Upgrade to Windows 7 – Nine Reasons to Make the Switch

Making the upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows XP has been a hot topic for PC owners since Windows 7 burst onto the scene in August, 2009. It has steadily increased its number of users over the following two years. By July, 2011, Windows 7 held over 37% market share. Conversely the numbers of Windows XP users have been steadily declining during the same time period, going from over 70% to under 43% market share.

If you are still running Windows XP (or the dreaded Windows Vista OS) here are nine reasons you should consider making the upgrade to Windows 7:

  1. Performance – Windows 7 is optimized for superior performance. The latest version of Windows 7 was pitted against XP in 25 speed benchmark tests. Some of these tests included moving files, extracting files, running various software, booting up, and shutting down. Windows 7 came out ahead in 24 of those tests.

    File search times have been vastly accelerated. Windows 7 regularly indexes hard drive files during idle time, resulting in lightning-fast searches. Files display instantly as you type the search terms. All results are grouped by file type.

    Display improvements include color calibration, improved support for external monitors, and high DPI support.

  2. Ease of Use – Microsoft redesigned the interface to be more streamlined and use highly efficient shortcuts. Taskbar buttons are larger and can be reordered. Right-click a taskbar icon to display past file history for quick access. Hover over an icon to preview an open file.

  3. Stability – Windows 7 is more stable than XP. Using Windows XP, you've probably experienced the infamous "Blue Screen of Death" (BSOD) more often than you'd care to remember. With Windows 7, the BSOD has become quite rare.

    Windows 7 substantially improves the system restore feature. It's much more reliable and effective than that of XP. If your system experiences problems with newly installed software or device drivers, it's a simple matter to return your PC's configuration to a previous point in time.

  4. Security – Windows 7 is more secure than Windows XP. The new security Action Center gives you a central location to manage all security and system backup features. It gives you critical security messages when problems arise.

    The User Account Control Slider lets you set your level of security instantly. A new feature called Bitlocker can encrypt your hard drive or USB device to prevent hackers from gaining access to your personal information.

  5. Maintenance – Windows 7 makes it easier to perform maintenance tasks. File defragmentation occurs automatically in the background, without the need to run DEFRAG. Backup and restore functions are easily accessible from the security Action Center.

    Troubleshooting functions, including diagnostic tools and wizards, are collected in one place. These automate the troubleshooting process and give you feedback on possible solutions.

  6. Connecting – Windows 7 makes it easier to connect to new devices and networks. New devices are automatically detected and installed. Windows 7 searches the Internet and finds necessary drivers for you. XP kinda, sorta has this ability, but Windows 7 does it much more effectively.

    The networking HomeGroup functionality lets you easily connect computers on your home network for easy file sharing and printing.

  7. Useful Utilities – Windows 7 has a large number of new, useful utilities that weren't included with Windows XP. Effective speech recognition software is built in. With it you can perform voice dictation, navigate web pages, and easily create and send emails without use of the keyboard.

    Windows Media Player has been overhauled and includes new library functions and now playing views. You can now paste sticky notes on your desktop in a variety of colors and fonts. The calculator also went through a considerable redesign and now performs unit conversion, retains your calculation history, and has a variety of other new features.

    Parental controls allow parents to help keep their children safe when online by setting what content the children can view. Kids' time spent on the computer can also be controlled and limited.

  8. Age of Windows XP – Windows XP was released in 2001 and has become outdated. Microsoft has announced that it will discontinue XP support in 2014. Windows 7 can run the newest software, including Internet Explorer 9 (XP cannot run IE9). Technology evolves rapidly. Don't be left behind! Most older programs will run on Windows 7. XP compatibility mode is provided for those that won't.

  9. Ease of Updates – Windows 7 is much easier to update than XP. A "Windows Update" dialogue box provides you with thorough, step-by-step information as you perform updates.

These are some of the highlights where you can see that Windows 7 offers numerous advantages over Windows XP. With today's commercial software becoming more and more powerful, most of them require the more sophisticated Windows 7 operating system.

There are actual day-to-day benefits in the many convenient, time-saving features in Windows 7. Perhaps the two most impressive are the enhanced security and the stability. It just works, and it works much better than the 10 year old Windows XP. Upgrade to Windows 7 and start enjoying a smoother, less stressful computing experience.