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Switching to Windows 7

June 12 2011

website info magFor most of us in real estate, Windows operating system is the system of choice (over MAC) because of its ability to work with software applications like the MLS system, document management systems, and other critical software that is used in our daily business.

If you are using windows Windows Vista or Windows XP, you may be considering a switch to Windows 7. Windows 7 holds the promise of new features and benefits that include increased computing speed and added security.

Microsoft has added a considerable number of new features to Windows 7, making this version a considerable improvement over earlier versions.

Windows XP Mode
Although all of your commonly-used applications in real estate should already be compatible with Windows 7, you may find an exception.  The good news is that Windows 7 will allow you to install an add-on that will open the Windows XP operating system so you can still access those applications if necessary.

Upgrades vs. Clean Installs
You can upgrade your existing Windows operating system to Windows 7, but you need to consider a few limitations.

  • The upgrade is for English only. So, if you use a different language, you will need to do a clean installation.
  • You cannot upgrade from a 32 bit version to a 64 bit version – look at your control panel to check which version you have.

Your best bet is always a clean installation, but be aware that you will need to install all software that you currently have installed on your computer, which may require other software upgrades.

Best Practices
Before you upgrade, be sure to complete a full and complete backup of your computer. If anything goes wrong, you can always revert back to this copy.

Be sure to make a list of all of your installed programs. After the upgrade, run an update on your computer. This should cause all of the software to update itself to run in Windows 7. Check each program after you have run all of the updates.

Remove everything you have stored on your desktop to a file.

Make sure that your security program is working properly.