Many Realtors out there are skeptical about upgrading their Operating System with the new Microsoft Window 7. One main reason is because many have been burned with Vista and were not happy with the performance and security of Vista. And many took a chance of going back to Windows XP. That's quite understable because I am one of those. I really didn't like Vista at all and I made a choice to lose my manufacture's warranty and support just to be able to go back to Windows XP. That was a big risk! Thank goodness I understand enought about computer operating system that I can support myself in case I have a system problem.
So finally, Windows 7 is out. Immediately I bought the upgrade to Windows 7 Professional. There are several versions of Windows 7 and I chose the Professional version. And MIcrosoft did a fairly good job of explaining which version of the upgrade you should get based on your current operating system that your computer has. Here is the link where you can find the breakdown: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/upgrade-considerations.aspx. You can click on this url link or copy and paste it on a separate internet browser. This Microsoft site also has additional links and instructions for the non-technicals. One thing for sure you must understand the difference between 32Bit and 64bit system.
So, should you be afraid to upgrade to Windows 7 now or should you wait until all the kinks and security issues are identified by other and resolved by Microsoft? Well, for those who understand how to upgrade their system I strongly suggest that you upgrade your system to Window 7 to the version that is suggested from the Microsoft website. And for the non-techie Realtors, well, you may want to ask your teenagers, if you have one or go to your nearby high school, or go ahead and take it to your favorite geek service center.
Here are the list of things to consider before upgrading to Windows 7:
1) Go to the link I posted above and download the Micosoft Windows7 Upgrade Advisor and install it in your system This will determine if your PC or Laptop have the right components and drivers to run with Windows 7. Make sure to print the result.
2) Make an inventory of the software you currently use and make sure you have the installation discs and the license keys for these software. Depending on your upgrade path, you may have to reinstall these softwares. One thing is for sure Windows 7 is friendly and compatible enough with older programs.
3) Download and install this tool call BELARC Advisor. This tool will provide you a list of components you have in your system. Make sure to print this list. Here is the link for Belar Advisor tool: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html.
4) Backup all your data files. You can use an external harddrive to store your files or start saving them on a CD or DVD discs. I suggest use the DVD disc. It holds up to 4.7GB. Or, if you have a flash drive or thumb drive that is more than 4GB then back up your files there. If you have a lot of pictures, then save them on the DVD disc (RW, +R, or -R).
5) The last thing to consider is to check if your PC components have available drivers for Windows 7. You can go to each manufacturer's website and go to Support or Downloads section of the site and look for the latest driver available and compatible with Windows 7. There is a big chance that your current drivers may need upgrading as well when you upgrade to Windows 7. Use your printed Belar Advisor list to identify your component's driver.
When you have done this preparation, then the next thing is get some chips and soda and real estate reading materials because you will need these during the upgrade process. But do pay attention to the what you're doing. The upgrade is easy and fast enough compare to previous upgrade installation procedures. When in doubt Google your issue and there is enough information out there to get you through this process. Good luck and have a great time upgrading your system.