Windows 7 May Be Worth The Upgrade

If, like every other frustrated Windows customer in the past couple of years, you’ve been clinging desperately to your works-just-fine copy of XP while Vista scratches at the window like a ‘Salem’s Lot kid, you may be able to finally unclench this fall. That’s when Windows 7 comes out, and Wired offers 7 reasons why it might actually be worth moving over to.

The two biggest reasons that have half-convinced us to give Windows 7 a shot are:

1. Just like when Apple rolled out OS X with the built-in Classic mode for older apps, Windows 7 includes “XP Mode” so all of your existing XP apps (or most of them, at least) will play without problems. Update: It looks like XP Mode will only work with the more expensive Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise flavors. *sigh*

2. Windows Media Player just works, out of the box, with Wi-Fi enabled appliances like your Xbox.

Windows 7 is an OS practically made for pirates. Want to display your movies, photos or music on your TV? Bam! Windows Media Player will do that out of the box if you have a Wi-Fi enabled TV, or an Xbox. No extra programs to install: Windows Media Player seamlessly communicates with your Wi-Fi device to display your illegal content in all its glory on your fancy HD TV.

And sharing media is easy, too. Want to download all of your brother’s music? Bam! HomeGroup, an easy networking feature included in Windows 7, will make that super easy between computers running the OS. Immediately upon plugging in to your network with Ethernet or Wi-Fi, HomeGroup will ask if you wish to join the group on the network, allowing you to set up easy file sharing in minutes.

We know Wired is joking about the whole piracy aspect, but seriously, if I want to placeshift and timeshift whatever media I’m interested in at the moment, I don’t want my operating system acting as a nanny. It looks like Windows 7 understands this.

Before anyone accuses us of advertising for Microsoft, we’re well aware that there may be any number of ridiculous problems with the OS when it comes out. Still, it would be nice to finally have a modern Windows OS that doesn’t suck before the end of the decade. We’re cautiously optimistic.

“7 Good Reasons to Switch to Windows 7” [Wired]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.