I have been operating a cyber cafe business for the last five years. During this period, I have been using the Windows XP operating system. After the release of Window 7 by Microsoft Corporation July 22, 2009, Windows XP usage has been dropping steadily. Windows 7 is reached the retail market on October 22, 2009. Microsoft Corporation holds the biggest market share of the operating system application with over 90% users using its applications. Today windows 7 has overtaken Windows XP. It is the most commonly used operating system in the world. Windows 7 holds a market share of 44.7% against 40.7 % share that is held by windows XP (McCracken, 2009). About a year ago, windows XP was more popular than windows 7 with a 48 % and 35% market share respectively. The rise in windows 7 popularity can be credited to its advantages over the Windows XP. Before embarking on the upgrade from windows XP to windows 7, I need to examine the program requirements, its features and advantages as well as the disadvantages. One of the main reasons I intend to upgrade is because Microsoft intends to phase out windows XP by April 2014. Microsoft has been persuading businesses and consumers to do away with the application (Whitney, 2012).
Windows XP application supported by Microsoft is also experiencing a phase out period. This means that some applications will not be able to be run using the operating system. The programs that cannot be installed on windows XP include internet Explorer 9 or 10 and Office 2013.
Windows 7 Requirements
To run windows 7 on a PC, one needs GHz (gigahertz) or a fast 32-bit or64-bit processor,
a RAM of 1GB (gigabyte) or 2GB of RAM for 64-bit, and hard disk space of 16Gb for 32-bit or 20GB space for a 64-bit.
Windows 7 Additional Features
The operating system has been popular due to some of the features that have been added. Some of the added features include handwriting and touch recognition, virtual hard disks support mechanism, enhanced multi-core processors performance, superior booting performance, kernel improvements, and Direct Access. The operating system also has new improved Windows Media Center version, and a windows media centre gadget. It also has a redesigned calculator that has more capabilities.
There are additional items in the control panel of windows 7. The items include text Tuner, clear Type, Wizard for display color calibration, trouble shooting, recovery, workspaces centre, sensor, Biometric Devices, Credential Manager, Display, and System Icons. The operating system has an enhanced security system than Window XP. The XP's windows Security Centre has been renamed to windows action centre. The Windows Action centre helps in resolving security and maintenance issues.
The windows 7 operating system supports imaging through the RAW image format. This is as a result of an upgrade to incorporate a Window imaging component that allows for image thumbnails, metadata and previewing display in Windows explorer. The taskbar has also witnessed a variety of improvement. It has recorded the most significant visual change. Instead of the Quick Launch toolbar of the windows XP, window 7 allows for pinning of applications to the task bar. The buttons for the pinned programs are incorporated with task bar buttons. Windows 7 allows developers to use SOAP_BASED web application services as it has an API networking (McCracken, 2009).
Advantages of Windows 7 over Windows XP
Based on the additional features discussed, Windows 7 has a variety of advantages over the windows XP. The various features are beneficial to consumers and individuals as it allows for improved technology and performance. It is also easy to install once a consumer has hardware that meets the installation requirements (Ward, 2013).
The support from Microsoft cooperation is a major advantage for using Windows 7. Since April 14, 2009, Microsoft has not been offering mainstream support to consumers and businesses using the windows XP. This has meant that users of windows XP operating system cannot receive free technical support for problems encountered while using the system. Those people using windows 7 are able to receive this support free. For a person to fix problems relating to windows XP, they have to call or use Microsoft windows update. The Microsoft intends to stop any support for windows XP user by August 14, 2014 (Ward, 2013).
Due to its improvement, Windows 7 also allows for more applications. Developers are now writing programs, which can be supported by windows 7. This is not the case with windows XP while its improved features allow for more developed technologies like 3-D gaming, windows XP is unlikely to support such advanced technologies (McCracken, 2009).
Disadvantages of Windows 7
When upgrading to window 7 operating system, the computer hardware specifications requirements are higher than those of windows XP. This means that consumers and businesses that have been using computers with low specifications must upgrade them or buy new ones (Balasubramanian, 2010). It is also hard for windows to upgrade from windows XP to window 7. This means that upgrading from windows XP requires an entire installation in most cases. At times, driver support for windows 7 does not provide for older systems and old versioned motherboards.
In my business, I will implement the upgrade since it will benefit my business. The various improved features of the windows 7 that also include fast speed will allow me to work efficiently (McCracken, 2009). My cyber cafe business also serves various customers that have various needs. I have to have a system and technology that is up to date. Since Microsoft has introduced a new operating system that is now popular, the upgrade will help me to serve my clients efficiently. I will also be able to accommodate change and technological development like 3-D gaming. Windows XP will also not be available in August 2014, this requires me to upgrade the system earlier. I am also lucky that my computers meet installation requirements of the Window 7 operating system.