Should I upgrade to Windows 7?
Lately a lot of my clients have been asking me if it is worthwhile to look at either upgrading to Windows 7 when it is available, or if they should purchase computers or option kits that permit a free upgrade to a Windows 7 license.
Typically with any Microsoft Windows release, you need to be cautious due to software applications, bugs, security risks that are associated with the new versions of the operating systems. Vista had numerous new technologies which were helpful in securing the system, however gave numerous 3rd party applications a hard time running properly.
About a month ago Microsoft made available the new Windows 7 operating system to partners for testing, development, and training. Instantly I picked up 4 copies, Business Edition, Ultimate Edition, and the 32-bit vs 64-bit counterparts.
One of the first key things I noticed is that ALL my hardware was detected and being used properly with the shipped drivers of the OS. Of course you still want to try to use the manufacture drivers, but this means you don’t need to go fishing for a network driver (I’m sure most of you tech’s know how much of a pain this can be). The only drivers I ended up manually installing were my Nvidia graphics drivers.
Microsoft applications installed and ran without any problems (Microsoft Office, Microsoft CRM client, etc…). Many 3rd party applications such as iTunes, Steam, Firefox, Win amp, Norton Anti-Virus all installed and ran without any problems. The only problem I really had throughout the whole testing process was with VMware vSphere client. There have been unofficial fixes posted on the internet (which I have not verified), however there is nothing official yet and it is very annoying not to be able to administrate my ESXi servers on this computer.
Overall I’m shocked with the performance. There’s no doubt that Windows 7 outperforms its predecessors. Also, the 64-bit version of Windows 7 seems to be running 32-bit applications great without any problems. This is going to be perfect for net books, and ultra mobile personal computers.
One thing I have to caution is upgrading workstations in business environments. Even though many of the applications I listed above work great on Windows 7, I need to caution that a lot of poorly developed business applications (from 3rd parties) could run in to quite some trouble operating on Windows 7 (even when using “Compatibility mode”). Always check with your software vendors for compatibility, AND always test your software before upgrading your production environment.
Before making the ultimate decision to upgrade, please consult with your IT department as they will be able to advise you best in regards to any compatibility issues that may occur.
Digitally Accurate Inc.