Upgrading to Windows 7 (part 1 of 4)

[This will end up being a multi-post subject because of the content.]

Windows 7 has been out for a bit over two years now and it’s sold more copies than any of the other version of Windows within the first year and still continues. Microsoft claims that Windows 7 is the most secure operating system and claim that Windows 7 can stop at least 80% of the malware that can infect a Windows XP system.

This multi-blog post will discuss ways of upgrading to Windows 7.

Windows 7 comes in a few flavors.
* Home Starter – This version is restricted primarily to netbooks and similar low priced computers.
* Home Premium – This version is the consumer choice. It will be on 95% of laptops and desktops sold in retail stores.
* Professional – Generally used by businesses that want to be part of the domain.
* Enterprise – This is a volume licensed version restricted to large businesses. Note listed in the link below because it’s for volume licensed but it closely resembles Professional.
* Ultimate – This is the most expensive edition. Can be used by consumers but very pricey and generally not needed.

Further comparisons are available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/compare

In addition, Windows 7 is also available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The [highlighted] difference between those two are:
* The 32-bit edition can only access approximately 3.25GB of RAM. Fine for most but not good if you are doing major number crunching [in Excel for example] or memory hog applications. You cannot run a 64-bit application in a 32-bit version of Windows.
* The 64-bit edition can take as much memory as you can give but isn’t that advantageous with 3GB of RAM or less. In addition, 16-bit applications [those worked in Windows 95 and DOS applications] probably won’t work. Some older 32-bit applications may no7t function correctly. 64-bit applications will run a bit better than 32-bit applications.

Note: Once you install either 32-bit or 64-bit, you can’t switch. You have to re-install Windows from scratch. So make your decision wisely.

There have been changes to the interface for Windows. In addition, some applications have been pulled or replaced. Others have been upgraded. For example, Outlook Express in Windows XP or Windows Mail in Vista has been replaced by Windows Live Mail.

More in the next post.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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