Before You Buy Windows 7, Ask Yourself These Questions
Article by George Norman
On 02 Feb 2010
Windows 7, which was released as a stable, final version on the 22nd of October 2009, has become the fastest selling operating system in history", according to Microsoft. On top of that, since Windows 7 was released, it managed to make Microsoft a profit of $6.66 billion (those are the figures for Q2 which ended this December).

If you’re still using XP or Vista, perhaps now is the time to upgrade to Windows 7, which is a lot better than its predecessors. And if you’re currently riding the Windows 7 RC bandwagon, you need to get off because this version is about to expire. But before you spend your hard earned money on Windows 7, perhaps you should ask yourself these questions (we’ve also answered them for you).


Why should I upgrade to Windows 7?

Simply because it’s better than previous versions, XP and Vista. Features that were present in XP and Vista have been improved:
  • Desktop Search
  • BitLocker Drive Encryption
  • Granular Audit
  • User Account Control
  • Smart Card Support
  • Windows Recovery Environment
  • Unified Tracing
  • Deployment Image Searching & Management
  • Volume Activation
  • User State Migration Tool

And new features have been added:
  • Libraries
  • Search Federation
  • Enterprise Search Scopes
  • DirectAccess
  • VPN reconnect
  • BranchCache
  • Mobile Broadband
  • RemoteApp & Desktop Connections
  • BitLocker to Go
  • AppLocker
  • Multiple Active Firewall Profiles
  • Domain Name System Security Extensions
  • Biometric Support
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0
  • Scripting of Group Policy Settings
  • Group Policy Preferences
  • Windows Troubleshooting Platform
  • Problem Steps Recorder
  • Remote Access to Reliability Data
  • Dynamic Driver Provisioning
  • Multicast Multiple Stream Transfer
  • VHD Image Management & Deployment
  • Rich Remoting Experience (Multimedia, Bi-directional Audio, Multi-monitor)
  • VHD Boot

Which edition / version of Windows 7 should I get?

It all depends on the features you want to get and the amount of money you want to pay. The retail price for Windows 7 Home Premium is of about $200 while the retail price for Windows 7 Ultimate is a bit over $300. Windows 7 Ultimate is the most expensive version, but it’s feature-complete. But if you’re just going to be using Windows 7 at home, you’re better off getting Windows 7 Home Premium.

What's 64 bit and do I need it?

A 64-bit processor machine is better than a 32-bit processor one because it can use more RAM. More RAM memory means your computer will be more responsive when you have a ton of programs running at the same time. Furthermore, 64-bit is becoming the norm while 32-bit is slowly becoming outdated.

Can my current PC run Windows 7?

The minimal system requirements for running Windows 7 are:
  • Processor: 32-bit 800MHz processor
  • Memory (RAM): 512MB
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9.0 capable
  • Graphics memory: 32MB
  • HDD space: 16GB
  • Other drives: DVD-ROM
  • Audio: Audio Output

The recommended system requirements:
  • Processor: 32-bit or 64-bit 1GHz processor
  • Memory (RAM): 1GB
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9.0 capable
  • Graphics memory: 32MB
  • HDD space: 16GB
  • Other drives: DVD-ROM
  • Audio: Audio Output

Microsoft has made available for download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, a software application that will go over your current configuration and tell you if your machine can run Windows 7 smoothly. It will also tell you if your devices and installed programs are compatible with Windows 7.

Can I install my copy of Windows 7 onto multiple PC’s?

Yes, you can install windows 7 on multiple computers. But you’ll need a product key to activate each one. A different product key for each computer running Windows 7. Product keys can be purchased from the Microsoft Store.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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