Windows 7 has arrived!
The latest version of Microsoft’s popular operating system was released on October 22nd. Windows 7 is now available for purchase.
I’ve been using Windows 7 since early beta and have overall been pleased with the OS. I won’t bore you with a lengthy review (there are plenty of other articles on the Internet for that); instead, I’ll give you some basic information that you should be aware of before you install Windows 7.
Like Windows Vista, there are several different versions of Windows 7 that you can buy. Which version you decide to purchase depends on the features you’re looking for. For example, bitlocker encryption isn’t available in the home or professional versions. For more information, see the “Which one is right for you” page on Microsoft’s website.
If you’re upgrading from Windows Vista, you should be able to simply launch the installer from within Vista and go from there. However, if you’re upgrading from Windows XP, you’ll need to upgrade in a completely different way by rebooting with the Windows 7 install disc, and selecting the drive where your current install lives. This is essentially a clean install of the OS (which is actually a good thing). Back up all of your important data such as documents, pictures and emails before proceeding, and prepare to reinstall any programs you had running under Windows XP since they will also be deleted in this process.
One important thing to remember: Windows 7 no longer comes with a mail client. If you aren’t using XMission Webmail, You can download a copy of Mozilla Thunderbird which is an excellent mail program. You can also download Windows Mail by itself or as part of Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials.
Finally, if you were worried about not being able to use some of your favorite free programs such as Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, FileZilla and free virus scanners AVG and Avast, fear not! We’ve tested out all of these programs under Windows 7 and they all run wonderfully.
If you’re wondering whether or not your existing XP or Vista computer can run Windows 7, there’s an app for that (Windows 7 upgrade advisor). If you need help backing up your important data or installing the upgrade, give the guys at geekbox a call and they can help you out.