I want to tell you all about a little story involving a HTC Shift (UMPC), and an Acer One (Net book) I have.
Some of you are very familiar with the HTC Shift. The Shift was a UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer) from HTC that shipped with Windows Vista Business. But also as many of you know, the device didn’t have enough power to run Windows Vista. Unfortunately my HTC Shift became a very expensive paperweight as it performed so horribly I couldn’t even use it for Microsoft Outlook (my Exchange mailbox is 10+ GB, and eats computers CPUs for breakfast). As of today, the Shift has been discontinued but there is still a solid user base of the device (as can be seen at http://www.xda-developers.com).
In my possession I also have an Acer One netbook. I’m not familiar with what model it is (nor do I care) since I got it as an Aeroplan reward. I fell in love with the Acer One the first day I got it. It shipped with Microsoft Windows XP Home (which I replaced with Professional) and it ran great. The drivers were easy to deal with when re-installing Windows and the device was slick (for a computer of its size). It was perfect for Skype, web surfing, outlook, etc…
With all this crazy marketing that Microsoft is doing with Windows 7, and with the user base out there mentioning that Windows 7 performs amazingly on UMPCs and netbooks I decided to give it a shot tonight.
First I started off with my HTC Shift. I noticed that on the forums at XDA-Developers the process sounded painful and irritating, on top of that there was a bunch of info on the requirements to use Windows Vista drivers. This turned me off but at the same time it sounded like most of the users were attempting to use the Windows 7 beta and not the final release. I decided to give it a try since I’m actually using Windows 7 final release instead of the beta.
I used a USB DVD-Rom to install Windows 7 on the Shift. Booted the Windows 7 Professional CD without any problems, and installed fairly simple and fast. After dealing with the post-install wizard I was sitting in front of a fresh install of Windows 7. Unfortunately the Device manager was full of unrecognized drivers so I decided to start installing the Vista drivers as mentioned in the XDA-Developers forum. Fortunately it did clear up a few issues, but for the most part everything still didn’t work. After manually downloading the Intel Chipset drivers and Intel Graphics Drivers, everything started to work great. At this point the install was done and everything was configured. The first thing I noticed with Windows 7 on the shift was how incredibly fast it was. I went ahead and loaded up all my favorite apps (iTunes, Skype, Eyebeam, Outlook, etc…) and it runs them all perfectly. I even got my Bluetooth headset out and tested some VoIP calls over Wi-Fi, and HSDPA. SHWEET!
As for the Acer one, things are a bit simpler. The hardware that the Acer uses is some of the most generic hardware you can find on the market right now (this means no driver battle). I decided to ahead and update my Acer to Windows 7. I used the same install process with a USB DVD-Rom. Install was simple, quick, and in no time I was running Windows 7. All drivers were installed. Installed my favorite apps, and I was good to go. My Acer has finally been upgraded from the dull look of XP to the newer look of Vista/7, and it works GREAT!
In Conclusion, after a bit of playing around both devices are running Windows 7 perfectly. Windows 7 has brought life back into my HTC Shift, and I guess you could say it made my Acer One a lot cooler, lol. This is just another reason to upgrade to Windows 7.