20 March, 2010
I’m sure that you’ve heard & seen the ads “Come in and buy the new Windows 7”, “It’s comes with Windows 7” etc, etc. We have been bombarded with sales adverts since it was released in October last year but what is it? Windows 7 is the latest operating system (OS) for personal computers from Microsoft. Without an OS your computer is a vegetable and can’t “operate” – you could turn it but you would only see a couple of pages of black & white writing. So an OS allows you to use, control & customise the look of your PC as well as being able to install further software for specific use – as long as it is compatible with the OS.
Most people initially heard of Microsoft’s “Windows” in the mid 90’s when the ground breaking OS – Windows 95 was introduced. Since then for home users we have had Windows 98, Millennium, XP Home, Vista Basic & Vista Home Premium. For business users we have had Windows NT, 2000 Professional, Vista Business & Vista Ultimate. Now we have 3 Windows 7 versions – Home Premium (for home use), Professional (for business use) & Ultimate (for lovers of having all of the bells & whistles). All three of these new OS’s look very similar but in the background there are some huge differences – there is also a cost difference with roughly $100 separating each version.
Businesses should take heed that PC’s advertised with just having “Windows 7” will inevitability have the Home Premium Edition which will not work at all on a proper Windows Domain Network – so don’t get caught out. Is Windows 7 any good? Until now Windows XP has been the best and most popular OS Microsoft has released and they got a lot of bad publicity with Vista. Most of the problems with Vista have been since addressed with Service Packs (upgrade patches) that Microsoft provides via the Internet but its reputation has remained tarnished. The new 7 is a big improvement and is showing lots of potential.
Why do I need it? In essence, if your PC is running fine and suiting your existing requirements then you don’t need it at all. Windows 7 won’t make your Internet any faster or change the way any of your other software looks or works. If you’re a home user and your existing PC is very old / always giving trouble / too slow then go out and replace it with a new one running any version of 7 (remember to get a UPS) and you should be happy.
Businesses are different and should avoid have different OS’s on the same network. If your business only has XP machines then you can still buy new PC’s with a Windows 7 Professional licence but with XP Professional pre-installed – up until November this year. Businesses need to see if all of their existing software is compatible with 7 before investing in it & keep in mind that XP is certainly not “broken” and Microsoft will support it until April 2014. Each case will be different but Businesses should always seek professional advice on their IT requirements and should have at least a 3 year plan. Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.