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Should I upgrade to Windows 7?


I get asked this question a lot. People see the adverts and start to think ooh that looks good I might try that. This is where I ask people why exactly do you want to upgrade? You see there are arguments for and against upgrading and we shall discuss both.

For

1. Windows 7 is the most secure operating system Microsoft has designed.

2.  Windows 7 is compatible with the newer ipV6 internet addressing system (see previous post).

3. All new software is designed to run on Windows 7 by default where you might have compatibility issues with older software like XP.

4. You can get to try out the new IE9 web browser.  IE9 is not available on XP.

5. Security updates.  Windows 7 is the new kid on the block so updates are ongoing.  Microsoft are going to stop all security updates for Windows XP in 2014.

Against

1. Chances are you are running Windows XP.  If so then the interface does look different enough to be off putting to some people.

2. Possible compatibility issues with software that you are running at the moment.

3. Cost.  You will have to go out and purchase Windows 7 at approximately £110 for an upgrade pack.

4. Mentality.  If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.  Windows XP works, you are happy with it so why should you change.

5. You might need a new computer because your current one does not have the specification required to run Windows 7.

So which way do you go?  If you are in business then I would advise waiting until your natural cycle of upgrades and then change over.  This will ease the transition for your users and also ease the cost for your business.  If you are a home user then I would advise unless there is some compelling reason why you want to upgrade stick with what you know for the time being.  Like point 4 above states: If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. Wait until your system breaks and then buy one with Windows 7 already installed.

You will have noticed that so far we haven’t mentioned Windows Vista.  There is a reason for this.  Windows 7 is far superior to Windows Vista so if you want to upgrade then go for Windows 7.

Whichever path you decide to go down bear one thing in mind.  In 2014 (probably sooner with ipV6 internet addressing) you will have no choice but to change over to Windows 7 (maybe even Windows 8).

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Whichever you decide ComTech can be there offering you advice along the way.  Go to www.comtech247.net for more information.

The internet is changing


Don’t worry it won’t be imminent but it will happening over the next 18 months or so.   You see the addresses that everyone uses at the moment are called IPv4 addresses (e.g 152.52.1.21) and they are running out.  A new standard of addressing called IPv6 is designed to replace IPv4 in the next couple of years (estimates range from 2012 – 2016). So what exactly is IPv6 and how is it so different to IPv4?

IPv6 is a 128 bit hexadecimal addressing system (e.g fe80::154d:3cd7:b33b:1bc1) where IPv4 is only 32 bits (e.g 192.168.1.1).  To put this in context if each address were a grain of sand , you could comfortably fit all the IPv4 addresses into the back of a small truck, however you would need 1.3 million Earths to fit all the IPv6 addresses in!!!

So there are more addresses anything else?  IPv6 also has built -in Quality of Service (QoS). This is the ability to provide different priority to different applications, users, or data flows, or to guarantee a certain level of performance to a data flow.  It also has improved security (IPSec is used by default), more efficient routing and simpler configuration.

So what does this mean to you?  Basically without some tinkering Windows XP will become obselete as this does not have IPv6 support enabled by default.  You would have to upgrade to Windows Vista or Windows 7 (possibly Windows 8 if it is released).  Windows Vista, 7, Server 2008, nearly all Linux distributions and Mac have IPv6 support enabled by default so running any of these is fine.  Chances are though that your router is not IPv6 enabled so you would have to buy a new one of these.  The way your computer gets its IP address would be exactly the same.  If like me you work in the IT sector you will need to become familiar with IPv6 and how to configure it.

There will be a transition period when everyone will be switching over so its not like someone will flick the switch and the internet will be turned off so don’t worry.  The change is on its way.

IPv6 is coming that much is certain.  Now is the time to start looking at your infrastructure and see if you are able to make the transition smoothly.  This is where ComTech can help.  I can advise on different setups, configure them where necessary and maintain them on a schedule dictated by you.  Go to www.comtech247.net/business-it for more information.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

CyberChimps
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