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Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7!
So you need to upgrade some computers and you have to use Windows 7.
Well, Microsoft has forced us to use Windows 7. There are no more Windows XP downgrades like with Vista so you have to use Windows 7 with a new computer.
When you are upgrading computers for your business it's a whole different situation than upgrading your Home PC.
Breaking the 3.2GB Memory barrier with 64bit computing!
New computers today come with at least 4GB of memory. In many cases a computer can have 6GB, 8GB or even 16GB of memory! In order for the computer to take full advantage of all the memory available, you must have a 64bit version of Windows 7. A 32bit version of Windows XP (which is 96% of all Windows XP installations) can only support up to 3.2GB of Memory. Actually, any 32bit operating system (Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 are all available in 32bit) can only support up to 3.2Gb of memory even if you have more memory installed in the computer.
64bit computing is the way of the future!
With the ability to support more memory, new 64bit processors with up to 8 cores, and much better multi-tasking, 64bit computing is a giant leap in technology and computing. Computers are alot more stable, the bottleneck to memory addressing in 32bit environments is no longer an issue, and applications run much quicker!
Upgrading from a 32bit to 64bit operating system:
When you decide to upgrade, there are many things you should consider first. Many times it's not just the cost of the computer but also the possible cost of new software and I.T. personnel time to configure the new computer. Here's a checkilst of common questions to ask before upgrading to a new 64bit computer:
- Are my important applications compatible with Windows 7?
Is there a new version of your software that is compatible with Windows 7? Software companies come and go so be sure the company offers a new version of your software for Windows 7! Otherwise you will have to look at replacing the software completely. If your software has a Windows 7 version then you will need to consider the cost of upgrading your software.
- Will my applications work in a 64bit environment?
Your software might be Windows 7 32bit compatible, but may not work on Windows 7 64bit. It's always best to test your software before doing the upgrade!
- What's the difference between the Windows 7 versions?
If you are in a business with many computers then you should be using Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise. Windows 7 Home edition does not support joining a network with a domain and many other networking related features. Windows 7 Ultimate can of course do everything Enterprise and Professional can, however there are more features which makes Windows 7 Ultimate more expensive than Enterprise or Professional.
- Will my devices work with Windows 7?
Older printers, scanners, multi-function machines may not have drivers for Windows 7 or for Windows 7 64bit. Do some homework and check to make sure that your devices have drivers for Windows 7 or you will have to purchase new devices!
- Will my employees know how to work in Windows 7?
The computer users are very important to consider as well! Windows 7 is much different than Windows XP. If the employee needs to learn how to get around in Windows 7 it will affect their productivity. Also, let your employees know that they are being upgraded prior to the upgrade. There's nothing worse than coming to work one day and having a new computer with a new operating system without knowing in advance! Scheduale a meeting and do a skills assessment of your employees knowledge in Windows 7 before upgrading! Supplying a book, e-book or cheat sheet to your employees and setting some time to let them learn Windows 7 will help your employees feel more comfortable with Windows 7.
So before going out and buying new 64bit Windows 7 computers for your business, ensure that your existing applications and devices will work. Otherwise you will have interruption in your business activities and a very costly upgrade!