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Windows 7 launch events are being held across the country.

Retail deals from chains like Staples also abound.  (Source: Model D Media)
The future of Windows is here

Today is a great day for Microsoft.  After enduring three years of criticism under the Vista era, the company is finally prepared to turn over a new leaf and bask in the critical praise of its new operating system, Windows 7.  Faster, with a richer graphical interface, and with a smaller footprint, Windows 7 is an evolution that improves on Vista in nearly every way.

To kick off the launch, many events and sales are going on across the country today.  Last night CompUSA (now owned by Systemax Inc) held launch events at 10 of its stores.  The first 77 customers at the door received $77 gift cards.  One of the 77 will receive a Windows 7 dual-core PC.  For those who missed the midnight madness, CompUSA will continue to randomly give away copies of Windows 7 throughout the day.

Office Depot is also offering lots of free software, including AVG's Internet Security Suite (regularly $70) to Greeting Card Factory Deluxe (regularly $50).  In total 19 titles are offered on a pay up-front, mail-in-rebate basis.  Get a full list of titles here.

Staples also has some hot offers.  Grab this coupon and a Staples associate will install Windows 7 for you, for free.  You'll also earn $75 off your computer purchase and snag a $500 coupon book.  Get the coupon here.

Microsoft is also a series of events dubbed "the NEW efficiency" across the country.  Some of these events already took place, but some, like and Orange County event on October 26, may still be open.  Check here for more details.

Students can also get an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Home Edition or Professional edition for a mere $30, until January 2010.

Also, those looking to upgrade more than one PC in a single home can look towards the Family Pack which will upgrade three machines to Windows 7 Home Premium.

For those looking to take advantage of Windows 7's new multitouch functionality, you might want to check out the TouchSmart 600xt multitouch PC, one of the first Windows 7 multitouch machines.  Powered by Intel processors and sporting a 23-inch screen at a  $1,049 price tag the device looks like a good value.  It offers support for gesture and multitouch based moves, scrolls, and zooms.

Even if you don't get any special launch deals, Windows 7 should be a deal in itself.  Cheaper than Vista, the OS uses less memory, so it can fit on many netbooks.  The OS also brings DirectX 11 graphics, which AMD/ATI already includes hardware support.

Another of the most promising features of Windows 7 for fans of 2D-retro games or programming professionals is XP Mode.  Available with the Professional and Ultimate editions, this mode offers virtualized versions of Window XP that your programs can operate seamlessly within alongside normal Windows 7 programs. 

Windows 7 looks like a fresh start for Microsoft, but the competition will be tough.  Microsoft will face stronger pressure from the smartphone and netbook markets, albeit not necessarily direct competition.  And they also must compete with a invigorated Apple, which just debuted Snow Leopard and new Macs.

The true test will not be the glowing reviews, the colorful launch events, or the innovative features.  Windows Vista in many respects had all of those.  No, the true test will be the public reception.  The public will make or break the new OS.  And the public will be able to make up their mind, starting today.

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By PAPutzback on 10/22/2009 10:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
I have the retail (technet) version installed on 4 machines. Other than an issue with controlling the laptop brightness I think the O.S is great. Media Center rocks with the netflix integration. And homegroup makes networking and file sharing super simple. There is no reason not to go 7 if you are on Vista. If you are still on XP then your system might need to be upgraded.

By Amiga500 on 10/22/2009 10:55:20 AM , Rating: 1
If you are still on XP then your system might need to be upgraded.

Still on XP, but machine in question should easily be more than good enough...

4870 (1GB)

Running Win7 shouldn't be an issue at all. My laptop has a bit less punch (swap P7350 for Q6600 and 4670 for 4870), but it too, should be good enough.

By The0ne on 10/22/2009 2:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
My main is Q6600, 8gig and 4870 1GB. I have Win7 and XP dual boot but really not necessary. With this configuration I can have Unbuntu, XP and Fedora all running in VMWware with each having 2gig dedicated memory with little performance hit on any of the OS's. This is pretty awesome IMO. Productivity has never been better for me and I'm a really happy camper :D

As for laptop I have windows 7 replace Vista Home on an Acer tablet PC with a dual core 1.6GHz. The other specs sucks so I'm not even going to bother listing them. The tablet was crawling with Vista and our Mechanical Engineer had to give it up because it defeated the purpose of it being a tablet! So ended using the tablet as a test machine for our supplier in China. It was then I wiped Vista off and put Windows 7 on and walla...usable machine! I mean with Aero UI and all O.o

Next trip I have an older Dell workstation to replace it because I want that tablet back lol. Dell M65 has Win7 on it too btw and runs good with Vista wiped off as well :)

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