shrug-l: ArcGIS on Windows 7 Beta

Tripp Corbin tcorbin at
Mon Feb 16 10:08:25 EST 2009

I just thought I would share my experience testing ArcGIS 9.3 on the new
Windows 7 beta edition. If you are like me you have been avoiding
Windows Vista like the plague for any number of reasons. Unfortunately
Windows XP will not be available forever and is getting harder to find
on new computers. So I have been watching the development of Microsoft's
newest Windows OS with both fear and excitement. Well I am happy to
report that the newest version of Windows, Windows 7, is no Vista and
may actually be faster than XP.  


On our test machine we have loaded ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 successfully. Both
ArcMap and ArcCatalog open without a problem. They actually open about
10% faster than they do on Windows XP. I have run some simple tools
including a Dissolve and Union in adition to playing with symbology,
labels, editing, and plotting. Dissolving in ArcGIS has always  been
less than stellar compared to the old ArcView 3.x days.  Running on our
test machine ArcGIS dissolved 16576 parcel polygons based on Parcel Id
Number in 2 minutes without a glitch. I then unioned the dissolved
parcels against a soils layer I had on a server. This did give an error.
However once I moved the soils to the same geodatabase as the parcels
it worked without a problem in about a minute. At no time did ArcGIS
crash or did I get the Windows blue screen of death.  I have also
performed simple queries, edits, and so on without any problems so far. 


As to the general Windows 7 performance, it boots and shuts down much
faster than Vista and even that faster than XP. Windows 7 has a much
smaller resource foot print than Vista using only about 700 MB of memory
when doing nothing compared to Vista using a GB or more. As for install
foot print on your hard drive it takes about 7.8 GB of space. Windows 7
comes with Internet Explorer 8 which has some neat privacy functions and
some basic improvements on IE 7.  The install of Windows 7 was one of
the easiest Windows installs I have ever experienced. It was able to
locate the drivers for all my hardware with me having to go and download
them from various sites. This included all our various printers.  We
have also tested AutoCAD 2009, Microstation V8 and Open Office on the
test machine. All seem to work as well or better than they do on Windows


I suppose the specs of our test machine might also prove helpful so here
they are:

*         AMD Athlon 64 Bit 3000 2.0 GHz

*         2 GB RAM

*         ATI Radeon X1300 Series Video Card with 256 MB

*         120 GB SATA Hard Drive

*         Gigabyte NIC


So it looks like Windows 7 may be a winner especially when compared to
Vista which as anything but a winner in my opinion. I will keep testing
and let you all know if I find any issues. If anyone else has had the
chance to try Windows 7, I would be interested in your experiences. In
the mean time here are links to articles and reviews  of Windows 7 on
that might be of interest.



Tripp Corbin, MCP, CFM, GISP
Vice President, GIS/IT
ESRI Authorized Instructor
Keck & Wood, Inc. <> 
(678) 417-4013
(678) 417-8785 fax


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