So I went ahead and installed the public Windows 7 beta (x64)…
Nice easy install with minimal prompting. Some quick noticeable points: UAC now has a few levels of interaction which is a nice change and the start menu is has a little bit of the usefull feel of xp thrown back into it.
My $10 usb 802.11g (realtek based) device was an immediate need so I did a quick search for drivers and couldn’t find anything that was signed (win7 requires signed drivers for everything) and the audio on my board (an Asus A8N–SLI Premium) was not intalled properly. Asus did have 64bit drivers on their website for my ‘older’ board.
So I broke down and drug a patch cable to my router and ran software updates which, in the end, made me all happy again because the drivers for both wireless and audio were available so I can also listen to music again. yea, no patch cord running across the room.
Web browser – Firefox – http://wiki.mozilla-x86-64.com/Download. There are issues with running a 64bit browser such as no flash player available, roboform and other 32bit apps will not hook into it. If you use a 64bit browser, you
Firewall – Comodo Internet Security (http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com) has been winning awards for a while now and has good control for those that wish to delve into it. For a ‘easy’ firewall with no HIPS, I have seen recommendations for Vista firewall Control (http://sphinx-soft.com/Vista/index.html)
Antivirus – Comodo Internet Security (same package as firewall). If you don’t want to run both antivirus and firewall from Comodo, you can simply choose not to install one or the other. My 2nd choice for antivirus would have been Avast Home Ed. It’s not a true 64bit app, but the kernel level drivers are 64bit – http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html
Defragger – JKDefrag which can alse be run as a portable app –
Archiver – PeaZip (http://peazip.sourceforge.net). PeaZip has a more familiar gui. A good alternative would be 7zip (http://www.7-zip.org).