Microsoft has created a new Application Compatibility List for Windows 7. While they state it is for IT professionals anyone can access it via their website. If you are unsure if applications you need will work (use this link to learn about how to make anything compatible if it is not on the list below) with Windows 7 this is a great place to start:
It has been a long time since we’ve recommended an initial release of a Microsoft Operating system for business use but we’ve reached that plateau again with Windows 7. We are encouraging our clients to implement Windows 7 when replacing existing systems. There are of course always exceptions to this recommendation, the most important being resource intensive older software applications such as design and cad software. They need to be evaluated for compatibility prior to making the shift. Your basic business machine will happily function with 7, and worse case you can offer reliable compatibility through the Windows XP Compatibility Mode.
If you are considering upgrading existing machines to Windows 7 or purchasing a new computer with Windows 7 installed feel free to contact us for an honest, experienced opinion on what you might want to consider in the process. You don’t have to be a customer or become one, but we’re pretty confident that once you get to know us you will want to be one.
Not long ago we were reading how Mozilla Firefox had more exploits than Internet Explorer and today I am prepared to go out on a limb and recommend a point release of a Microsoft Operating system. What the heck is going on in Redmond? What happened to our churn the product out and let the customers find the bugs then patch the frequent security issues 2 months after they hit the wild company we grew to love? Apparently they have been listening to feedback and have made unprecedented improvements in product quality and security maybe we should send them a thank you card. Wait a minute, before we decide who we should thank, let’s look at some of the motivation that is driving the changes – namely competition. Apple has put up a very strong showing with their industry standard design and solid performance. This has created market share for them at a very fast pace. Google and Microsoft are also heating up the competition in a number of areas but perhaps most importantly the operating system arena with the upcoming Google Chrome Operating system. So before you mail your thank you card to Redmond, let’s remember that without strong competition they would not have been quite as anxious to improve their products.
Now on to the substance, Windows 7 is ready for Business
We skipped Vista, don’t get me wrong we used it and we knew it but we did not advise any of our customers to use Vista at any point of the product cycle. In fact we made efforts to have them avoid it, basically advising our customers that Windows XP was the way to go for business. That has all changed thanks to the fantastic work that Microsoft has put into making the point release of Windows 7 my favorite operating system ever. Yes I am excited about Microsoft product again, it’s been a long time but I am grateful because I’ve had a love/hate relationship with them for years. My relationship with Microsoft has had its ups and downs:
• DOS was ok.
• Windows 3.x was ok.
• Windows NT (3.x) was ok.
• Windows NT (4) was ok.
• Windows 95 loved it.
• Windows 98 was ok.
• Windows ME hated it!
• Windows 2000 loved it.
• Windows XP mostly loved it.
• Windows Vista mostly hated it.
• Windows 7 Love it!
So as you can see, without getting into disasters like Bob, or the security lapses, etc, the ups and downs I’ve experienced with Microsoft Operating systems have been significant. Please don’t tell Balmer that I like Windows 7, I want them to continue to think like they have been since they started working on Windows 7. Let’s let this be our secret.
Not everyone uses Outlook or a similar program to store their tasks and reminders, or perhaps they might seek something a little more visual. Windows 7 sticky notes will deliver that for you. This video will demonstrate to you how to access, create, change and delete sticky notes on your Windows 7 equipped computer.
The Aero snap feature on Windows 7 is really useful. You can use it to maximize a window by left clicking and dragging that window to the top of the screen or drag left or right to have the active program use that half of the screen. This is what you might see in the Microsoft commercial. There is a small problem, what if you have 2 or more monitors? It doesn’t work unless you drag it all the way to the right, left or top most screen edge. You can actually use this feature even with multiple screens by using the windows key + arrow keys, these are the affects:
- Winkey + L/R Arrow cycles the active window through all available visible options (Right Half, Left Half, Normal, Maximize)
- Winkey + Up Arrow Maximizes the active window
- Winkey + Down Arrow Minimizes the active window
These are must know keyboard shortcuts for Windows 7 users with 2 or more monitors and I like them even on single screens. Please note this does require the Aero interface to be enabled and not all computers support it. For a demonstration of this feature check out this video: