Should you buy Windows 7?
When Microsoft released
Windows XP, there were two versions:
Windows XP Home and Professional.
However, it seemed as though the Pro
version was installed on more home
PCs than the Home version. There
were security and networking
features in the Pro that were absent
in the Home version.
When Microsoft released Vista, they
decided to "simplify" things and
released four versions with
different feature sets. They,
compared to XP's two, did nothing
more than confuse everyone,
especially when the features varied
so greatly from version to version.
With Windows 7, Microsoft took a
more Windows XP-based approach.
Windows 7 is not like Windows XP or
Windows Vista in which there are
vast differences between one version
and the next. While they technically
released four versions of Windows
again, only two of them are really
worth your consideration.
• Windows 7 Starter Edition: This
version of Windows 7 is not
available for retail purchase. The
only way to get this version is to
purchase a Windows 7 powered netbook.
Windows 7 Starter is designed to be
light and fast, and doesn't have
many of the features found in other
Windows 7 versions.
• Windows 7 Home Premium: This is
the version that 95 percent of
consumers will use. WHP gives you
the improved Windows 7 interface,
provides enhanced desktop search,
includes IE8, and provides secure
home networking and file sharing
within your home network. You get
the Windows 7 eye candy and
enhancements; can very quickly find
programs, options and documents
regardless of where they are; and
can surf the Internet and share
documents among all computers in
your home. This sells for $199.99.
• Windows 7 Professional: This
version does everything that Windows
Home Premium does, but also provides
the following capabilities:
• The ability to run an advanced
compatibility mode called Windows XP
Mode. It's only needed in the most
extreme incompatibility cases.
• The ability to join a business
network (like the one at work).
• The ability to backup your data to
a network drive.
Most users won't need these extra
features, and they aren't worth an
extra $100, so save your money. This
version sells for $299.99.
• Windows 7 Ultimate: Windows Vista
Ultimate and Windows 7 Ultimate are
very different. Vista Ultimate
included Ultimate Extras -- a series
of free, add-on applications only
available with it. Sadly, they have
been discontinued. Vista Ultimate
also included DVD decoders (so you
could watch a DVD on your PC without
having to buy any other program), as
well as some other not often used
features. Most of these are built
Windows 7 Ultimate offers just two
additional features over Windows 7
Professional: BitLocker (a data
security add-on) and the ability to
have Windows 7 display in one of 35
languages. Unless you must run
Windows 7 in a foreign language,
there is absolutely no reason to
spend the extra $120, so again, save
your money. Windows 7 Ultimate is
Over the years, Microsoft hasn't
made it easy to choose the right
version of Windows for your home
computing needs. With Windows 7,
Microsoft has made it much easier.
Unless you have specific computing
needs as outlined above, all you
need is Windows 7 Home Premium.
Can My Computer Be
If you purchased your PC within
the last year or two you may be able
to upgrade to Windows 7 to take
advantage of its new features. You can
read about the new features on
Microsoft’s site, at “Windows
Current Windows XP users will
continue to receive Windows updates
such as security patches and
critical fixes through April 8, 2014. Vista users will be
supported for quite some time also.
Whether you are running XP or Vista
you can continue doing so without
losing your e-mail programs such as
Outlook Express or Windows Mail. In
fact, if you are happy with your
current setup you can ignore the new
Before you even think about
upgrading to Windows 7, you should
do the following. Bring your
computer to us and have it
evaluated to make sure it's able
to run the new operating system.
When the time is right, installing
the new operating system and
transferring your user data is
fairly pain free. We can help you
with that if you would like.
For those of you that purchased a
new PC on or after June 26, 2009,
you may be entitled to a free
Windows 7 upgrade from your
http://bit.ly/rjAz4 for details.
This offer expires on Jan. 31, 2010.