See when I bought my computer it came with WinVista preloaded, and for those who've tried it, they undoubtedly know how awful it was. For those who didn't, you are lucky, nay, blessed.
it looks cool, but is actually CRAP.
Anyway, so after a couple of months of suffering I could take it no more and thus promptly downgraded to WinXP, which is absolutely the best thing to come out of that huge crap-factory in Redmond, life, while not being perfect, was better than before. Mind you, I use Ubuntu Linux as a main system, but having a Windows system is a must if you are dealing with my stupid bank and their stupid Internet services.
But I digress: after a couple of months of XP, it naturally starts getting slower and errors start popping up, and frustration sets in.
That's where the new Windows 7 comes in: I decided to give it a spin.
Well, I wasn't going to pay Microsoft 120$ to fix their Vista mistake, and so I wad lucky my wife has an MSDN-Academic Alliance account and can download it for free, and that we used to download and install Microsoft Windows 7 Professional.
At first sight, 7 is damn impressive, and I heartily recommend it to anyone forced to use Microsoft products. Installation was almost as fast and painless as in Ubuntu, ditto for hardware recognition. My old files and documents left intentionally on Xp's Desktop were impressively intact and the majority were also relocated to the right place. This is damn impressive for a Microsoft product.
I absolutely fell in love with it, until I was in the middle of simultaneously downloading a ton of data, burning a cd, and installing Office and Windows suddenly autonomously decided to restart to "install and configure updates".
What utter stupidity! 7 also had the gall to inform me later on that "Windows will on occassion automatically restart without notification" and that I should save my files regularily.
This is wrong. Users should not be afraid of ther computers. The last time I had such feelig of dread was when I was back in Iraq trying to write a huge program with the computer getting power from he national grid.
This is so wrong. Bad Windows! Bad!
Oh, and as usual it killed my dual-install of Ubuntu. Which I'm so used to I didn't even complain about, but that's ok, I fixed that issue under five minutes, no harm done :)
I'm not going to lie to you: Win7 is an impressive effort from Microsoft, and while it has all the design flaws (features?) expected of Windows, it still is miles better than Vista, and at least as good as XP. If you can get yourself a cheap copy (students get massive discounts) and your pc can run it, upgrade to Win7.
If you must.
If you CAN part with it, and want something much better, I'd recommend checking out Mint Linux, Ubuntu Linux or Super Ubuntu. Basically all are the same amazing system with different, beautiful coats of paint (in Mint's case anyway ;p)
Oh and they are all FREE, and most importantly, completly easy to use by ANYONE who's used any sort of system before :)
Layouts are still not being posted right while writing from my phone, so you'll have to forgive the ugly block-like look :)
It drove me crazy. For some reason it refuses to be adjusted correctly. Oh well.
I'm impressed by how many times i wrote "impressive" up there. perhaps in an attempt to impress upon you what a good impression i got?
or maybe because i just write ugly :P