Well early last night I set up boot camp for 32bit Windows 7 (since it’s only a 4 gig box) on my mid 2009 upgraded Mac Mini. Partitioned out the Windows 7/OS X partitions equally and installed Cakewalk SONAR 8.3 (as I’ve not upgraded to 8.5 yet).
Not a single hitch, after 2 hours of installing 7, Boot Camp Drivers and the DAW software (which was by far the most lengthy part as it’s a 4 DVD install) then immediately switching to ASIO drivers (and installing the ASIO drivers for my M-Audio Keystation 49i) I was in business.
I’ll make my claim: Windows 7 is the best version of Windows released thus far. Sure it has its issues (as every complex software does), but it’s a smooth install and works very quickly and efficiently to run your software.
I spent about 10 minutes recording a quick little diddy to test out the performance and I’ve got a good, stable machine without being tied down to Apple hardware. Which finally introduces the following ranty thought (as I do like Mac hardware and software):
Apple really needs more customization and latest generation hardware in their consumer lines they just released the new iMac with a puny 4000 series ATI video card when the 5000 series has been out for long enough for them to have a beta version of the chip to test and eventually produce. The 4000 series can marginally drive 3D games at the resolution of the new 27″ iMac (a monstrous 2560-by-1440 LED backlit screen).
On the OS side, I’m not crying about having to buy Apple hardware to run MacOS–that’s not the issue. But the latest version of Ubuntu (a free and ‘hard to use’ OS) actually puts MacOS to shame when it comes to finding and adding/installing software. Sure most software is drag-and-drop easy on MacOS, but Ubuntu’s Software Center is two-click install and automatic upgrades and updates from then on inclusive with the system updates. Apple really needs to support an Open Source repository for software or release an Apple Store for Mac (as they have for iPhone) or both as some sort of integrated solution as Ubuntu has released a very early, rudimentary version with 9.10.
I prefer Linux as its open source software repositories are second to none, but the biggest problem that I’ve always had with Linux is the lack of mid to high level software support from various ISV’s such as Adobe. If Adobe released Photoshop for Linux that was on par with the Mac & Windows version I think there’d be quite a migration to the OS.
Microsoft is scared of Linux and Linux is Microsoft’s #1 threat (not Mac, despite what Apple would like for you to believe), and I suspect there’s some behind the scenes trading and dealing to keep Adobe from deploying on that platform (perhaps from both Apple and Microsoft).