Windows 7 burst onto the scene in August, 2009 and since then uptake has been gradual. According to analyst firm Forrester Windows XP still accounts for over 59.9% of market share for business use.
Windows XP was released in 2001 and is reaching the end of its life-cycle. In fact Microsoft has announced that it will discontinue XP support in 2014. Windows 7 has established itself as a stable operating system and can run the latest software, including Internet Explorer 9 (XP cannot run IE9).
If you are still running Windows XP (or the dreaded Windows Vista OS) here are a few reasons you should consider making the upgrade to Windows 7 Professional.
1. Performance –Windows 7 was pitted against XP in 25 speed benchmark tests. Some of these tests included moving files, running various software, booting up, and shutting down. Windows 7 came out ahead in 24 of those tests.
2. Smarter search. File search times have been greatly improved. Windows 7 regularly indexes hard drive files during idle time, resulting in extra fast searches. Type in the Start menu search
box, and you’ll see results instantly, grouped by category—documents, pictures, music, e‑mail, and programs.
3. Stability – Windows 7 is more stable than XP (and much more stable than Vista). Using Windows XP, you’ve probably experienced the infamous “Blue Screen of Death” more often than you’d care to remember. With Windows 7, this has become a very rare occurrence.
4. Security – Windows 7 is more secure than Windows XP. The new security Action Centre gives you a central location to manage all security and system backup features. It gives you critical security messages when problems arise and other features 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, whilst Backup and restore functions are easily accessible from the security Action Centre.
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 has this ability, but Windows 7 does it much more effectively.
7. Useful Utilities – Windows 7 has a large number of new, useful utilities that weren’t included with Windows XP. 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 colours and fonts. The calculator also went through a considerable redesign and includes a number of new features.
8. 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.
So what about Windows 8, should you wait for that?
Well you’ll have to wait for our next blog for more information but we believe it will be 18 months or more before Windows 8 will be stable enough for businesses and the jury’s out on whether the massive change to the user interface will be a hit or a miss, particularly for PC’s and laptops. So, for business, we recommend you look to upgrade to Windows 7 sooner rather than later.