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Windows 7 – What you should know – some changes

Windows 7 – What you should know – some changes

Continued from previous post:

1 – Changes between Vista and Windows 7 – For the most part, the same Vista engine is still running the operating system, but there are some new features and enhanced performance overall.  Most believe that Windows 7 is really nothing more than major service pack and a features plus pack.

If you don’t believe me – well, Vista had a build number of, and Windows 7 has a build number of  Pretty funny that version 7 of Windows is still that build 6 at its core.  ‘Point Releases’ of a piece of software typically amount to fine tuning, bug fixes and a few enhancements.  Version number changes, well that’s a bit obvious.

Finally – most believe Microsoft had to cover themselves from Vista’s problems and they needed something to get them out of the Vista umbrella.

2 – The popular belief is that if you have Windows 7 your older XP software will not run.  From personal experience, that is not true in most cases.  I mean think about it, refer back to #1 above…Vista ran it and this is still Vista. 

If you are running Windows 7 Ultimate or Professional, and you do have applications that just don’t seem to work properly, Microsoft has given you XP Mode.  What Microsoft has done is create a small virtual version of XP that you can run on your computer that will support those applications.  You can also look at the properties of the EXE file that runs the application and try changing the compatibility settings, among other tricks.

To run XP Mode, the virtualized XP utility, you must have virtualization support on your computer.  This refers to the actual hardware – in other words, is your motherboard using or capable of providing the Intel-VT option or AMD-V options in the system bios?  Having a bunch of extra disk space and some extra ram also help in general operations and performance over the long run.

3 –  Using compatibility view in Internet Explorer version 8, standard in Windows 7, allows IE8 to read and interpret web pages and code in IE7 format.  think of this as XP Mode for your browser.

The best suggestion is for companies to test the myriad of web sites users access and verify their operations.  From there, a list of compatibility mode web sites can be created and enforced to your users, if residing on a Windows Active Directory topology.

4 – NTBACKUP – some think of this as a swear word.  In Vista – the biggest problem is that the program would not allow users to actually select which folders or files to backup.  BIG PROBLEM

Windows 7 backup is not perfect – but has come a long way.  Unfortunately better features are only available on Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise versions of WIndows 7 – if you don’t have those versions, you can’t backup to a network location.  The software also forces you to backup on a schedule, verses to ability to just create a job without scheduling it.

If the only improvement is the ability to select actual files and folders, well that’s pretty huge.  It almost makes the program suitable for business use, as the earlier version was not.

5 – Touch Screen – If you use a new Android or iPhone cell phone, you already know much of what Windows Touch can give you.  When you equip your PC or laptop with a proper touch screen monitor, you can zoom in and out by using two fingers on the screen and separating them apart or closing them together.  You can even rotate the screen as well.

If you are looking to check this technology out or even buy now, look for multi-touch devices, not single touch.  I don’t see this technology really hitting the industry very hard; where businesses using common software would find little use at all.  It’ll prove to be industry specific in the long run, such as, doctor offices, hospitals, car dealerships, etc., where a touch capable tablet style device makes sense for customer interaction.

7 – You’ll need a hard disk real estate agent.  Windows 7 uses a base of about 10GB of hard disk.  This does not include the paging file or hibernation files.  With those files you can expect another 5-10GB of disk space gone, depending on how much ram you have installed.  Is this a bad thing though?

In Windows XP, if you installed anything new that required a system file or optional component installation, you had to search for your install cd.  You don’t have this issue in Windows 7 a most everything is loaded onto the computer during install.  There are some components that can be downloaded from the Internet as well.

8 – Version hell – with 6 versions of Windows XP (3 for home and 3 for business), Microsoft at least got us down to 4 with Windows 7 – but it can be just as confusing for most.  Here they are:

  • Windows 7 Starter Edition – Available on small notebook pc’s.  It’s less loaded, less robust, but just the right amount of Windows 7 for those smaller, lesser performing laptops.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium – Easy home networking, file sharing, and Internet TV on Media Center.  This is the home entertainment and kids computer operating system.
  • Windows 7 Professional – The version for work and power users.  You can connect to your home and work networks with this version, as well as run those older Windows XP programs with XP Mode.  Also, backup your data to home or work with automated backups.
  • Windows 7 Ultimate – Win 7 Professional with Home features added – powerful, secure, and all the entertainment and media capabilities you want.  This is the most comprehensive version of Windows 7, just like Vista Ultimate.

So, no matter which version you choose, I hope this has helped you understand a little more about the differences and the versions, and the choices you’ll have to make when you decide to upgrade or buy a new PC.  One last thing – this is still a PC, not a MAC – so anyone who has said it is much easier to use, like a MAC – nope, they are wrong.  It’s Windows – but smoother and fine tuned.

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