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My VISTA Basic desktop is getting to the stage of needing a fresh install(out of the box as it were)but as I can get Win 7 for £40 (student) am I better off installing Win 7 or is it not really worth the extra money? I appreciate that Win 8 is out 'soon' but I'm not that much of an "early adopter" to need/wait for it.
Go with Win 7 better than Vista and if you have enough ram for Vista then you will notice the difference in performance. Nontek I take it you never used Windows ME?
Strawballs As a matter of fact, yes I did use ME, it was my first OS on my first PC, and I actually liked it once I got used to the very big difference between that and my previous first computer, an Amiga 1200. I was a 65yrs young Newbie at the time!
If you could do with a spare £40 in your pocket, especially as a student, and will be using the system for course essays and little else, then I would stick with vista, at least for now. If you have the money and really want to stay up to date then you could go for 7, as it is the latest system. Aside from that however, there isnt much else to say for it. We all know 8 is on its way soon which supposedly may differ alot from what we've seen before, with the inclusion/far more focus on touch screen support, but using 7 may still make it far easier to switch to 8 in future if it becomes a success, as it may incorporate much of 7's layout and features. So its really up to you, if you can afford it, go for it, but if your system can do everything you need now at a good pace, and you can think of more important things you could spend that cash on, I really would not bother, and just wait for 8.
Personally I didnt think 7 was different enough from vista to warrant the purchase, but I never thought vista was much of a leap from xp either-gadgets and UAC, but little else in the way of major change. For both vista and 7, nothing that made me think "wow, thats a great new feature that I will use on a frequent basis". When I first got vista, user account control (UAC) was what put me off using the operating system, but after turning this "feature" off, I havent had many issues at all with vista aside from old xp software compatibility (mainly old games - most old big brand software, eg ms office and adobe programs worked fine), and a couple of sidebar gadget issues. The last issue I had was actually due to Realplayer switching off services after uninstalling it, and not vista itself, making some gadgets not work or access the net. Vista and 7 are about the same in compatibility when considering running old XP programs, but of course theres always the option of sticking with XP (or running XP on a hard drive partition on your vista system) to fix that.
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