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windows7boxshot Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system is out, and the rejoicing can be heard the world over! Well, not really, but many tech outlets are quite happy with the new OS, and what with Microsoft’s recent magnanimous donation of a pretty darn good (and free) anti-virus software to legal Windows users everywhere, there is a lot of love going around for the house that Bill Gates built. With that in mind, here’s an article with a meticulous examination of each offering and exhaustive detail about the pros and cons of every single feature. Just kidding. Get Windows 7 Premium… but keep reading!

Students can score a copy of Windows 7 Premium for about $29, and retail costs range between $99 for an upgrade to $199 for a full version. The more expensive versions of Windows 7 are basically overkill. Starter/Basic versions will make you pull your hair out and are destined for the Netbook world anyway. Premium has the features you want and need, at a decent price to boot.

If you have Windows XP you will have to do a clean install, so no upgrade over the existing OS for you. Get ready to back-up some files! Vista users can install Windows 7 right over the existing OS with install times ranging between 30 minutes and an hour.

Make sure you install a similar bit version to your existing OS if you are going the upgrade route: a 64-bit install of Windows 7 will not upgrade a 32-bit Vista nor will a 32-bit install of Windows 7 upgrade a 64-bit Vista… basically, make sure your bits match up. And while you are at it, read this article on the great bit debate.

Once Windows 7 is installed, and I do recommend it if you are currently using Vista, it’s a bit different. But, it’s also a bit more functional, and full of bells and whistles that actually do something. My favorite feature is the drag-and-dock-to-the-side-of-the-monitor (unofficial title) to get windows out of your way, but still available and not buried off-screen. That and some of the weird weird WEIRD desktop wallpapers that you can choose from. Honestly, someone was REALLY sick of the green field and blue sky approach:


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