So it’s almost crunch time for Windows users. Is it really worth paying $120 to upgrade to Windows 7? Here are 7 reasons in favor:
By almost all accounts, Windows 7 is considerably faster than Vista (which isn’t hard) but this will be one of the most important draws for most users. No amount of fancy features can make-up for wasted time waiting for Aero graphics to render, applets to load and painfully slow startups. Windows 7 is faster in almost every department.
Out goes the old Taskbar and in comes the “Superbar”. Ok, Microsoft have clearly copied the Dock on Apple Macs but there are worse things they could have chosen to pinch. You can preview thumbnail windows of open applications windows using “Peek” simply by clicking on it’s icon. You can also “pin” favorite programs anywhere on the taskbar for easy access and re-arrange them any way you like by clicking and dragging.
Manage files with Libraries
Forget folders, Libraries is the new management concept in Windows 7. Libraries basically eliminate the old faithfuls such as “My Documents” and “My Pictures” and bring everything together under one umbrella. Nothing is actually physically stored in Libraries however which makes it more of a reference point for locating files wherever they are stored. This makes it much easier to locate photos and video stored on an external devices or networks (i.e. virtual folders).
Enhanced Built-in Search
Windows might still lack something as good Spotlight on Macs but the search improvements in Windows 7 are a darn sight better than Vista. The use of Libraries is largely to do with this as Windows 7 will even search virtual and network folders that aren’t physically stored on your machine. Even better, clicking on a result brings-up a preview of it and searches are much better organized by category.
Windows Live Essentials
Remember the days when Windows came bundled with lots of annoying add-ons such as Instant Messenger and Windows Media Player that you didn’t necessarily want? Those days are gone now courtesy of a Windows Live downloader which allows you to choose which Microsoft applications you want on your hard drive such as Windows Live Messenger and Silverlight.
Speed up your day with Jump Lists
Do you perform the same old operations with the same old apps or visit the same websites time after time? If so Jump Lists make life quicker and easier by simply clicking on an application icon in the Superbar and “jumping” to your most frequently used action, page or document. It works in a similar way to “Open Recent…” option when opening a new document in Microsoft Office.
Windows 7 is the fastest Windows installation ever. From start to finish, you should be enjoying your new operating system within 30 minutes and netbook users enjoy an even more lightweight install. In fact, netbook users will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Windows 7 because it provides all the gloss and finish of Vista without the bloated interface. Note however that if you’re upgrading from Windows XP, Microsoft say it could take significantly longer.