A programmer at the chipmaker says the OS is almost ready for prime time.
The trial version of the next Windows operating system has won a key endorsement from a software expert at chipmaker Intel, a company that, despite being one of Microsoft's closest partners, was so leery of Vista that at one point it banned the widely maligned OS from its corporate workstations.
Windows 7 and companion OS Windows Server 2008, at least when it comes to the beta versions, are a whole different ball game from Vista, said Intel software developer Doug Holland, in a company blog post this week.
"I have now been using the Windows Server 2008 R2 beta and Windows 7 beta builds for some time and have found them to be incredibly stable," said Holland, who in previous posts has pointed out that Windows 7 will scale to support a whopping 256 processor cores.
Vista maxed out at 64 cores with the high-end 64-bit version.
Holland says he's so pleased with the Windows Server 2008 beta, which Microsoft released last week along with the Windows 7 beta, that he's using it as the main OS on his personal laptops and desktops "and would do so also on my corporate notebook if our IT department allowed."
Corporate IT organizations don't typically allow employees to run beta software on their PCs.
A warm reception for Windows 7 at Intel would be welcome news for Microsoft. In an embarrassment for Redmond, Intel CEO Paul Otellini stated publicly in 2007 that his company didn't plan to upgrade its internal systems to Vista and that it would stick with Windows XP.
The statement, from one of the world's most powerful tech executives, reinforced the notion that Vista was not business friendly. Vista adoption among large enterprises has been almost nonexistent since the OS debuted two years ago as corporate IT chiefs have complained about its hardware requirements and lack of compatibility with older software.
Microsoft is counting on Windows 7, which according to early reports is lighter and more user-friendly than Vista, to restore its reputation in the business market. An endorsement from Intel could go a long way toward that.