5 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Windows 7 (And 5 More Reasons Why You Shouldn't)


Yesterday was Microsoft's big day. Windows 7 was released. Did you go buy your copy already? Are you waiting? Whether you have or haven't doesn't really matter but I'm going to give you my five reasons why you should switch to Windows 7 and five more why you shouldn't. Both are compelling and perhaps might change your mind one way or another.

This list might seem odd coming from a guy who ordinarily writes on Linux topics, but as an IT professional I have to work with all operating systems and deal with their quirks accordingly. This is my list of reasons to switch and not to switch based on my experiences with both Windows and Linux--and more specifically Windows 7.

The Five Reasons to Switch to Windows 7:

1. It's new. That's right; simple enough. It's new. What's better than a new version of an operating system (OS)? Windows 7 is a new OS which brings a lot of new promises and hopes to a world that has either held on too long to Windows XP or had issues with Windows Vista. In either case, Windows 7 is a refreshing change and it's long overdue.

2. It's not Vista. Vista was Microsoft's biggest mistake since Windows Me--and no, I won't let it go. Windows Me was bad. Really bad. Windows Vista is also very, very bad. It's slow, it's clunky, it's often unresponsive and it is not a pleasure to use. Every computer, except one, I have upgraded to Windows XP from Vista every time I see it on a computer that I have any control or say so over. Being Not Vista is a very compelling reason to switch. I think Microsoft owes Vista owners a huge discount or a free copy of Windows 7 and an apology for Windows Vista but that's just me.

3. Performance. Windows 7 boots way faster than any other MS OS since Windows 3.1. It's impressive to say the least. It also was an almost complete rewrite of all subsystems from a performance standpoint. It takes advantage of multi-core processor technology and it has the same hardware requirements as Vista--so that means you don't have to go out and buy a new computer to run it. Windows 7 feels "lighter" and snappier than even Windows XP. It runs comfortably on Netbooks, which is a huge boost over the not recommended for Netbooks Vista.

4. XP Mode and Virtualization. All of your applications should run fine on Windows 7 if they run on XP. 7 also has built-in virtualization with Virtual PC if you purchase the Ultimate or the Enterprise version.

5. Smooth Upgrade Path from Vista. Windows 7 upgrades from Vista without issue but don't expect that behavior from a Windows XP to 7 upgrade; it won't work. To do this upgrade, you'll need a third party product or you'll have to wipe out your Windows XP installation and install Windows 7 fresh.

The Five Reasons to Not to Switch to Windows 7:

1. It Isn't Windows XP. To this you might be saying, "Duh" but I have a good reason for saying this: Windows 7 is more 'Vista-esque' in its behavior than XP is. So, if you're expecting a smooth cutover to 7 from XP, fugettaboutit. It's not the same. Oh there's still the familiar Control Panel, Programs and so on but when you look for your "My Documents" folder, surprise, it isn't there. There's a Documents folder under Libraries. Libraries replaces My Documents for some odd reason. Libraries is where you'll find your documents, music, pictures and videos. But, there's another surprise for you. If you go poking around a bit under your user name: C:\Users\username, you'll see a My Documents folder which is an alias to your Documents folder under Libraries. Cool, huh? Why the change? Who knows? Basically, Microsoft has "Macified" Windows 7 with all this 'I don't know where on the actual disk my stuff is' design. Oh, well, get used to it; it's what you've always wanted: A Mac for less than half the price.

2. It Isn't a Desktop Savior. If you're going into a Windows 7 upgrade with the hope that Windows 7 is the finest operating system since DOS, you're sadly mistaken. Windows 7 is Microsoft's apology for Vista. Windows 7 is really a transitional operating system for Microsoft. It is the OS that will keep you quiet long enough for them to work on and launch the true next generation of operating system, which will be something totally unique.

3. It's Expensive. Microsoft made no real apologies for Vista in the way of a cheap upgrade to Windows 7, so go into this with your eyes open to a cost ranging from $100 to just over $300, depending on the version you choose to use.

4. It's Still Windows. Another 'Duh' moment but allow me to explain that statement. "It's still Windows," means that you'll still have the same issues that you've always had with Windows operating systems; this one is no great stray from the mother ship on that matter. Expect lots of patches that require rebooting, driver issues, security fixes that also require rebooting and a fantastic array of new viruses, malware and spyware specifically designed to target 7's weak spots.

5. It Ain't Linux. OK, yet another 'Duh' for the list and I'm sure that I'll receive rancid attacks from the Microsoft Fanboy Cheering Section on this but hear me out first. People are so quick to call some new version of an OS as a "Insert your least favorite operating system here" killer. Well it ain't. It ain't Linux and it ain't a Linux killer by any stretch. In fact, there will be a great number of people and companies who will mull the switch from their current operating system to either Windows 7 or some Linux distribution. Windows 7 prompts us to take a good long look at vendor lock-in, fewer freedoms and more expense. It ain't Linux and it ain't free.

Have you seen Windows 7 yet? Do you expect to upgrade soon or are you going to wait? Tell me about your plans to switch or to wait and why.

About the Author

My new book, Practical Virtualization Solutions, is out.

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Shade01 0 Junior Poster in Training

I am running win 7 now and am reasonably impressed with it. Having worked with both XP and Vista, I was surprised by the speed and easy interface of win 7. Drivers are readily available, even the TV card ( although I had to let it upgrade itself). I have noticed most of the vendors have already prepared for win 7 ( not like vista ). Whilst I can dual boot to XP or win 7, I prefer win 7. I have also discovered if a program locks up it does not take the system down as well and that the task manager work more efficiently then in XP.

Matias 0 Newbie Poster

I don't give a shit about Windows 7. Last year i moved to Linux after 14 years struggle with Windows 3.1-->Xp. I was saved from Vista- Horror. 14 years i hoped and i wished and i was dissappointed. Now who the hell is gonna convert me to come back to same hell, to same ridiculous Microsoft-ecosystem?

Media hypes and media will always hype. I tell you one thing: they can cheat all people some time, some people all the time, but not all people all the time. Everybody ought to make a question to him/herself -

Epi23 0 Newbie Poster

Right now I'm running a laptop with a Ubuntu and XP media center edition dual boot. I'm skeptical about 7, but I'm going to give it a try soon. I'm going to be building a new pc and was going to dual boot 7 and ubuntu. But, until I get it, I'll remain skeptical about it. I've seen stuff on the net on how it looks, and I'll surely miss XP. But the virtualization and XP mode may keep me with it longer.

DigitaLink 0 Newbie Poster

Just replaced XP with 7 on my Aspire One netbook. It's snappy, looks great, runs smoothly, and uses no more resources than XP ever did. Heck even Aero runs with the Intel graphics (which oddly the Upgrade Advisor said it would NOT) on this thing.

Hate to say it, but Microsoft finally got one (mostly) right. Biggest beef I've had so far is that copying/moving/deleting a large number of files (many gigs worth) eats CPU cycles for some reason. Other than that, it's great!

And I say that as someone who spent several years using nothing but linux (PCLOS/Ubuntu mostly) ... so I'm far from a fanboy. Just calling a spade a spade here. When budget allows, I think the family license pack will be in order to upgrade everything in the house.

debos 0 Newbie Poster

Installed it (utiltimate full) on an old dell inspiron 8100 (384mb ram).
It runs... though... no 3D grafix driver (to nvidia geforce2go card), no audio driver (til maestro card)..., no wireless connectivity (smc usb).
Suffice to say - I haven't booted into it since, but use the the trusty dual booted debian (lenny) - in which these things work without problems - nothing apt-get can't resolve.
Still I never even contemplated installing Vista on this machine.
Windows - why bother?!

KonkaNok 36 Light Poster

Managed to get Win7 free from my university about 3 weeks ago and I'm dualbooting it with a couple of Linux distros. Most annoying thing about the set up was that Windows eats boot loaders for breakfast.. but after I got that sorted out it was pretty easy. Had a few not-so-healthy crashes but overall it seems to be a really solid and stable OS.

I'd agree with the 'It ain't Linux' point. I'm used to customising whatever I want, however I want but.. you really can't do that with Win7 - it tends to dictate how you run your system. Luckily I kinda like the way it's set up (for the most part anyway - what's with this Libraries bs??) and once you let your guard down it's a genuinely nice system to use. I'd highly recommend it :)

DigitaLink 0 Newbie Poster

I dunno, I like the Libraries idea actually. Yes, I still save things specifically where I want them, because old habits die hard, but you can add multiple folders to each library and access all of them from one 'folder'. I can see that being pretty handy.

Anyway, no Microsoft fan, but I am liking what they've done with 7.

Synic 0 Newbie Poster

2. It's not Vista

or Vista Sp1 or Vista SP2

but it is Vista SP3
for a price

(from Microsoft - vista driver certification requires Windows 7 compatible drivers or lose vista driver certification )

kg4qpb 0 Newbie Poster

I don't find vista that bad for what i used my computer,but i don't like the windows 7 look . Is like having a mac.

ger.morab 0 Newbie Poster

I rather wait a few months before trying 7. I'm sticking with XP and Ubuntu at the moment.

rif 0 Newbie Poster

I personally think that both linux (especially Fedora, Ubuntu or Debian) and Mac OSX are better choices if you are willing to spend some time to get use to them. The only reason not to use linux is Suse and not to use OSX is price. I tried windows 7 beta because I was curious.

blitz/braker.ex 0 Newbie Poster

I think all microsoft product is nice as it name-bringing reputation but in a lot case some OS may produce or even worst mall-product all in one update! you seethe different if you just "keep it" as it was preinstalled after you buy the computer or else microsoft can update it and shoot!! got ya!

Ancient Dragon 5,243 Achieved Level 70 Team Colleague Featured Poster

I just installed 64-bit Windows 7 Home Prem the other day. I wanted to upgrade from Vista Home Prem, but the upgrade failed for some reason. So I just did a clean install. I've tried both Ubuntu and Fedora 11, but neither will let me play videos on my DVD and had lots of problems with sound. I had none of those problems with Vista/Windows 7.

EddieC 0 Posting Whiz in Training

once you go mac, you won't wanna go back. trust your feelings. you know it to be true.

octavius 36 Newbie Poster

Hello everybody,

I got myself a retail copy of Windows 7 Professional because the offer seemed good and I intend to buy a new computer before Christmas.

However, I still have a couple of weeks left before I buy that new computer, and in the meantime, I would like to test Windows 7 on my current machine.

I currently run Windows Vista 64 and Ubuntu. I have a boot manager which gives me three choices at startup, including an earlier version of Windows (which is Win2K, but which doesn't work, just gets me a blue screen of death, and that is it.)

I'd like to add Windows 7 to my current system without tampering with Vista, and I'd also like to keep my Ubuntu.

It's obvious that I do not want to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 because I'm gonna remove Windows 7 from the current system once I get the new machine.

What is the best way to proceed?

Windows Vista is also very, very bad. It's slow, it's clunky, it's often unresponsive and it is not a pleasure to use. Every computer, except one, I have upgraded to Windows XP from Vista every time I see it on a computer that I have any control or say so over. Being Not Vista is a very compelling reason to switch.

Actually, I'm quite happy with my Vista computer. There are a few areas where Vista is more convenient than XP. I really liked Win2K, but, sadly, most modern graphic adaptaers no longer support Win2K

caperjack 875 I hate 20 Questions Team Colleague

buy a cheap harddrive or a good one for you new system and remove your excisting drive and install it and load win7 on it

kaninelupus 275 Practically a Posting Shark

Some in interesting comments, but as seems the "norm" on any MS-based topic, the trolls have yet again come out to play!

I don't give a shit about Windows 7.

And you felt the need to tell us all, why?? If you don't care about Windows, why even bother reading about it and flaming the boards??

I don't find vista that bad for what i used my computer,but i don't like the windows 7 look . Is like having a mac.

Okaaaay; care to qualify that opinion? Use both platforms on a daily basis at work, and fail to see how Win7 resembles OS X. Sure, there may well be a few similar similar/common concepts, but that is a good thing... noone should be tied to a single OS over a single exclusive tool or methodology.

I personally think that both linux (especially Fedora, Ubuntu or Debian) and Mac OSX are better choices if you are willing to spend some time to get use to them. The only reason not to use linux is Suse and not to use OSX is price. I tried windows 7 beta because I was curious.

Again, unqualified opinions with no explanation! If the only basis for your opinions are from using an earlier pre-release build of Win7, then it really doesn't count for much!

What exactly is the problem with SUSE? It is far and away superior to Ubuntu, which you claim as a better alternative to Windows. As to OS X.... how many power users do you find using OS X by default?

once you go mac, you won't wanna go back. trust your feelings. you know it to be true.

Really? Truly? Funny how some of us - myself included - made the opposite transition! Was a time I swallowed all the propaganda rained down from Apple, all the while gritting my teeth at all the limitations and quirks. I may be forced to move btwn Windows and OS X at work, but Apple will never again hold a place in my home, period!

Basically, Microsoft has "Macified" Windows 7 with all this 'I don't know where on the actual disk my stuff is' design.

Not sure why you're complaining about not being able to find the actual source of files/folders found in the new Libraries.... the source location is clearly displayed when you open a Libraried folder. In my case, I have several folders attached to each Library - for example, I have a Downloads Library, linking to Downloads folders from both Win7 and Vista, as well as a Downloads folder on my external drive - and the location of each directory is clearly labelled.

As to Win7 being "Macified", exactly how so? I hear this fly-by comment from time to time, yet no-one ever qualifies it! Again, as someone using OS X and Windows (both Vista and Win7), I honestly see no basis for such opinions.... they're nothing alike beyond a few small common points.

Been had dual-boot configuration for Vista and Win7 since RC release, and have to say have been delighted with what I've seen. Vista wasn't too bad if you could ignore the performance issues, but Win7 works well.... very well. Driver support has in no way been a repeat of early Vista release scenarios. Stable as all hell. Much better thought out, especially in terms of new Libraries and task-bar improvements.

Perfect? No, but then am yet to discover that "perfect" OS, and doubt that any such OS will ever exist.

khakilang -3 Posting Pro in Training

As long as I got use from my Window XP PC I will not change and beside I had another notebook running Ubuntu Linux latest 9.10 Karmic Koala and I am very impress by its performance and ease of use despite my notebook is already 7 years old. I am not going to dig deep into my pocket for some fancy interface and look. Call me cheapskate if you want. As long as it meets my requirement everything else doesn't matter.

Shade01 0 Junior Poster in Training

Nice one kaninelupus. If mac was so good and ms soooo bad, strange that most users use ms products. Win 7 is a good OS and the people who are running it down probably realize that and are trying to justify their dislike of Microsoft. There was a post in Microsoft Windows 7 news that Snow Leopard was faster then Win 7, but what was interesting that he commented that he use a mac and win 7. He also stated that he found there were programs that ran better on a mac but also programs that ran better in win 7, so he did not not care which ran faster just that he used the OS which suited his needs. Basically, like you said, no OS is perfect. At least it was an informed comment and not one fueled by passion.

sharonsky 0 Newbie Poster

i find window7 wonderfull !! at last they made something good at microsoft so lets give them cheeeeers....
hope will not find im wrong in a few weeks... but so far i really like it !!


cheupe 0 Newbie Poster

Every one I know hates vista, I really dont know why? But I hate it also. I have never bothered to install it. Currently running Linux and XP as secondary OS (boot menu list/partition manager=linux. Linux is freely available, and allows you to customize so much to your liking. Why still bother with microsoft?

ONE things I may want to use windows 7 for. I hear it is able to maximally, optimally and effectively make use of multi-core cpu technology. Really?


KonkaNok 36 Light Poster

I still think that all the libraries do is overcomplicate folder navigation. I understand that it might be useful for grouping folders together but then couldn't you just group folders by putting them into their own.. folder (?)

I don't think 7 is anything like OS X to be honest. I seem to recall the task bar being called a rip off of the Mac dock and a flurry of other odd claims but I don't think the libraries obscure file locations, they just feel like a needless add-on for a file system that was perfectly good to begin with.

theemerchant -2 Junior Poster in Training

I like the line "Windows 7 is Microsofts apology for Vista". I guess that pretty well says everything about it. I suggest that when youre trying to decide from changing to W7 from vista, do it. But if you're so used to XP already and you've probably set it up with your mos t convenient settings, then don't try to move to W7. You might just end up in disappointment.

Shade01 0 Junior Poster in Training

Actually The grouping of folders in the library are shortcuts to the original location of the folder and if one uses partitions with folders in different partitions that are used regularly, then the library becomes a useful tool.

verakot -4 Newbie Poster

The Five Reasons to Not to Switch to Windows 7:
4. XP Mode and Virtualization. If you are installing Windows 7 for the purpose XP Mode, stop and check if you have a compatible CPU with Virtualization technology enabled first. Even if your CPU does have VT Mode, and should be enabled or there should be an option in BIOS to enable it. Otherwise the XP Mode would not never work on your Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate Edition.

hapizi84 0 Newbie Poster

I'm still using XP..Window 7 so expensive.If i want to use Window 7 for my laptop,must install new driver or using XP driver for another application?

caperjack 875 I hate 20 Questions Team Colleague

hapizi84 , yor post doesn't fully make sence[ this part ,please explain if you wish ,==== for my laptop,must install new driver or using XP driver for another application] but ,if you laptop is so old its running winxp ,then it likely will not be able to take advantage of the best things about win7 anyway ,also winxp device drivers will not work for win7,if the devices have win vista drivers availablethey should would work in win 7

xilver2dragon 0 Newbie Poster

I like windows 7 and now I'm using RC 1 version. Still waiting for full version

nickyrash 0 Newbie Poster

This is an interesting perspective. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful information and look forward to see more from you.

kaninelupus commented: Not sure why the repetitive comments, but serves no purpose other than bashing my in-box! +0
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