Monday, December 2, 2013

Windows 7 Vs Windows XP & Vista: Dissecting the Major differences

Following Microsoft’s latest innovation in a series of operating systems-Windows 7, comparisons have been drawn with earlier versions such as Windows 95, 98, 2000, Windows XP and Vista.

While earlier complaints about windows vista were mainly to do with installation specifications, windows 7 comes with slightly fewer requirements, and can comfortably be installed on a machine running 1GB RAM (read memory). Perhaps the biggest noticeable change from these seemingly very similar looking OS’s is the marked improvement in performance due to the fewer specifications that a window 7 installation requires.

1. Peripherals are integrated in a smoother manner:
Peripherals generally refer to all devices that can be plugged into a machine’s USB ports-flash disks, cameras, phones, i-pods etc. Now, you will have a different experience every time you plug in a plug and play device. Because this time, Windows 7 has turned its peripheral detection and support more device central rather than shooting just an auto-run option as it used to do in Windows XP and windows Vista. This will be more helpful, when you will be using different kind of peripheral devices. By far, almost all kinds of devices will be supported with the necessary drivers.

Furthermore, Windows 7 helps you find the website of your peripheral device's manufacturer, and allow you do more than what you could have done with the auto-run interface only. For example, if you plug in a camera, Windows 7 will take you to that manufacturer's website, where you will have an option of uploading your photos to an online album or downloading the pictures onto your computer. The Best thing is, you won't be running out of drivers for your peripheral devices, as Windows 7 has been included a variety of such drivers, and if by chance the driver is not existent there, Windows 7 will find it over the net for you-if you have an internet connection.

2. Very much Improved UAC:
In windows 7, the UAC (User Account Control) problem has been worked on. Finally, you will no longer get the annoying overprotective dialogue box that used to appear every time you tried to change a particular setting, or installed an application; as Windows 7 has shed overprotective dialogue boxes but still maintaining the quality protection against malicious attacks. Windows 7 only displays messages when major settings are changed.

3. Brand New Taskbar:
What do you have at your bottom right corner of the screen? A set of icons which keeps popping up balloons one after another, giving an illusion of fancy lighting in a wedding? Well, don't worry anymore; as in Windows 7 Microsoft has made sure that you have the complete authority to change the settings required and allow or disallow only the required icons and also change the settings for notifications that might appear on screen and probably annoy you. Even the small little triangle that used to expand into the taskbar revealing all programs that are running; is gotten rid of. Now at the same place, if you move your cursor, you'll be getting a list of processes that are running.

4. Improved Performance & User friendliness:
Probably this is the major improvement upon Vista, which is likely to make Windows 7 a people’s favorite. Microsoft had promised that it would deliver an Operating System that would be much faster than Vista. And yes it did, when the beta version of 7 was released and was tested. Windows 7 has very few startups process, and hence unspoken of, loads very fast. And in fact there are very few processes that run in the background and eat up memory cycles. Though performance of the final release is yet to be extensively tested, the unofficial version in circulation already rocks!

Windows 7 tremendously reduces the time to install an application, and is less annoying with very less UAC prompt. For developers also, Windows 7 reduces the time taken for developing Windows applications.

5. More Space Available during Partition Creation:
This, perhaps, is my favorite innovation in windows vista. Both windows vista and windows 7 have a provision for creating a new partition that does not require use of partitioning software-The Shrink volume option. Windows 7 avails more space for creation of a new partition than vista would, and unlike XP, does not require the use of partition software. If, say, one’s hard drive came with an initial space of about 160 GB, windows would allow for shrinkage space of more than 100 GB while windows vista would not avail more than just 80 GB. Note that However, like all Operating systems, using additional applications will still require more RAM depending on the application’s requirement specifications, and older versions of some applications may not be compatible with Windows Vista. It is also advisable that the shrinking is done when the main partition still has enough free space available to ensure effective hard disk space allocation.
-Dan B. Atuhaire

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