“Is it compatible with our system?” will doubtless be the question on many people’s lips when considering Windows 7. That’s not an easy one to answer directly. ‘Compatibility’ comes in many shapes & sizes, from minor glitches to out-and-out refusing to work. Moreover, any ‘system’ is little more than the sum of its parts – we’d need to know what every part ‘does’ before we can even try to advise. So, to help you (and us!), we’ve put together a handy guide to try and flesh out the foreseeable compatibility issues.
Licensing has never been a particularly easy or indeed interesting topic and one of the few disappointments with Windows 7 is that Microsoft has done nothing to simplify their arcane licensing arrangements. We’ll try our best to explain, but this is a fundamentally complex area. Remember, this is about Windows, not Office (Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.. is a separate product and always has been)!
Keen to know what features are new in Windows 7? Or why many people say they like it so much? There’s plenty of information available on the web, but here are our own ‘Top Ten’ best Windows 7 features, starting from 10th place…
10. Better backup & restore.
To be fair, older versions of Windows did come with a really quite powerful backup program, but it was so nasty to use that few actually mastered it, plus it was never geared up for todays backup media. Windows 7 Backup & Restore is so simple there is almost no excuse not to use it for personal backups to a network share or external Hard Drive for example. This feature – long overdue – doesn’t get any higher up this list though for one simple reason. It’s a HUGE missed opportunity – if only it could backup mapped drives it would be the best new feature…why bother buying a tape drive and expensive server software when you can run a server backup to an encrypted partition of one of your regular laptops? Sadly, this is not possible using Windows 7 Backup and we suspect this is because it might tread on too many toes (although if you are interested, another app, Karens Replicator, from www.karenware.com will do the job instead).
Just as you have finally started getting to grips with the ill-fated Windows Vista, which is now – believe it or not – over 2 years old, Microsoft has been busy developing the next generation operating system, Windows 7. The system has been released for testing for some time now and may well be officially launched later this year. Here at ESP, we have had an early copy of it running on a test rig and thought you might be interested to know what (allegedly) is in store, so here are some of the more contentious highlights & our thoughts on them:
What is it? A huge selection of handy tools and services which you can sign into from any internet-enabled computer.
What does it do? What doesn’t it do? Make and share calendars with colleagues; check email from anywhere; create, save, store & share documents to anyone from anywhere to name but a few of the services.
Finding out what your customers, clients, staff or partners think of you, your products or services is an essential facet of effective management. But how many of us haven’t the time to undertake a large feedback exercise or the money to commission a research company? With these three web survey tools, creating and circulating a survey is both easy and cheap, and analysis can be undertaken simply by logging in to a website. Check them out (with thanks to TechSoup):