The newest member of Microsoft family of operating systems, named Windows 7, is soon to be released and it is being regarded as a much needed improvement over Windows Vista and in some instances Windows XP. Instead of adding more features or changing the operating system Microsoft focused on improving the user interface and making the operating system more stable and easier to use.
When released, Windows 7 will be available in three different versions which include Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. The choice of version to use will depend on the functionality and features needed in the operating system. Listed below are the different editions available and the features that are provided with each version.
- Improved desktop navigation, display and organizational features.
- Includes Internet Explorer 8 - the newest version of Microsoft’s Internet browser.
- With the proper hardware (TV tuner) can use your computer to watch and record TV with Windows Media Center.
- Create a home network and share files and printers with all computers and users in the house with the HomeGroup feature.
- Protect important data and files with included backup and restore features.
- Includes all of the above features and the additional features listed below:
- A Windows XP mode which allows program designed for Windows XP to run under Windows 7.
- The ability to join Windows domains.
- Backups and restore functionality includes the ability to backup home and business networks.
- Includes all of the features of the Home Premium and Professional editions and the additional features listed below:
- Improved data protection for files, hard drives and removable media such as USB drives with encryption provided by BitLocker and BitLocker To Go.
- Support for 35 different languages and ability to switch between the languages.
Before decided on which version is best you also need to determine if your system will be able to run Windows 7. If you have a system that can run and support Windows Vista then it should be suitable for Windows 7. If you have an older system then might need to upgrade or get a newer computer. The recommended system requirements per Microsoft are as follows:
- Either 1 Ghz or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor
- 1 GB RAM for 32-bit or 2 GB RAM for 64-bit (I highly recommend at least 2GB regardless)
- 16 GB hard disk space for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
- A DirectX 9 graphic device
If you are not sure of your system configuration or need help determining if you system is ready for the upgrade can use the Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft which is located here - Upgrade Advisor.