Windows 7 Test Drive

Yes, I did it… Albeit being a confirmed Linux enthusiast I thought it would be a good idea to have a sneak peek at what Microsoft is calling its next-generation Windows operating system. My plan was to install Windows 7 into a KVM (= hardware-accelerated QEMU) virtual machine. After taking some hurdles such as Windows to refuse installing on a 9 GB file system image complaining about a lack of temporary storage space although I had created a separate 5 GB partition for exactly that purpose, the installation went through smoothly and surprisingly fast - on a 10 GB partition. Somewhat weird math the MS engineers have invented: 9 GB + 5 GB is insufficient, but 10 GB is sufficient. Anyway…

The first unpleasant surprise after the installation had completed was the lack of support of QEMU’s graphics adapter: It was just detected as a standard VGA adapter limiting the maximum available screen resolution to 1024 x 768. One, however, should probably not blame Microsoft for not including a graphics driver for a chip set that is older than ten years. Network briefly worked after the installation, but became dis-functional after some time. That, however, may very well be a QEMU issue as I recall having already seen this on Windows XP running inside QEMU.

Apart from that Windows 7 makes a robust and polished impression although I did not experience it to be as fast as other sources claimed - probably related to the non-accelerated graphics driver being used.

In the end, I will definitely stick to my Linux desktop for the time being. ;-)