windows7-homepremiumThe best way to find out if your computer can handle Windows 7 is to download Microsoft’s upgrade advisor.  When Joy tried it, she found her computer can handle Windows 7, but her two favorite programs won’t work with it. The upgrade advisor prompted her to buy new versions of those favorites. Ironically, one of them was Microsoft’s own Expression Web.

If you’re a Vista user who upgrades to Windows 7, you’ll notice that Windows 7 removes  Windows mail, movie maker and a couple of other Vista programs, (while keeping your data). But you can get new versions of these programs plus a blogging tool free at  By the way, you don’t have to be a Windows 7 user to download the new programs.

The $120 question is: Do you need or want Windows 7? Here are seven reasons for 7.

1. It’s faster.

2. It’s safer. And Windows 7 doesn’t nag you with security questions, like Vista did.

3.  It’s really easy to find things on your computer. “Search Folders” save all your searches. Opening a search folder runs the search again, with updated results.

4.  You get a feature called “Libraries” which gather all your videos into a video library, your photos into a photo library, etc. No more trying to remember where you put all your stuff.

5. There are a lot of short cuts. Shake your cursor in the window of one open program to close all the others you have open. Shake again to open them all.

6. New graphics tools: The “Paint” program comes with more features and there’s a new “snipping” tool for capturing images on yours screen.

7. You can now make a system repair disc that will let you recover your computer if it has problems.

Over a hundred other new features are detailed in the new book “Windows 7 On Demand,” by Steve Johnson, $30 from  In the table of contents, every new item has the word “new” in red letters.

See also Preston Gralla’s 7 reasons for upgrading. Gralla has written many books on Windows. For a list of reasons not to upgrade, see John C. Dvorak’s PC Magazine column.

If you need help installing Windows 7, our favorite tech support service,, is offering a free Windows 7 evaluation package starting next week.

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