Should I get Windows 7? Why?

Turns out students can get Windows 7 for $30.

I have had Vista on my laptop and my desktop for at least a couple of years. I’ve never had a problem that I could detect.

So, given I’ve never perceived a problem with Vista, what, if anything, about Windows 7 would make me glad I got it?


My IT department at work are installing Windows 7 to replace Vista on all our 600 machines.

I have Vista on a home machine and I can’t access my Device Manager. All I get is
‘Microsoft Management Console has stopped working’.

No problems so far but if you’re happy with Vista you may as well wait for the first service pack update to come out before upgrading to Win 7.

There are some nice new features in Win 7 but nothing that you really need that Vista doesn’t already have.
The libraries feature is pretty nice, especially for me since I’m not real good about keeping my files organized. The uncluttered system tray is an improvement.
Another minor improvement is the sticky note and pinning features. Again, it is helpful in my lack of organization skills. :slight_smile:

So nothing earth shattering but no complaints either.

Went from Vista to 7 here:
-Love the new USB detection speeds. Plug in a device it starts working in a second or so, instead of 3-10 seconds.
-The new “Connect to” interface is better than Vista’s. Autoconnect following a resume from sleep seems faster as well.

None of the other new features impressed me much. In fact, I either disable or ignore most of 'em.

The wireless thing alone was probably worth the 30 bucks for me. But I’m certainly glad I didn’t pay full (or even regular upgrade) price for it… 7 feels like a Vista service pack.

It’s the Mojave experiment come to life, basically.

It will extend the life of your system - assuming the hardware holds out. Vista will go out of support around 2016. Yeah, a long time away…but if you are worried about security patches for the long term - particularly if you OEMed the OS when you bought the box.

My employer (a federal agency) officially phases out Windows 2000 at the end of this month. I fully expect us to migrate to Windows 7 in about 2035. Contact me then for a Windows 7 opinion.

I’m on an XP box and about to build a new system. My experience moving to Office 2007 was horrific (mainly the ribbong, but a few other things as well), and I’m concerned of having to slog through similar angst. I don’t mind new per se, but I do mind new for the sake of new. Redesign because my desktop isn’t jazzy enough. That sort of crap. Is the “upgrade” analogous? Is it easy to turn off eye candy?

I really don’t understand the new task bar. I have mine pinned to the right side of my monitor, with quicklaunch shortcuts at the top, system tray relevant notifications on the bottom, and running windows in the middle. Clean, well organized, and efficient. Now it’s … what, like a Mac? What’d they do?

Where? What proof of studentship do you have to have?

.edu email address from approved university.

A ribbong, I might have gotten behind, but the new-for-the-sake-of-new ribbon…I agree with you.

If your university email address works, you don’t need to prove anything. So even if you’re not in school this year but you can still get email from your school, you’re all set.

Meh, you get used to it, eventually, mostly, until you want to do something you haven’t done in a while :wink:

I would recommend an upgrade to Windows 7. It’s much much faster than Vista was on my machine, and it has a lot of small (and some big) but nifty changes that really enhance my Windows experience.

If you have 1GB or more of RAM, I’d recommend an upgrade. It’s faster than XP on many machines as well, including netbooks. If you’re not sure about whether to upgrade, but want to try it out before you decide, here’s what you can do:

  1. Backup your existing system (see GQ sticky for backup software options)
  2. Download and install Windows 7 without necessarily buying it first. Make sure you download from the Digital River site and nowhere else, if you plan to buy the Student version.
  3. You get a 30-day free trial by default when you install Windows 7. You can extend this trial for 30 additional days, three times, for a total of 120 days of trial, using a hidden but known rearm command.
  4. If you like it, buy the license. If you don’t, restore from the backup and continue as you were.

Technically. But the fineprint states that they reserve the right to ask for proof of enrollment. I highly doubt they’ll exercise that right, but be informed.

Examples of things that are better: boot up speed, windows explorer launch speed, new task bar (hated it at first, but it’s awesome once you “get” it), new system tray, speed of restore from hibernation, new resource monitor, better power management, desktop background can take an rss feed as input to change image, better control over annoying “are you sure you want to run this” warnings that Vista insisted upon, MSN messenger windows don’t pop up directly - they just flash on the task bar until I click on it, wireless connection/restore speed from power off or hibernate, new “keep wireless on for 10mins even if lid is closed” option so you can go from one room to another and instantly connect back on, start/shutdown button can be changed to restart or hibernate or whatever you use most often, and a lot of similar small but really neat stuff.

Here’s a neat list of Win 7 tricks:

The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets

Are you talking about “pinning” things? So that what used to be “quick launch” icons wind up all over the task bar, with currently running programs between them? I got sick of that shit after about five minutes, configured the task bar to act the old way, and haven’t thought about it since.

Is the new way really better? I’m curious as to how it could be.

Yeah, I had the same initial reaction as you and promptly reverted to the old way. But then I read a few people mention how it’s better, and tried it out for a while, and I’m glad I did.

Here’s how it works: Consider your new task bar to be the old quick launch, with icons across the length. But here’s how it differs - let’s say you have a Windows Explorer shortcut. Now, drag the icon upwards and you’ll see a context menu. You can customize the context menu, so for example you can have your most used directories show up in the context menu for one-click access. It also keeps track of your frequently used directories, and those show up as well. So now I never have to go clicking through directories. Same with the control panel pinned. I can go directly into, say, “Uninstall Programs” or “Power Options” with a quick drag upwards and one click. No more multiple clicks to get there.

Also, my browsers pinned on that bar. It’s much better for tabbed browsing, and especially for multiple browser sessions, because everything hides under one icon, and shows up beautifully when you mouse over the different thumbnails. The switching is just neat. Again, the dragging of the icon upwards shows up a context menu.

So basically, the new task bar is like quick launch and old task bar rolled into one, with some really cool features added.

Try it for a few days. It’s like switching from a razor to an electric shaver.

ETA: And the upside is that instead of 2 lines (one for quick launch and one for task bar), I now only need one. That’s a lot of screen real estate saved on my 12" tablet.

You’re right to be skeptical, but Windows 7 really is a huge improvement on Vista.

I just got Windows 7 a couple of weeks ago although I didn’t upgrade on my existing computer; I just bought a new computer with Windows 7 already installed. I’ve never used Vista so I can’t say whether it’s an improvement but so far I’d have to say that Windows 7 is less stable than XP as things tend to freeze up a bit more. I’ve also had compatibility problems with some of my applications while certain websites do not seem to display properly (even if I switch to compatibility mode).

But aside from that, it seems to run fairly smoothly.

I love my 7.

I liked Vista-- never used it before they fixed it with the later service pack, so I didn’t get to experience the horror stories. But earlier this year I downloaded the 7 demo, and was hooked from the get-go. Streamlined, intuitive, faster, easier… *better *(and nooo, not just a “service pack” for Vista; far from it).

Alas, my computer’s hard drive crashed, and I ended up getting a new computer that had Vista on it until I could get my 7 upgrade disc in the mail, so I was back to Vista for two months.

Lemme tell ya, that SUCKED. Vista is fine if you’re using it up from XP; going from 7 back to Vista is painful (I couldn’t even imagine going back to XP… got XP at work, that’s plenty punishment enough, thank you very much).

Anyway, there are a few quirks here and there that could probably stand to be fixed or tweaked in the coming months, but the functionality out of the box is probably as good as you’ll get with any software, if not better (heck, most PC games I have need three patches to be even playable– 7 worked great from the moment I installed it).

The only downside? The HP “free” upgrade disc I got in the mail was defective. After a couple hours trying to get work, I finally said screw it, and bought a new copy through the MS site. Just over an hour later, everything was installed, my Vista was upgraded to 7, no issues at all.

So, since I paid $120 for my copy and am very happy with it, I’d run out the door now for a $30 copy…