Windows 7 upgrade

Should I upgrade to Windows 7
The latest evolution of the Microsoft Windows showcase, Windows 7 (W7), hit the shelf last week, but should you go to the hassle and expense of upgrading?

There’s no doubt that W7 is the fastest and most stable platform released by Windows since the 98 version but will your computer be able to run it – and is it worth the $199 it will cost to upgrade?

The best part about W7 is that it looks exactly like Vista, indeed, many people are calling it an “upgrade” to Vista. While it may look similar, there are some distinct enhancements to some of the features that come with W7. I remember trying to set up my internal network at home with three separate computers in different locations, hooking them all up to a printer, modem and other storage devices was a nightmare. With W7, there is a new feature called HomeGroup, which makes it easy to share files and folders while also making it easy to connect your computer to a local network to use printers and storage decides. Unfortunately, this feature only interacts with other W7 enabled computers.

Can your computer run W7?

The “minimum” recommended requirements to run W7 is at least 1GB of RAM and a processor of 1GHz or higher. For those who are not technologically minded, if you purchased a computer in the past three years, your computer is likely to have at least a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. Upgrading is easy and you can purchase extra RAM for under $100 if need be but you should consider purchasing a new computer to run with W7 if you don’t have the minimum requirements, or stick with your current system if you cannot afford a new PC.

I currently run Windows XP, will it be an easy upgrade?
The simple answer is no. If you currently have Windows Vista installed, the process will be less painful than other Windows platforms. While W7 will be able to transfer most of your files and recognise your existing software and hardware settings if you do upgrade from Vista, W7 will not identify any of this information from other platforms, so you will need to back up all this data and W7 will walk you through importing these documents and emails. You will still be required to re-install your software and download all updates and patches released over the years.

You can check whether your computer is up to scratch by running Microsoft’s W7 Upgrade Advisor program.

Find out what the Sydney Morning Herald thinks of Windows 7.

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