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Windows 7 Lands

Windows 7 has been available for several months, and all vendors are now shipping it with their machines.

Some vendors are still shipping Windows XP “downgrade” media, and some still offer Windows Vista as an option, but these will probably disappear soon. Previously many people solved their Window Vista problems by sticking with Windows XP, but we are rapidly approaching a point where, if you have a problem with Windows 7, you'll have to fix it, because it won't be solved by using Windows Vista (since they're essentially the same) and it is simply not practical to buy a new computer with Windows XP unless it's a tiny Netbook.

If you purchased a machine with Windows Vista in the second half of 2009, you probably qualify for a cheap upgrade to Windows 7, but this offer expires soon. See Upgrading to Windows 7 or consult your vendor for information about how to claim.

Whether or not you would install the Windows 7 upgrade is another matter. Even a brand-new system with Windows Vista-compatible software and drivers may experience problems installing Windows 7, so the process could be simple and quick, or fraught with difficulties. And you may have trouble with some older programs. So if you have a Windows Vista system that is running well, you may wish to keep it that way for the time being. But having the Windows 7 upgrade may be useful for the future.

Before upgrading, copy your data to a safe place, such as a removable drive. (These are very cheap now.)

Or if you prefer, Cadzow provides a Vista-to-7 upgrade service for a fixed fee of $66 including GST (not including the upgrade licence itself). This is a pickup/return service and may take up to 48 hours.

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