Key Differences Between Windows 7 and Windows 8

windows 7 picMicrosoft is busy promoting its latest Operating System, Windows 8, by touting it as being more intuitive and interactive than its predecessor, Windows 7.  While the first impression of the new system appears to be a fairly positive one, it remains to be seen whether users will accept it with the same enthusiasm.

Windows 7 upgrade vs. Windows 8

The Windows 7 upgrade was a welcome change after all of the problems associated with Vista, which experienced a rather short lifespan.  Users have found this system to be more compatible with external devices such as printers, cell phones, and external hard drives.  Microsoft also removed the Quick Launch Toolbar found in Vista and replaced it with Taskbar, giving users the ability to see all of the applications that are open on their computer, and to be able to view those applications with a feature called “Aero Peek.” To learn more about the compatibilities and applications involved with Windows 7 Upgrade visit dell.com.

However, according to Gregg Keizer at Computerworld, Windows 8 may not receive the same reception that Windows 7 did.  “Users remain significantly less enthused about Windows 8 than they were three years ago about the then-unfinished Windows 7, according to data from an analytics firm.”  The analytics firm Keizer is referring to is Net Applications, which is a highly reliable data firm.

Windows 8 new features

Microsoft has given the new Windows 8 a completely new look that may take some time for people to get used to.  The interface will immediately remind users of the interfaces found on smart phones and tablets—a look that is not a mere coincidence.  The interface is designed for touch screens and for regular screens alike and Microsoft is advertising Windows 8 as an operating system for multiple devices, including ARM-based tablets.

Other features new in Windows 8:

  • Resolution scaling for different sized screens
  • Fast startup – speeds up reboot process
  • Streamlined copying – view all copying jobs in one screen instead of multiple ones
  • Refresh – resets the computer while keeping all personal files, pictures, settings, and apps
  • Ribbons in Microsoft Explorer to make it easier to manage files and documents
  • Task Manager simplified—can end running programs with single click
  • Eliminates the need of plug-ins to run web-based programs
  • Touch-based web navigating
  • USB 3.0 support  with USB 3.0 drivers

Jason Parker is the iOS and MAC software editor at CNET who uses both MAC and Windows 7.  Parker calls the new system gorgeous, but is critical of Microsoft’s move to make Windows 8 multi-device compatible.  “In applying Windows 8 to both tablets and desktops, Microsoft has added a significant learning curve for both devices, and ended up making the OS needlessly difficult and jarring, especially for desktop computer users.”

Moving towards the cloud

SkyDrive is also a new addition to Windows 8 and it will allow users to log into their computer with their Windows LIVE ID information.  SkyDrive is a cloud-based feature that will essentially give people the ability to store all of their apps, files, and computer settings in the cloud and then access them from any Windows 8 operated device.  This can be a great feature for people in business and for those who travel a lot and want the capability to work from any location.

Guest post by David Malmborg who works with Dell. When he isn’t working, he enjoys hiking, spending time with family and researching new technologies.