Let’s just cut to the chase here: Windows 7 is built on top of Windows Vista. It doesn’t roll back the major changes that Vista made; it doesn’t reduce system requirements (for example, it still needs Direct3D graphics and 1 GB RAM to be worthwhile), it doesn’t undo security decisions like UAC, and, except for specific scenarios like booting, it doesn’t really perform significantly better. If you have software or hardware that’s incompatible with Vista, it’ll almost certainly be incompatible with Windows 7 too. The things Redmond did in Vista were not mistakes to be rectified; they were necessary upgrades to the platform.
That said, Windows 7 does bring some low-level improvements of its own. The graphics driver model has been updated, resulting in markedly lower memory consumption when lots of windows are open. ZDNet performed some benchmarks which purport to show Windows 7 being faster than XP SP3 and Vista SP1 (they also show Vista being faster than XP in a number of tests, but of course, no one cares about that…), but the differences in most cases are pretty slight (10% or less) and so are unlikely to be felt in practice. However, the main thing is that even if it’s not noticeably faster than Vista, Windows 7 also isn’t any slower. The new features all come at zero performance cost, and that can only be a good thing.
This approaches an antique-level of age, but it’s still something to think about if you haven’t made the switch. Do you really want to be stuck with using an operating system that’s almost TEN years old? I bet you’ve even upgraded your hardware within that time – why not the software, then?
This post is tagged “awesome” for a reason, you know 😉