Windows 7 is out if you haven’t heard, and people are rushing to get their pre-orders, back up their data, and upgrade their computers. Some of these people are upgrading for the first time since Windows XP, and others are people with systems that came pre-loaded with Vista but are cashing in their upgrade coupons to get a copy of Windows 7.
Me? I’ve been running it since it was available as a beta and an RC, and while I’m actually remarkably happy with my Windows Vista x64 gaming system, I’ll be upgrading to Windows 7 myself very soon. I’ll just make the other computers in my house take the plunge first so I make sure I don’t run into any unanticipated issues. In the meantime though, Lifehacker has put together what I would agree is the definitive guide to Windows 7, some of its new and best features, and how to determine which version is best for you and how you should go about upgrading.
Normally I’m not terribly afraid of upgrading in place, but I would only suggest anyone do this if they’re already running Vista and of the same version they plan to upgrade to. Even then, for most people I’d still recommend a clean install to a freshly formatted hard drive, just to get a fresh start and off on a good foot. And of course, before you do anything at all, make sure to back up your data – all of it!