According to Walter Mossberg over at the Wall Street Journal, the best way to upgrade from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows 7 is to backup your data, wipe your machine, and then reinstall your data.
But how will Windows users transition their current computers to the new Windows 7? While this latest operating system stresses simplicity, the upgrade process will be anything but simple for the huge base of average consumers still using XP, who likely outnumber Vista users. It will be frustrating, tedious and labor-intensive.
According to Mossberg, Microsoft is suggesting that you might just want to go ahead and buy a new computer with Windows 7 preinstalled.
First, you should always have your files backed up somewhere, either to an external hard drive or via software like JungleDisk that uses Amazon’s S3 service. You should do this whether or not you are doing an upgrade. No one is going to cry for you if you lose months or years of documents, photos, or music if you chose not to save them off your computer’s hard disk. Go and do it now, I’ll wait …
If you are going to wipe your hard drive, but before you pay a dime for Windows 7, try a Linux desktop distribution. If you don’t like it, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? You spent no money other than for a burnable CD or DVD, a little time, and you just have to wipe your disk again before installing Windows 7.
Here are some resources:
There are even more if you want to do the research and find the perfect one for you.
“Getting Started” Information
- If you are thinking you might get off Windows, start using the Firefox browser today. If you do move to Windows 7, you might even stay on Firefox.
- Use the Firefox XMarks extension to save your bookmarks off your computer. It makes restoring your browsing environment a lot easier.
- You are not going to hurt your computer hardware by trying some Linux distributions.
- There is no iTunes for Linux, though there are other options for playing your music. Now is a great time to make sure you have your music in MP3 format. Make sure it is backed up.
- If wifi is important to you, make sure it works with the Linux distro(s) you try.
- Make sure you can print to your printer.
- If you have “interesting” hardware attached to your pc, make sure it works with your chosen Linux distribution. For that matter, make sure there is a Windows 7 driver for it before investing in that operating system.