Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Should You Upgrade to Windows 7?


By Bill Pytlovany

Are you wondering if you should upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7? Yesterday on Facebook I heard from an old friend who asked a question I expect I’ll hear a lot this year.


As a Microsoft MVP award winner I’m under no obligation to promote Microsoft products. If you’ve read my blog before you know I haven’t been a fan of Windows Vista. Contrary to advice from Microsoft, I also recommend waiting 7-10 days before installing Windows updates. My answer to Rhonda may sound like a paid advertisement from Microsoft but I believe strongly in the benefits of Windows 7.


I typically tell folks to wait and let others test new software. Windows 7 may have been just released to the general public, but it’s been widely deployed for months. Some of us have been using a stable version of Windows 7 since last November.

Vista Users:
Many readers have told me they’re going to wait for the first service pack before the upgrade to Windows 7.  If you’re currently using Vista think of Windows 7 as the ultimate service pack. Don’t wait.

Which version of Windows 7 should you choose?

This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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32 thoughts on “Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Should You Upgrade to Windows 7?”

  1. Well the next morning after having Office Depot install Win 7, it was still slow. I took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy and they tweaked it for about 35 minutes and it is pretty much back to normal. Now I just have to read up on what the big hype is about and learn what’s better and different. Whew…thanks Geeks!!

  2. I HATE WINDOWS 7 SO FAR. I didn’t want to install the upgrade myself so I paid Office Depot to do it. It used to take 2 minutes to log on in the morning. This morning it took 7 minutes. It is soo slow, I see the hourglass and have to click to read an email several times. The overall response for what I try to do is awful. I think I’ll take it to Best Buy and pay a fortune for the Geek Squad to take a look and see what happened during the upgrade and fix the problem or take me back to Windows Vista. This is a new laptop that I bought 4 months ago and I’m sorry I upgraded. I should have left well enough alone. I’m so frustrated – you just don’t know.

  3. Any advice for a happy DAW (digital audio workstation) user of XP pro 32bit. I really don’t need or want extras, just a smooth running high performance OS will do. I am leaning towards getting Win7 64bit, but with soo much time spent in the studio I haven’t be able to read up on much of Win7 other then it sounds like it is good out of the box. If there is a “tweek” site as well that I could be directed too I would greatly appreciate it.



  4. Earl Gilbert asked, “as a novice , may I ask if win 7 can be installed over xp 32bit , vista home premiun 32 and another at 64 bit?”

    Earl, I honestly don’t know. However, I do wonder if those who have had XP/Vista/Whatever problems (I haven’t) have possibly brought trouble to themselves by installing a new OS over their previous OS.

    A totally fresh installation has always seemed preferable to me.


  5. I just had Windows XP wiped from my Acer laptop and Windows 7 Ultimate installed. Works fine so far, but we had to re-install our Brother MFC-240C printer. It would not work because the installation disk did not contain drivers for Windows 7. Had to work through the net to get deletion and installation files. No other disappointment so far.

  6. I just installed Windows7 Home Premium and am underwhelmed. The web pages are tiny, my pogo game rooms are so tiny I can barely see to play a game and aol pages are all messed up and tiny. I’ve tried every setting I can think of to no avail. I am tempted to reinstall Vista. I had the 64bit home premium and had no problems to speak of on it. At least the web pages were the correct size.

  7. Hey dark41, that sounds great to me, so can I get an OEM version from you? I thought OEM versions only came with a new pc or notebook, and I just don’t need to upgrade at present, but if there is some way around that, you have a customer LOL! And if so, I guess we will need to communicate so I will leave a contact email address in another reply, unless there is another way you know about. Look forward to hearing back 🙂

  8. I’m glad to see a lot of comments on this topic. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Many of the answers can be found by clicking on the link above to read the rest of the article. I’m not as excited for XP users because yes, you will have to install from scratch and re-install all your old programs.

    For x64 questions be sure to read Steve Hogan article here in the newsletter.
    I’m not as excited about the 64 bit version yet but Steve has a lot of experience and his contribution will help you make the decision.

    Yes, Microsoft is already working on Windows 8. While they haven’t officially said so publicly Microsoft given some hints away in some reason job postings.

    I also agree that no matter what country you live in, Windows 7 is expensive. Over a year ago I made a number of predictions and one I missed was the price for Win7. I really thought the prices would be much better.

    Thanks again,

  9. If you use Vista and it works well for you, don’t try to claim any technological superiority, you probably don’t do very much with your computer. My mom loves Vista, of course she only watches DVDs on her computer. Real computer users hate Vista because Vista sucks, not because we’re listening to each other like lemmings (microsoft supporters are much more akin to lemmings …ME anyone?). Even Microsoft will tell you that Vista was built with little outside thought or assistance…how is it a surprise that it failed so miserably? Microsoft is now crowing that Windows 7 was developed with input from the people who would use it. Wow, what a concept, a product that does what people need it to do. Of course, it wouldn’t be microsoft if it actually worked. My refrigerator worked when I got it home. It has a computer in it and all I had to do was plug it in. I just bought a new car the other day but I didn’t need to learn which engine design build number they used, it just works. I’m a programmer and I am forced to use a PC at work, but I use linux at home, free and easy.

  10. I have been using Vista on three computers for a long time with no serious problems at all. There have been a few annoyances related to security functions that –from time to time– have interefered with my handling of my own files and folders. (Can’t delete certain folders and so on…)

    Cheers, Don.

  11. John,
    I’m a system builder in Australia. You can get an OEM version of Win 7 (32 or 64 bit) for around $220, and that’s better than any deal you’ll get in the USA. You don’t need Ultimate either, unless you need bitlocker or use of 35 various languages. Win 7 Pro OEM is around $160AUD.

    I’ve been using Win 7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit) on many systems. We sampled the beta, RC builds 7100, 7264, 7600, the RTM and Enterprise builds 7600, and now have OEM versions of build 7600. There were very few problems with the beta, and every one has been worked out now on the OEM. So far I’ve seen no glitches to speak of. MS has done their homework, and putting out the beta and RCs helped tremendously to work out the bugs prior to the official release. I’ve been working with computers since before there were operating systems, and Win 7, in my opinion, is the best operating system out of the box that MS or anyone else has ever offered. 🙂

  12. People will not stop of complaining about Vista for your taste. Windows Vista indeed is bad specially at boot time (comparing it with XP and Win 7). The “what hardware you use” is a useless dumb excuse because there are out there thousands of people with heavy machines and had problems with vista in the past.

  13. I already have windows 7 ultimate 32 bitv my pc will take a 64 bit if i choose too , upgrade now not if you use just that one pc online , there are very few programs that actually work on the 32 bit so with the 64 it will be worse , i had to search for a firewall and a/v finally decideing on zonealarm on trail as bitdefender 7 we are ready kept crashing and pc tools kept frezing the pc , so at this present time there are just not enough security software or other products available to run on 7 , wait 6 months and hopefully there will be , that said its 10 times better than vista and to all you so called vista supporters get real xp pro is still far better than any vista whatever the version , it is and always will be junk , it was released on under powered machines to a gullible public , one of this decades best con tricks that they actually pulled off and the US goverment and european ones let them get away with .

  14. I am using 32Bit Vista Home Basic OEM on a Compaq Pressario B1950 Notebook since last 2 years. I have NEVER had any problems with it. I even tried Windows 7 for 30 days trial period and found only few features extra, not worth upgrading compared to the cost.

  15. Just upgraded my wife’s laptop from 64-bit Vista to 64-bit Win7. No issues at all. (4gb, X2) One tip: verify the drivers after upgrade. The MS video driver was very bad compared to the ATI oem driver. Speed difference was dramatic.

    Her main PC is a home-build from Tiger with Vista 64. Planning to upgrade this weekend. (6gb, 1Tb, X2, dual SLI). She is a gamer. Runs WoW w/ventrillo and DAoC mostly. If *anything* is not working, I hear about it right away!

    I am not having problems with any OS from MS since the ME issues (which I really didn’t have, just a beta tester for ME). I was running NT4/2000 when everyone was complaining about ME. Never actually ran any of the 9x stuff on anything important.

    I have not had one issue with Win64-bit (Vista or 7). All my hardware which I upgrade regularly has been 64 bit for some time.

    I also run linux and AIX quad-proc (yes, at home), so, I am probably not the ‘typical’ user 🙂 I have run everything from trs80 and up except no mac stuff. My main is an X2, 6Gb, 3Tb raid0 running Win7 ultimate RC 64 bit. It is a HTpc on a thermaltake chassis. Nice unit.

    Any PC that can run 64-bit Win7, upgrade that puppy. You will not regret it! Win7 is rock solid. It’s really been main-stream for over 6 months now in beta and rc.

    XP or Vista32, wait until your next hardware refresh.

  16. Ok, for all of you with questions about windows 7 and what you can and can’t run it on.
    Let me explain the system I am running 7 on, it is a home built job but is 5 years old. Except for memory upgrade and a new graphics card.

    Athlon 64 3200+ 2.2 gig
    2 gigs of ram
    AGP graphics card HD 3650 1gig DDR2 onboard ram
    2 320 gig WD hardrives
    2 DVD/CD combo drives

    Trust me if this old rig can run windows 7 with no problems most if not all the rigs I have seen on this site will have no problems

  17. My very first operating system was CP/M that makes me a grand-daddy in IT. From there I have owned every OS from Microsoft. I run Vista on three PCs. And find it little bother. I really wonder what all the hatemail re Vista is about. Maybe crappy hardware or ineptitude?
    I agree with John that here in Australia the cost of Win7 is far too much. I’ll stick with Vista for the time being.

  18. Quit bashing average people who buy computers from companies expecting them to run properly regardless of the OS or hardware. Should the average user really HAVE to look at set-up or hardware? Why shouldn’t they expect the computer to work right the when you press the power button? Microsoft and the computer manufacturers that were not ready for it’s release completely blew it for average people with Vista, including myself. I TRIED Vista on a machine that was supposed to be Vista ready but had so many problems that I gave up. I switched to Mac have had flawless performance. I would rather eat tacks than install another OS from Microsoft or buy a PC from a company that can’t match an OS, drivers and hardware.

  19. Having never used Vista (XP since the beginning), I’m not qualified to speak for it. Windows 7 however is another story. Sunday I purchased a new laptop with Windows 7 already installed. This has to be the best product MS has ever put out. I love it! There’s no turning back for me.

  20. I’m undecided about moving from XP to 7, mainly because of the requirement that I reinstall all my software. Keeping in mind that some of this software is older, and I would have to devote time to re-adding all the patches/fixes. SUCH A PITA.
    Why is MS requireing a reinstall of everything? Talk about “user unfriendly”!

  21. I agree with Lester and Bev. Vista isn’t a problem for me or my wife it works fine, my only beef is with that anoying UAC which was simple to turn off. I belive that many people hate Vista because somebody else hates it, like lemings they all go over the edge, so get a grip and stop listening to Steve Jobs, Apple Mac crap.

  22. I’ve been trying to weed thru all the hype on the internet about Win7 to see if it really is all everyone wants. But it’s difficult to find another user like me who upgraded and whether it was worth it. I am a big fan of PCPitstop input, so I ask: Will a Win7 64-bit Home Premium work better than XP Pro for:
    Computer: DFI Lan Party UT-NF590, AMD Phenom 9950BE Quad-core, 4GM Patriot RAM, nVidia 9500GT Video, 2-nVidia Dual-TV Tuner cards, and 8TB worth of Hard drives (2-Seagate 750 in soft-RAID-0, 4-Seagate 1.5TB in softRAID-0, 2-Western Digital 500GB, JBOD for OS and backup)
    I use this PC exclusively in a Home Theater as a HTPC running SageTV, Meedio front-end (like Windows Media Center), TheaterTek for media playback. I DO NOT GAME at all with this rig, but it runs 24/7. It also serves 2 other client PCs, and 2 media streamers. It does some rather CPU intensive programs such as transcoding HD down to 480p for the streamers, and other programs such as comskip which cuts out commercials on SageTV recordings. The transcoder will take one core to 60-70%, the comskip can take up to 4 cores to 50-60%, and other apps can take other cycles to tax the CPU pretty heavily.

    So, will a 64-bit upgrade to Win7 be a noticeable difference for me? I toyed with Vista 64, but noticed all my applications (SageTV, Meedio, and Theatertek) all ran in 32-bit mode anyway… Is this the same issue in Win7?

    I’ll give it a try if you think I should… Confused? I am..

  23. Hi Bill,
    I love Vista, but agree it was pretty unstable in the early days, and my system of making regular C Drive Images (and keeping a log of what was installed/upgraded and when to make re-installation of what was lost since the last image very simple) was my saving grace many a time. I reckon I have restored old (but working perfectly) images after a crash or malfunction over 40 times now since first installing Vista, but have not needed to do so at all in the last 6 to 12 months. I would equally love to upgrade to Windows 7, but the price of Vista Ultimate upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate in Australia (about AU$430 here – almost double the cost in the USA (US$220), and I think we are well over 90c in the dollar now, so something is seriously unfair.
    Considering that AU$430 is almost what the government gives me a fortnight as fulltime carer for my ailing mother, its just simply out of my reach.
    My question is can copies purchased in the US (if I get someone to buy it there for me) be installed & used, verified, etc, here in Australia without any problems, and if so, is there any reader in the US willing to by me a copy and send it over?

  24. Quit bashing Vista, and look at your setup or hardware. Personally, I have three copies of it – no problems. At work, most of our new computers in the past year or so have come with it. We haven’t had any problems and we’ll be buying Windows 7 as we need new computers. I’ve run Win 7 RC for about six months, and it is rock solid.

  25. I bought a new computer with Vista (Home Premium), and it’s awful. It shuts down intermittently and does a host of other crazy things. I’m not sure I’m going to upgrade to Windows 7. Microsoft makes a lot of money by selling junk and then selling upgrades. I may just take a look at a Mac.

  26. I upgraded my Vista Laptop as I purchased the Windows 7 32 bit back in July. I have always liked Vista Home Premium and don’t see why people knock it so much but each to their own. The upgrade went very smooth and fast. It is very nice. But I am not using this laptop now as hasn’t updated so we can play games on their site so wish I had waited but they will get that taken care of soon I hope. Nice job Microsoft.

  27. Victor Di Paglia

    Hi Bill,

    I have Windows Vista Ultimate (32 bit BTW) installed by Dell as an option when I purchased the computer. I’ve been told that purchasing the full version (Vista 7 Ultimate) is better than doing the upgrade as some things are missing or there is something that you’re not getting. Can you comment on this? I really don’t want to spend that much money on another buggy OS.

    Thanks so much.

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