Should You Upgrade to Windows 7?
The new operating system developed by Microsoft offers enhancements that are sure to awe any Windows user, but is it worth the price and hassle to upgrade? After the release of Windows Vista, several computers became inoperable as peripherals and hardware were no longer recognized by the machine. Many users reverted back to the trusty Windows XP operating system. Even with Microsoft’s promises for better stability in Windows 7, some users are still undecided on the advantages of the upgrade.
Upgrading from Vista
Microsoft Vista didn’t start out well after its initial release. It had numerous compatibility issues, and device drivers did not function after upgrading from Windows XP. The operating system has taken quite a few punches from angry users who had to format their hard drive and reinstall Windows XP. However, Windows 7 beta users have reported better stability and fewer bugs in the new operating system. Beta users report that upgrading to Windows 7 has reduced the number of computer crashes and software issues. Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 is also the easiest of the operating system upgrades. Users who decide to upgrade from Vista are able to do so without formatting or reinstalling current software programs. As long as the user is upgrading the same desktop version, the process is smooth. For example, upgrading Vista’s Home Edition to Windows 7 Home Edition only requires an operating system installation.
Upgrading from Windows XP
Upgrading from Windows XP is trickier. First, Windows XP users are forced to wipe the hard drive prior to installation. Any documents, folders, or software programs need to be reinstalled after the upgrade. For anyone who has experienced a hard drive crash, upgrading to Windows 7 from XP is just as time consuming. Beta users also don’t find the advantages of an upgrade from Windows XP as beneficial when compared with Vista. Although Windows 7 is stable, so is XP. However, Windows 7 takes advantage of the new hardware technology that XP is unable to use efficiently. Faster processors and better video cards can utilize the newer operating system technology for better speed and higher quality graphics.
Windows Easy Transfer
For users who need to format the hard drive, Microsoft introduced Windows Easy Transfer into Windows 7. The software application moves files from the hard drive to a network server or a portable storage device. Windows Easy Transfer is beneficial for users who don’t know how to backup software settings and documents. While the application is beneficial for new users, it still does not solve the problem of software reinstallation. New Windows 7 users will find that upgrading consumes several hours of the day due to software reinstallation. Windows Easy Transfer saves software settings, which is the most beneficial part of the transfer application. The transfer application also detects any conflicts with older programs, which saves the user from accidentally installing software that is not compatible with Windows 7.
While Vista users may appreciate the bug fixes in Windows 7, XP users may want to wait for more feedback before upgrading. As with any Microsoft operating system, the best advice is to wait for bug fixes after a new version release prior to purchasing Windows 7. If your computer is running without issue, wait a few months before upgrading to Windows 7.