Windows 7 – Eight Reasons You Will Want It

by Mike McEvoy on October 31, 2009

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Windows 7 is here and there are plenty of new and useful aspects to Microsoft’s latest version from its computer operating system family. While Windows 7 is not a revolutionary step, it is an impressive evolutionary step. It provides a significant number of reasons to upgrade your current Windows computer or, if your budget permits, to retire that five or six year old computer and make the leap to a new system with Windows 7 installed at the factory. Here is my initial list of eight reasons why you will want Windows 7.

1. “Windows 7 Runs Faster” – Much improved performance

Just about any discussion about the improvements in Windows 7 begins with performance. My vote for the #1 benefit of migrating a computer to Windows 7 is that it just performs better. Whether you are currently dealing with Vista’s sluggishness or have been avoiding Vista due what you have heard and read about Vista’s performance, Windows 7 lays those concerns to rest.

While there are various tests, benchmarks and metrics for a computer’s performance many of them don’t correlate with the average person’s day-to-day experience. Systems running Windows 7 just “feel” faster. Start-up and restart times are quicker, resuming from sleep mode occurs briskly and correctly and there are far fewer of the lags and delays that are typical with Vista.

2. “Windows 7 Works Better” – Solid compatibility with hardware and software

This could also be phrased as “It’s not Vista! And it won’t be. Ever” The launch of Vista was seriously impacted by incompatibility problems with software programs and hardware drivers for numerous devices. When Vista shipped and for a prolonged period afterwards there were significant problems with manufacturer’s drivers either being unavailable, incomplete or buggy. (Drivers are those small pieces of software that allow hardware devices such as printers, scanners and video display card to talk to the operating system).

The compatibility problems of Vista are not being repeated with Windows 7. A huge public beta test program and numerous tests and reviews have shown Windows 7 to be stable and functional with an enormous number of computers, devices and software programs. If you are upgrading from Windows XP you may need to update some of your device drivers, but Windows 7 has made the process of identifying, acquiring and upgrading needed drivers dramatically easier.

3. “Windows 7 Looks Better” – Improved interface over Vista and XP

The User Interface in Windows 7 provides improvements and enhancements to Vista’s interface and a significant leap forward from Windows XP. Imbedded in the better looking interface is very useful functionality including a much more flexible and dynamic Taskbar, enhanced window tools such as Aero Peek, Aero Snap and Aero Shake, and significant improvements in the network management interface. Here are a few of the more commonly used enhancements:

  • New Taskbar provides thumbnail previews of each open document or tab, allows for easily pinning items to the taskbar and the ability to rearrange the position of items on taskbar
  • Aero Snap allows you to expand a window to full-screen size by just dragging it to the top of the screen, or to half-screen size by dragging it to the right or left edge of the screen
  • Aero Shake allows you to make all other open windows disappear (minimize) by simply grabbing the title bar of the window you are working on with the mouse and shaking it several times. Shake the window again and all the minimized windows reappear.
  • Aero Peek provides a quick look at the Desktop. Peek is accessed by a small button on the Taskbar to the right of the date and time. Hover over the button and all open windows become transparent with only thin outlines. Click on the Peek button and all open Windows will minimize.

4. “Windows 7 Uses Less Computer” – Doesn’t require a huge hardware upgrade

One of the real surprises with Windows 7 is its ability to run smoothly and efficiently without a huge hardware investment. This is another big change from Vista.  Windows 7 reverses the longstanding trend to make Windows bigger and require more resources. While running in a more lean and mean mode Windows 7 in the 64-bit version it can address significantly more RAM and use it more efficiently.

5. “Windows No Longer Annoys Me” – A more restrained and configurable UAC

The User Account Control (UAC) experience under Vista was perhaps the single most confusing and annoying aspect of the operating system. Under Windows 7 the UAC is more restrained and limits its prompts to a narrower set of specific actions. Another positive aspect of the improved UAC in Windows 7 is the fact that users can customize the level of warnings they receive, allowing them fine tune the UAC to best suit their needs. Instead of pop-up screens alerts are now displayed in an Action Center thereby minimizing interruptions.

6. “Windows 7 Can Make Use of Lots of RAM” – Effectively addresses and uses up to 192GB

A common rule in computer performance has been that more memory (RAM) means better performance. Windows 7 64-bit cranks memory usage up several notches by addressing huge amounts of memory and using it more effectively than Windows XP or Vista. Windows XP is a 32-bit operating system and can only effectively use 3GB – 3.5GB of RAM.

Windows 7 can address up to 16 GB of RAM in the 64-bit Home Premium version. The 64-bit Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows 7 can address up to 192GB. Greater amounts of RAM can provide performance benefits when using large programs such as Photoshop, editing video files, editing large photos or having a large number of programs open and active at the same time.

7. “Windows 7 Is Stable and Usable Now” – No need to wait for SP1

The last several versions of Microsoft Windows had set an expectation that the operating system wasn’t really stable and bug-free until after the first Service Pack was available. Microsoft effectively breaks that tradition with Windows 7. Through a more effective development process, a huge beta testing program, and lots of real world feedback from beta users and testers Microsoft has been able to deliver a version of Windows that is ready to install and use right from the initial release.

8. “Windows 7 Pricing Is Reasonable” – Especially with the 3-Pack

Microsoft Windows 7 is a significant release. Upgrade versions are priced reasonably and when the software is sold on a new computer the cost is insignificant. The upgrade for Windows 7 Home Premium, which is ideal for most home and small business users, can also be purchased in a Home Premium 3-pack for $149. So even if you are only going to use it on 2 computers it is still less expensive ($74.50) than paying $119 each for 2 licenses ($238). Paying $75 to make a very significant upgrade from an eight year old operating system such as XP is not particularly onerous. Especially since the version of Windows that came pre-installed on your computer when you bought it probably only added $35 to the cost of the new computer. Even for a 2 year old computer running Vista $75 is not a huge cost. In reality how many people running Windows XP on a five year old computer with 512MB of RAM are really going to be upgrading to Windows 7 anyway?

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{ 15 comments }

ZXT November 2, 2009 at 4:47 am

I agree with all your points.

My Asus laptop has been running on Windows 7 RC for about 4 months now and I’m pretty much satisfied with it.
.-= ZXT´s last blog ..Undelete Files from formatted Flash Drive and Memory Card =-.

Mike McEvoy November 2, 2009 at 8:40 am

@ZXT — Yes, I ran the Windows 7 RC for a few months with very positive results. I’ve done several installations now of the actual released version of Windows 7 Home Premium and things have gone without a hitch. Clean installs are actually faster for the Windows part, but re-installing programs can take a while.

How much RAM do you have installed on your Asus? How has performance been? Thanks for stopping by.
–Mike

Michael Aulia November 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Windows 7 rocks and I’ll never go back to Windows XP :) Lots of people say they’d rather stay on XP. Although XP works well, Windows 7 many “small” features are so useful that I’d miss them if I go back to XP
.-= Michael Aulia´s last blog ..What is Digsby video =-.

Mike McEvoy November 16, 2009 at 12:17 pm

@Michael Aulia – I definitely agree about Windows 7, I think there are a number of features that make it a much better environment than XP. One real benefit that hasn’t gotten as much coverage yet is the fact that Windows 7 is much more secure than XP. Vista was also more secure than XP but because of all the other issues with Vista not many people noticed the security aspect. Windows 7 improves on Vista’s security improvements.

Dennis Edell November 16, 2009 at 8:12 am

Hey Mike, I just found you through Growmaps commentluv and would like to subscribe here via email. I noticed the email subscribe is not through feedburner though…is it just blog updates (which I want) or is it a “newsletter”?
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..I Want You To Review Me. Part 1 =-.

Mike McEvoy November 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

@dennis edell — Yes, the email subscribe function is currently a newsletter type of update. This is a work in progress which will be resolved in the next couple week and replaced with a feedburner or AWeber email mechanism. Another option in the meantime which you are probably aware of is to use the RSS feed. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll email you when the new email delivery system is in place.

Dennis Edell November 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I hate feed readers, otherwise I’d do it; I prefer everything by email. Just a mouse click to enable it in feedburner. ;)
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..I Want You To Review Me. Part 1 =-.

Mike McEvoy November 18, 2009 at 12:05 am

@Dennis Edell – The Feedburner Email mechanism is all set. Check it out and let me know how the subscription process went. Thanks for giving me a kick in the butt to get this done ;-)
–Mike

Dennis Edell November 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Perfecto, thanks!
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..I Want You To Review Me. Part 1 =-.

Bellamy November 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

That’s cool, I didn’t know about the large scale beta testing. I was working under the assumption that Windows 7 would be bunk until the first SP, but I might have to check it out.

Dennis Edell November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Has anything with a MS label worked right, right out of the box? I’m only half kidding…
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..IS An Advertising Page Really A Good Idea? An Interesting Opposing View… =-.

Mike McEvoy November 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm

@Bellamy — Yes, there were two huge public beta releases for Windows 7, the original public beta and then a second beta release known as the Release Candidate beta test (see my earlier post for my beta version observations). I believe that Windows 7 is ready to go right from the initial release and am comfortable recommending it.

@Dennis Edell — I understand where you are coming from regarding initial product releases from Microsoft, but I feel Windows 7 is quite a bit different. As noted above, the amount of testing and two huge public beta releases did a very good job of resolving bugs that normally would have lingered until an SP1. I think Microsoft got it right this time from the beginning.

@Modern Street — yes, the decision on whether to upgrade from XP to Win 7 can be a tricky call. Some of that decision may hinge on the age of the computer running XP. I think many people running XP on a computer more than 3 years old will wait until they replace their computer. On a newer computer (1-3 years old) running XP that someone plans on having for a few more years it may make more sense to spend the time and money to move to Windows 7 now and get a few years use out of it. Still not a cut and dry decision though.

Dennis Edell November 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

Good to hear. It sounds like even the biggest can be pressured from public slamming at every new release.
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..IS An Advertising Page Really A Good Idea? An Interesting Opposing View… =-.

Modern Street November 20, 2009 at 5:27 am

A very good list of reasons concerning Windows 7. I have a feeling though, that people are not going crazy over it unless they are getting a new system. If not, they’d still stick with XP.
.-= Modern Street´s last blog ..A milestone for WordPress =-.

Herman Vandenberg December 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

If one were to upgrade to Windows 7 which is better …..32bit or 64 bit and why……….if 64 bit will there be compatiblity problem with other programs?

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