Saturday, 21 December 2013

Microsoft Windows 7 - Gain without much Pain . . .

With the impending end of Microsoft’s support for their venerable and very successful Windows XP, I had been wrestling with the relative benefits of either “upgrading” my existing main desktop PC to Windows 7, or replacing it entirely, with the risk of having to put up with the almost universally reviled Windows 8.

I had been using Windows 7 on a  borrowed PC for some time and had become relatively comfortable with that environment, and so decided to take the plunge and go down the “upgrade” route with my 7-year old, reasonably specced (for its time) machine.

I purchased a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium from a seemingly reputable (according to the feedback) EBay supplier  and a brand new hard drive from ( the thinking there being that there was an easy route back if the Windows 7 installation proved to be a disaster).

I have to say that the whole business went surprisingly well right from the initial minor surgery to replace the primary hard drive on my PC, which even included a vacuum out of the dust, cobwebs and general detritus which had accumulated in the last 12 months since I last had the machine apart.

The Windows 7 installation itself went very smoothly, the most anxious moments being those during which I waited with baited breath to see if my 25-digit licence code would be accepted (it was!).

I am not a player of games, apart from the “normal secretarial duties” of EMails, web surfing and writing documents, my machine spends most of its time running fairly esoteric Audio Spectrum Analysis DSP software associated with my hobby of recording “radio meteors” so the amount of software I had to re-install was relatively small.   Everything I installed worked pretty well without any problems and here I am a day later with a machine with a completely new operating system installed running every program I use regularly, consequently I am as “Pleased as Punch”.

The only downside is that of the new Microsoft Office 2013 which I have had “in stash” for a while ready to be installed on a Windows 7 (or later) machine.   This has appears to have been designed to have a “Windows 8” look about it, and frankly it’s horrible to look at.  I felt obliged to install this heavyweight package due to it (a) being cheap due to an arrangement my employer has with Microsoft, and (b) there is no built-in EMail client in Windows 7.  

I could of course opted for something like OpenOffice with Mozilla Thunderbird, but I had the Office install disk already.   Maybe more on that later, but at the moment I am struggling to find any nice words about Office 2013, but I should probably give it more time before I put virtual pen to paper!  It appears to work fine, but it just looks DREADFUL.   That’s a great shame as one of Windows 7‘s greatest appeals is that it “looks nice”, to me, anyway . . .

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