I have been using Windows XP for many, many years. A year ago I needed to upgrade my workstation so I went ahead and ordered it with Vista. I figured it would be best if I was the guinea pig to see how it ran on our network and what problems would be encountered. I mean, we cannot run XP forever so I better start taking a look at it.
Vista was okay. It has some nice improvements and once you got use to where they moved things to, it was a good OS. I only had a couple of issues of old software not working.
After a year of using it, something went wrong and my computer was running quite poorly. I decided it was time to do a clean install. However, Windows 7 had just come out so I ordered me a copy to install.
Windows 7 was the simplest and most straightforward OS installation I have ever done. Everything that worked on Vista worked on Win7 so I had no software or hardware compatibility issues. The look and performance of Win7 has been outstanding. The new taskbar is really good.
I am not sure which versions of Win7 come with it (I am using Windows 7 Business), but the OS came with what they call Windows XP Mode. Now Vista would try to allow you to run programs in “compatibility mode” with XP and so does Windows 7. But this is something different. Windows XP Mode is basically a virtualized copy of Windows XP Pro running on your Windows 7 computer. Once you install it and run it, you will have a window where a full version of Windows XP is running on your computer.
Now, if you have some program that just will not run on Windows 7, you have got a full copy of XP that you can run on your Win7 machine (in a window) to run that program on. That could really be handy to some people.
The start menu has a new feature that I like. Each program link has a little arrow next to it. When you hover over it, it opens a list of recently opened documents for that particular program. Windows has always had the recently opened documents, but all program’s documents were listed together. Win7 makes it much more usable.
One other thing that people made a big deal about in Vista is the User Access Control (UAC). That is the thing that pops up asking if you really want to do something (like install a program). It’s purpose is to protect your computer from programs running things that you have not asked to run. While I never found it to be an annoyance in Vista, they have reduced the number of times UAC pops up. Not real sure how they have done it, but it seems to me where in Vista you may press a button that requires UAC, then it would pop-up asking if you really want to do that. In Win7, it seems that the act of pressing the button is you saying you really want to do that.
I have been running Win7 now for a couple of weeks and really, really like it. I can see this being our next OS for all of our users. Not sure if we will spend the money to upgrade people, but I will order any new computers with Windows 7.