Here are seven things we think all Australian small businesses should know about Windows 7:
- Windows 7 is a lot faster than XP and Vista. Our partner, Correct Solutions, estimates a saving of 20-30 mins per person per day because everything works that bit quicker.
- You don’t need to buy a new PC to run it. Windows 7 is less “resource hungry” than Vista and requires a minimum 1GHz processor, 1GB memory (RAM) & 16GB hard disk space. If you’re running 512mb RAM then a Computer Troubleshooters engineer can come on-site and install it for cheap. (Tell them PowerBuy referred you for a $20 discount!)
- Three versions will be available at launch – Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. Vista Business and XP Professional users should upgrade to the equivalent Windows 7 Professional Edition.
- Vista and XP compatible programs will also work on Windows 7. However, if you plan to run your XP compatible software on Windows 7, make sure you buy the Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate Editions because the Home Premium edition does not support XP backwards compatibility.
- Upgrading from XP is not that easy. All of your files, settings and folder structures will be lost when you do a fresh install. Make sure you have the original CDs for your XP-compatible software and back-up all of your files first. The whole process will take hours to complete.
- Take advantage of the introductory upgrade pricing. If you’re running XP or Vista you can upgrade for between $200 and $400 per computer (except Home version upgrades). Earlier models will pay full price for v7. Better pricing is available for companies with Microsoft volume license agreements.
- If you purchased a laptop or desktop after June 26, 2009 then it’s likely you’ll be entitled to a cheap or free upgrade. You’ll need to register with your manufacturer first, so click here to start.
For insight on the Windows 7 features relevant to small business users, read: Windows 7 – Which features really matter for small businesses.
Joel Montgomery is founder of PowerBuy, a coupon and cashback service delivering discounts on technology product purchases for Australian businesses.