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#326460 07/02/09 11:13 AM
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For those that are contemplating upgrading from Windows XP to the soon to be released Windows 7, you should read the following blog entry before making your decision. For those going from Vista to Windows 7 it is a different story regarding the upgrade.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+

Amazon enduser blog [amazon.com]

Quote
Stuff to know before jumping from Windows XP to Windows 7
by EndUser at 12:44 PM PDT, July 1, 2009

Budget-conscious PC users contemplating a move to Microsoft's Windows 7 might be tempted to upgrade their existing machines, rather than spend money on new PCs that come with Windows 7 installed. With large swaths of the population having avoided Windows Vista, that means many would be making the upgrade on PCs now running the older Windows XP.

And those tech-savvy cheapskates would appear to be in luck. For a limited time (until July 11 in the U.S. and Canada) Microsoft is offering reduced prices to people who pre-order upgrade versions of Windows 7 Home Premium ($49.99) and Windows 7 Professional ($99.99). The discounted upgrade prices are available not just to Windows Vista users but to people running Windows XP machines.

So it's a no-brainer, right? Well, maybe. There are a number of important issues to consider before making the jump to Windows 7 on an existing Windows XP machine. Here's what we've learned from questions we posed to Microsoft and independent PC experts.

First of all, the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 requires a clean installation, which mean PC users must back up their data before installing Windows 7, then restore their data and reinstall their applications afterward. In contrast, in many situations, the shift from Windows Vista to Windows 7 can be done "in place," which preserves data, applications and settings.

[Related post: Microsoft's Windows 7 price cuts, upgrade promotions]

A clean install can be a pain in the butt, but think of it like a visit to the gym. The process is generally good for the computer, basically giving the machine a fresh start, said Jon Bach, president of custom computer maker Puget Systems Inc. in Auburn, Wash.

"Regardless of what’s required, I think it’s best practice to do a clean wipe," Bach said.

If you're comfortable with a clean installation, the next issue to consider is whether your Windows XP machine is up to the task of running Windows 7. As a baseline, Microsoft's minimum Windows 7 system requirements call for a 1 GHz or faster processor, with at least 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of free hard-disk space and a modern graphics device (DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0).

If technical stuff isn't your thing, there's another way to get a sense for whether your PC will run the new operating system smoothly. Microsoft offers an automated Windows 7 Upgrade Adviser program that can be downloaded and run on an existing Windows XP machine to figure out whether it's up to par for Windows 7.

One category of Windows XP users who might be fine making the upgrade are people who bought machines in 2007 or later but avoided Windows Vista in favor of the older operating system, said Ed Bott, a technology blogger and one of the authors of the upcoming book Windows 7 Inside Out. Some people opted against Vista on newer machines because of its negative reputation.

But if the hardware is older, it may pose problems for Windows 7.

For example, Bott said, people may have problems running Windows 7 on older notebook computers, purchased in 2006 and before, that use integrated graphics, which share the main system memory rather than having dedicated memory of their own. Newer machines with integrated graphics should be fine, but one big red flag is Intel's older 915 chipset, which doesn't support the fancy Windows Aero interface. (A fact that led to a consumer lawsuit against Microsoft over Windows Vista, but that's another story.)

Another big consideration is whether Windows 7 will run existing applications and devices. Microsoft will be offering a free add-on program for Windows 7, called Windows XP Mode, that works with virtualization technologies to help with compatibility problems. However, it's expected to be offered for use with Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise, not Home Premium.

[Related post: Windows 7 vs. Apple Snow Leopard in upgrade wars]

To get a sense of whether your devices and applications will run natively in Windows 7, one trick is to check Microsoft's Windows Vista Compatibility Center. The similar compatibility site for Windows 7 isn't yet available, but the company says it's working to ensure application and device compatibility between Windows Vista and Windows 7, so the Vista site is worth a look for now.

In addition, the aforementioned Windows 7 Upgrade Adviser, available now in preliminary form, will help assess the compatibility of existing devices and programs with the new operating system.

I've been using Windows Vista and testing Windows 7, but I ran the Upgrade Adviser this morning on an older ThinkPad notebook, running Windows XP, and it worked well. Among other things, the Upgrade Adviser told me that I'll need to run Windows Update after installing Windows Vista to make the ThinkPad's fingerprint-reading technology and my older HP printer work with smoothly with the new operating system.

The processor speed, memory and graphics on the older ThinkPad were all up to snuff for Windows 7, according to the program, but I'll need to free up more space on my hard disk before upgrading.

Of course, the way many people will get Windows 7 is not by upgrading but by purchasing a new computer.

"If there was anything marginal about my hardware, if there was anything there that had been nagging me, I’d replace it," Bott said.

But as inexpensive as computers have become, that's still a bigger purchase, particularly when factoring in the limited-time pre-sale upgrade discounts Microsoft is offering on Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional. If you're determined to make the move to the new Windows version, it's at least worth exploring the possibility of an upgrade, even on an existing Windows XP machine.

Read more of Todd Bishop's posts at TechFlash.com


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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I'm confused. Is Windows 7 Vista? (I haven't kept up with the versions since 3.5)

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No, Windows 7 is the upcoming successor to Windows Vista.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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nope

Vista is already ' old hat '

Windows 7 is the newest latest and greatest - or so they say. wink

Some folk have been using the beta for a while

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It's a perfect opportunity to migrate to free software!

If you are going to have to wipe your hard drive anyway, you might as well try Ubuntu or Fedora before you shell out 120$ for Vista.


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I am going to remind posters right now, that this is a Windows thread. If you want to tout the advantages of another operating system, etc., do so on another thread. There are a number of Windows users that are not interested in other operating systems, but instead keeping their machines up to date with what they have or have invested in. The same can be applied to Mac users, etc. Each uses whatever operating system for whatever reason and to compliment their skills. Recommending something they may not equipped to handle with either machinery or skills is asking for disastrous results. You are not encouraging anything here but muddling the thread and information.

This becoming a recurring problem here in this section. From here on out, if it is a Windows thread then post Windows feedback or solutions, Mac the same, Linux the same. This will be the only warning on this. Many folks are getting tired of this triumphalistic touting of operating systems that are of no interest to them.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
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Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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I'm using Vista and find it is working fine now. Should I bother to upgrade to Windows 7?

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LC,

The reviews look to be a whole lot better than when Vista was in Beta. There is another thread in this section that has a Beta review. Since you are on VIsta, your hardware should be able to take the upgrade to Windows 7. There is a tool on Microsoft's site that can confirm if you are upgrade compatible. Ultimately the decision is yours regarding any upgrade.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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My XP machine will run Windows 7 if I add a bit more memory. In addition to being a K-8 school librarian, I also teach computer technology. I have stayed with XP because that is what the school is using. I suspect that with upgrades and fixes, many of the original problems with Vista were fixed. The school did not use it because it was incompatible with existing software, and there was no money to replace it all. After an initial period to see how "buggy" Windows 7 is, both the school and I will likely buy Windows 7 Pro.

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That $49 sure sounded tempting for a moment smile

Then I realized that I haven't booted into windows for almost two months, and that a newer version would be counter-productive for my purposes--I use windows to run a scanner when I need to, and there will probably be another round of new driver problems.

But for someone who uses it on a daily basis, that initial discount would sure be attractive.

While I'm at it, Windows 7 is actually priced lower than vista.



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This review appeared this morning and actually unlike its predecessor, VISTA is rather positive.

BTW, I did finally buy the Windows 7 Premium on pre-release special before the price went up.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+

CNN Tech story [cnn.com]

Quote
Seven good reasons to switch to Windows 7

Story Highlights
Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 7, hits stores October 22
Windows 7 is coded to support almost all software that runs on your XP system
The OS is designed to work well with upcoming hardware, like touchscreens
A polished new interface will help Windows 7 make your PC look new


By Brian X. Chen

(WIRED) -- Landing in stores October, Windows 7 is sparking a surprisingly heated debate (in our forums, at least) on whether or not upgrading from XP is a good idea. If you're in the "nay" camp, we're going to lay out seven reasons why you should consider switching your stance to "yay."

When scanning our list, we politely encourage you to ask yourself, "Do I really want to continue using an eight-year-old operating system?" Followed by "Don't I deserve better?"

Because no matter how comfortable you are with XP, you do deserve an OS that's both newer and better, and Windows 7 will deliver. Not convinced? Then read on.

You Asked for This

Remember Vista? We know most of you don't want to, and that's because the OS fell short of many consumers' expectations. As a result, many -- especially power users -- elected to skip Vista entirely, and have continued running Windows XP. Hence Microsoft's attempt at a redo with Windows 7. This time around, the software giant made an effort to crowdsource feedback from Microsoft enthusiasts by distributing a free beta version of Windows 7 in January.

You complained, you demanded, and in response Microsoft slapped something together to ship October 22. The result? The overall presentation of Windows 7 is familiar enough to welcome XP users, but fundamentally it's different enough to make you change the way you think of Microsoft. (I can vouch for that, being a long-time Mac user and ex-Windows fan).

Upgrading Won't Screw You Over

Microsoft has its loyal fans in mind, including those clinging for dear life to XP. The tech giant promises that Windows 7 has been coded to support almost every piece of software that runs on your XP system. If, in the rare case one of your XP programs doesn't work on Windows 7, you can still run it in a virtual environment called XP Mode. What's especially cool about this mode is you won't have to toggle between an XP emulator and Windows 7. The apps running in XP Mode appear like ordinary windows that are part of Windows 7.

Also, the Windows 7 upgrade chart may appear intimidating and confusing, but prior to release Microsoft plans to release a compatibility checker that will automatically scan your system to tell you which version of Windows 7 is for you.

Automatically Installed Device Drivers

This is only a minor improvement, but it addresses a major pain in the ass in earlier versions of Windows. Who has time to scour the internet for a device driver to work with hardware such as a video card or an external hard drive? Life is too short for that garbage work, and fortunately Windows 7 does this chore for you.

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.

Piracy

Yarr! We know there are plenty of you out there downloading pirated digital booty, especially in Windows land. But it's never been convenient to be a pirate compared with being a paying customer. For example, if you're a legitimate buyer purchasing movies off iTunes, you can easily stream your media to your legitimately purchased Apple TV. If you're a pirate, you'd have to go through roundabout programs and hardware to re-create the experience.

Windows 7 is an OS practically made for pirates. Want to display your movies, photos or music on your TV? Bam! Windows Media Player will do that out of the box if you have a Wi-Fi enabled TV, or an Xbox. No extra programs to install: Windows Media Player seamlessly communicates with your Wi-Fi device to display your illegal content in all its glory on your fancy HD TV.

And sharing media is easy, too. Want to download all of your brother's music? Bam! HomeGroup, an easy networking feature included in Windows 7, will make that super easy between computers running the OS. Immediately upon plugging in to your network with Ethernet or Wi-Fi, HomeGroup will ask if you wish to join the group on the network, allowing you to set up easy file sharing in minutes.

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.

Gizmodo's Matt Buchanan, who has been using AeroPeek for six months, provides an excellent perspective on Aero: "It breaks the instinct to maximize windows as you're using them; instead, you simply let windows hang out, since it's much easier to juggle them." Makes sense, doesn't it, for a generation of multitaskers? Aren't you tired of Alt-Tabbing over and over and over?

Another feature, Aero Snap, makes it easier to resize and tile windows to fit the available space. (Read more about Aero Snap and Aero Peek.)

Words aren't enough. You really have to try the OS to understand why these UI enhancements are a big deal. We get the idea that the people dismissing Windows 7 haven't yet tinkered with it, and we highly encourage you to download the release candidate and give it a test drive. But do it now: The download is only available until August 20.

More Advanced Hardware Support

Technology evolves faster than living organisms, and Windows 7 is also designed to work well with upcoming hardware. Touchscreens are getting more popular in the mainstream (thanks largely to the iPhone), and sure enough Windows 7 includes multitouch support. (Check out a video demoing how it works.) If 2010 is indeed the year of the tablet, as we predict, then Windows 7 just might be the winning OS in that new landscape.

If you're not interested in touchscreens, think multiple processor cores. At some point when multicore computers are more widely available, affordable and energy efficient, an eight-year-old OS like Windows XP isn't going to know what to do with all that extra processing power. Microsoft has already hinted that Windows 7 will scale to 256 processors.

That's more than enough, but you get the picture: This is a new operating system designed for newer systems. You're going to need to upgrade eventually, so why not do it now, so you can get a good feel for the OS, rather than later?

The 64-bit version of Windows 7 can handle bigger system memory, too, scaling up to 192 GB of RAM, compared to the 4-GB limit for the 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows 7, and 128 GB for the less common 64-bit edition of Windows XP.

Oh, yeah, speaking of new devices -- Windows 7 is tweaked to better suit those trendy netbooks, too. These puny devices are low-powered and thus limited in performance, and Windows 7 will run better on them thanks to its improved memory management. For example, Windows XP allocated video memory for unseen windows, but Windows 7 does not. It uses video memory only for visible windows. That equates to a more responsive netbook with longer battery life.

It Looks Sexier

A superficial reason, we know, but we've become so intimate with our gadgets that their looks are important, too. Windows 7 will make your new PC look new, unlike the boring-as-vanilla UI of Windows XP. Extra detail, polish, gradients and a UI that will clear your desktop of clutter should all make Windows 7 a more attractive choice.

COPYRIGHT 2009 WIRED.COM.


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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As near as I can recall, every release since 3.1 has had at lest some level of a campaign to the effect of, "It works this time. No, really! Yes, we know we said that last time, and the time before, but we mean it this time! Yeah, we said that last time to, but this time is for real!"

smile

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personal experience -

I have just migrated to Windows 7 Professional (32) on a Toshiba notebook.

I need to say the following:
I tried XP Pro (32 and 64 bit) on this computer, Vista Premium, Vista Business x64 bit, Vista Ultimate (32 and 64) bit. (I get them "free" as I have an MSDN account)
From all the Windows OS this is far most the best one.
But I have a very strong graphics card (ati 2600 hd with 1GB) and good ram (4 GB DDR-II). I haven't tried it on older computers.

It is heavier than XP, but much lighter than vista.
Also I have some significant performance boost from the older systems, even WiFi signals and internet access is faster.

Drivers were almost fully installed automatically without a hassle. Others were downloaded automatically from Toshiba's website (yep, windows 7 did it) and one driver is still missing (minor issue - really minor)

Still, Ubuntu's Ext4 gets my notebook started within 25 seconds - Compared to the ~40 sec of Win 7...

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As with most of these OS upgrades, peripherals such as scanners tend not to be supported. I am going from Vista to Windows 7 on my new laptop, but still have XP on my desktop which has a both my printers and scanner. Looking down the road when the desktop will be replaced, can anyone advise me if the Visioneer Onetouch 7400 for $39.99 at newegg is a deal I should jump on? It is regularly $89.99 but has a $50 instant rebate, free shipping etc... My current scanner is an HP 3400c which does not support even Vista.

Thanks,
William

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spec. wise the Visioneer Onetouch 7400 seems to give a good answer for a home user - maybe if you told us what you use it for we could be more of a help.

but 40$ sounds fair deal (+) for such a scanner.
anyways most home scanners are just the same - non give real full resolution or bit support but usually enhance it with a software.

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