After the steaming pile of doo that was Vista, I am pleased to announce that I have finally managed to move off of XP and on to Windows 7. I’m actually in the middle of reinstalling/transferring back everything onto a shiny new install as I write this. It is as countless others have reported: a new version of Windows that is worth switching to. I think the most apparent difference from Vista, the one that has jumped out at me in this first hour or so is this: Vista was full things that were graphically wasteful and worthless, 7 is full of things that are graphically wasteful and…really goddamn useful.
It’s subtle, really, the differences between the two. The devil, however, is in the details, and where as Vista got them all wrong, 7 appears to have gotten them all right. At first glance they seem to be set up almost identically, but as soon as you start to use it the (often) minor and (sometimes) major tweaks really pop out. It’s also allowed me to finally utilize all of my hardware. Where as I was running a 32 bit version of XP, I’ve upgraded to the 64 bit version of 7, not only allowing for 64 bit processing, but allowing me to finally tap into all of that RAM that was going to waste. Huzzah!
I suppose I should report for anyone thinking of upgrading that you cannot upgrade directly from XP to 7. The two most common options are: upgrade to Vista (free trial, don’t even have to activate it) and then from there to 7, or to simply back up all of your old files and do a clean install. Of course, to go from 32 to 64 as I did requires a clean install, but if you select that route, not only will 7 move all of your old files into a archive, if you run an included utility beforehand, will even help you import them back. A quick Google search will turn up all the information you need, and I found this guide in particular to be quite useful.