Five Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 7

Today is the day. The curtain has been raised and the confetti has fallen. Windows 7 is here. After the problems with the launch of Windows Vista-- both real and perceived-- many users are cautious about jumping on Windows 7 too quickly.

By Tony Bradley
Thu, October 22, 2009

PC World — Today is the day. The curtain has been raised and the confetti has fallen. Windows 7 is here. After the problems with the launch of Windows Vista-- both real and perceived-- many users are cautious about jumping on Windows 7 too quickly.

[ For complete coverage on Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system -- including hands-on reviews, video tutorials and advice on enterprise rollouts-- see CIO.com's Windows 7 Bible. ]

Windows 7 offers little more than incremental improvements and cosmetic enhancements over Windows Vista, and Windows Vista users may be wise to simply hold off until its time for a new PC. But the majority of users are still using Windows XP and even Vista users have reason to embrace Windows 7. Let's look at 5 reasons why you should make the switch to Windows 7 today.

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1. Vista haters. Whether you are one of the nearly 19 percent of consumers who are actually running Windows Vista and don't like it, or part of the larger crowd of those who hate Windows Vista purely based on anecdotal stories and 'I'm a Mac' ads from Apple, Windows 7 is not Windows Vista.

The two most common complaints about Windows Vista are poor device driver support and annoyance over the UAC (user account control) pop-up alerts. Windows 7 has vastly superior device support, and Microsoft has modified the functionality of UAC to provide the user with more control over the alert prompts.

2. XP diehards. Security is arguably the best reason for a Windows XP user to make the switch. A lot has changed since the Clinton-era. Windows 7 has UAC, ASLR (address space layout randomization), and DEP (data execution prevention) in addition to improved operating system kernel protection. Certain versions of Windows 7 also include BitLocker and BitLocker-to-Go encryption.

There are also a number of improvements in the user interface that make it simpler and more intuitive to work with the operating system. The Windows Action Center, improved data backup, Blu-ray disc support, and jump lists stand out as good reasons to make the switch.

3. Home networking. Networking Windows-based desktops together in the home has theoretically been possible since Windows 3.11. However, it has been easier said than done and has come with certain security tradeoffs depending on which version of Windows you're trying to network.

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