Considering the hefty price tag for the upgrade, the biggest concern is whether currently installed software and hardware will run under Windows 7.
If you are wondering whether you can use Word 2007 (or the Office 2007 suite) with Windows 7, the answer is, YES. These programs are compatible with the new Windows 7 operating system.
For your convenience, Microsoft provides a downloadable compatibility checker that scans your computer to determine if your installed software and hardware devices will work with Windows 7.
Tech note: to get accurate results, make sure all of your hardware devices are plugged in and turned on before running the utility.
After running the compatibility checker, I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of my hardware and software is compatible and only requires an update.
If you find that many of your programs are not compatible and still want to upgrade, I suggest purchasing Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate. These versions have an option to run older programs in Windows XP mode. Make sure to weigh the extra cost for a high-end version of Windows compared to the cost for upgrading your other software programs.
If you have a house full of computers you want to upgrade, it is cheaper to buy the Home Premium Family Pack (for 3 PCs). Buying the family pack can save you $40 to $50 compared to buying three individual items.
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After upgrading to Windows 7 Home Premium, if you realize you need the Professional or Ultimate version for one of your PCs, don't worry. You can purchase an Anytime Upgrade. There are different versions of the Anytime Upgrade, so make sure to buy the correct one.
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