22 October, 2009

Windows 7 is (finally) here

Congratulations to Microsoft for their delivery of Windows 7! You can search about anywhere and read stories from all the news outlets. Of course the industry experts have been talking about it for longer, and have reported good things. I think it's worth mentioning a couple good practices when considering new software, particularly when it's an OS.
  1. Unless you have a compelling need, don't be first. In the case of Win7, I think we can be fast followers, but give it a few weeks to be sure there are no significant, unforeseen problems.
  2. Wait and get the OS on a new machine. Why?
    • You're likely running XP, which means there's no clear upgrade path -- you need to re-install.
    • It's possible your machine is 3 or more years old -- you bought one just before Vista came out, because you knew it had problems, so it's likely underpowered for Win7.
    Benefits include:
    • Drivers will (should) work on the new hardware.
    • You wont have to go through the painful install yourself. (All OS installs are painful, this is not a Win7 issue.)
    • You can use your old machine as backup storage, connected it to your TV, and/or give it to Jr.
    • Hardware prices will likely drop as we get closer to the holidays. Some experts have reported that manufacturers have over-built.
And somewhat related, if you get a new machine so you can get Win7, and you're considering the low cost netbooks, I highly encourage you not to get one with an Atom processor. The Atom processor is under-powered, and is not up to the task for many common functions -- don't blame Microsoft for that. (The Atom may be okay if you are only reading books and email. For example, it'll likely disappoint you if you are viewing videos online or trying to work in a spreadsheet.)

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