Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Windows 7

I've been keeping a bit mum about Windows 7, the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft. Windows 7 is basically Windows Vista without any of the problems that beset that operating system at its initial release. Most of the problems associated with Windows Vista were hardware related and not the fault of the operating system, which did offer significant improvement in a number of areas over Windows XP, most notably that in security. Unfortunately, the bad rap it suffered from the start kept it from being implemented into more workplaces. Many clients actually preferred to stick with older versions of Windows XP rather than upgrade to Windows Vista because they were sure it would cause problems on their local workstations. Ironically, those that upgraded from older downlevel client operating systems like Windows 2000 Professional or were implementing computers on a local network for the first time, thought Vista was a huge improvement. Many of the problems with Vista have been ironed out in the last several years, which is why Microsoft used Vista as the basis for its latest operating system. There are some significant differences with Windows 7, especially as it relates to the desktop. There are some very cool features here, most of which require actual hands-on use rather than a description by me. The main thing to remember is that Microsoft got a black eye from the pushback it suffered from the initial release of Windows Vista. It is not making the same mistake with Windows 7, which it released October 22 at the same time it released an upgrade to its Windows 2008 Server package: Windows Server 2008 R2. As it turns out, there are some very sharp applications that work in concert with Windows 7 Professional and Windows Server 2008 R2. Please remember this does not apply to Windows 7 Starter or Home operating systems. I have never recommended any Microsoft Home operating system for a business, but I can understand an end user wanting to save money when purchasing a new computer intended for a home network. Frankly, I believe there are benefits accrued when using Windows Vista Business or Windows XP Professional in the workplace or at home if spending the extra $100 is not crucial to one's budget. Today I took part in a seminar related to the benefits of installing Windows 7 over existing networks. I am intelligent enough to know that the downside of Windows 7 is likely to be glossed over, but for the most part I am impressed. It seems to me that it's worth upgrading to this new operating system, especially for those who have not upgraded in the past five years. Also, in the back of my mind I know that Windows 8 won't be that far off either.

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