Posted by: Keith Clanahan | February 28, 2010

4 things to consider before upgrading to Windows 7

You may have heard that Microsoft reports that the adoption of Windows 7 is the fastest adoption of an operating system in the history of the company.  It’s not clear yet if this is because Windows 7 is that good, or because people were so frustrated with Vista that they are eager to get away from it, but the early reports on Windows 7 are very favorable.

You may be considering an upgrade to Windows 7 soon.  If so, here are a few things to consider before you pull the trigger:

1.  Clearly determine why you want to upgrade.  Are you looking for a specific feature or performance enhancement?  You should get clear on your goals before spending the money to make sure you get the correct version of Windows 7 – there are six versions – for different needs.  Tip: most small businesses will want to go with Windows 7 Professional.

2.  Backup before you upgrade.  Some upgrade paths will require a clean install of Windows 7, meaning your computer will have to have the current operating system wiped out before installation of Windows 7.  Make sure all of your data is backed up before you start.

3.  Consider the age of your computer before upgrading.  New computers will come with Windows 7 pre-installed, so if you are within a year of buying a new computer anyway, it probably makes sense to hold off on the upgrade so you don’t double-pay.  Your old computer may not have the horsepower for the new operating system either, which will diminish your experience and leave you frustrated.

4.  Confirm that the applications you want to use will work with Windows 7.  If you are using general office applications, you are probably safe.  But if you are using anything custom or specialized, you need to verify compatibility.

Many people are calling Windows 7 the best operating system yet.  Time will tell, but it definitely has some significant improvements over previous operating systems.  Plan your upgrade carefully and you’ll have a better chance at enjoying all of the benefits Windows 7 has to offer.

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