Windows 7 buying guide
Microsoft Windows 7 offers a system that's designed to improve the way we use our PCs. Whether you're an occasional home PC user or a demanding business user, you'll be able to get a tailored operating system to meet your specific needs.
About Windows 7
Windows 7 is simple to use:
- Snap: easily resize Windows to maximise vertically, or snap two documents side by side to compare content.
- Windows Taskbar: open your favourite programs in just one click by pinning them to your taskbar.
- Jump List: right-click on a program icon on the Taskbar to view and access most recent and frequently used files.
- HomeGroup: create a home network and easily share your music, videos, and photos between PCs running Windows 7.
Works the way you want
- Faster: Windows 7 reduces the number of default services that start and run in the background, enabling PC's to start up and shut down faster.
- Reliable: recover data more easily with Network Backup to your home or business network.
- Compatible: key design principles of Windows 7: If an application or device runs on Windows Vista, it should run on Windows 7. If a system runs Windows Vista, It should run Windows 7 faster.
- Battery life: Windows 7 has trigger start services (e.g. Bluetooth, VPN, etc) that only start when needed - reducing memory and power consumption behind the scenes.
Makes new things possible
- Location aware printing: whether at home or at work, your computer connects and prints to the right printer .
- Windows touch screen: zoom in or out, open documents, or browse the web - all with the touch of a fingertip.
- Windows Media Center: Watch TV shows for free when and where you want with Internet TV. You can also watch, pause, rewind, and record TV on your PC.
- Play To: Play music, videos, and other media stored on the computer through an audio-video system in the home.
Key features at a glance
- Tabbed internet browsing in Internet Explorer 8
- Windows search quickly locates files and programs for better productivity
- Faster and easier to launch programs and find the documents you use most often with Pinning and Jumplists.
- Make the things you do every day easier with improved desktop navigation and Aero Shake and Aero Peek.
- Watch, pause, rewind, and record TV on your PC with Windows Media Center
- Easily create a home network and connect your PCs to a printer in HomeGroup
- Personalize your PC with Aero Background desktop slideshow
- Unprecedented compatibility with many programs designed for Windows XP.
- Family safety settings with parental control.
- Connect to company networks easily and more securely with Domain join.
- Work in the language of your choice or switch between any thirty-five languages
- Help protect data on your PC and portable storage devices against loss or theft with BitLocker.
How can Windows 7 help me at home?
- Communicate: enjoy secure web browsing, email and messaging.
- Digital photos: edit, organize, and share your photos and home movies more easily.
- Music: play digital music on your computer, on the go, and around your home.
- TV and movies: schedule your TV programmes and movies and watch them when you wan (TV tuner card required to watch TV).
Which operating system is right for me?
Microsoft has four different editions of Windows 7. Each edition focuses on the needs of a specific type of person.
- Starter: only purchased pre-installed on Netbook PCs, Starter is the basic Windows 7 package. It is a great introduction to Windows 7 designed specifically for Netbooks and can be easily upgraded to any other Windows 7 package.
- Premium: for homes with advanced computer needs, Premium will help you use your laptop or desktop PC more effectively. You'll be able to enjoy new, exciting digital entertainment experiences - all with the benefit of added security and reliability.
- Professional: designed to meet the needs of business organisations of all sizes. Windows 7 Professional offers new ways to organise, find, and share information wherever you are to help your business run more efficiently.
- Ultimate: if you want one operating system that has it all, the Ultimate system combines all the benefits of a business-focused operating system and all of the digital entertainment features of a consumer-focused operating system. It is great for working from home, working on the road, and for entertainment.
Is my PC compatible with Windows 7?
A PC that carries the Windows Vista or 7 Capable PC logo can run Windows 7.
A Windows 7 capable PC will include at least:
- A modern processor (at least 7GHz).
- 1 gigabyte of system memory (32-bit) or 2 GB system memory (64-bit).
- A graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable.
Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs
To get an even better Windows 7 experience, including the Windows Aero user experience, you will need a Windows Vista or 7 Capable PC that is designated Premium Ready, or choose a PC that meets or exceeds the Premium Ready requirements described below. Features available in specific premium editions of Windows Vista, such as the ability to watch and record live TV, may require additional hardware.
A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC includes at least:
- 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1 gigabyte of system memory (32-Bit) or 2 GB system memory (64-bit).
- Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum), Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.
- 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 16 GB free space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit).
- DVD-ROM Drive.
- Audio output capability.
- For Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required.
- Internet access capability.
Upgrading to Windows 7
You can upgrade from your current edition of Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista to a corresponding or better edition of Windows 7 by purchasing and installing an upgrade copy of Windows 7. Depending on which edition of Windows you are running and the edition of Windows 7 you would like to install, you have three options:
- Run Windows Upgrade Advisor
- All files and settings must first be backed up to an external storage device either manually or using the Windows Easy Transfer wizard.
- After installing Windows 7, a reinstall of all applications and back-up files on the PC is necessary.
- Install Windows 7 on top of a previous version.
- All applications, files and settings are retained as they were.
- Installs the same edition or higher of Windows 7 over your previous edition of Windows Vista (i.e. Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional.
- With Windows 7 you can add new features by upgrading to home Premium, Professional or Ultimate.
- Easy, affordable, and can take as little as 10 minutes.