As with every software release the question of whether or not you should upgrade surfaces. Windows 7 is no exception and there’s no shortage of pundits weighing in on whether or not you should upgrade to Windows 7 on October 22nd.
In an effort to help you make a more informed decision Notebooks.com has pulled together a listing of reasons why you should and why you shouldn’t upgrade to Windows 7 as well as our take on the matter.
Should I stay or should I Go: Why you should upgrade to windows 7
Our first two reasons to upgrade both come from informIT’s Seven Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 7 post.
It’s Fully Compatible with Windows VistaÃ¢â‚¬â€but Runs Better
The good thing about being an incremental release is that there are no big underlying changes. Whereas Windows Vista generated lots of complaints about incompatible older software and hardware, that’s not going to be a problem with Windows 7.
Windows XP Mode
Talking about compatibility, Windows 7 features a new Windows XP Mode that promises complete compatibility with any Windows XP-era program. XP Mode is essentially a virtual PC environment that runs a fully licensed copy of Windows XP (with SP3).
Our next two reasons to upgrade are courtesy of Wired’s similarly titled 7 Good Reasons to Switch to Windows 7.
Automatically Installed Device Drivers
Plug in a new piece of hardware, and the OS will find and install the driver for you. XP has this feature, sort of, but it works better in Vista and much better in Windows 7. No more of those annoying yellow question marks. Good riddance.
A Better Interface
The new Aero features, which we covered in our Windows 7 first look, will change the way you interact with your computer. Aero Peek will prove the most useful: The feature displays outlines of all your open windows behind your active window. Each outlined box contains a thumbnail previewing its corresponding window to help you choose.
Next up from ComputerWorld’s Windows 7: Four reasons to upgrade, four reasons to stay away is one of my personal favorite reason’s to upgrade.
Finding stuff is easier
And Windows 7’s Search is streets ahead of earlier iterations: Like Mac OS X’s Spotlight, it begins delivering results as you type — before you’ve even finished a word — and narrows the list as you enter more characters. You can also preview the contents of search results before deciding to open them.
Finally Tech Radar’s 18 cool things Windows 7 does that Vista doesn’t roundup provides a succinct and useful listing of the reasons to upgrade to Windows 7. How cool are the items on this list? So cool that we had to include 3 in our reasons to upgrade list and even then it was hard to choose.
Snap into place
Simply drag your window to the left or right edge of the desktop to snap and resize the window to one half of the screen. Drag the window to the top to maximise it. A pretty neat idea made neater by the use of the keyboard shortcuts (Win + respective arrow keys). No longer do you have to frustratingly position the mouse at the edge of the window to resize it.
Problem Steps Recorder
The ‘Problem Steps Recorder’ lets you record a particular problem you are having with your PC so you can send it to someone who may be able to help.Homegroup Networking
In Vista (or, frankly, any Windows OS), creating a shared folder over a network at home could be a bit of a pain. In Windows 7, using the ‘Homegroup’ wizard, check the default folders you would like to share. This will give you a passcode that will have to be entered in another computer on the same network to share the files. Sounds too good to be true? There is a catch: only a Windows 7 computer can join a Homegroup.
Should I stay or should I Go: Why you should stay with Windows XP or Vista
Despite the many positives listed above there are plenty of dissenting opinions about the reasons to upgrade to Windows 7 including Seven Reasons to Skip Upgrading to Windows 7 which ran on ComputerWorld. Below are reasons 1 and 3 from the article about why to stay with Windows XP.
Windows 7 still has all the security of a drunken teenager in a sports car. From Windows for Workgroups and NT 3 until today, Windows is a security joke. It used to be that running Windows just put your head into the noose. Now, millions of lazy Windows users are the reason why the Internet is a mess. If you already do all the right things to keep XP running safely, you’re not going to get any safer by buying Windows 7.
Upgrading from XP to Windows 7 will require that you do a clean install. That means everything on your hard disk gets vaporized during the ‘upgrade.” Vista users have it easier. So long as they’re moving from equivalent version to equivalent version or to Windows 7 Ultimate they can update without needing to rebuild their systems.
And another post on Computer World from Matt Lake looks at Four reasons to upgrade, four reasons to stay away from Windows 7.
Hard to Find the Right Version
There’s a Starter Edition for netbooks, two Home versions (Home Basic and Home Premium), plus a Professional, an Enterprise and an Ultimate edition. … And, of course, most of these are available in both full versions and lower-priced upgrade versions for people with licensed retail copies of Windows 2000, XP or Vista.
XP buffs still have to relearn everything
For XP users, Windows 7 is a radical interface departure. Like Vista, it tries to be more Mac-like. The much-vaunted Device Stage, for instance, takes things like cameras and scanners out of My Computer (now just called Computer) and puts them into a folder named Devices and Printers.
The Bottom Line: In my opinion most of the reasons for not upgrading are frivolous or have already been dealt with by additional software. For example, Users who are fearful of a clean install can use PCMover to do an in place upgrade to Windows 7. As for security, most users aren’t doing all the right things to make XP run safely and Windows 7 makes it easier for a novice to stay safer. When it comes to the average home user, picking an edition of Windows 7 will be a simple decision of Home or Home Pro that any retail associate or tech minded friend can help with.
Change comes with, well change. Having used Windows 7 day in and day out over the past 6 months it boggles my mind to see the reasons for not upgrading; in fact most of these reasons were the same reasons why you were told not to upgrade from Windows ME to XP and from XP to Vista (though I understand the warnings about going from XP to Vista).
The numerous reasons for upgrading far outweigh any of the reasons to stay on an old operating system like XP or Vista. Windows 7 doesn’t just offer new ways to be productive and easier ways to share your files; it provides an easier to use experience all around.
If you really feel like you shouldn’t upgrade to Windows 7 because you’ll have to re-learn everything and buying the right version is just too difficult, will require you to reinstall programs etc. etc. then I hope you enjoy toting around your XP notebook for the next 20 years.