Windows 7 is now on sale around the world. There’s also a slew of new computers from netbooks, gaming laptops to full pledged workstations going on sale carrying Microsoft’s new OS so there really is much cause for celebration. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect.
Windows 7 editions
Despite what marketing shills and fearmongers will tell you, you should take no worry of the six versions of Windows 7. Why? Despite having a total of six versions, you’ll only get to see three on store shelves: Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. If you want a copy for your home PC, get the Home Premium. If you want a copy for your work, get the Professional edition. If you’re a PC enthusiast that want everything, then it’s Ultimate for you. That’s it. Simple right?
Now you might be asking what about the other versions and why you should not be worried about them right? Well, you won’t encounter the other three versions unless you’re buying from a specific part of the world, a netbook or for a corporate entity. To explain it further, you’ll get to see the Windows 7 Starter Edition ONLY if you buy a netbook (or nettop). Home Basic Edition is only available in emerging markets, so chances are you won’t see it at all. The Enterprise Edition is meant for corporations and the only way you’ll encounter it is if you work for a large company migrating to Windows 7.
Can I run it?
Windows 7 carries a modest (in today’s term) hardware requirement so if you’re looking to install it on your current PC be sure that it meets these:
- 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1GB RAM (32-bit) / 2GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20GB (64-bit)
- DirectX® 9 graphics processor with WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 1.0 or higher driver
If you’re not sure of what your PC contains then you can use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to check things out for you.
Wondering if the programs and peripherals you use are compatible? Use the Windows 7 Compatibility Center to check the compatibility of thousands of devices and software programs for 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows 7. Microsoft determines a product’s compatibility status for the Compatibility Center by looking at whether it has earned the “Compatible with Windows 7” or “Certified for Windows Server 2008” logo and whether the software publisher or device manufacturer states that they currently (or plan to) offer product support for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
Clean install versus upgrade
If you’re on Vista, upgrading to an equivalent edition like Vista Home Premium to 7 Home Premium OR a higher SKU Vista Home Premium to 7 Ultimate, the process will be a cinch. Upgrading to Windows 7 will replace your Vista installation and migrate your files automatically. Of course like any upgrade, you SHOULD BACKUP YOUR DATA, just in case.
If you’re on XP or upgrading to a lower SKU, like Vista Ultimate to 7 Home Premium, the only way for you to process is to have a clean install. So backup your data before doing anything else.
Will it work out of the box?
Yes. Unless you have a very OLD piece of hardware or a very specific peripheral yes, Windows 7 will work out of the box. If you find something isn’t working properly or doesn’t have the proper drivers, do a windows update. Windows 7 is smart enough to identify your hardware and install the proper drivers for it and you’re good to go :D.
Well if you’re in Japan and want to participate in the celebration of the Windows 7 worldwide launch, you can order this 7 layer whopper for Burger King 😀 It costs ¥777. Neat marketing huh?