Chapter I.2. Windows 7 for the Experienced

In This Chapter

  • What every experienced Windows user should know about Windows 7

  • New tricks for Vista users

  • What has changed for XP-ers

  • How to know whether you truly need Windows 7 (the answer may surprise you)

If you're among the billion-or-so souls on the planet who have been around the block with Windows Vista or Windows XP, you're in for a shock. In many ways, Windows 7 looks and acts like Vista — and it isn't that far from XP with a bit of gussying-up around the edges. Many of the pieces of Windows 7 work much like their Vista and XP counterparts. But underneath the surface, much has changed.

Here's a quick guide to what's new — and what's still the same — with some down 'n' dirty help for deciding whether you truly need Windows 7.

What's New for Vista Victims

If you've struggled with getting Windows Vista to work on your computer, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Windows 7 isn't worse.


Yeah, that's definitely damning with faint praise. I don't deny it. Alexander Pope would've been proud.

Microsoft learned many lessons during the Vista Wars. It changed a lot of features in Windows 7. But it didn't change the driver model — the way hardware interacts with Windows. In fact, interaction with hardware in Windows 7 is almost indistinguishable from that in Vista Service Pack 1. So if you have hardware that works with Windows Vista, it will almost certainly work with Windows 7. No changes required. No new drivers, as long as you don't do something ...

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