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Windows 7 vs Windows XP

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Windows 7 vs Windows XP

Post by mohsen01 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:14 pm


Since the advent of Windows XP in 2001, there has been little change in the world of Microsoft operating systems. However, in the intervening years, Apple OS X has taken the lead in the "ease of use" stakes for operating systems. Windows Vista was Microsoft's challenge to that. It failed, as it was not widely accepted, and was generally criticised by the IT community at large.
Microsoft saw that criticism, and tried to do better with their next version of windows: Windows 7. They succeeded.

Beta Testing:
Microsoft learnt from the problems it faced at the initial release of Windows Vista. There was wide incompatibility with various devices (all NVidia products were incompatible – that's over 50% of graphics cards in the world) and other problems. These were eventually addressed, but Microsoft didn't want to face the same problems with Windows 7. Thus they decided to run a very extensive beta test of Windows 7 before release. By providing free beta versions of Windows 7 to anyone who wanted it, Microsoft managed to iron out the major bugs before release.
Safety:
Windows 7, due to its extensive beta testing, is one of the most well rounded and secure operating systems ever released. Utilising the same User Access Control mechanism that Vista introduced, it can provide an incredibly secure environment, especially for children. Parental Controls mimic those found in Mac OS X, and can be set to restrict a child's exposure to unsuitable online content. Of course, unlike Vista, in Windows 7, you can set the level of User Access Control that you would prefer for your own usage.
Windows 7 is also covered for viruses by the free suite of security tools from Microsoft – Microsoft Security Essentials. Deemed as a very competitive alternative to paid suites, Microsoft Security Essentials will cover general day to day usage of the computer – from online banking to youtube. For business users, all major internet security suites, including Babeltech favourite AVG, now run on Windows 7.

Compatibility:
Windows 7 has been designed to be backwards compatible with all Vista devices. It will scan the Microsoft site for updates that help it work with any older style of program.
However, as a bonus, if you are really worried about compatibility, then go for Windows 7 Professional – it comes with Windows XP mode, which provides a virtual version of Windows XP for you to run any older software.

Performance:
Although Windows 7 comes in a 32 bit version, it's the 64 bit which Babeltech recommends to all clients. Since Intel's Core Duo processor came out several years ago, all processors since have been 64 bit capable. What this means is that you can have more RAM in the computer.
The problem is that 32 bit computers can only see up to 4Gb of RAM. That includes all RAM: video card RAM and main system RAM. As programs get more complex, the use more RAM, so things start to slow down. By using a 64 bit structure, the computer can see up to 192Gb of memory – not currently available to any consumer computer.
Along with this, Windows 7 makes use of ‘prefetching', which basically means that it loads up the available memory on login with the programs you use the most. This means that those programs appear to start up much faster than normal. Essentially Windows 7 is much faster than Windows XP on a day to day scale.

Appearance:
The very first thing you will notice when booting into a Windows 7 computer is the dramatic change in user interface (UI). The UI is the visual element of how people interact with a computer. Windows 7 takes cues from Vista in this department, but makes some improvements in terms of customisability.
The general user interface in Windows 7 is called Aero. Aero is a glass like theme, allowing the user to change the opacity of windows, and generally get more out of multifunction of a computer. By using Aero Peek, you can quickly flip through the currently open windows and see what's happening real-time.
The taskbar has changed as well. No longer will each open window list as a new item in the taskbar – they will be grouped under the program name. When you scroll over the program icon, you will see a popup of all currently open windows, which you can click on to pull into the foreground. Of course, if you don't like this, you can always change it back to the traditional taskbar arrangement – that's another option in Windows 7.
The file structuring has changed slightly as well – Windows 7 is trying to introduce library folders to the file system. Essentially this means that instead of having to root through directories to get to a specific file under My Documents > Pictures > Holiday 2008 etc, all photos will be accessible under the "photo" library. The way this works is by tagging each file with a specific library tag.
Say you want to have all your backed up documents on your external drive and all your normal documents viewable under the same "folder". This can be achieved by setting them all with the "documents" library tag. It's very simple, and works well.

Comfort:
Windows 7 is designed to make everything easier. Not only is it infinitely customisable, but it's far easier to get everything going. No longer do you have to install specific drivers each time you plug something in – Windows 7 will simply look for the driver on the internet and install it automatically. In fact, in the majority of cases, when we initially installed Windows 7 on a client's computer, by the time the main screen booted up, the computer was fully functional, requiring no more drivers to be installed.
Not only that, but when you plug in a camera or mobile phone, Windows 7 will recognise it, and can automatically perform tasks on it, such as backup of photos, or contacts.

Price:
Windows 7 is in a very competitive world these days. Not only does it have to compete with the growing Apple contingent, but it also has to compete with people moving to open source alternatives such as Linux. This is why Windows 7 is priced at a lower point than any previous windows release.
There are 3 flavours of windows that are currently available in Australia:
• Windows 7 Home Premium $149
• Windows 7 Professional $209
• Windows 7 Ultimate $239
Windows 7 Home Premium is the base model, and would be suitable for all normal users.
Windows 7 Professional has further features, such as ability to join Domain groups, and it also comes with Windows XP Mode, a virtual machine option to provide backwards compatibility.
Windows 7 Ultimate has all of the above, as well as the Bit Locker option to encrypt your hard drive.
All features can be seen here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-AU/windows7/products/compare

Durability:
Windows 7 is essentially an upgrade to Windows Vista. Microsoft is currently planning to release "Windows 8" in 2012. Usually these get pushed back, so that means more like 2013.
Whilst some may argue that it is a waste of time and money to upgrade from a "perfectly suitable" operating system such as Windows XP, we have to take into consideration what Windows XP was designed for.
When Windows XP came out, there was no concept that it would survive as long as it has. Whilst it has been patched in the form of several service packs to provide operability, it is still not designed to work that well with modern computing components. For example, 64 bit processing wasn't considered to be a consumer level option in 2001. Since then, there has been a 64 bit release of Windows XP, but it is not widely compatible.
Windows XP in general will not be able to keep up with the increasing requirements of RAM in modern computing. More and more, we'll see programs come out that require substantial amounts of RAM, such that it will make Windows XP non-functional in a multifunctional world. Windows 7 has been designed from the ground up to take into consideration the modern components available for computers.
In general, Windows XP can't keep up. Whilst I understand that it is an outlay of money that may be considered unnecessary, I would like to point out that if you are using Windows XP on a modern computer, you are not getting your money's worth out of that computer anyway.


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