Windows_7_resize.jpg
There's a recession going on, and most of us--especially in the corporate sector--are trying to keep our desktop clunker PCs going by opening the chassis

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Windows 7: Is It Worth the Upgrade?

Windows_7_resize.jpg
There's a recession going on, and most of us--especially in the corporate sector--are trying to keep our desktop clunker PCs going by opening the chassis and forcing in as many extra memory cards as will fit in the slots. (Or just sprinkling them in loosely, for luck.) Anything to keep XP running a little while longer, to bypass Vista and wait for Windows 7. Which is, after multiple delays, almost now here. And the economy still sucks, so we don't expect IT departments anywhere to spring for new PCs anytime soon. Clearly aware of this, Microsoft is sweetening the updgrade cycle with pre-sale specials, as the Redmond software titan tells Gizmodo.

The product launch isn't until the fourth quarter: October 22 being the latest announced date for Windows 7. So for a limited time, and a limited number of licensees, you could upgrade to the office version of Win 7 for $100 instead of (later) $200. (Advance deals are also available for the home version.) Give your money now to one of the richest companies in the world, in other words, to save a little money later.

The soft launch begins Friday; Win 7 has been available to some advance testers already, with generally favorable reports. Over on Tech Flash, Todd Bishop notes that it's still much cheaper to upgrade your OS in the Mac community (still a very small slice of the PC pie) and that Win 7 needs to be a winner to overcome the stigma of Vista.

But even to run Win 7, as Giz reminds us, requires the following:

• 1 GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)

• 1 GB of RAM (32-bit); 2 GB of RAM (64-bit)

• 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit); 20 GB of available disk space (64-bit)

• DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Ouch, there's no way my old desktop Dell Optiplex can run that. (Maybe I could try adding another power cord? Or turbocharging it with a leaf blower?) But on the other hand, for the price of a $100 upgrade that won't even run on an older PC, the writers and editors of SW could have a few drinks tonight instead--probably the more productive option.

 
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