Should you switch to Windows 7? Yes. Next Question.

Ok, joking aside.  There are a lot of reasons to switch from Windows XP or Windows Vista to 7.  There are also a few reasons not to do so. Let’s take a look.

Why Switch?

  • Windows 7 is easy to use (once you adapt to the difference if you are changing from XP as opposed to Vista)
  • It is a robust and well built (for Microsoft) operating system
  • It is more secure than previous operating systems
    • If left in the default it is pretty hard for the average person to mess up the settings
    • It still isn’t perfect and good security software remains key
  • It supports hardware very nicely
  • It comes in 64 bit for newer systems that can handle it
  • It is easy to upgrade for Vista users

A number of articles support me in this assessment.  There is no reason to recreate the wheel, so I will simply share some of the articles with you.  The last article is a full review of the Professional version (which is what any attorney should be using) of Windows 7.

“Five Reasons It’s Time to Switch to Windows 7,” PC World

7 Good Reasons to Switch to Windows 7,” Wired

“Microsoft Windows (Professional) Review,” cNet

Why Not Switch?

  • Your computer can’t handle it
    • Windows 7 requires (at a minimum)
    • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.
    • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit).
    • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit).
    • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.

The above information is taken directly from Microsoft’s site. At the same location is an application that will help you determine if Windows 7 will work on your computer.  By the way, if your computer cannot handle Windows 7, it might be time to consider getting a new computer.

  • You have mission critical software that won’t work with Windows 7
    • Windows 7 is specifically made to have backwards compatibility, meaning it is supposed to work with software that worked with older version of Windows.
    • That said, you may have some unique piece of software that is mission critical that simply won’t work.  You will need to check with the creator of your software to determine if this is the case and if an upgrade is in the offering.
  • The upgrade can be time consuming from Windows XP
    • A clean install is necessary
    • If you decide to do this, be sure to backup everything on your computer
    • You should back up everything anyway, clean install or not
  • It can be expensive
    • Directly from Windows it is $299 for a full version and $199 for the upgrade
    • You should be able to find cheaper prices elsewhere

What Should You Do?

Take a look at the pros and cons for you.  This is what I think:

  • If you have a relatively new computer running XP you should seriously consider an install, but it isn’t crucial. If everything is working just fine for you and you don’t plan on any other upgrades in the next year or so, you might want to wait until you decide to get a new computer.  This would be an if it ain’t broken don’t fix it situation.
  • If you have a relatively new computer running Vista I would go ahead and do the upgrade.  Vista is  a flawed operating system and replacing it would be a wise move.
  • If you have an older computer, say 4 years or older, it is time to be looking for a replacement anyway, don’t pay for a Windows upgrade, pay for a new computer.
Subscribe to This Blog