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Windows 7, Seventh wonder of PC world?

By   /   November 6, 2009  /   Comments

Oct. 22 came and went and the PC world did not come to a crashing end. If you are a Microsoft stockholder, rejoice in the bump that the launch of Windows 7 gave your shares. What it bodes long rage is still problematic; nonetheless, Win 7 was received very well by tech writers and Wall Street alike.

Not a lot positive has been written about the 2007 launch of Vista, but there are very hopeful signs that Microsoft learned a lot from it. They demonstrated this by launching the new OS in a professional and on time manner; in direct contrast to the endless delays experienced with Vista’s launch. They also fixed some of the early problems with Vista which indicates that they did indeed listen to their business partners like PC manufacturers, other software sellers and peripheral hardware makers. We should not expect to run into printer and software problems like we did when Vista was first introduced.

In addition to giving us an eye popping new user interface with some great new features (i.e. attractive new Task Bar), Win 7 fixed two of my pet peeves. One shortcoming with XP and Vista was the incomplete and painfully slow “Search” option. Many PC users resorted to third party search engines to find stuff on their PCs rather than put up with Windows Search. No More! It’s easy and faster now to accurately locate documents, pictures, songs, whatever by just typing in a couple of words from your desktop. My other pet peeve was the User Account Control (UAC) which was forever in my face warning me equally about stuff that I wasn’t really concerned about along with stuff that was potentially significant. This part of Windows built in security is much more controllable without the loss of overall security. Windows 7 is significantly more secure than Vista and XP.

So, what is a typical user to do? 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 XP Service Pack 3 if you haven’t already and keep up with the critical security updates as long as Microsoft offers them. For the average user, upgrading from XP to Win 7 will be a lot more trouble than it’s worth (requires complete reinstall of the new OS, erases old XP and all your files and programs). If you are a Vista user, buy the Upgrade version of Win 7 and run the upgrade installation. That will keep your files and other programs intact.

You can directly upgrade a Vista PC to the same version or a higher one (ex. Vista Home Premium to Win 7 Home Premium, but not Vista Ultimate to Win 7 Home Premium). If you have a PC currently running Vista, the chances are excellent that your hardware will run Win XP. This is a definite plus with Win 7. If you buy a new PC, buy Win 7 without reservation; for most of you the Win 7 Home Premium version will cover your needs. When you do buy Win 7, you’re safe to use Microsoft’s recommendations for everything except memory. Choose at Least 2 gigabytes of memory for a 32-bit version and 4 gigabytes for a 64-bit version installation of Win 7.

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  • Published: 1820 days ago on November 6, 2009
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  • Last Modified: November 2, 2009 @ 9:08 pm
  • Filed Under: Geek Speak
  • Tagged With: Geek Speak
 

Comments

  1. Jim,

    Congrats and thanks for another informative column. I hope you realize that the previous poster is one of the most gifted and significant writers in this area, which is quite a compliment in itself.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been reading your posts lately, just want to say thanks for all informative stuff i have found here, helped me learn alot lately.

    Much Regards, Mark

  3. Elliott Minor says:

    Jim,

    Congratulations on another informative technology column. In a few clear, easily understood words, you have given computer users the information they need to make an informed decision on whether to upgrade to Windows 7.

    So while we may live in one of Forbes magazine’s 10 poorest U.S. cities, we can take pride in having a world-class technology writer.
    Seriously, I believe you covered the basics of Windows 7 and the confusing upgrade options better than any of the writers on the leading technology Web sites.

    Please take a look at this site: http://ninite.com/
    Ninite seems to install some of the most common free software – AVG anti-virus, Open Office, etc – automatically. I haven’t tried it, but it seems like a quick, easy way to set up a new computer with useful software.

    I expect UPS to deliver my Windows 7 Home Premium family pack today from the Microsoft Store. I’ll probably use one of the three licenses from the family pack to upgrade a $298 Wal-Mart Compaq CQ60 from Vista to 7. After the clean install of 7, I’ll use Ninite to install some of the software.

    Thanks again for keeping us informed on computer issues.

    Elliott

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