Anyone that’s worked with me recently will know that I’m a “switcher”, someone who has changed from being a Mac hater / Windows lover to a more realistic lover of what’s good in both OS’s (it helps that Mac released OS X, as most of my pain was with OS 7-9 clients on a Windows NT network). That said all the computer in my house are Macs, except for an old Toshiba T200 TabletPC that my wife uses to play games with the kids. This gives me the ability to run any operating system I like on all the computers.
It should come as no surprise then that I eagerly tried Windows 7 back when the first beta was made available to the public. I chose to run it in Boot Camp, mostly because I was testing how well my games ran, since I had been running them in XP. When I was doing “serious” stuff (Visual Studio 2008, SQL etc) I mostly ran in a VM in Mac mode, as it gave me greater flexibility.
After my terrible experience with Vista (twice it became unrecoverable, causing me a lot of problems) I went cautiously, but was pleasantly surprised to find that Windows 7 (even as Beta and then RC) was pretty stable, quite responsive, and ran everything rather well.
My only real pain point was having to reboot into Boot Camp for anything that required decent graphics, and to get the full Aero experience.
To my great delight VM Ware and Parallels recently release new versions of their VM tools, I quickly tried both, as I have purchased previous versions of both and found each to have nice features.
I was disappointed to discover no DirectX support in the latest offering, unless I missed the feature somewhere. That said, the features continue to improve and it feels more solid.
VM Ware Fusion 3
This release is huge, they’ve changed a lot and I’m quite impressed. I’ve so far tried it on a 2009 Mac Book Pro 13”, and a iMac (late 2007 model I think, with Core 2 Extreme 2.8). Both ran it quite well, Windows 7 works with Aero, and yes even games seem to work well, although given that those two computers have limited graphics power to start with I wasn’t expecting much.
Once I can convince my wife to get off my Mac Pro for long enough I’ll test the Direct 3D support on there, since with 8 cores and 6Gb RAM with a 9800GT card I expect to be able to get good performance even in a VM.