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Windows 7 - should you upgrade or not.
As many of you will have seen or read in the press Microsoft released their latest version of Windows on 22 October. This new version of Windows is called Windows 7 and replaces Windows Vista.
What are the benefits of Windows 7, and why has it been replaced so soon. Unfortunately Microsoft rushed to release Windows Vista and as a result it had a number of problems, the biggest of these is speed. Vista is a slug it’s extremely slow and in most cases is much slower than Windows XP which it replaced. Microsoft tried to fix the problems with Vista but unfortunately it was too late, Vista got itself a bad name, and people didn’t trust it after that. In an effort to repair their damaged reputation Microsoft have worked very hard to produce an operating system that is both reliable as fast as Windows XP and with some new innovations, this new operating system is Windows 7.
There are 3 main versions of Windows 7; Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate, for most home users Home Premium offers everything you will need.
Windows 7 uses considerably less memory, has better graphics and 3D handling, starts up and shuts down faster and runs faster than Windows Vista.
The Windows 7 interface has a few noticeable changes.
First, the Vista sidebar has gone, but you can still use the clock and other gadgets, and you can position them wherever you like.
Second, the QuickLaunch area and the TaskBar have been replaced by a sort of combo-bar.
Instead of putting applications in the QuickLaunch area, you can now right-click and pin them to the new-style Taskbar, alongside running applications.
As in Vista, hovering over a Taskbar icon shows one or more mini-previews, depending on how many windows you're using, except now they're interactive. Hovering over a mini-preview shows it full size on the desktop, while right-clicking provides a Jump List of options. It makes it dramatically easier to see what you are doing.
The My Documents section has been reorganised under one heading, Libraries. This includes Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos, with Windows 7 sorting things into these "folders". Each of these has two subfolders, such as My Music and Public Music. This makes it easier to keep stuff you want to share away from stuff you want to keep to yourself.
Sharing is an important part of Windows 7. It has a HomeGroup feature that makes it very easy to set up a home network and share things like documents, photo’s, printers etc.
Windows 7 has lots of small points, and they all add up.
Should you upgrade your computer to window 7?
If you have Windows Vista then you should seriously consider buying an upgrade to Windows 7, if however your computer is running Windows XP then it is probably not worth the expense of the upgrade, you would be better to put the money towards a new computer in the future.
How to check if your machine is capable of being upgraded, if your machine is less than three years old, has a dual core processor, at least 2 GB of RAM and 40 or more gigabytes of free disk space. Then your computer is capable of being upgraded. Microsoft produce a tool that will examine your computer and tell you if the computer, your programs and hardware devices (printers, cameras, scanners etc.) are compatible of running Windows 7, this program can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx
When Upgrading from XP only a clean install of Windows 7 is possible. To put it another way, you cannot upgrade in the true sense of the word. The good news: if you already have Windows XP, then you can take advantage of Microsoft's cheaper 'upgrade' offer rather than buying the full version. In order to use an upgrade version of Win7, you must give the upgrade software proof that you own a genuine copy of XP. Before you do any upgrading or OS installation, make sure you back up any data or you will lose it all.
Upgrading from Vista, in addition to a clean install described above, Vista offers an extra option for an in-place upgrade to Windows 7. The benefit of an in-place upgrade is that it preserves the user settings, and means you will not have to re-install all your programs.
However you decide to upgrade, please make sure you have backups for all your data, including documents, photographs, email, address books etc. before you start the upgrade process.
Where to buy Windows 7, for an English version www.Amazon.co.uk is a good source, they have a good discount on the upgrade versions and will ship to France. For a French version then www.Rueducommerce.com (please note that the language cannot be changed, you must buy the language you want to use.)
If you have any questions or would like help to install the Windows 7 upgrade, please give me a call or drop me an email.