With the Windows 7 Release Candidate already leaked to the public, and the the official bits coming May 5, there's been a lot of hype surrounding Windows 7, with generally positive reviews from the community. Windows 7 is everything Vista wasn't... and some of what it should of been.
If you're using XP or Vista, there's no excuse not to upgrade to Windows 7. In no particular order, here are my top 10 reasons why:
Virtual XP Mode:
Many users and businesses have been reluctant to upgrade past Windows XP, and who can blame them? Microsoft had to keep extending support for Windows XP for this reason.
Enter Virtual XP Mode, the problem solver for those who have been reluctant to upgrade past XP. Did certain programs work better in XP? No problem. Virtual XP mode should take care of that.
A fast install time, faster boot up, and snappier UI:
I've done a clean install of both the beta the RC of Windows 7. The install time? Roughly 15 minutes from beginning to end from experience. The boot time is faster than both XP and Vista, and the UI is snappier as well, even with all my programs and files in place.
Netbooks have been all the rage lately due to their portability with low power consumption. Netbook support is already planned, and we're surely to see improvements with Netbooks in the future.
Removal of IE 8 and other Windows Components:
For years we've been hearing complaints of Internet Explorer not being fully removable from Windows. Not anymore. IE 8 and other components like Windows Media Player are now optional (Note: The core components of IE are not removed since other programs rely on it, but the actual exe itself and any references to it are). So, for example, do you use another web browser instead of IE, and never use IE? No problem, turn it off.
Better driver and program support:
I remember when I first installed Vista, most of my devices appeared as "Unknown device", and I had to install the drivers manually. Windows 7 installed all my drivers right out of the box, and all the programs that I regularly used work with no problems. Pretty much any driver or program that worked with Vista should work with Windows 7 just fine.
Updates to programs like Calculator, Paint, and Wordpad:
Finally, Microsoft decided to upgrade several program including Calculator, Paint, and Wordpad. These interface improvements are very nice and very welcoming.
Not counting the usual bloat that comes from OEMs, Windows Vista came with its own bloat. Windows 7 fixes that problem by making a lot of these included programs an optional download. The result? Less footprint both on install and on the system after install.
Better UAC control:
User Account Control in Windows Vista was so annoying, I had to turn it off. Not anymore in Windows 7. It's been improved greatly, and now I leave it on.
New Aero features:
Windows 7 comes with some new Aero features like Aero Snap, Aero Peek, and Aero Shake. All three are very useful for comparing two windows side by side and taking a quick look at an inactive window or desktop with minimizing everything respectively.
Problem Steps Recorder:
Ever have a problem with your computer and try to get a person on the phone, e-mail, IM, etc to help you out and they keep asking you to accurately describe the problem because they can't see what's on your screen?
Enter Problem Steps Recorder. The handy little tool lets you record steps on how the problem occurs, publishes it to an HTML file, and zips it, ready for you to send to the other person. Say goodbye to "Can you describe exactly how the problem occurs?"
Windows 7 is shaping up to be the best Windows release yet! What do you think, Neowin? Any reasons you have as to why users of XP and Vista should upgrade to 7?