For all you Windows users out there, you may have heard of Microsoft's new Operating System (OS), Windows 7, which I will hereby refer to as Win7. Win7 is the succesor to Vista, the object of much complaining and critisizm--and not without reason. Windows Vista requires a lot more memory to operate smoothly and quickly on, and a lot of programs are still not compatible with it. For this reason, many users have downgraded or stayed with XP.
Win7, however, actually looks pretty good (that is a big compliment coming from a Mac user and fan!). So the question is: upgrade for $120+, or don't?
Here is the deal: Many Windows PCs that have Vista on them are eligable for a free upgrade to Win7, so yay for all you Vista users! Just look up your PCs manufactuer and see if they are offering a free upgrade.
Now...for all you XP users.... (duh-duh-duh!!!) here is your deal: wanna upgrade? Not without wiping your hard drive clean and starting over! AND the Win7 Premium edition costs a staggering $200!! That's not even the best version (Professional) which is $300! :O no way I am gonna buy that!! And you would also have to back up all your files so they wouldn't get erased when you upgrade.
So....Win7 Features (and comparing them with Mac OS X features):
-Win7 = refined version of Vista: Vista is slow and bloated, we all know. Win7 attempts to fix this by improving performance. Check 1. (Mac is still faster)
-New taskbar: the taskbar now has new features like: being more blocky than Vista; items are now a cube on the taskbar, not a long bar; AeroPeek allows you to view the desktop without having to minimize everything; you can now rearange your open programs on the taskbar. (Mac OS X Leopard uses Expose to do this.) Check 2.
-Multi-core performance: have an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, or anything with more than 1 core? Win7 utilizes those cores better, helping out with improved performance. Check 3. (Snow Leopard also has this feature.)
-Multi-tocuh: do you have a PC with multitouch trackpad? Not many are out there, because Windows doesn't support them--until now. Rotate pictures with a twist of two fingers, scroll up and down with 2 fingers, ect. (Mac users will be aware that this feature has been on MacBooks for a while.)
For more, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7
So..if you have Vista, by all means, upgrade! If you have XP, there are a number of things you can do to make your PC look like Win7, and in some ways, act like it (hint at future article!).
In the long run, Win7 looks like a good upgrade, besides the cool features i listed, it focuses on trying to make things easier to understand and better performance. You will need at least:
1 GHz processor
1 GB RAM (32-bit)
16 GB hard drive space
128 MB graphics memory to use Windows Aero
So if you have the money, upgrade--but back up first, XP users! Vista people, check out that free upgrade, and if you can't do that, save up some muula and go get Win7!