Just picked up a free Windows 7 Ultimate and here are my two cents:
Seems to be a slightly slimmer version of windows vista. They took out a lot of crap that people never used in the first place. (calendar, ect)
Visually, it's still very similar to Vista.
There were some problems. After a day, the mouse started lagging and jumping, but a restart solved it. Also moving the "weather gadget" from windows gadget around my desktop is a bit laggy too.
Personally for me, vista wasn't too much of a resource hog. Ram usage for vista was around 30% and for windows 7 it hovers around 27%. But CPU activity seem a lot less in windows 7.
The restore points for 7 are a lot smaller than those in vista. Takes up a lot less space (don't use them anyways)
There are more aesthetic features in windows 7
-> different themes/startup sounds
-> shaking the browser windows them to make them disappear
-> tabs in the preview in the taskbar
personally I don't care for that stuff, but a nice touch.
Windows 7 is
maybe i think it's faster cuz everyone says so.
It does seem more lightweight and doesn't bog down my system as much as vista when I'm opening multiple apps
-> transitions also seem smoother when browsing through folders/start menu.
Originally had some concerns about drivers, compatibility issues with applications, but it seems like companies are keeping up with windows 7 compatibility.
It's a 64 bit so I can finally recognize my 4gb ram
I can disable IE 8
So far I'm liking it. Nothing has popped up and destroyed my computer yet. Personally I could've lived with vista (but I would have to repair/reinstall vista after 6 months due to bsods, random lag, corrupt window files, and basically vista not performing up to snuff)
So far those are the differences I've noticed.
So what are your opinions CF?