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Windows 7 Ultimate– Our Review

Windows 7 is here, and boy is it awesome

Ok, we know it’s a little late, but without further ado, here it is, our review of Windows 7.

So in a couple of words how are we liking the new Microsoft OS after using it in it’s final form for over a month? We love it, and just keeping it short—it’s a thousand times better than Vista (yes that much better).

Want some more details on why we like it so much and what things about it we don’t like? Read on.

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Five Different Versions of Windows 7–Which Is Right for You

windows 7 logo 3

So let’s begin our Windows 7 coverage with trying to simplify the many different versions of the OS. Unlike with Apple’s Snow Leopard, where it’s more of a one-size fits-all approach, with Windows 7 you got a nice selection of editions: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Happy-Go-Lucky… Ok, fine, we just made up the happy go lucky part, but as you can see, there are a whole lot of different versions, and so let’s try to simplify that into what you should looking for when getting a Windows 7 upgrade or when looking for a new PC, and what you should be looking for specs wise to make sure whatever version of 7 you get works well.

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Pre-Order Windows 7– NOW

windows 7 pre order-- amazon

As you can see from some over our previous posts (such as this first look of the new OS), we are really loving using Windows 7, and we mean REALLY lovin it. It is 1000x better than Vista (possibly more, I wanna be a little nice to Vista’s failed efforts) and is an actually usable and fast OS. It’s so good that we’re pretty certain that all or a lot of you readers out there with Windows computer (for sure ones with Vista), will probably upgrade to 7 when it comes out later this year (October 22nd as we previously wrote, is the launch date), and as we saw with Vista’s upgrade from XP, buying the new software from Microsoft is not the cheapest thing.

So that’s why we got this post for you today. Microsoft is actually charging you A LOT less if you pre-order the OS now, instead of waiting till October to upgrade. How big of a savings we talkin here? Well, the list price for Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade (the one most of you we assume will upgrade to, and just a sorta for your information, the upgrade means that it is used to install over a previous version of Windows like Vista or XP. If you want to install a full fresh copy there is also a non-upgrade version if you wanna install on a PC without a prior version of Windows, but that costs a lot more) is priced for regular retail at $119.99. Amazon, who is one of the retailers taking pre-orders now, is only charging you $49.99 (yes, $49.99 or a $70 or 58% discount off the cover price), if you pre-order it between now and July 11th. There are similar deals in place as well for the Windows 7 Professional Upgrade (a higher end version of the Home Premium with added features for business users such as being able to run XP as a free download inside 7– using similar tech that is used for running Windows and Mac side by side– something called Virtual PC. Professional is listed at retail for $199.99, but you can snag now for $99.99, or an $100 or 50% discount), and we hope this will go out to other versions like 7 Ultimate (with a couple more features than Professional such as more language support– 35 more– and better Hard Drive encryption using something call BitLocker– things you prob won’t need basically, and which currently is priced at a very expensive $219.99 for both pre-order and retail). The deal runs from now till July 11th or while supplies last, so you better hurry as a lot of people EVERYWHERE are gonna want in on this.

In my opinion, this is looking to be a steal of a deal (albeit not quite the steal Apple is charging for Snow Leopard, the next version of their very good Leopard OS. The price on that by the way is $29 when it drops in September, you can learn more on Snow Leopard in our WWDC wrap up), and we’re really hoping Microsoft just dumps the higher prices and keeps them at these discounted prices for good (as a sorta “sorry for Vista” thing).

Amazon is also not only doing this, but offering FREE release date delivery for Amazon Prime users, and free “Super Saver” shipping for those who don’t have Amazon Prime (info on Amazon Prime here). If for some reason you needed to buy Vista right now in either the Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate flavors, you could upgrade to the 7 version for only $10 when it comes out. There is though a 3 per customer limit we feel we should mention, but how many of you actually plan on buying more than 1-2 copies max?

This is an awesome deal, and you can check it all out at Amazon’s site here (where they even have some solid info on what the difference is between the versions of 7 and help for upgrading). REMEMBER: THIS DEAL ONLY RUNS TILL JULY 11TH.

Oh, and if your looking for a new computer now or sometime before 7 drops in October: like with Vista, computer makers like HP, are already beginning to roll out free upgrades to 7 with purchases, so when buying a new PC make sure to get that.

Google Desktop: Stay Up-to-Date

google-desktop

Google Desktop’s Sidebar and Gadgets

Do you enjoy knowing the latest news? How is the new Guns N’ Roses album? Did Plaxico Burress get 10 catches? How are my stocks doing (yeah right)? Well then Google desktop is right for you. Sitting on the right of your desktop– or anywhere, for that matter– this application can give you breaking news, the weather, it can even look stuff up on Wikipedia without even booting up your internet browser! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. One other personal favorite feature is what the application is named for: googling your desktop. Using Google’s famed searching method, it can mine your laptop for whatever you’re looking for in a manner far superior to your computer’s built-in search feature.

For those of you who would like to download this great application (available for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X and Linux), click here.

Google Launching their own Web Browser

Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer not gonna be able to cut it for school? Well, then your in luck because Google today has launched their own web browser called Google Chrome. Google Chrome takes some of the best of all features of those popular web browsers and puts it into an open source format, allowing users to copy the browser’s source code (the computer language that creates and runs the browser) and use it for other programs not designed by Google. The browser is available today in Beta (test, early version) for Windows XP/Vista users, and will soon be available for Mac OS X and Linux users. I’m trying it out now, and will post a First Look review once I get to use it for a little.

In the meantime, get your Google Chrome on over here (again Windows XP/Vista users only), and feel free to let us know what you think of the new browser– and if it is better than the other, bigger browsers out there– in the comments.

Free and easy ways to Protect and Speed up your Computer

Ok, so we all really need our computers for one thing or another–be it games, music and videos, school or just browsing the internet– and we all hate when it gets real slow at doing those things. Well here are a few ways to help speed up your computer in doing those tasks.

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