Myths About Windows 7

Even before Microsoft released its flagship version of Windows, there was a lot of talk about Windows 7’s shortcomings. Some people don’t know whether their decision to upgrade from Vista was well-made, but even more people who currently own Vista refuse to upgrade to Windows 7 because of all the myths going around about it. Others have even switched away from the operating system because of what they’ve heard. It’s always good to run an alternative OS and learn the ropes, but you should consider that some of what’s said about W7 is just hype.

Why Talk About it Now?

Windows 7 was released in 2009, 2 years before the date this was written. It seems odd to write about myths involving a W7 upgrade when the OS version has been around for that long. Still, many people haven’t upgraded to Windows 7 because of fear. Windows Vista left a mark on everyone, and some, to this day, haven’t taken the step towards upgrading to Windows 7. It’s been seen as a risk, and Vista seems to have taught everyone a lesson. You’re missing out on a lot if you’re sticking to XP or Vista. I cannot stress enough for you to upgrade, since “Seven” will beat both of its predecessors even on your current hardware.

Myth #1: Windows XP is Still Better than Windows 7

First, I must stress the fact that Microsoft has observed the unfortunate turn that Vista has made. Vista was a hog in every sense of the word. You needed at least 2 GB of DDR2-3 RAM running at 1333 MHz to get the mammoth going. It was one of the most painful upgrades ever put upon the public and, earnestly, it made me want to barf on my keyboard. Tons of hardware had to be invented to properly run on this operating system.

Windows 7 fixes all of this and runs much faster than its predecessor. Many people believe, however, that Windows 7 is slower than Windows XP. Others think that Windows 7 is faster than XP only on higher-end computers but doesn’t make good use of lower-end hardware. Neither of these statements have a drop of truth. A benchmark test by ZDNet puts Windows 7 in a superior position both on the low end and on the high end. Myth busted!

Myth #2: Windows 7 Will Give You Hardware Nightmares

Hardware compatibility was bad in Vista. Some still have the impression that it would be worse if they’d upgrade to Windows 7. With Windows 8 around the corner, they’re about to be two operating system versions behind (3, in some cases). It’s not bad to stick to an older system, but why stick to one that is more backwards than Windows 7? While Vista caused some serious headaches about hardware, Windows 7 has made significant strides towards compatibility with older hardware that ran on XP. Software is also more compatible with Windows 7 than it would ever be with Vista.

Some graphics cards, networking adapters, and sound devices had issues with Windows Vista.

Semi-Myth #3: Windows 7 is Just a Re-Packaged Vista

Windows 7 and Vista look similar, but what runs behind all that visual candy is what makes W7 a powerhouse.

Lots of people believe that Microsoft just slapped a “7” to the operating system’s name, made the interface prettier, and offered a couple of little gimmicks here and there. People fail to realize that what’s beneath the surface is much more important, especially in Windows 7. Yes, the operating system is based on the Vista core, which would work well if it weren’t for all the resource hogging. That’s exactly why W7 was created. The speed offered by the newer version of Windows beats Vista by a long shot, performing almost twice as fast, sometimes more. Think of it: You can either spend hundreds of dollars upgrading all your hardware to run on a bulky operating system, or spend a bit over a hundred bucks to upgrade the operating system and run it on your old hardware.

One More Reason to Make the Switch

If you haven’t installed Windows 7 even now, and all the myth busting didn’t convince you, let me ask you a question: Do you have a smartphone or other mobile device? If you answered “no”, then you might get away with an older version of Windows for some years until programs start ignoring the need to conform to XP’s standards. For those of you who answered “yes”, though, you’re going to be left behind rather quickly. Windows 7 supports certain application programming interface (API) functions that Windows XP cannot and will not have because of the way it’s constructed. Many of these API functions will be called by phones without regard for operating system version.

Windows 8 is going to come and Microsoft isn’t stopping there to wait for you. After you fall behind another notch, you might as well be running Windows 95 because mobile devices have a tendency to cater to the two most recent operating system versions. After they finish their interfaces and release their software, some of it might work with older versions of Windows, but, believe me, that wasn’t their intention. Any compatibility with an older OS will just be a coincidence, since mobile developers are always competing ahead, not behind.

The Wrap-Up

The decision to upgrade or not should be more based on desire rather than any idea of a lack of necessity. Would you still use Windows 3.0? Is it still relevant today? I didn’t think so! Windows 7 outperforms anything else from MS you’ve tried since 2001 and even offers a juicier interface that competes well with other OS’s. Windows 8 promises much more than that, but there’s still very little clarity on how it will perform on its release. Post any rambles, rants, comments, questions, or additions down at the comments area. I’m more than happy to hear feedback! :)

Photo credit: flickr

Miguel Leiva-Gomez
Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox