Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #23 9/2/2009

Question: What is Windows 7?


Windows 7 is the new version of Windows that is coming out to be used on the regular PC. It is the 6th major version of Windows since Microsoft introduced Windows in the late 1980s.

Windows 7 is the upgrade from Windows Vista. I have installed and am starting to use Windows 7 on my home PC.

Windows 7 will work behind the scenes very similar to Vista. However the desktop and the interfaces on programs have gotten friendlier. The UAC messages that most hated in Vista will only appear when programs try to alter other programs or files, not when you are trying to install or change something.

The drivers (files and programs that tell Windows how to work with your devices like printers, cameras, scanners, etc) may be updated in some cases, but in almost all cases the Vista drivers will work for you. When I upgraded I had to unplug my printer, all in one and scanner and when I plugged them back in Windows 7 found the driver and installed them. My wireless card did stop working on update and when I did Windows update (using wire from computer to router) Windows update supplied the updated driver and wireless started working.

Windows 7 generally starts quicker, appears to work friendlier than Vista and appears sound. WordPad looks a lot like Word 2007 with ribbons now for the menus. If they would put a spell checker in WordPad it would work as a word processor for most people.

Windows 7 is available in several versions with Home (two versions) for home use and upgrading from XP and Vista Home, Professional for businesses and upgrading from XP Professional and Vista Business.

Windows 7 will be officially available on October 22. It is available in special cases now and as a free upgrade on most machines bought since June 26. 7 appears to be what Vista was supposed to be. I suspect most will happily use 7 that did not want to leave XP to go to Vista.

Send me your questions about computers to me at the paper or to my e-mail dwight@dwightwatt.com and tell me you read this in the paper. I will pick a question to answer each week.

(c) 2010 by Dwight Watt
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