Since many people I know have a Windows machine of some sort, I have maintained a couple a Windows machines in the house even after moving to a Mac for my main system. It is not like I didn't really like Windows itself. I actually like editing the registry, working with the newest Office version, and finding efficiencies in memory usage. However, it really got to be too much. I was spending more time with the intricacies of the system than enjoying the technology itself. I also grew increasingly tired of trying to find reliable anti-virus software that wasn't going to increase greatly in cost after the initial term was exhausted. While I decided to move to the Mac OS, I could not give up using Windows.
Windows XP has been running on a Virtual Machine through VMWare Fusion, Vista was on a box in the closet, and Windows 7 was on an EEE box used for only web browsing by the children. As the anticipation of Lion approached closer, I began looking at the very dated interface of the XP install. The more I used it, the less I could tolerate some of the look and feel. It just looks slow. Having used Windows 7 on the EEE box, it was calling more and more to be installed on the VM. So, after waiting until it went on sale at Office Depot, we purchased the Family Pack. I would like to extend an early apology here to my wife for having to justify the purchase over a two week period as I debated spending the $100+. It wasn't even the cost, it just turned out to be something I needed.
Windows 7 is a smooth, well designed, modern operating system that provides some of the things I like about the Mac OS as well as the tinkering possibilities Microsoft has allowed for a long time. It boots up quicker than XP. It continually functions with little chance of BSOD. Most of all, it forces me to use and encourage others to use modern programs that can actually take advantage of the hardware. While the older programs still function, new versions of Office, a new IE, and cleaner installs make for a more pleasant experience while using the system.
I have had this upgrade installed for over a month now and dread using XP in any situation. It wasn't until I read this post by Paul Thurrott that I even thought about writing on this experience or looking for a better justification for purchasing the family pack: http://www.winsupersite.com/blog/supersite-blog-39/windows-7/boot-camp-40-mac-os-works-windows-7-140054. Since I listen to the Windows Weekly podcast he does with Leo LaPorte on the Twit network, I check his site often. Seeing that Lion will only allow Windows 7 on BootCamp, helped justify even further the decision to make the move. You'd think a better overall experience would be enough. However, I have stalled adding a BootCamp installation after experiencing some poor performance and lower harddrive space on the original MacBook Air. With a new MacBook Pro and plenty of space, I may just take this opportunity to let the system run closer to the hardware rather than on top of it.
I want to apologize again to my wife for continuing to justify the purchase and for the eventual new install I build a BootCamp partition around. I would also like apologize to Paul for not listening to him sooner on the advantages of Windows 7. Lastly, I would like to apologize to those of you reading this wondering what else is so good about the OS and if I would recommend it. I never mentioned the Aero interface, the easy DLNA connection to our NAS, a more efficient and compact Action Center, and the easier interface to old games. That, for now, is for another post. However, if you are going to purchase a Windows machine, buy Windows 7. However, buy a good Windows machine not the cheapest one. You will do a very good operating system an injustice if you choose the lesser hardware. Quality because you had to have it...
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