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by JB Burke

Q: I’ve used Windows XP for years, and I skipped Vista. Is Windows 7 better than XP (and Vista)?

A: In our opinion, Windows 7 is a solid replacement and upgrade for Windows XP. It seems very stable, and the performance is very good. Assuming you have hardware that is capable of running it (or a new computer with it installed) here are a few of the advantages (a Google search will find more):

There are many improvements to the desktop, including larger buttons on the taskbar, with full size previews. If I have a wide screen, I can easily compare 2 documents or file lists side by side. Simply press the Windows key and the left or right arrow to cause the chosen document to fill exactly the left or right half of the screen.

File search has been improved and is easier to use. Performance has been enhanced over XP and especially Vista. Windows 7’s full 64-bit support allows for better utilization of memory and other system resources. If you do something memory intensive, like editing photos, you will see a big difference when you add memory.

The accessories offered in Windows 7 are improved. The Calculator adds many more functions, Paint adds more brushes if you like to draw, and Wordpad looks a bit more like MS Word.

Overall, Windows 7 seems a worthy successor to XP, and supports the newer hardware very well. Eventually you’ll need to get off of XP, and this might be the right time to make the jump.

Published: Courier 5/15/11 - Page 6C