I have put off answering questions about the next new and improved Windows Operating System until the beta product has been in testing for many months and the retail launch is just a few weeks away, so here goes.
After reading reviews about Windows 7 from some of my most respected gurus over the last several months, I recommend that you rush right out and…think about buying this latest Windows product. If that sounds a little ambivalent, then excuse me for noticing that Microsoft’s last new OS intro (Vista in 2007) wasn’t all that it was hyped up to be.
If you were looking for an operating system that was slower than your old one, didn’t run your old programs or printer too well, interrupted you all the time to ask if you knew what you were doing and took ages to start up, then Vista was the OS for you. Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but I’m going to pause now to remember all the people that have told me how they prefer Vista to Win XP … well there’s your list! Good news for you guys that bought (maybe not by choice) Vista; you’ll be offered a decent price to upgrade to Windows 7. Win XP users will need to purchase the full Win 7 product as no upgrade will be available to them.
[amazon-product]B002DHLV8S[/amazon-product]Seriously, from the preponderance of reviews that I’ve read by unbiased testers, Windows 7 sounds like what Vista was supposed to be. Do you remember how Windows ME was kind a stepping stone between Win 98 and Win XP and how much most of us really loved Win XP, especially after they finally got most of the bugs out of it with the release of Service Pack 2? We may see the same kind of evolution from Vista to Win 7. Maybe it will live up to our expectations for an OS; smooth, fast, unobtrusive; even fun to operate?
Here are my recommendations, starting with current XP users. Stick with your XP unit until it wears out or you get tired of it. Go ahead and upgrade to Service Pack 3 if you haven’t already and keep up with the critical security updates as long as Microsoft offers them. If you are a Vista user, wait until the bugs are worked out of Win 7, then buy the Upgrade version of Win 7. Win 7 will hit retail outlets in October; wait until the first quarter of 2010 or until the first service pack comes out.
Vista users will recall that some of the early bugs in Vista were improved with SP 1 and additional ones with SP 2. If you are buying a new PC today, go ahead and buy it with Vista installed, but make sure the manufacturer is shipping it with a free upgrade to Win 7: don’t buy otherwise. If you buy after October, you’ll likely get the latest version of Win 7.
If you do buy Win 7, you’re safe to use Microsoft’s recommendations for everything except memory: my experience with XP and Vista lead me to double their specs. Choose at Least 2 gigabytes of memory for a 32-bit version and 4 gigabytes for a 64-bit version of Win 7.
If you want to know if your current PC will run Win 7, check here: http://tinyurl.com/no4xb7. Good luck!