Which Windows 7 to buy?

  stlucia2 20:01 04 Jan 2015

I've been running Windows XP for several years now, and am aware that MS no longer support it. Recently my bank has advised me that they also no longer support it for internet banking so, although everything still works well, I feel it's time to move on.

I have an HP Pavillion PC with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core processor 4600+. I've heard that Windows 8 is a bit of a disaster unless you have a touch screen (I don't), so am thinking of upgrading to Windows 7.

My problem is, there's so many versions of Windows 7 when I look at the big web sellers. I presume I should go for a 64-bit version, and I would like to to be able to upgrade from my XP without having to re-install all my programs. Is Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 x64 what I need?

Or how close is the next version of Windows, and should I wait for that?

  Ian in Northampton 20:51 04 Jan 2015

The 64-bit version will only be useful for you if you have more than 4GB of memory. If you have 4GB or less, 32-bit will be fine. In terms of which version to go for: if you're a fairly 'normal' user of PCs, Windows 7 Home would be fine: other versions, such as Professional, that are more expensive have features that you probably won't have use for. Whether or not you'll need to reinstall your programs depends on many factors, but I think I'm right in saying - others will know more - that you can't do an 'over the top' upgrade from XP to W7: it would have to be a fresh install, which would indeed involve you reinstalling your programs. Before you make the move, it might be worthwhile checking whether your programs will run under W7.

You may also want to think about whether your PC is 'up to' Windows 7. It really needs a faster processor and more memory than XP did.

Don't dismiss W8 out of hand. It's not necessarily a touch screen oriented operating system, and MS have made many changes to it that allow it to work more like you're used to (and you'd have the latest version of Windows). It did get a fairly negative press originally, but I think many people are now quite happy with it.

I wouldn't recommend waiting for Windows 9 or 10 or whatever...

  stlucia2 21:09 04 Jan 2015

Thanks Ian.

I've got 3.0Gb of RAM, and I'm a fairly "normal" user -- internet, spreadsheets, databases, CoredDraw, etc.

I've run MS's Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, and it advises that my system is good for a 32-bit install (as you suggest) but that my Epson scanner and quite a bit of my software are not compatible with Win 7.

I see in the ads that have attached themselves to this post that a "Student Offer" for Win 8.1 Pro is cheaper than what I've seen so far for Win 7. So maybe I should look at that again.

  Ian in Northampton 21:16 04 Jan 2015

As far as I know - and again, others may have more insight - W7 is likely to be more compatible with older software than W8. I have W7, and even stuff like MS Money 97 works fine - so don't give up on e.g. your Epson scanning software. It may work, despite what MS says. But it's always worth looking to see if a newer version of your software has been released specifically for W7/W8.

  HackedIT 58 22:50 04 Jan 2015

In my opinion you should get windows 7 ultimate 32 bit mainly because you have 3Gb of ram which is about enough to run bit and windows 7 ultimate is perfect for home and work.

Also there is no point in waiting for windows 10 to come out because your computer might not be able to run windows 10.

  lotvic 00:53 05 Jan 2015

try them out for free, download the .iso (get the Images with SP1 Media Refresh so there is less updating to do) and burn to DVD, install and Windows 7 Test Drive 'test and evaluate Windows 7 for 30 days' trial. Official MS Download links on Heidoc.net ClickHere scroll down the page to the English USA versions.

  lotvic 01:02 05 Jan 2015

You can't update XP to W7 you have to do a clean install (MS call it a 'Custom' install - just to confuse us) so you will have to reinstall all your programs.

When I did it, I found it best to get another harddrive and remove my XP drive and keep it safe, then put blank harddrive in and install W7 on that.

Then I could easily swap the harddrives over depending on which Op Sys I wanted to boot into and use.

It meant I always had a working XP drive that I could swap to after I had messed up W7 by playing with it... very useful when I first started with W7 :) also I could copy my files to a usb stick and transfer/copy them to W7 harddrive etc etc.

  lotvic 01:20 05 Jan 2015

or even Test Drive / try out Windows 10 click here

  stlucia2 08:18 05 Jan 2015

"In my opinion you should get windows 7 ultimate 32 bit mainly because you have 3Gb of ram which is about enough to run bit and windows 7 ultimate is perfect for home and work."

That's another confusing thing about Windows ... what's the difference between Ultimate (at £200+) and Home Premium (at about £60)?

  Ian in Northampton 08:21 05 Jan 2015

stlucia2: if, as you say, you're just a regular, everyday user there is absolutely no need for Ultimate, as it contains features/functionality that you almost certainly don't and won't need - for a whole lot more money. I'd be interested to hear HackediT 58's reason for recommending it, though.

  hastelloy 08:55 05 Jan 2015

I agree with Ian in Northampton.

My Epson scanner software wouldn't run on W7 but VueScan did and enabled me to use the scanner.

If you're entitled to a student version you could try Software for students to buy W7.

I haven't had any other software which didn't run on W7 and can't see you having any problem with what you say your usage is.

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