Why I love Windows 7

Intro:

I’m an avid Windows user, hell I know the differences between various Linux platforms and the speed benefits. I’d say if you’re gonna try linux on a budget then use it at your leisure with a notebook. Get used to it and then start thrashing it.

Thing is, if you’ve made an investment in software that you’re comfortable that works well and is compatible shouldn’t your continuity be seamless? This is the biggest problem facing anyone who’s facing the decision.

The functionality and speed of Windows 7 is on bar with XP. If you’ve bought your PC from July to the end of this month you can get a cheap upgrade. Mine was just £30.  I’d get it if only to try it out!

If you’re using Vista… why? Keep yourself from hating your PC with Vista. For 30 odd quid you can change your relationship with it.

If you’ve got XP, it might be worth waiting until you buy another PC but there’s some very nice features and not a steep learning curve if you decide to upgrade. To be honest, the interface is nicer and I like pinning items to the task bar and/or system menu, but its not worth it if you’re happy sticking for now!

Outline

Around August I bought my mid range Tosh laptop with Vista. I’ve a Duo 2 2ghz processor and 4GB of RAM. Despite tweaking it with msconfig the machine took ages to boot.  Sometimes it was about 3 minutes to get the the log-in page and longer for the desktop items to kick in. Looking for emails in Outlook was short if you counted it in ice ages. I literally hated my laptop and wondered why I bothered to buy it. Are you feeling the same?

All in all with Vista I was looking at a boot and stable system at about 5 minutes. This isn’t satisfactory! With my Tosh I’ve got all types of security like face recognition and finger print recognition. I had to turn these off. They impaired performance so bad that it was a feature that became an obstacle.

Having tried Vista at home and work on different machines, despite all the tweaking you’re looking at LONG times for loading and performance just sucks!

Windows 7 Installation & Benefits

The upgrade took about 1.5 hours. This included drivers from Tosh plus the upgrade disk. The main part of the waiting was the back-up it made for roll-back!

The instructions were clear but you have to make sure you have a driver disk. My installation installed the drivers first and then the upgrade. There’s probably a LOT of redundant drivers but I’ve not noticed any lagging performance.

One thing, make sure you set up your autoback-ups again in Word, Excel etc… and have made big back-ups of your system! I encountered NO problems to date but hey.. you need to be sure!

Installation is a LOT longer than other versions of Windows. Normally I go with a CLEAN install. This was a dirty overwrite. I’m unsure if the upgrade vs clean install is any quicker.. Maybe you can comment below?

Benefits

The great part of the installation is that it installs drivers that aid with legacy programmes. For example Outlook 2003, Dreamweaver MX and Adobe 6 work fine on my PC. I’ve had no glitches. I’m using VST plug-ins for music and with multiple sessions [can include up to 4] plus a heavy weight sound recording program. They’re working like a dream. One always gets a bit of lag at times, [it is Windows] but I’ve not lost any work to date! Its more less than, than it being that often….

First boot up after installation takes time. This put the wind up me. However, after that it boots up and is ready to use in 1.5 minutes. So performance is very noticeably higher.

You remember Vista kept on reminding you each time about a program running without you confirming it, well they’ve done the right thing and aided the user in set up about this. It can yes, make it less secure. However if you’re using a USER rather than an ADMIN account it lessens the damage at least!

Windows 7 Problems

Again MS have changed the control panel and some really easy features with XP like screen savers, wallpapers and sounds one has to get used to the new interface. I’d really like to ask WHY they’ve done this? They change it each and every time.

I find there’s a Windows Media Viewer that’s buggy and RESOURCE intensive. I’d give this a miss. Likewise, Windows Media Player is still buggy and is slow in response. I’d recommend VLC [which I use for podcasting, mp3 and video].

There were reports of the black screen of death. It DID happen, but mainly when I was thrashing the PC to its limits [sound recording, Word open, 2 email progs, messenger, skype etc etc] .

2 weeks ago MS released a large patch. Since then I’ve not encountered it at all.  To be honest I miss the blue screen of death, at least a user knew WHERE they were.

Conclusion

Depending on your upgrade charge I’d say Windows 7 offers the benefits from Vista.  It will increase your productivity, mental health and hey, surfing experiences!

If you’re an XP user I’d consider upgrading if only for the higher security benefits in the longer term. You might want to wait it out. There’s some nice features but I’d say for the price, if it’s 30 quid… well you can try it out. It looks nicer, there’s some nice touches and less known exploits at this stage in time. You can roll back whenever you want!

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