If you're a loyal PC user - congratulations.
You've survived Microsoft's long string of operating system releases and lived to tell the tale. Some Windows upgrades have opened a doorway to a world of innovative, new features while others have been a total disaster.
Although some businesses have already upgraded to Windows 7, others are still operating in a Windows XP or Windows Vista environment. After hearing the horror stories of users who switched to Windows Vista, Windows XP users tend to be particularly averse to a Windows 7 upgrade. So what's the deal – is it worth converting to Windows 7 or not? In general, PC users report an overwhelmingly positive experience. But there are also some drawbacks you need to know about before you make the transition. Here's our take on the pros and cons of a Windows 7 upgrade.
Windows 7 Pros
- User interface. Visual appeal is definitely a selling feature of Windows 7. The desktop is much cleaner and enhancements like an improved taskbar, desktop gadgets and automatically changing wallpaper make the user experience both attractive and convenient.
- Better security. One of the most popular improvements Windows 7 contains is the retention of Windows Vista's User Account Control (UAC) security power with new tools that streamline security settings. You'll still have first-rate security, but you won't be plagued by an onslaught of permission-based pop-ups any longer (unless you like that kind of thing).
- User focus. Windows XP and Vista were criticized for decentralizing applications and making it easy for unwanted applications to appear on your system. Windows 7 is a tighter, more user-centric system with an Action Center that handles many warnings and alerts for you.
Windows 7 Cons
- Hardware requirements. Windows 7 requires an up-to-date machine to run at peak performance. Is it possible to install Windows 7 on an older computer? Sure, but it won't be nearly as efficient as an installation on a computer that is only a few years old.
- Windows XP requirements. Some applications will only work in a Windows XP environment. Windows 7 attempts to resolve this problem by allowing users to run programs in Windows XP mode. It's okay – but it's not as optimal as running applications in an authentic XP environment.
- Unknown risks. Any software upgrade comes with the possibility of encountering unknown setbacks or other problems that can inhibit performance. Fear of the unknown shouldn't necessarily hold you back from upgrading, but it's something you should consider.