The answer depends on more than you might think. Just because Windows Vista is the newest full version available doesn’t automatically make it the perfect fit. Similarly, Windows 7 is the most flexible Microsoft OS (operating system) to date, but some users will have ample reason to stick with Vista or Windows XP until Windows 7 is on store shelves. A lot depends on what you are using your computer for and on which type of computer you’re using. Gamers, media authors, travel-inclined business people and casual web surfers all have different priorities and will want to choose OSs accordingly.
We’ve provided a brief outline of the basic features and key uses of Windows 7, Vista and Windows XP to give you an idea of which OS is right for you. More detailed information about each of the Windows versions can be found in our hands on reviews above.
Windows 7 has hit the computer world with a bang and is turning heads around the world. From the time Windows 7 was in its beta form, until its release in October, Microsoft has made sure that this operating system was up to par. One thing that stands out about Windows 7 is the ability to personalize and make it your own, alongside this comes new and advanced features such as Snap, Shake, Pin, Windows Search and much more. We are in a new age so a new fresh interface and look of Windows 7 are welcome changes, especially compared to the more resource-hungry and less innovative operation of Vista.
Key features include:
Microsoft will never fully own up to just how bumpy Vista’s release was. The young debutante Vista was demanding, awkward and aggravating. But just because Vista was a failure at release doesn’t mean it was a bad operating system. With Microsoft’s continued patching and the release of the Vista Service Pack 1, the OS matured into a highly functional, if resource-hungry, interface ideal for most users. Many users will be comfortable using Vista well after Windows 7 is available.
Key features include:
Despite the fact that XP has been around for years, it is relatively forgiving on older machines and netbooks. XP continues to have a great reputation amongst gamers due to its low impact idling and compatibility with both old and new programs. Users with specific multimedia demands that don’t want to upgrade their hardware will find XP an appealing alternative to the more demanding Vista. While XP will no longer be sold after the release of Windows 7, Microsoft has committed to providing support for the OS until 2014.
Key features include:
When considering a new Windows operating system it is most important to think about how you intend to use the computer. After deciding your computer's primary function, you will need to decide what kind of networking and administrations tools you need and the level of security you desire
Below are the criteria TopTenREVIEWS used to evaluate Windows Operating Systems:
Home and Office Use
We assessed the operating system in terms of how well it supports general home use; for example, it should have basic Internet security and be easy to use. OSs for office or business use need sophisticated Internet security, the capacity to network and ought to include administration tools.
Some OSs are designed to entertain, these can play/record television, burn DVDs and can support HD video and music without supplementary software.
All OSs should provide frequently updated security features such as firewalls, pop-up blockers, antivirus and antispyware software and more. OSs for business or network use require additional security and administrator tools.
Business and home OSs can be used in a network. These systems should offer administration tools and security.
Ease of Use
All OSs should be straightforward; we looked at its search functions and more to rate the ease of use.
Since OSs perform numerous functions, above average support is needed. Generally, Microsoft offers more support choices to its business customers and mostly self-guided support for individuals.
On this site, you’ll find articles related to operating systems, as well as comprehensive reviews and a side–by–side comparison to help you make an informed decision on which Windows Operating System is right for you. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™