A new Windows opens

I see that there has been a study by the universities of Oxford and Oviedo about broadband Internet quality in various countries.

South Africa’s broadband quality is apparently below the international average and considered to be below the level at which it is really practicable to run online applications in any useful way. South Korea has the fastest Internet, with an average speed of 21.85 Mbps and Lithuania, of all places, comes fourth with 13.5 Mbps.

I’m in danger of sounding like a stuck record, so I’ll change subjects quickly to say Windows 7 has finally arrived and we’ll see if it can rescue Microsoft’s reputation which was damaged by the previous version of Windows, First.I have had a chat with Colin Erasmus of Microsoft and it sounds as though the new Windows is all systems go, which is so far confirmed by the opinion of most online commentators.

Windows 7 is now being supplied on new computers and there will doubtless be many users contemplating an upgrade. Users of Vista will be able to plug in their upgrade discs, and their systems will be more or less automatically upgraded to Windows 7.

The bad news from my point of view, however, is that it is far more difficult for users of Windows XP to upgrade. I understand that it is possible to install Windows 7 to work in tandem with an existing XP installation, but it is quite a technical involved process.

The preferred solution is to start with a clean installation of Windows 7, but you will then have to reinstall all your software programs as well. I don’t know if some clever person will find a way of upgrading Windows XP installation in such a way that all the software does not have to be reinstalled, but can only hope.

However you get there, the first step in upgrading an existing machine to Windows 7 will be to first check if the hardware and software is compatible. Microsoft provides a Windows 7 upgrade adviser and anyone considering upgrading should download that first, to see if there are any known problems to do with their hardware or software.

Once you have a machine running Windows 7, it will be sufficiently strange and new that there are going to be lots of questions. A really cool site that can probably answer most of these, is lifehacker.com.

They have page with links to all the stuff they know about Windows 7 including system requirements, new features, mastering the taskbar, jump lists, XP mode for running old software, and mouse and keyboard shortcuts.

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