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Windows 7 is being touted as the simplest version of Windows yet.
TechSoup is starting to prepare all the information that nonprofits will need to know about Windows 7 when it launches on our site, on October 22nd (available through TechSoup Stock on November 1st). We want to gather any and all questions that the nonprofit community has on the product. We are wondering what your concerns may be about the product, for example, Why you would want to upgrade, if upgrading would interact with your existing data, what the hardware specs are that would be needed for this upgrade, what the different and enhanced features are with Windows &, etc.
Susan Tenby, Parernships, Online Community and Social Media Director, Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup.org.
We just purchased Windows Vista through Tech Soup this past January, which has been nothing but problematic in our office. I'm concerned that we'll have to wait until January 2011 to get the upgrade to Windows 7 because of the limits on Microsoft orders. Is there a possibility that anything could be worked out to purchase Windows 7 earlier than that?
Your vista purchase in January comes with software advantage for two years. So any OS release in the next two years is included with the licenses you already have.
If your hardware supports Windows 7, then when it is officially released, you can go back to the e-open web site and download the windows software and access the Windows 7 license keys for the number of licenses you have.
If your hardware does not support Windows 7 then you can move your Vista / Windows 7 licenses from the old machines to newer hardware (with the proper OS on the newer hardware to be compliant with the license) to take advantage of the OS upgrade.
What Dave says is correct - you simply go to the E-Open website (this is the site you had to register your license on in order to get the product activation code). If you click on activation codes, you'll see one for Windows 7 Business. If you look at product downloads, you'll be able to download the product and burn a DVD of it.
In my testing of Windows 7 Release Candidate, I was able to install it and have it run very effectively on a 6 yr old laptop. Granted, I increased the RAM of the laptop to 2GB, but the system ran very well. It's less resource intensive than Vista. So, if your hardware supports Vista, it will support Windows 7 (possibly some hardware that would not support Vista will run Windows 7, though drivers may be an issue - I was using an XP driver for the video on that laptop).
Chris Shipley Nutmeg Consulting
I've been using Windows 7 RC on my laptop for about a month now, and I must say it's been nothing but a pleasure. It actually seems snappier than XP did, if that makes any sense! I will admit that I am a Vista detractor, and I resisted upgrading with all my might, but they seem to have worked out quite a few kinks in Windows 7 (Disclaimer: I'm on the 32-bit edition!). Windows 7 detected all my hardware right out of the box; the only drivers I had to install were NVIDIA's drivers for my graphics card. I've been pretty happy with it so far!
Technical Support Specialist
Is Windows 7 a new platform or just a repackaged Vista? We've kept with XP Pro here to avoid all the heartache with Vista, but at some point we will have to upgrade our OS. I've used Vista when working on PCs for other people and found it to be the most user UNfriendly OS Microsoft has every came out with. Everything you try to do, it asks you 3 times if you are sure you want to do it. The pop-ups are out of control! I do hope Windows 7 is more reflective of XP.
Will there be a comprehensive list of hardware and software vendors who have updated their drivers for Windows 7?
Or will we be faced with the daunting task of doing it on our own?
As far as I know, Vista drivers should (should, mind you) work fine in Windows 7; I'm pretty sure the idea behind it was to keep device driver compatibility intact and not have the headaches that users faced migrating from XP to Vista.
Right, but I think you'll find a lot of users migrating from XP to 7, so they'd potentially have the same issues. Potentially moreso, since Windows 7 will actually work well on older hardware that likely doesn't have drivers available (like the video adapter in my old laptop).
In those cases, I would install XP Professional and save Windows 7 for the newer computers and peripherals.
Our office has 13 workstations most of which are running XP (a couple of Vista machines snuck in while I wasn't looking). A separate XP machine serves as a shared file server. One of my current issues is the 10 connection limit that XP (and Vista) places. If everyone is in the office (fortunately some folks are in and out) we run into this limit and some are unable to access the server. Microsoft obviously wants to sell its Server software but this seems like overkill for such a small situation. I am in the process of setting up a Linux machine to serve as a file server (Linux having no such limitation). For consistency, not preference, I'd like to keep it an all Microsoft network. Thus my question: will there be the 10 connection limit in Windows 7? I can't seem to find an answer via googling.
i hope Windows7 will appear ready to localize and we japanese will be able to use same functions at the same time. (i can switch basic native language level into japanese, korean, chinese in a few operations at my iPhone . i love this "really global" even tiny small device. )
Thank you all for your experiences and feedback. Even though the actual product won't be released in retail channels for awhile, we wish to help nonprofits and libraries make informed decisions by gathering questions and concerns, regardless of whether it is through our donation channel. There certainly is a lot of excitement building around this latest version, and there seem to be genuine user experience improvements in 7 in the beta and release candidate (RC) versions. That said, the actual product features and policies may still change until release, or even after release when patches inevitably are released.
@orangehabitat: while I don't have the answer to this (and maybe other folks who has a RC can verify), I am inclined to believe that there will still be a 10 connection limit to 7, as there has been for windows 2000, XP, and vista (professional or premium editions). If anything, with the emergence of Windows Home Server and Windows Server Foundation as viable minimalist servers, they could even lower the limit. If all you need is file sharing you can use a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, or use an old computer and turn that into a NAS via something like www.freenas.org
Kevin Lo | Senior Program Manager, NetSquared.org | a part of TechSoup Global
SuptLester: "Will there be a comprehensive list of hardware and software vendors who have updated their drivers for Windows 7?"
Though we won't be able to provide a list within our product detail page, I am certain that between the various websites and the community here, a nice list can be put together. In fact, that may be a great idea for a forum thread on its own.
Autumn Teeter | Forum Moderator for TechSoup Customer Service
I will need to dig into the version and upgrade options for Windows 7. I obtained MAK keys for Vista Business Upgrade and did not use them all due to drivers for legacy devices, computer capability, user resistance, etc. Since then drivers have become available or the hardware will be changed, memory prices have fallen and Windows 7 seems more desirable than Vista. I am now ready for a more aggressive deployment and a review of the standard OS to deploy.
I understand there is no in place upgrade install from Windows XP Pro to Windows 7 Pro so it will be clean install time. Will the unused Vista Business Upgrade licence keys be useable under Software Assurance? With 4GB of memory becoming the norm, is there any licencing path to get to Windows 7 Pro 64 bit from Vista Business 32 bit or Windows XP Pro 32 bit? Is this the time to make the move to a 64 bit OS?
Hello User26 :) I love the username.
Your Windows Vista 32-bit Business licenses, if purchased within 2 years of the release of Windows 7 (October 23 2009 or something), will be upgradeable via Software Assurance from the TechSoup purchase. Every Microsoft product TechSoup sells comes with 2 years of Software Assurance (which also gives you other interesting benefits - like the home use program. Read about it).
If you think that you have problems with Windows 7 and 32-bit drivers, you'll likely have more with Windows 7 and 64-bit drivers. In Vista, all 64-bit drivers needed to be signed or they won't install. I believe this is the same in Windows 7. Also, you may run into a software compatibility problem. I would wait a couple years before jumping to 64-bit except for properly researched cases (like video editing, etc).
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