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Windows 7 launch day: what you need to know


It's out! October 22nd is at last upon us, bringing with it Microsoft's latest generation of Windows, Windows 7. With preview editions released to the public, reviews galore to be found as early as August, and plenty of manufacturers already shipping product, it's probably not hard to find an opinion on the operating system or to try it out for yourself. Most folks will probably just end up getting a machine with it pre-installed, instead of going through the hassle of an upgrade, but if you want to know if it's worth the effort of a standalone buy, or even looking to buy a new all-new computer right-just-now to celebrate the OS, check out our helpful guides below:

Read the reviews (Windows 7 review | Windows 7 Media Center review)

What's clear from the review and our look at what's new in Media Center is that this is an enhanced version of Windows, but not some sort of revolution that will have Linux users repenting of their open source sins and Apple fans dropping their photorealistic icons. The articles should give you a good idea of what enhancements are in store and whether Windows 7 could truly make your old machine sing.

Pick a version
(Windows 7 official pricing)

An age old confusion for Windows users has been slightly simplified here -- most users will end up with Windows 7 Home Premium when they buy a PC, but folks buying a copy outright have some more soul searching to do.

How to upgrade
(How-To: Install Windows 7 and live to tell about it)

So you've got a copy, how are you gonna get it onto your Vista or XP box without causing the complete ruination of your digital lifestyle? Microsoft has provided some pretty good tools for this process, but we break it down and help out where we can.

Pick a computer (Launch day hardware spectacular)

Decided to skip the upgrade route and go straight for the sexy new hardware that's accompanying this release, huh? Well, you're in luck. We've rounded up some of the more notable releases, particularly some of the stuff that's packing newer processors, lower price points and a whole lot more touchscreen than last time around.

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