Windows 7 – What Is It To You?

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windows7_logoMicrosoft has just released Windows 7 – the latest in a long line of Windows operating systems.  This article will help you understand how Windows 7 can affect you, what you should do about it, when you should buy, it and more.  Read all the way down to find out how you may be able to get Windows 7 for free.  If you have more Windows 7 questions, feel free to contact us anytime.

Windows 7 – Better Than Vista
The first thing you should know about Windows 7 is that it is better than Windows Vista, in just about every way.  Many of you have heard us (and others) say that Windows Vista was a flop.  Many of you are still running Windows XP, the previous version of Windows, because it is generally still respected as a quality (if a bit dated) OS.  Windows 7 has the performance of Windows XP with a user experience close to that of Apple OS X.

Vista was a total disaster, Windows 7 is a success.  Vista is slow and crashes frequently.  7 is fast and stable.  Vista created massive problems for 3rd parties, 7 is highly compatible.  Vista is expensive, 7 is affordable ($30 for students, $120 for upgrades, $200 for new home copies, $300 for businesses).

What’s Important About Windows 7 To You?
Windows 7 has many new features.  Some are helpful, some are pleasant, some will become necessities in the future.  None of the new features, however, are worth the upgrade alone.  So should you upgrade?  Easy answer:

Windows XP users do not need to upgrade to Windows 7. You’ll get 7 on your next computer, and it will run beautifully.  In the meantime, there’s no direct upgrade from XP to 7 (you have to purchase a full copy, then reinstall).  If you have a fast computer and you want the upgrade anyway, we can do it for you, just contact us.   If you’ve been waiting to buy a new PC at the store, it’s now is a fine time.  Though you might want to contact us first to get our free suggestions and buying tips.

All Windows Vista users should upgrade to Windows 7.  Vista is a problem.  7 is the solution.  The cost of the software upgrade is $120 for homes, $200 for businesses.  The upgrade process is fairly easy, we can do it for you or you can do it yourself.  This upgrade will make your system run better and faster for many years to come.

Businesses should continue to use Windows XP until getting a consultation.  Your business operations are critical to your income and you shouldn’t take any chances.  If you think your company is ready for the upgrade, contact Computer Courage to schedule a consultation so we can analyze your hardware, software, and needs before making the jump to Windows 7.  It’s not a matter of “if” with Windows 7, it’s just a matter of “when”.

Windows 7’s New Features
Windows 7 is not just a fix for Vista’s problems, it also brings some new features and tricks to the table.  You can see a whole feature list here, but below are some of our favorites:

  • New taskbar – The new taskbar is somehow simpler, prettier, and more powerful.  It reminds us of the OS X Dock, but with innovative improvements such as Aero Peek, which lets you easily see open window previews.
  • Better Networking – The new HomeGroup feature of Windows 7 makes it easy for you to share your pictures, video, and music with other computers in the house (even non-7 machines)
  • Better Power Management – Stay greener and keep your utility bills down with improved sleep and resume functions.
  • Support for Netbooks – We’ll see how well it runs, but 7 promises to be the future of those little mini-laptop “netbooks” you’ve been seeing around.

Is It Too Early For Me?
Remember, there is no rush.  Some people don’t like to run an operating system when its just come out – maybe it will have problems with your hardware or software.  If you wait, those problems might get hammered out for you before you buy.  Companies like Dell are still selling new computers with Windows XP on them, so you don’t have to make the transitions yet.  If you have a business with a network, make sure to contact Computer Courage for a consultation before moving forward with Windows 7 upgrades.

Free Upgrade If You Bought After June 26, 2009!
If you purchased a full copy of Windows Vista, or got it preloaded on a PC from a major manufacturer, you are likely eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7 (with some tax, shipping, and handling).  We strongly suggest you claim your upgrade disc.  You don’t have to upgrade now, but you might as well take advantage of the offer (which won’t last forever).  Note, even if you bought a PC with Windows XP on it, it’s likely to have been a copy of Windows Vista with an XP Downgrade, so you’re still probably eligible.

To find out if you are eligible for a free copy of Window 7, go to this page on Microsoft’s website.