Should I install and run Microsoft Windows 7?
I have been hearing good things about Windows 7 from industry sources and am wondering if you think it woudl be a good idea for me to migrate from Vista? For that matter, what about Mojave? Is that a good interim choice, and if so, where do I download that?
Ah, Microsoft Vista. What can I say that hasn't been said dozens of times in the industry press and general community about this overly complex misfire from one of the most savvy software and technology companies in the world? How bad is Vista? It was launched in January of 2007 and it's still far more common to find people using Windows XP than working within the Vista environment.
You ask about "Mojave", but apparently haven't caught on that it's actually a code name for Vista: Mojave was a marketing campaign by PR wizards Crispin Porter + Bogusky that was based on the premise that it wasn't Vista that was so bad, but that it just suffered from bad word of mouth. Give it a different name, show it to potential customers and they'd fall all over themselves lauding its advanced features and capabilities.
The campaign was well-executed (it launched in August 2008 and we're still talking about it) but ultimately many people viewed it as Microsoft instead saying "you're right, our product stinks" and it wasn't particularly effective in changing anyone's mind about Vista.
Enter Windows 7.
Windows 7 is supposed to be a completely fixed version of Vista, which itself was basically a rewritten Windows XP. (there's a long complex family tree of Windows operating systems, starting with Win1.0, but let's stay focused). What Microsoft did right with Windows Vista was to rewrite some of the core elements of Windows XP, including how it deals with security and data integrity, making it a more stable operating system.
The problem with Vista is that it's slow and makes heavy demands on whatever hardware it's running. That's one reason why many laptop vendors are still offering Windows XP as an alternative OS for its systems two years after Vista was launched.
I'm running Windows 7 on one of my systems and I can report that it's much MUCH faster than Vista and works quite acceptably on even older, slower hardware or a virtual machine environment. In fact, I have Windows 7 also running within VMware Fusion on my little Apple MacBook Air and it's quite usable, something that Vista never was in a similar environment.
Having said that, I will also say that Windows 7 is still a "beta" release which means that it's still being tested and developed. As Microsoft warns you before you download the beta: "Important recommendation: As you know, the point of beta testing is to find things we need to fix. As you help us uncover issues, we'll post fixes on Windows Update. So we recommend you keep your PC set to automatically check for updates through Windows Update. Please also stay current with the Release Notes, which are regularly updated with new notices and information. "
Microsoft is not allowing additional Windows 7 beta downloads at this point, but even if it were, I would always discourage you from running ANY beta software on what we tech types call a "production machine". When I run a beta, it's on a computer that can be trashed, with data I can afford to lose. Otherwise you're playing with digital fire because by definition beta software is less stable and more likely to crash, corrupt your system, have less support from the vendor, etc.
You can learn a lot more about Windows 7 on Microsoft's site by going to microsoft.com/windows/windows-7. It doesn't look much different from Vista in terms of its user interface. It's just a lot faster and so far, remarkably stable, and doubly-so for a beta release.
And downloading Mojave? Um, no, you can't do that.
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