Today is the day Windows users have been waiting for – after a year of testing and tweaking, Windows 7 has finally arrived. Hailed by many as the best version of Windows ever released, Windows 7 provides an excellent user experience even Apple lovers have praised.
Of course, the easiest way to get Windows 7 is to purchase a PC with the new OS pre-installed. Beginning today, it’ll be difficult to find a new PC that doesn’t run Windows 7. But easiest doesn’t mean cheapest, so a new PC is also your most expensive option. For a great list of Windows 7 PC deals, head over to Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite blog.
If you have a PC or multiple PCs you want to upgrade to Windows 7, that’s an option for you. Microsoft has made upgrades editions of all version of Windows 7 available. How you can upgrade (clean install, in-place upgrade, etc.) depends on what version of Windows you’re currently running; check out this article and chart for clarification. Windows XP and Vista users can upgrade to Windows 7 with upgrade media, which is about half the price of full versions of Win7.
Windows 7 Home Premium will be the upgrade most home users (and even a fair amount of business users) will want. If you already have XP or Vista and want to upgrade to Win7, you can grab the Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade for $119. But the best upgrade deal is on the Upgrade Family Pack, which sells for $150. With the Upgrade Pack, you can upgrade three PCs for just $30 more than upgrading one. This is a great deal if you have multiple PCs, $50 per computer.
Keep in mind that “upgrade” doesn’t necessarily mean an in-place, over-write everything that’s there and keep my files and software in tact upgrade. This is an option for some users (again, check the chart) and not for others. Upgrade can also mean a clean installation, which we highly recommend. It’s more work, but it keeps your computer running smoothly and starts fresh with the new OS. If you want to do a clean install, Windows 7 includes an Easy Transfer app on the installation disk that’ll help you backup and move your files to a clean install of Win7.
So, what about Windows Mobile? Windows 7 hasn’t changed much with respect to Windows Phones, so you’ll still sync via Windows Mobile Device Center.