Deploying Windows 7 in the Office Environment

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Windows 7 is pretty much Vista part 2.  Vista was another OS blunder, aside from Windows ME. However, a few people say that since SP2, Vista’s shortcomings disappeared.  Let’s hope MS has figured out that an OS should be useful, rather than bloated with eye candy galore.

As a network administrator for an electronic distribution firm on Long Island and in the industry for over 17 years, I have found that Windows XP is perfect for the office environment.  Windows XP requires a little over 1.5 GB of hard drive space for the OS, rather than 12.3 GB for Windows 7. For the office, a 1000 MHz Pentium 3 with 512 MB of RAM (which is what I have running here) will run Windows XP pretty well.

I’ve rolled out about 20 newer workstations that have 2 GB of RAM, 80 GB hard drive, a 7300GT video card, and a Celeron 440 CPU.  For the office it’s pretty much overkill; however parts are cheap and we’re getting nice power without the price.

Windows 7 installs without a hitch. On a 2 GHz Celeron, it took about 45 minutes to install to an 80 GB WD SATA hard drive.  Windows 7 scales very well and turned on eye candy as it sees fit. The workstation I just installed it on has a PCI 128 MB FX5200 and it seems pretty snappy.

One of the major disadvantages with Vista is that MS forced you into an unnecessary hardware upgrade.  Windows 7 is not so bad – however, I don’t see us rolling out Windows 7 any time soon to the entire company. Windows XP has proven to be a very stable OS. My workstation has 4 GB RAM, a E4500 (2.2 GHz) CPU OC’d to 2.75 GHz, with a 256 MB 8600GTS and C1E enabled.  I even turned off all of the eye candy, as it is really not necessary in a business environment.

That said, to really take advantage of Windows 7 in the office, this is what I recommend for your hardware:

 

  1. 4 GB RAM or more
  2. A single core 2.0GHz Celeron CPU or better
  3. A 9600GT video card or better

I am very impressed so far with Windows 7. Vista never gave me that “WOW” factor I was longing for – well it did, but not in the good sense.  More like “WOW, this sucks!”  I have to give Windows 7 four out of five stars, because you should not have to buy a heavy duty system to have a properly functioning operating system. 
 

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