Windows 7 is out and spreading, you're interested in upgrading to it from your trusted Windows XP (as you remain as revolted to Vista as you've been for the past three years it's been in existence), so now you need to know what's what. Well, you might as well be informed; Windows 7 is pretty much an upgrade of Vista, not XP. That is to say though the Vista is an upgrade of XP, most of what you're used to in XP will not be the same in Windows 7. What with the huge difference between Vista and XP, you should expect that much. So, in turn, you should be ready to leave XP behind and brace yourself to accept Vista's 'developments' for the sake of embracing Windows 7's improvements of them.
True, Vista was not really that friendly to XP users. And its consistent delays from launching just made XP all the more the usual operating system, with vendors developing programs and applications for XP, such that when Vista launched, it was too much of a leap from XP that its inherent good parts were overshadowed by the initial (and evidently long lasting) negative feedback people had for it on first glance. But as was mentioned, be prepared to let those be, because as far as both versions go, Vista and 7 are markedly the same.
But hold it right there, 7 is similar to Vista, but has improved upon all the supposed bad points of said operating system. The thing is, you have to accept that XP and its programs, applications, drivers, software and hardware has seen its time. If you do so, you can enjoy Windows 7 to its fullest.
Windows 7 offers the best start menu - taskbar combination so far, in the guise of the Taskmaster. The quick launch is no more, as the entire taskbar now acts as a sort of quick launch. You can pin programs and applications there, as well as drag and rearrange not just those icons but any running programs. The notification area can be better handled-meaning you won't be as annoyed with constant message balloons that say the most insignificant things in the middle of what you're doing. The start menu has been improved as well, and the instant search bar from Vista is still there.
The look is pretty much the same, though improved here and there. If you're one to appreciate the details you'll find 7's look a welcome (though somewhat minute) improvement from Vista's. Performance-wise, 7 took Vista's concept and developed them further, improving the overall performance and computing experience. In a nutshell, 7 handles memory usage and processing time better than Vista. The same goes for the amount of memory taken by the operating system itself and the time it takes to install it.
People who know know that 7 is better than Vista and drastically better than XP, but you'll still encounter a number of the facets that made Vista unpopular. Even packaged and iconic programs like Windows Media Player (version 12 in Windows 7) are lackluster compared to its predecessors. User Account Control is still around, though definitely far less annoying than its Vista counterpart.
But the most important thing to take into consideration is: what runs and is compatible with Vista should run and should be compatible with 7. But, the adverse is also true: what doesn't run and is not compatible with Vista probably wouldn't run and wouldn't be compatible with 7.
09 January 2010 software tips