Whenever Microsoft introduces a new operating system in the market, people buy it to upgrade their systems. The same happened when Windows Vista, predecessor of Windows 7, was launched in the market. However, after using Vista for some time, most people downgraded their systems to XP (the predecessor of Vista), due to various problems with Windows Vista. Therefore, when Microsoft launched Windows 7, it made computer users skeptical. To clear their doubts, they want to know Windows 7 advantages over XP, before they actually upgrade to the new operating system tiding over the decade old operating system.
Advantages of Windows 7 over Windows XP OS
The new taskbar is a great combination of the classic taskbar and the new elements that have been introduced. It not only displays the applications that are open in the system, but it also has shortcut to the most used applications. If you want to start an application that is regularly used, then you only have to click on the shortcut for it to be launched.
On the other hand, if such an application is already running, but one has navigated to another application then one click on the shortcut, will display the applications most recently used window onto the screen. The shortcut in Windows 7 is created by the operating system itself, while the shortcuts for launching applications had to be created manually in XP, and that too, using a lengthy shortcut creating process.
One of the advantages of Windows 7 over XP is the faster shutdown. XP takes on an average 17 seconds to shut down, while Windows 7 takes approximately 11.5 seconds. It is a well-known fact, that XP has one of the fastest startup time at 49 seconds, but Windows 7 comes in a second with 1.03 seconds. Although Windows 7 takes almost double the amount of time to start up, the Windows 7 startup is faster than that of Vista.
In spite of the fact that the startup of XP is better than that of Windows 7, in the performance section no doubt Windows 7 wins hands down. If large files have to be transferred from one location to another, it is seen that Windows 7 has its own advantages, as it does its task rather faster as compared to XP. Similarly, if there are large files to be loaded onto the system, Windows 7 does a great and quick job. It is seen that the PDF files or files with a lot of data open faster with Windows 7 as compared to Windows XP.
Enhancements in Navigation
If someone has used Vista after XP, then they are well aware about the new Windows Explorer packaged with it. The Windows Explorer in Windows 7 is an enhanced version of the previous Windows Explorer (Vista), however, not many changes are introduced in the Windows Explorer of Windows 7. One can save a lot of time using the left column navigator, with which one can navigate to any drive or within network rather easily.
The different categories in the column enable a user to rearrange the different categories as per needs and also into favorite section. Similarly, one can also hide the sections that one does not use. With the Windows Explorer in XP, one cannot navigate to the different folders or network locations, due to which one wastes a lot of time moving from one location to another.
Graphical User Interface
If the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of Windows 7 is to be compared with Windows XP, it is the Windows 7 GUI that scores higher. With the Windows 7, it is convenient to navigate through the different libraries. Looking up files from the Start Menu is easier as well.
Different libraries containing files of the same type, for personal use can be created, which makes it rather easier for the user to navigate through the different files. Such a feature was not available in XP. The other advantage in the area of graphical user interface that Windows 7 has over XP is the jumplist. In the jumplist, all the applications that are frequently used are lined up. Either a shortcut is created in the Start Menu or on the taskbar.
32 bit and 64 bit Versions
Windows 7 is available in both 64 bit and 32 bit versions. Although XP was also available in both 32 bit and 64 bit versions, most people were not aware that 64 bit version existed in XP. Hence, only the 32 bit version was more widely used. Legally both the versions are available on the Windows 7 installation CD, however, at any given point of time you will be able to install any one of the versions only. When one is installing Windows 7, options for both the versions pop up, making one to decide one over the other.
Naturally, the 64 bit version has better functionality over the 32 bit version and also its performance is better. Hence, people opt for the 64 bit version in Windows 7. Compression of data files and resource usage are also better in the 64 bit version of Windows 7 as opposed to that of XP.
If there is a particular functionality or a file, that you wanted to look up in XP, it was rather difficult. You would either have to use the Command Line or use the Windows Search functionality. In Windows 7, the Command Line continues to exist, however, the Windows Search has been done away with and there is a Search textbox in Start.
This search has deep inbuilt search features, using which one can search not only files and applications, but also different settings in the Control Panel, applications, document folders located on the system along with the ones on the network (the ones which are a part of the HomeGroup or are a part of server side), parse through emails, etc. In Windows 7, you can also launch different applications from the Search results.
These are the few advantages Windows 7 has over XP, however the XP loyalists will prefer to consider the disadvantages of Windows 7 over XP as well, before they consider switching loyalties to the new operating system. If I were you then I will consider both positive and negative aspects of going with the Windows 7 operating system before installing it on my computer.