Microsoft Windows listened to their customer feedback and has developed the easiest, fastest, and most engaging version of Window yet. New and improved features include an improved taskbar, full-screen previews, Jump Lists (a handy way to quickly reach the files you’ve been working with), a Windows Search box helping you find nearly everything on your PC  quickly, and there’s more!

Instead of simply explaining Windows 7, we’re going to help you with the upgrade process so you can check out the new features for yourself.

General Overview:

Version of Windows 7 to purchase/upgrade – Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate – can connect to Windows domains. FYI: Windows Home Basic and Home Premium do not support domains and are not suitable for office environments.

System Requirements:

Minimum (from Microsoft)

1.)   1 GHz or faster CPU

2.)   1 GB RAM

3.)  16 GB available hard drive space

4.)  DirectX 9 graphics device support (either on the logic board or a separate graphics card)

More Realistic Requirements

1.)  PC that is less than two years old (was designed by vendor for Vista) – this insures that the computer components will be compatible with the System 7 Drivers – typically there are issues with the audio, CD/DVD and peripheral devices.

2.)  Intel Core 2 Duo or Quad CPU –  CPU will need to have Intel VT support if you are interested in running the new XP Emulation mode  Athlon X2 CPU – CPU will need to have AMD-V support for XP Mode.

3.)  4GB RAM – more is even better.  Here is where a number of older PCs will not make the cut, as they do not support more than 2 GB of RAM, which is just not enough for Windows 7 to work optimally.

4.)  40 GB of available space

5.)  DirectX 11 graphic device support

Upgrading to Windows 7

Vista – no brainer, if a workstation is on Vista Business it should be upgraded to Windows 7 Professional

1.)  Run the Microsoft upgrade advisor application to be certain – http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx

2.)  Look at the Windows-upgrade-chart.png document attached for upgrade compatibility between Vista and Windows 7

3.)  Do not upgrade an older computer to Windows 7; it is just not worth the time and headaches that will come with the upgrade process.

Recommendation:

1.)  If the current computer shipped with, and is still running, Vista Business – upgrade to Windows 7

2.)  If the computer is running less than 2 GB of RAM, upgrade it to 4 GB

3.)  If the current computer shipped with Vista but is running Windows XP, determine if upgrade to Windows 7 will benefit the user

4.)  Will need to load Windows 7 from scratch (possibly having to install Vista first) and then reload all applications.

5.)  If the current computer shipped with, and is running, Windows XP Pro – leave the computer on Windows XP Pro

6.)  Depending on the age of the computer, you may want to consider replacing it with a PC with Windows 7 already installed.

With Windows 7 Professional, fewer walls stand between you and your success. You can run many Windows XP productivity programs in Windows XP Mode and recover data easily with automatic backups to your home or business network. You can also connect to company networks effortlessly and more securely with Domain Join. With all the exciting entertainment features of Windows Home Premium, it’s a great choice for home and for business. Get to know Windows 7, and see how it can simplify just about everything you do with your PC.