XP and Windows 7


Last week’s post we looked at the inevitable move from Windows XP as your computer’s operating system to the new Windows 7 or 8…The horror.  But I digress. Win 7 is a marked improve in convenience, it moves along with greater speed than Vista and has its own sense of elegance in its ease of use. Win 8 is a whole different animal that XP, Vista or Win 7, so we’ll talk about that some other time.

I have recently purchased a new box (computer) running Win 7 as its OS. Now as I wrote last week, I loved XP, and I miss it, but I had to move on due to the new software compatibility issues and my old system was due to be retired. In my short time using the new box I have found a number of differences between XP and Win 7. I have also spoken with a number of our customers about the changes they have found. Here are a few differences you may want to be ready for:

Start Menu

The first difference you notice is with the Start Menu.

Win 7 has a completely different Start Menu than XP. Now if you were a Vista user, first of all, you have my condolences. Second, the Win 7 Start Menu will look familiar to Vista users. I like XP’s Start Menu better than both…but the good news for all of us is that though Vista & Win 7 have some similarities, they are very different operating systems and Win 7 is very, very stable..


Email Client (or lack there off)

If you were an Outlook Express user, you will immediately panic when you discover that there is no Outlook Express in Win 7. OE was replaced in Windows Vista by Windows Mail.

With Windows 7 the email client is no longer native to the OS. You can download another open source client or stick with Microsoft’s WindowsLive Mail. Personally I haven’t used OE since the 90s and I now stick with Outlook & O.W.A. for my corporate work and Gmail for personal.

Documents and Settings

I have lost track of the number of calls we have received with a panicked customer who think they have lost all of their docs. They are looking for the Document and Settings folder…well it doesn’t exist. It has been replaced with a simplified “Users” folder


In Win 7, Libraries are collections of files that are similar (by content). And they are optional to use. It’s a nice option to have as you can more quickly locate similar data.

Start Up Time

Win 7 is a few seconds slower in its start up time than XP.

That’s all I have for now. Sure there are a number of other differences, but I found these to be the ones that I encountered first and need to understand immediately. I hope you find this short list of differences to be useful in your computing life!!