A Windows 7 Family

By | Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

I spent the weekend installing Windows 7 on all 3 of our PCs at home. I went with the “Family Pack” of Windows 7 Home Premium for $149. That’s an awesome price for 3 copies of Windows! It took me a while to find one in Kenosha, because everyone else was sold out, but OfficeMax had a few left Friday evening. A single license for Home costs about $109-$119. Each install took less than an hour. You can do a clean install using the upgrade version with no prompting for any type of proof that you own a previous version. I had been running Windows 7 RC on two our PCs for a few months, and there was no pre-purchased version of Windows installed on these PCs. For the clean install, it automatically takes your entire previous Windows installation and moves it into a folder called “Windows.old”, and Microsoft wisely recommends a fresh install and not an actual upgrade from your current installation. This results in a much cleaner, faster-running, and fully functional installation without carrying over any existing problems from your previous installation of an older operating system or having any compatibility issues. There are several differences between Home and Professional, but none of them were worth the extra price for me. The main piece not in Home Premium is the “Windows XP Mode” (which is a virtual XP machine that runs inside Windows 7) This would probably be the only feature in Pro that I would ever use, but I’d still probably very rarely use it, so I’ll go without. Windows 7 is much faster and much less buggy than Vista, requires fewer system resources and can even give you back 30-35% extra battery time on laptops! So far it’s running great, though it’s only been a few days since I installed it. I did use the Windows 7 Release Candidate version for 3 months prior to this though, and even that has run great for me. If it hadn’t, I would have hesitated a while longer before taking the plunge””maybe until the first service pack is released, like a lot of other people (and businesses) do. I am seeing a lot of little changes (and fixes) in the final version that I was concerned with in the Release Candidate, so it’s looking really well polished. Oh, and I also dumped AVG Free and went with using Microsoft Security Essentials, which is Microsoft’s new free Antivirus and Antispyware package, so we’ll see how that goes as well. It’s so nice to be able to spend just $50 per PC to bring it up to date and not have any monthly or annual additional fees to worry about!