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Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

Posted October 23, 2009 11:12 AM by ETOB

Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 7, packs a lot of new features to make everything you do on the computer faster and easier. Some of my favorite new features are the new advanced taskbar and added features to Windows Aero.

Taskbar Basics

Microsoft's new taskbar combines the best features of Apple's Dock and its own previous taskbars, and then improves upon them. This new design makes it particularly easy to launch and manage applications. One of the new taskbar features is Aero Peek, which allows multiple windows (e.g., Internet Explorer) to be opened. But you'll only see one IE icon in the taskbar, slightly shaded, so your taskbar doesn't become cluttered.

When you hold the cursor over this icon, a preview of the IE windows will show up. You can click on a preview to open the window, or hold the cursor over this preview to see the full-size window. All of this is glossy and looks very modern. Click here for the video.

On the very right of the taskbar is a narrow transparent button. When you hold the mouse over this, all of the windows become transparent and you see the desktop. Clicking this button hides all windows and shows the desktop. Clicking again will bring the windows back.


Jump Lists
Jump lists are another important part of this new taskbar. They allow you to easily select common tasks for a certain application. For instance, if you click on the Media Player icon and drag it up, you'll see a list appear. This will allow you to select a recently played song, start playing all songs, or open the application. Once this application is running, you can use the jump list to skip songs and pause playback. Click here for the video.

Aero
Window's Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open (better known as "Aero") is the company's graphical user interface, first seen in Vista (2006). Aero was introduced to update the look of the OS, and to make things cleaner and more efficient. Windows 7 brings a few new features to Aero.

Aero Snap
Aero Snap allows windows to be dragged to the left or right of the screen, to tile them vertically, and dragged to the top of the screen to maximize them. This can also be done by using a shortcut: windows button + left, right, up, or down. This saves a lot of time when trying to have two windows tiled. No more resizing them to fit each half of the screen! Click here for the video.

Aero Shake
Aero Shake is a useful tool for cleaning up a crowded monitor. When you have multiple windows open, you can click and hold one, shake it around the screen and all of the other windows will minimize. Shaking again will bring these windows back. Click here for the video.

Currently, I use Windows 7 as the primary operating system on my personal computer. Almost every day, my XP computer at work annoys me by not doing the new, simple, and intuitive things that my own computer can now do. Is it possible that Microsoft has produced an operating system that's worth upgrading to?

Editors note: Click here to learn how to dual boot with Windows 7.

Editors note: Click here to see comparison of Vista and Windows 7.

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#1

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/23/2009 11:45 AM

Faster? Not by a long shot. In nine out of 10 benchmarks I've run XP64 beats 7's performance on the same hardware. And I'm not alone.

http://www.testfreaks.com/blog/information/windows-xp-vs-vista-vs-7/

Slicker interface sure, I'd rather have the speed.

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#2
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/23/2009 12:03 PM

In terms of speed, i was talking about how Win7 makes it easier to navigate to applications, manage opened windows, find files...I guess i could have been more specific when I said Win7 makes your computer faster.

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#3
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/23/2009 2:03 PM

Understood, and that may well be so, I haven't had it long enough to be proficient.

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#9
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 3:10 AM

I guess i could have been more specific when I said Win7 makes your computer faster.

Not to split hairs here, however, your statement was specific....but incorrect. It does not make your computer faster...it may make the operator of the computer more efficient. Very different statement.

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#14
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 6:29 PM

"It does not make your computer faster...it may make the operator of the computer more efficient."

Win7 makes your computer faster by allowing you to "do things" in less time (less time = faster).

Scenario: You want to open a recent webpage.

Windows xp/vista:

Open the browser, wait for it to load your homepage, then from the drop-down address bar, select the recent webpage.

Windows 7:

Pull up the jump-list for the browser and select the recent webpage.

While not a huge time saver, a couple of seconds here and there adds up...

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#8
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 12:31 AM

Was XP one quarter or a half blink faster?

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#13
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 5:46 PM

Out of pure curiosity what type of system are you running. I've been running windows 7 release candidate one for a couple of months now. The main performance deficiency I've noticed is the drop in my data transfer rates for my raid array. PC pit stop test 174 MBPS with XP vs. 129 MBPS with windows7.

This of course has affected some programs that transfer large amounts of data to the hard drives. Besides that For some reason there was a slight improvement in my video card performance, possibly the new drivers.

I was somewhat disappointed in that window 7 promised more efficient use of multi core processors and the capability of transferring some of the processing load to the graphical processor on the video card. I'm sure that's programmed dependent.

So personally I have noticed no significant difference besides the drives. Which is almost inexplicable that XP manages the drives better than then vista or windows 7, it seems like Microsoft has managed to take a step backwards again.

Besides that windows 7 does have a nicer interfaces you mentioned, and a lot of built in bells and whistles that frankly a pure business machine may not need.

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#15
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 6:45 PM

HI,

Am curious of the architecture of your system, the MB socket type is LGA 1366, 1156, 775? Do you think MS7's features would function more efficiently with advanced electronics?

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#16
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 8:39 PM

Hello bwire:

It's a gigabyte motherboard with the P45 chipset, and a quad core Pentium Q6600, socket 775. Over clocked by 0.6 GHz with four MB of ram DDR2 8500. And and 9500 GT video card.

You're thinking along the same lines as I am, that's why ask the question that I did to the first poster. If you don't have a multi core processor and a CUDA capable video card, there's probably a lot of useless overhead associated with windows 7.

Windows 7 is also supposed to make very efficient use of large amounts of memory, I'm waiting for a good sale, I can put 8 GB in this board that I'm not sure I want to spend the money. Of course it's efficient use of memory I'm assuming is limited to the 64 bit operating system, so that may also be another consideration on whether or not you want to upgrade, obviously you cannot address that much memory on a 32 bit system.

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#23
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:14 AM

Mushkin 996619 - The Ascent™ uses a patented multi-layer copper heatpipe - for stable OC machines

I've always been satisfied using Mushkin redline 8000 which is stable but the new offering has blazed past

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#40
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:30 AM

Thought I would give you one more update. I got an offer for a three license upgrade to windows 7 home premium, the price was right around 140 bucks and I was considering it even though I don't like upgrades.

One of the more useful features the 32 bit XP virtual machine is only provided on professional OR ultimate so that put an end to that. There a couple of online point of sales systems that my wife uses it will not work with 64 bit software currently.

I don't know why Microsoft does that, their upgrade was Reasonably priced for three machines and would have allowed me to put a 64 bit operating system back on the laptop, what can I say Microsoft is the best Apple's sales company in the world.

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#41
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:40 AM

I am running Ubuntu on two of my machines in dual boot with XP. Interestingly, systems for which I do not have drivers in Windows (i.e., the sound card) never worked because I had no use for the facilities, just worked under Ubuntu with no effort on my part to identify anything (obviously, I am not using "state of the art" sound cards). Another situation- due to a motherboard fault, I recently upgraded one of my machines with a 64 bit processor and new memory. Ubuntu loved it, and now runs in 64 bit. Windows XP could care less- just keeps chugging along. Note that I did not reload any software when I upgraded the motherboard- I did not change the hard drive. Ubuntu picked up the upgrade automatically, and I did not have to change anything- not even the memory change required any modification. Windows thinks it is still running on the old machine. The difference in performance under Ubuntu is noticable. Windows just keeps chugging along...

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#45
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 12:53 PM

I keep saying one of these days I'll do a dual boat and I keep hoping Microsoft will get its act together.

Except for the slower drive performance I really like windows seven. There's more than enough Processing Power available in the current high end machines and shortly the midrange machines for the virtualization technology.

I was hoping they would follow Mac, run all of the old windows stuff in a virtual environment, and start from the ground up with a bullet resistant operating system.

Between the promised google operating system, Macs being able to run Microsoft's Software in a virtual environment, and the advances with Ubuntu, it looks like Microsoft's domination may be coming to a close.

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#46
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 1:54 PM

Install 32bit on one HD and x64 on another, boot to your preference.

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#49
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:10 PM

I have been less than pleased with the performance of Windows in a virtual machine in Linux, but part of that is most likely due to the fact that I don't want to dedicate the time to tweak the system, since I have everything running pretty cozy right now. I guess as things wear out, I will eventually have to modify my approach, but maybe VirtualBox or Wine or VMWare will get better with age. So far, VirtualBox seems to be the best of the options, but I'm sure that will change. What do you use for virtualization?

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#43
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 12:14 PM

It doesn't seem right, you should be able to use 32bit functionality in a X64 system what's the rub—tell the software it's 32bit.

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#44
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 12:42 PM

You're right it doesn't seem right. But after experiencing the problem we called the company and they admitted to a problem with their system and 64 bit operating systems. A coworker had experienced the same problem on his new laptop and gave up and went back to exclusively using the company desktop, when I ask if his laptop used a 64 bit operating system it was.

I'm sure they will be correcting the problem in the future, but as far as I know they still have the same problem. So she gets the calls at home when there's an urgent billing issue, and of course he decided not to fix the problem. Hey it pays by the hour. Whether she's at work or home.

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#48
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:05 PM

bwire-

No real problem- just a note that it is possible for the Ubuntu system to detect the change to 64 bit, but Windows could care less. Since I am doing more and more of my work on Linux, I really could care less about the limitations of Windows. Except where I have some legacy systems (test and measurement lab set ups) where I use Windows 98SE- haven't found a good Linux replacement for that, mostly because the T&M equipment is pretty old. I also do some minor CAD work on the old machine- Linux is also somewhat challenged in that area...

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#51
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 4:04 PM

My experience—Linux is best described - awkward

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#53
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 4:15 PM

I think "awkward" is a pretty mild term for someone new to Linux, although it seems to be getting more user friendly. However, for someone with a Unix background, Linux is pretty friendly...

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#54
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 4:18 PM

Do you think linux will ever be usable by the average computer user?

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#55
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 4:51 PM

I think Linux is getting close- have a look at the latest Ubuntu release (9.10). Other releases may be even better- I speak of Ubuntu because that is the one I am familiar with. Of course, what is it the "average" computer user uses his computer for? Surfing the web, watching videos, downloading music- Linux has been there for a couple of years. What really puts the breaks on Linux in my mind is the lack of applications, but even this is changing (for the scientifically oriented, one should have a serious look at CAELinux, which is built on Ubuntu- but this is not something I think would interest the "average" user. CAELinux is my idea of how software should be packaged- everything from operating system to sophisticated specialized apps to hardware drivers already included- true plug and play. and no excessive eye candy or trivial shadow apps that slow everything down without adding any significant value). I don't know much about gaming, but the impression I get is that your "average" gamer would be better off with Windows or maybe Apple. Desktop publishing- why even think about anything but Apple? Windows pretty much has control of the CAD and Test and Measurement markets, and these are the sort of applications that tend not to virtualize very well with the software with which I have experimented. An "average" user might be satisfied with OpenOffice, which is almost an exact clone of MS Office, with word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation (i.e., PowerPoint) apps that are as easy or easier to use than the current MS suite, but, as I have discussed in previous threads, the spreadsheet may be a bit limited for the serious user. It is trivial to export from OpenOffice to MS format in any of the apps, but, at least until recently, it was impossible to go from MS Office to OpenOffice format from within MS Office (Open office will open any document produced under MS Office as well, although there may be some minor formatting inconsistencies). Although I have never used any of the available services, a number of companies (including Canonical, Ubuntu's mother) offer for-fee support in a variety of formats and budget windows- probably superior to what is available from Redmond.

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#56
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 5:14 PM

I am pretty new to Ubuntu(been using it for about 3 months, in moderation), I have it dual booted with win7 right now, surfing the web, watching/downloading music is simple, but installing any additional program you want, at least to my knowledge(and Linux skill level) is still a complicated task. I think it will be a long time before consumers are going to be able to move away from Microsoft or Apple and only use Linux.

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#59
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 10:48 PM

EOTB-

I pretty much agree with you, although I think adding apps in Ubuntu has gotten a whole lot easier recently. Of course, FINDING the apps can be a problem as well...

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#42
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 12:09 PM

Hello,

I recently delivered a Gigabyte X58 w/LGA 1366 socket using i7 950 X64 DDR3 (2 X 3GB) Mushkin Redline (PC3 12800) 1TB HDD SATA designed for video and GTX 285 graphic card, W7/Vista/XP. The board will utilize in standard fashion up to 24GB RAM.

Interesting is the feature of allowing the system to employ additional "virtual" cores configuring according to requirements of the task(s) running; cool eh?

I didn't record any performance indicators but the customer said they aren't having to wait processing or rendering anymore and are very pleased. Apparently 12000MB of virtual memory and it is operating dual quad core capabilities with the virtual core tool feature configured for enhanced through put.

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#61
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:10 PM

You just did that post to show off that new hot rod. Great graphics card and three channel memory.

I would challenge you to a benchmark race, with a little more cooling I think I can get another 0.3 to .4 GHz out of this machine. But the last time I pushed a processor that far it ended up looking like 3 mile island.

But you're right with new High end machines I think windows 7 is gonna shine. Loading up with 32 bit single core processor with the extra window 7 overhead and no ability to use its advanced features is about as attractive as an anchor.

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#67
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/27/2009 1:11 AM

Aw shucks,

Cooling—no fancy stuff the case has 2 x 120mm, 2 x 230mm and the SeaSonic PSU has 1 x 12cm and 1 x 6cm fans plus there is the XFX G-card fan and the CPU fan

I didn't feel a need to tweak the chip

Next build is dual E8400 so I can keep up with that baaaad Q6600

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#4

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/23/2009 2:47 PM

Don't upgrade a PC to 7 if the hardware doesn't meet minimum standards. If the PC is more than five years old, buy a new PC rather than upgrade.

I beta and RC tested 7 on a new test machine that I built. Works pretty good for a Microsoft product.

I have older PC's on my home network that are too close to the end of their life cycle to waste $200 US on an OS.

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#5

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/23/2009 3:50 PM

Thank you for the info and link.

I have a daughter in college. If I have to deal with the Vista on her computer again, I will probably go postal!

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#6
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/23/2009 8:45 PM

XP works just fine.

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#7
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 12:08 AM

Is Win7 an improvment over Vista, or more of the same? Is it worth an upgrade from Vista?

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#10
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 10:36 AM

All that eye candy comes with a performance price. XP(64) is your best bet right now imho. From a security standpoint I recommend waiting for SP1 for any OS before committing to it. If you want to upgrade from Vista, and can do without the pretty, go with XP.

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#71
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

03/17/2012 12:03 AM

Using Win7 online the Admin acct and a web page want to run some script a pop asks "do you want to allow" but in XP you wouldn't know anything about it until well you been down that road.

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#11
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 10:52 AM

Win7 is a big improvement over Vista, both in performance and usability. I wrote a blog to compare these two operating systems.

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/10098/How-Does-Windows-7-Compare-to-Vista-Part-2

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#35
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 10:04 AM

I agree. I have XP on 2 other machines at home. But you can't buy a Vista to XP upgrade, it has to be a full blown install version. You certainly can't buy it for $30. And in my opinion, an abacus would be better than Vista.

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#36
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 10:10 AM

My abacus is super fast, much better then Vista, not sure how to connect it to my monitor though...

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#64
In reply to #36

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:34 PM

If the abacus is valuable, I would suggest aircraft grade cable with heavy duty crimped connectors.

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#31
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 8:12 AM

Microsoft 7 won't have any of the same problems as XP. I promise.

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#34
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Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 9:57 AM

Do you also promise a whole new set of problems, as with the introduction of Vista?

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#12

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/24/2009 11:00 AM

I have two high end platforms, at least they were when I first built them. Both are geared to memory intensive and graphics dependent CAD applications.

Both are Pentium 4 based and admittedly no longer current technology. Both are maxed out memory wise and use expensive graphic cards with their own densely populated memory boards. Both are 32 bit systems. One runs Windows 2000XP with EDI based drives; the other is running with Windows XP Pro and uses SCSI storage.

They are both stable and reliable although, admittedly, the recent upgrade to a faster SCSI card and drives for the XP Pro system has proven, in retrospect, to have been ill advised.

The choice to run Windows 2K Pro is a courtesy to one CADD software I run that is 8 years old and not optimized for the graphic card or the more "Modern" OS's.

A new system, the best that money can buy, is being configured as I write this. I have elected to go with the current 64 bit version of XP Pro. The Intel motherboard will have maximum memory and the drives will be the fastest SATA drives I can find.

I don' have much in the way of alternatives. I run Catia, Pro Engineer and Solidworks design environments and the models I play with are huge. I need a stable platform and while R7 promises to undo the damage done by Vista, my experience has reinforced Ben Franklin's counsel to not be the first to adopt a new thing nor the last to discard the old.

L.J.

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#72
In reply to #12

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

03/17/2012 12:06 AM

Really? Why bother if you're not going to get the functionality of multiple cores....

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#17

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/25/2009 10:07 AM

I still don't see anything whatsoever in all the hype I have read about Windows 7 that tells me why I should upgrade my XP machine, or why I should even consider continuing with MS products (which, most likely, I will, but not because of anything that has come out of Redmond recently, either as software or marketing hype). It appears to me that the MS gurus are getting further and further away from the reality of what people use computers for in the first place...

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/25/2009 10:55 PM

If only everyone could be a computer programmer and use linux...that would show Microsoft.

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#18

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/25/2009 9:33 PM

...from MY visits to the MS website about Win7, I see lots of CHANGES but very little IMPROVEMENTS.

...and, since I'm against change-for-change sake alone I really have NO reason to even consider paying MORE money for the proverbial "...new and improved..." collection of bugs, errors and trap-doors.

...and, yes, I'm saddled with Vista, but I still prefer XP.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/25/2009 10:33 PM

It is not surprising that you don't see the improvements made in Win7, Microsoft has a terrible marketing team. I like Windows 7 a lot, XP looks outdated and makes me find the drivers i need, vista is a better looking version of XP, but with more problems. Win7 is really nice looking, faster then vista, and has some neat tricks that are useful in everyday computing, and i have never had to install a driver, everything just works.

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#27
In reply to #19

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:53 AM

ETOB:

You write "... I have never had to install a driver ..."

I presume that's because the OS goes out to the web to find the necessary driver every time you install hardware. Which means someone, somewhere, knows exactly what your hardware configurations is.

Doesn't that make you wonder... what else do they know?

Knowledge is power.

Knowledge about you is power over you.

You sell your freedom mighty cheap!

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 4:02 AM

Doesn't that make you wonder... what else do they know?

I'll try to bring you up to speed, the Internet as we know it is US govt property. If you use it the system configuration of the computer you're using is known to many. This is the way it is and it's the way it always has been.

All O/S have essentially identical privacy clauses because you haven't been aware does not constitute alarm on the part of others.

Hurry and cover your tracks because they are watching you right now!

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 7:40 AM

Actually it puts a nice warm feeling in my heart, knowing that my operating system is doing things that until now, i would have had to waste my own time doing...

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#33
In reply to #27

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 9:54 AM

Privacy is easy. Never, ever put the computer with your deep, dark secrets on line. Hardware is cheap. Keep one computer solely for on line functions, or, if you really want to explore areas of the Internet that would attract the interest of the authorities, use a public access point, like an Internet Cafe...

Whoops! Should have posted this anonymously...

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#22
In reply to #18

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/25/2009 11:00 PM

70AARCuda-

You are up to Vista? I have one computer running XP, but my real WORKHORSE is still stuck in '98SE, Funny- a seven-year old machine running 10 year old software is still faster in some applications than this newer stuff! Specfically, I can import half a meg of *.csv measurement data into Excel 2000 and have a preliminary chart up and ready for preliminary review as fast as I can click the mouse, and I can zoom in to areas of interest in this graph without having to take a coffee break while waiting for a graphics update. True, I not going to do any serious analysis with Excel 2000, but that preliminary review is critical- did I capture what I was looking for, or do I go back to the field for more measurements?

Guess what- I don't need all that eye candy or overboard security protection for this operation, or automatic formatting that thinks it knows more about what I am looking for than I do. I need a quick and dirty look at the data to determine if it is worth spending a whole lot more time analyzing...Older equipment works better for me...

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:24 AM

Funny- a seven-year old machine running 10 year old software is still faster in some applications than this newer stuff!

No it's just normal but let's watch an HDTV movie in one room while the kid is gaming down the hall also attached to your 98SE workhorse while the ladies are reviewing the lastest quilting demos in the front room. Ha! the old workhorse is stuck hmm...

Crab-apples are no comparison to Fiji apples...go figure

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#32
In reply to #24

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 9:49 AM

Bwire-

Fortunately, I don't have to deal with the wife watching HDTV in the other room or kids gaming down the hall- and I do have other systems available for other applications. Hardware is cheap these days- when I have a project that ties up one of my computers for twelve hours or so, I just go out and buy another computer...

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#37
In reply to #32

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 10:14 AM

Who needs one quality computer when you can have a dozen or so crappy ones...Id take 12 Sputnik satellites over one Hubble any day!

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 10:27 AM

That's a good choice- when the Hubble crashes, it is gone. If you lose one of your Sputniks, you might be slowed down a bit, but you can still keep beeping...

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 10:44 AM

Hmmm, I wonder why NASA ever put Hubble up there...they should have attached some old binoculars to some Sputniks, sounds much more efficient to me.

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#20

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/25/2009 10:47 PM

"Upgrade" to Windows Se7en?

Not until you show me how to turn off its privacy-invasion "features."

Knowledge is power.

Knowledge about you is power over you.

Wake up!

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#25

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:39 AM

ETOB:

This is a thread about the pros and cons of moving to Windows Se7en, right?

The single most important factor to consider is privacy, because all the other factors amount to little more than eye candy and busy work.

So where do you get off, marking my post off-topic?

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Anonymous Poster
#26
In reply to #25

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:43 AM

Did you dispose of the back-doors in your current O/S??

Name one that doesn't have the same provisions??

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 4:14 AM

Actually, XP, properly patched, is not too badly behaved -- as long as you disable "features" like messaging, remote desktop and other such useless crap, and run a priviledged port monitor, and a few other niceties like that. And stick to older versions of the applications, before they removed the options to disable automatic web access.

Better yet, you can build yourself a stripped-down Linux that's small enough that you can read every line of code before you compile it into your system. Then you know that you know.

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#47

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 2:16 PM

Does anyone here have any experience with Windows 7, if so what improvements do you like, what do you dislike, what would you like to see?

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#50
In reply to #47

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 3:49 PM

I just did an interesting experiment, and now know when I will ultimately upgrade to Windows 7. I sent a note off to Lenovo saying I was very interested in purchasing a new ThinkPad, but I want it either with Ubuntu or other Linux software, or I want it with a blank hard drive so I could load my own operating system. Guess what? Lenovo won't sell a laptop WITHOUT Windows. So, assuming that when I am ready to make this purchase that Lenovo is still my preferred brand, I will be FORCED to pay for Windows 7 whether I want it or not. So, when I buy my new laptop, it most likely will come pre-installed with Windows 7 and it is at that time that I will give Windows 7 a try, before I wipe the hard drive and install a decent operating system. Brilliant marketing strategy, MS! But, I really think this should be illegal, forcing me to pay for something I really have no use for. Seems like there was something back in 1776 about taxation without representation...

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 4:13 PM

I actually fell in love with the ThinkPad back when it still carried the IBM logo (I suspect Lenovo was making them back then, too). If I remember rightly, my first ThinkPad was loaded with Win 95, so I wasn't tied to IBM software. The newer Lenovos I have seen seem to have maintained the apparent quality workmanship of the original ThinkPads, which is why I consider it my "dream machine". But, without Windows, preferably.

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#57
In reply to #50

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 6:04 PM

If I was a computer manufacturer and needed to get a computer sold and it meant preloading it with an operating system, of course I would do it. The choice of OS to do it with would not be contingent on the quality of the operating system, not even on popularity, but hardware compatibility. Microsoft offers their OS to manufacturers, and manufacturers like Dell, Toshiba, HP, and Acer, in hopes to get people buying PCs in this recession, are excited to offer the newest shiniest OS preloaded on their new, shiny, glossy, slim, high-end laptops. They get the licenses for a few bucks, it's not worth it for Lenovo to sell a laptop without it preinstalled.

After spending the time to learn Linux, even an OS as polished as Ubuntu still doesn't always work well. The number one problem with Linux is hardware compatibility. If Lenovo is in a position, like many other OEMs are, where offering exclusivity to what OS is preinstalled, if any, in order to make buying a laptop more attractive to people, why wouldn't they choose Windows for that?

Linux also suffers with Flash support. It's terribly slow on Linux. A Pentium 4 1.8 won't be enough to do fullscreen Hulu in Linux, but Windows XP can do it on a 630 MHz Celeron. I'm not saying that Adobe's inability to optimize Flash for any OS is somehow Linux fault, though. Windows runs Flash just fine because Flash is optimized for Windows. Flash is middle of the road for OS X, and terrible on Linux.

Linux is great for anyone who doesn't mind doing a little tweaking, research, and is not afraid of a terminal. Windows is great for people who don't want to bother with it and have everything working out of the box – Windows 7.

All this "My OS is better than your OS!" talk is painful to read.

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#60
In reply to #57

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:05 PM

Giardino-

I pretty much agree with you on your assessments (I don't use Flash because I have never seen a video that imparts any real information). My primary objection is that no single operating system is perfect for everyone, and I would like a choice. If we were talking about desktops, I can put one together from components myself, with the software I chose. With laptops, I don't have that choice- I have to accept what the manufacturer thinks is best. Which may be best for a lot of people, but not for all of us. I currently run Win98SE, WinXP, Ubuntu 7.10 and Ubuntu 8.04 (NOT, of course, all on the same machine). Each has it's place in my scheme of things- my last laptop was loaded with XP and Ubuntu, and I used both quite a bit, for different applications. I explored Vista after it had been out for a while (on someone else's machine which wasn't optimised for Vista), and decided I did not want to spend the time learning new work habits. I feel the same way about Win7.

With regards to hardware compatibility, the only issues I have encountered have been with specialized test and measurement equipment (usually RS232) for which the equipment manufacturer provides the drivers- typically only Windows drivers. I also have an o'scope that offers USB or Centronics interface, but only in Windows. If the manufacturer will share with me the communications protocol, I can usually get the unit to talk to my computers, but this is probably not something one would expect of the "average" user. I have no need for exotic graphics cards or sound cards, so I don't know about compatibility problems there. I do know that when I have loaded Ubuntu on various machines, everything just WORKED, without having to chase down drivers, etc. When I have had to reload Windows on various machines, I generally have to chase down all the drivers.

By the way, Acer used to offer a flavor of Linux on their web site- I never tried it, but at least it was available if I wanted it.

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#65
In reply to #60

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:54 PM

Build your own laptop, no operating system required.

http://powernotebooks.com/

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/27/2009 12:07 AM

That is a GOOD link- may be a way to get to where I want to be with the laptop! Thanks. Now, if they would just slow down the graphics enough on the web page so that I could actually capture some of the information available...

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/27/2009 8:18 AM

Put your cursor over it and it stops.

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#58

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 10:19 PM

I hear that MS has complete access to your computer in Win7. I have seen hints in this thread but the knowledgeable people seem to be ignoring it. I am not knowledgeable on computers, so I ask:

Does MS have complete access to your computer if you run Win7?

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#62
In reply to #58

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:13 PM

My personal opinion is that it doesn't really matter if Microsoft has access to my computer or not- because I work under the assumption that any computer I put on line can be accessed by anyone with a desire to do so. Ergo, no secrets on that computer. If I have something I do not wish to share with the world for whatever reason, it does not go on the computer that goes on line. Furthermore, I don't think it would be economically feasible for Microsoft or anyone else to access every computer in the world to determine if the particular version of software being used was legitimate or not, so I don't really think that is a serious threat either. I am more worried about the power American Express used to have on the records they kept on my spending habits and travel itineraries. That is scary...

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

10/26/2009 11:30 PM

I don't know if your question about the virtualization technology has been answered yet, you can download a full version of XP professional currently for free, for windows 7 ultimate and professional and run it in a virtual environment.

Quite a sight I have dual monitors and I could be working in windows 7 on one monitor, and XP on the other. The virtual XP machines seem to work relatively well.

To use this feature requires one of the newer CPU and there is a identification tool for both AMD and Intel processors to make sure it has the virtualization technology.

You're 100% right about the backdoors, it is scary how much information these machines put out over the Internet. When I checked one of my PC pit stop test not only did gather the information about the type of hardware, but the serial numbers right down to my monitors.

PC pit stop warns you that they will be gathering information. I doubt big brother or the bad guys are nice enough to give you a similar warning.

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#69

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

03/03/2012 2:14 PM

I recently helped my neighbor install Windows 7. If I had it to do over I would have installed XP and saved her $129. It's difficult to navigate around in, nothing seems to be the same, I have to hunt for stuff, I have to set up stuff to make it work and sometimes that seems to be impossible. A friend of hers recommended Windows 7 so I said call him and let him figure it out. I have better luck transitioning to a Mac than I do Windows 7.

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: Why Upgrade to Windows 7?

03/13/2012 12:13 PM

Stay with it, once you become accustom to the interface changes I think you'll like it.

I have four systems in my home, all or on windows 7. As a sideline I do a fair amount of of work on computers. Outside of pure economic concerns I would not even consider installing XP on a new or upgraded system.

The built-in automatic backup capability and enhance system restore abilities compared to XP alone make it a desirable upgrade.

My wife does work for a couple of companies. Recently a year old server had a drive failure, the system was down for about a day and a half. I was shocked to learn their IT guy who built the system used XP as the operating system.

For less than $200 he could have installed windows 7 and a spare hard drive. I had a similar failure on my server, I was running again in less than 1/2 hour. I'm sure the downtime cost the company more than $200.

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