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Why Upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7?

Microsoft hopes everybody will immediately switch to Windows 7, but they're targeting two groups in particular: people already using Windows XP and people already using Windows Vista. But if you've already got Windows Vista, why upgrade to Windows 7? There are many Windows 7 features that Vista users will really like, and some things they might not.

Why Vista owners will like Windows 7

Windows 7 certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s a welcome relief for Windows Vista owners. Here’s why:

  • Easy upgrade path: As a perk for suffering through Vista, you can upgrade to Windows 7 simply by slipping in a Windows 7 Upgrade DVD. From the start, all your programs, printer, and nearly everything else that worked with Vista will work fine with Windows 7.

  • Improved speed and performance: Widnows 7 actually runs faster than Vista most of the time and takes up less space on your hard drive.

  • No more nag screens: The incredibly annoying User Account Control (UAC) — that perpetually popped up messages asking if you’re sure you want to do something — has finally been toned-down so that it only warns you if something drastic might happen. You can even adjust the UAC’s warning level to match your comfort level, from paranoid to relaxed.

  • Improved search: Vista’s search capability was hit or miss. Windows 7, on the other hand, makes searching vast hard drives look easy.

  • Streamlined controls: Vista demanded many keystrokes and clicks to accomplish what Windows 7 does in a few. For example, Windows 7’s “Shut Down” key saves work, closes programs, and turns off the PC — all with a single click.

  • Better backup: Windows 7 gives you the control to back up everything or select only the things you want to back up.

  • Runs better on laptops: Vista’s sloth-like performance upset many laptop owners. Many new netbooks couldn’t even run Vista. Windows 7 solves many of those problems.

What's missing in Windows 7

Although Windows 7 is packed with many nifty new features, some old favorites are missing or completely altered:

  • Free programs: Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Calendar no longer come with Windows 7. You have to download them separately from Windows Live (though they are still free).

  • Quick Launch toolbar: This handy repository for favorite programs no longer lives on the taskbar beside the Start menu. Instead, Microsoft redesigned the taskbar to hold icons of favorite programs and currently running programs.

    The new taskbar in Windows 7 offers pop-up thumbnail previews of every open window on your desktop.
    The new taskbar in Windows 7 offers pop-up thumbnail previews of every open window on your desktop.
  • InkBall: Although axing this game isn’t as inconvenient as ditching an e-mail program, many will miss this little “drop the ball in the hole” timewaster.

  • Sidebar: Windows Vista’s Sidebar clung to the side of the desktop, housing gadgets to track the stock market, activities of friends, and even the weather. The Sidebar’s gone, but the gadgets remain, now sprinkled freely upon your desktop.

    Windows Sidebar Gadgets are now free-floating, and right-clicking an application on the taskbar giv
    Windows Sidebar Gadgets are now free-floating, and right-clicking an application on the taskbar gives you more information.
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