sure it had even happened, because my desktop looked the same. (I had been using RocketDock as a shortcut/menu replacement app, so the taskbar wasn’t apparent.) It took about 2.5 hours for the upgrade to happen. I only needed to be in front of the computer for the first 20 minutes and the last 5 minutes, but my computer was essentially AFK for the upgrade process.
Having upgraded, I do like some of the neat Aero features (Peek, Shake, and Snap are very handy). I like the improved taskbar, to the point that I’ve currently abandoned Rocketdock. I haven’t noticed any huge speed improvements yet. It’s worth noting, too, that Win7 copied my “don’t bug me about stupid security warnings” preference from Vista, so my experience and your out-of-the-box experience may differ based on your settings (or lack of settings if you come from XP).
I do really like the themes, although I find some of the wallpaper aesthetics to be a little too creepy for my taste…I had the same issue with Zune themes, and I think the same design team did the Win7 themes. Inhuman Tim Burton-esque babies laughing is freaky, not something I want to see on my desktop. For those unfamiliar, the Zune aesthetic feels to me like a modern interpretation of those cartoons that the Beatles had for their music. They’re colorful and complex but also kind of trippy and freakish at the same time.
At any rate, many of the lauded Win7 features are features I had in Vista, so I’m not having the revolutionary awesome that some folks will feel. If you’re coming from XP to Win7, there’s great things (that were in Vista) like easy media sharing between PCs (and Zunes and XBoxes and AT&T UVerse home TV boxes), so you can “stream” any video, music, or images on any shared PC to any compatible PC or box in the house. I can listen to my podcasts on the TV in the bedroom. The podcasts are on Happy, and I listen via UVerse’s box. (UVerse just keeps getting better, by the way. The media share feature was added last month, and it very nearly eliminates my need for an XBox on the upstairs TV. The only thing UVerse hasn’t incorporated–and I think it’s obvious why–is video streaming.) So, that’s a feature that I’ve had via Vista for quite awhile now but will be new (or at least easier to use) for people using XP.
Overall, I was happy with my upgrade experience. I think if you’re already happily running Vista, there’s not that much that you gain. If you’re running XP, there’s alot to gain.