Windows 7 is out, and we’ve been getting questions from clients about what they should do. Here are common questions and answers from Mindovo advisors to help make sense of the next evolution in personal computers.
What is Windows 7?
Windows 7 is the name of the newest operating system or “OS” built by Microsoft that powers computers built by “PC” or “personal computer” manufacturers like Dell, HP, Sony and Lenovo. It was launched for sale to the public at the end of last month and replaces either Windows Vista or Windows XP—the last 2 operating systems built by Microsoft.
Will my existing computer upgrade to Windows 7?
If you are currently running Windows XP on a computer that is more than 2 or 3 years old, the answer is most likely “no.” Your hardware specifications are almost certainly not robust enough to handle the resource needs of Windows 7. While the new OS might install on your old computer, it probably will not run very well.
Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 also requires what is called a “clean install,” which means you will have to remove all of your data, erase your entire computer hard drive, install the new operating system and then put all of your data back onto the computer. Ultimately, this is far too time consuming and risky. It is much better to purchase a new PC and simply have a professional configure it and migrate your data.
If you are running Windows Vista on a recently purchased computer that still feels “snappy” you should be able to upgrade to Windows 7 without too much trouble. We’ve been helping clients upgrade ever since the release.
Why should I buy Windows 7? What are the major improvements?
First, Windows 7 appears to be the most stable OS ever built by Microsoft. It is still early in our testing, and Microsoft can do a lot to ruin this stability through incremental updates, but for now it is very reliable.
Microsoft also fixed pretty much everything that was wrong with Windows Vista. Annoying pop-up messages and warnings have been significantly reduced, and menus are much more intuitively laid out. It also starts up and shuts down quicker for the typical end user.
Windows 7 also significantly improves the PC’s user interface. It is now much, much easier to organize open windows and applications, as well as jump between open windows. Microsoft has done such a good job with this; we actually hope Apple will learn a few things from them and adopt similar features.
After a few quick tutorials, most users will wonder how they ever did without these new improvements.
Should I get an Apple Mac or a new Microsoft Windows 7 computer?
For a long time the answer to this question for most non-business users was easy and obvious. Apple’s Mac line of computers was so clearly superior to anything that Microsoft was offering that most of our clients were eager to make the switch.
Now, however, the answer is wonderfully unclear because, with the release of Windows 7, consumers now have 2 excellent operating systems to choose from when making their purchasing decision. Watch this video to see for yourself.
If you are very comfortable with the Windows environment or recently purchased new PC hardware, you can happily stay put within the Microsoft world after an upgrade to Windows 7. Viruses and inelegant backup systems remain the only significant downside to running a Windows operating system.
On the other hand, Apple’s Mac remains the Maybach of computing. Its operating system is even more stable than Windows 7, is free of viruses and comes with photo organizing and editing software (as well as home movie editing software) that beats anything made for Windows. Apple’s beautiful, high-end hardware is also a plus, adding a sense of elegance to any home or office.
If you ultimately can’t decide between the 2, you can have both the Apple Mac and Microsoft Windows operating systems running simultaneously on a single computer. Mindovo advisors are experienced at setting this up to run optimally.
What if I have more questions?
There are, admittedly, a lot of subtle complexities and features, such as multi-touch screens, that we weren’t able to address in the space of this column.
If you have more questions or would like to determine what is the exact right choice for you we are always here to help at 847-515-9242 or at Mindovo.com.