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Last post Author Topic: Will Win7 last as long as XP?  (Read 13697 times)

f0dder

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2009, 12:05:21 PM »
Who knows. I'm happy to see Vista didn't last long. It's a pimple on the face of computing. But how is 7 any better?
I wouldn't exactly call SuperFetch, UAC and usermode graphics drivers pimples on the face of computing... Aero is also pretty sweet, especially in Win7 with WDDM 1.1 :)
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tranglos

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2009, 12:48:51 PM »
Who knows. I'm happy to see Vista didn't last long. It's a pimple on the face of computing. But how is 7 any better?
I wouldn't exactly call SuperFetch, UAC and usermode graphics drivers pimples on the face of computing... Aero is also pretty sweet, especially in Win7 with WDDM 1.1 :)

UAC? We'll just have to agree to disagree, then!

Aero looks good on screenshots, but I'm not convinced it wouldn't be too much lucre and visual distraction for me. And I would probably disable it anyway, since I want my CPU to be there when I need it :)

Now, as a translator I'm bound by all sorts of non-disclosure agrements, so I can't be specific here - but I've seen a little bit of internals (system messages, not code) in my work. I would never want to run an OS that can display the kinds of error messages Vista is capable of displaying, related for example to network connectivity and missing updates or some validation procedures. If "code is law", as said by Larry Lessig (the lawyer who instituted Creative Commons), then Vista is a prison.

I suppose Windows 7 is going to be even more so, and I will nevertheless upgrade when faced with the choice of upgrading or changing jobs. But I'll be kicking and screaming when I do.

f0dder

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2009, 12:57:23 PM »
Quote
UAC? We'll just have to agree to disagree, then!
It's the best thing that has happened for Windows security for a long while, and it really isn't that annoying when you're done with the initial program installs and setup after a fresh Windows install.

Quote
Aero looks good on screenshots, but I'm not convinced it wouldn't be too much lucre and visual distraction for me. And I would probably disable it anyway, since I want my CPU to be there when I need it :)
The cute thing about Aero is that it runs on the GPU, not CPU :) - and that it allows for live previews on alt+tab (without being hacky and resorting to the cpu-sucking "take constant screenshots" approach that some fancy switchers use). This allows for a very smooth Exposé clone, which I've quickly grown fond of.

Quote
. If "code is law", as said by Larry Lessig (the lawyer who instituted Creative Commons), then Vista is a prison.
Dunno; I'm not fond of the DRM (which hasn't bitten me yet, but I haven't attempted to hook up a TV via HDMI), but other than that I don't see big issues with Vista. Given beefy enough hardware, I'd even choose Vista over XP these days (yes, it's more demanding than XP, but it's also better at utilizing a powerful PC than XP is - SuperFetch rocks.)
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tranglos

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2009, 01:17:20 PM »
Quote
UAC? We'll just have to agree to disagree, then!
It's the best thing that has happened for Windows security for a long while, and it really isn't that annoying when you're done with the initial program installs and setup after a fresh Windows install.

I only know what I've read about other people's experiences, and from the interminable confirmation messages I've had to translate. But as a philosophy, I think it's flawed. First of all, users don't read stuff. If you put up a dialog box, you have a lot of people who will hit Enter (rarely Esc) without reading. And often for a good reason too, since the system is asking them a question they don't know how to answer. The other group of users, those who do read messages and do know the good answer - I don't think they need UAC in the first place. These are the same people who install their AVs and their firewalls and basically know what they are doing.

That is a theory (though advanced by long-time practitioners like Joel Spolsky, linked above), and in practice you may be right :) I just don't like the idea, without having been personally subjected to it yet.

Quote
Aero looks good on screenshots, but I'm not convinced it wouldn't be too much lucre and visual distraction for me. And I would probably disable it anyway, since I want my CPU to be there when I need it :)
The cute thing about Aero is that it runs on the GPU, not CPU :) - and that it allows for live previews on alt+tab (without being hacky and resorting to the cpu-sucking "take constant screenshots" approach that some fancy switchers use).

Thanks for the correction. I've found though that I can't use the "snapshot" task switchers of any kind. I've tried TaskSwitchXP, for example, and there's a Firefox extension that does a similar thing with tabs. It's weird, but I just can't use those, because I'm lost. I can't instantly recognize a window by its downsized graphical snapshot - they look all the same to me. When I switch, I recognize apps by their icons, and tabs by their titles. Every time I tried a snapshot-based UI like that, I end up randomly switching to things in panic, can't tell which window is which. Don't know whay that is, but it just doesn't work for me at all.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 01:19:29 PM by tranglos »

Innuendo

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2009, 01:42:44 PM »
I'm running Windows 7 RTM now and I have been for quite some time. I see people in this thread saying that Win7 isn't worth upgrading to & I imagine their opinions are based on screenshots they have seen. This really is the best version of Windows yet & one needs to experience it in person to see how smooth MS has made things work together. Sitting down in front of a Vista PC is now awkward for me & sitting down in front of an XP PC is a painful experience.

As for whether or not Win7 will last as long as XP....XP wasn't supposed to last as long as XP did. A screwed up development cycle for Vista is what prolonged XP staying on store shelves for as long as it has. Microsoft has stated that from here on out there's going to be a new OS released every 2-3 years just like in the past. The Vista development cycle length was an anomaly.

Having said that, though, Microsoft and Apple are running out of evolutionary enhancements to make to their respective OSes, IMHO. Things are getting to the point where the OS you have is good enough & there's not enough that can be added to a new version of your OS of choice to warrant an upgrade cost. There may need to be a revolutionary change to the OS to get people to upgrade to Win8.

jgpaiva

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2009, 01:47:19 PM »
win7's taskbar is a whole new concept (well, not very new, one can say it's similar to mac os's dock).
There's a button per application, and you switch between application's windows when you hover over the buttons.

In my opinion, vista suffered way more bad publicity than it deserved, I've used it reliably since it launched and until last year, and found it the best OS I've tried until then.

Regarding UAC.. It's very useful even for a user who installs his own AV. It's great to be able to use an application and know it can't damage your computer. For example: you download an exe and run it on XP, and it may do all sorts of nastyness to your computer. If you try that in Vista, it'll only be able to do it if you let it. It just gives you way more feedback than xp does.

Furthermore, vista, 7 and office 2007 benefit from what I think was one of the best ideas microsoft has had: microsoft user experience.
They have used the knowledge about the user's most frequent actions and problems and tried to work the interface so that those problems would be gone.

It's like innuendo says: it just feels much more confortable.

Darwin

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2009, 02:18:34 PM »
I've made no secret of the fact that Vista, both 32 and 64 bit versions, has been a very stable OS for me. As f0dder notes, it really doesn't deserve the negativity that has surrounded it since its release.

I guess I'm going to have to wait for Win 7 to arrive on store shelves as the preinstalled OS on new hardware so that I can "experience" it for myself. Innuendo and João have me curious about the improvements that have been made.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

f0dder

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2009, 04:39:41 PM »
Quote
I only know what I've read about other people's experiences, and from the interminable confirmation messages I've had to translate. But as a philosophy, I think it's flawed. First of all, users don't read stuff. If you put up a dialog box, you have a lot of people who will hit Enter (rarely Esc) without reading.
Well, some people can't be helped (boy, does the gene pool need some chlorine!), but I'm fairly certain that there's a large gorup of people (perhaps not in America, but the world is bigger than .us ;)) that actually do read confirmation messages and can think a bit for themselves.

And UAC isn't as intrusive and happening-all-the-time as a lot of other security software.

Quote
And often for a good reason too, since the system is asking them a question they don't know how to answer. The other group of users, those who do read messages and do know the good answer - I don't think they need UAC in the first place. These are the same people who install their AVs and their firewalls and basically know what they are doing.
3rd party software firewalls are superfluous since XP SP2, and UAC means that I don't have to bother with running antivirus software - and it's a lot less of a hassle than running a Limited User Account on pre-Vista NT systems.

Quote
Thanks for the correction. I've found though that I can't use the "snapshot" task switchers of any kind. I've tried TaskSwitchXP, for example, and there's a Firefox extension that does a similar thing with tabs. It's weird, but I just can't use those, because I'm lost. I can't instantly recognize a window by its downsized graphical snapshot - they look all the same to me. When I switch, I recognize apps by their icons, and tabs by their titles. Every time I tried a snapshot-based UI like that, I end up randomly switching to things in panic, can't tell which window is which. Don't know whay that is, but it just doesn't work for me at all.
It does take a bit getting used to, but the cute thing about Switcher is that in addition to showing the window content, it also shows the application icon. It's very keyboard-friendly, and I feel more productive than Alt+Tabbing :)

Oh, apart from UAC, Vista also included some under-the-hood improvements to make exploit writing more difficult. And Win7 has had numerous performance enhancements; some of them won't be noticable until you scale to a pretttty high number of CPUs, but it does show that MS takes this OS seriously, and expects it to be used not just for the desktop.
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cyberdiva

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2009, 05:18:28 PM »
3rd party software firewalls are superfluous since XP SP2, and UAC means that I don't have to bother with running antivirus software - and it's a lot less of a hassle than running a Limited User Account on pre-Vista NT systems.
f0dder, can you say a bit more about this?  From time to time I read anti-malware forums where people running WinXP with SP2 and SP3 and Vista are seeking help after getting all sorts of viruses.  It hasn't happened to me, so I can't comment directly, but I've never before heard anyone claim that WinXP with SP2 or 3 eliminates the need for a software firewall, nor that Vista users don't have to bother with AV software.  Have I misunderstood you?

f0dder

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2009, 05:27:22 PM »
cyberdiva: I'm not a big fan of 3rd party software firewalls, since I find blocking outgoing connections pretty much useless; if you've got malware on the system you're already game over (I know the proponents have some opinions as to why it can be useful, but imho it's too much hassle and regular users will just end up saying "yes yes, allow olsentwins.nude.sexy.exe to connect to the intarweb" anyway). The focus should be on preventing badstuff from entering your computer - and XP SP2 built-in firewall takes care of not getting service ports exposed to the internet.

As for antivirus on Vista, I'd still advise normal users to grab an antivirus product - I just don't find it necessary myself. Being a bit careful about the sites I visit, not running random .exe files, and checking could-be suspicious stuff in a virtual machine does the trick for me. Sure, I can't be 100% certain that somebody doesn't find a 0-day flaw to bypass UAC and exploit FireFox, and hack a bunch of legitimate websites to serve the malware... but I'd rather reinstall Windows and restore my backups if that happens, rather than wasting system resources daily :)
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cyberdiva

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2009, 06:22:57 PM »
What?  You mean I shouldn't have put olsentwins.nude.sexy.exe in my trusted programs list so my firewall would stop asking me about it?  :D  Seriously, though I can see your point, I'm not sure I agree that all is lost as soon as you've got malware on your system.  If it's trying to send information out and the firewall prevents it from doing so AND alerts you to the fact that something is trying to do so, you can work on getting rid of the malware before it succeeds in sending out info. 

Anyway, thanks for your quick response.  You've definitely given me something to think about.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2009, 06:51:14 PM »
What?  You mean I shouldn't have put olsentwins.nude.sexy.exe in my trusted programs list so my firewall would stop asking me about it?  :D  Seriously, though I can see your point, I'm not sure I agree that all is lost as soon as you've got malware on your system.  If it's trying to send information out and the firewall prevents it from doing so AND alerts you to the fact that something is trying to do so, you can work on getting rid of the malware before it succeeds in sending out info. 

Anyway, thanks for your quick response.  You've definitely given me something to think about.

The trouble with software firewalls is that they fall into two categories: set it and forget it (which is no better than those built into XPSP2 and later versions of Windows) and firewalls that allow user control. The latter requires a lot of knowledge and tenacity on the part of users to use the firewall effectively. I would guess that 90% of the time when a third party firewall pops up a prompt the average user just clicks ALLOW without thinking.

A far better solution (IMHO) is to use the Windows firewall behind a hardware router based firewall.

By the way from Windows Vista onwards the built in firewall has outgoing protection features too but you need to configure them.

The other big problem with software firewalls is that software can leak out information without the firewall's knowledge (rendering the protection useless) unless you batten down the security to such an extent that you spend 90% of your time online responding to firewall warning/prompts.

I'm afraid I disagree with f0dder on the need for a good AV solution. With the best will in the world websites and download sites however reputable can make mistakes or be hacked leaving anyone without AV protection exposed to viruses and other malware no matter how careful they are. Granted if you are sensible you are unlikely to get infected but it isn't impossible. Just use a very low impact AV solution such as AVAST for home use or NOD32 for the office.

f0dder

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2009, 07:02:04 PM »
Carol: well, I wouldn't advise normal people to not use antivirus software - but it works well for me. If there were other people than me using my workstation, I would use protection :)

And good point about leaky software firewalls; imho it's better to not run one (and be careful) than having a false sense of security.
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cyberdiva

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2009, 07:53:09 PM »
Just use a very low impact AV solution such as AVAST for home use or NOD32 for the office.
This seems to be my day for asking questions.  Carol, can you tell me why you would recommend a different firewall for home use than for the office?  Is there much difference between AVAST and NOD32 other than the fact that AVAST has a free version whereas NOD32 does not? 

Carol Haynes

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2009, 03:13:37 AM »
There are two reasons:

1) They aren't firewall applications - they are AV applications ;)
2) Avast is free for home use, NOD32 isn't

cyberdiva

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2009, 08:10:41 AM »
1) They aren't firewall applications - they are AV applications ;)
2) Avast is free for home use, NOD32 isn't
Thanks, Carol, for your response.  I don't know where my brain was when I wrote that last message.  I'm well aware that AVAST and NOD32 are AV apps, not firewalls--why I wrote "firewall" is a mystery.  Then again, lots about my so-called mind is a mystery  :-[ .

So am I right in interpreting what you've said as 'NOD32 is probably better than AVAST, but you'd have to pay for NOD32, so let your company pay for it at work and use AVAST at home because it's pretty good and free'? 

Carol Haynes

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2009, 08:28:49 AM »
I think they are probably comparable in terms of quality. The main reason I don't go for AVAST on business machines is that you end up with firewalls and antispam too - the basic free AV solution for home use is very good (at least I haven't had any problems with it and clients seem happy plus it seems light on resources). NOD32 has a good track record and is very light on systems but has the big advantage that you can buy a license for just the AV software so you don't end up with bulky and uncontrollable suites on business machines.

Having said that I did advise a client to try the NOD32 Security Suite and I now wish I hadn't. The firewall is impenetrable (and as far as I can tell it doesn't obey its won rules). My client had endless problems with a WiFi Brother printer attached to their network (mainly that no one could print on it when NOD32 firewall was enabled). I checked the firewall settings and it clearly stated that network printing was allowed but it didn't work. I tried making specific rules and even through the firewall into learning mode so I could tell it to allow communications through when a print attempt was made. Nothing I did made any difference.

In the end I simply disabled the NOD32 firewall and enabled Vista's firewall which causes absolutely no problems.

tranglos

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2009, 08:59:21 AM »
I checked the firewall settings and it clearly stated that network printing was allowed but it didn't work. I tried making specific rules and even through the firewall into learning mode so I could tell it to allow communications through when a print attempt was made. Nothing I did made any difference.

We're drifting off topic for the thread, but it seems to me the scenario you describe above is what eventually happens to some firewalls, after they go beyond some threshold of complexity. I had exactly the same experience with Outpost after a few years of usage. It would randomly block outgoing FTP among others, and no amount of tweaking would fix that. These were known problems, with solutions poste on user forums that required manually changing ini settings, but after a while Outpost became unbearable. I switched to the ESET suite then, and it has served me well for two years, and just last month it decided it didn't like it when Backup4All was copying files to a network drive. Backup4All would freeze at n% copying a random file, and it would not continue until I disabled the firewall in ESET correction: not the firewall, but the real-time scanning component. The end result was the same though, since ESET was taking inordinate amounts of time to finish scanning a tiny .txt file, which it shouldn't even be looking at in the first place.

My guess is at some point the firewall rules become too complex, or maybe there are remains of old rules or old behaviors that the developers abandoned but didn't quite remove from the code? Who knows, but I think I'm seeing a pattern.

I dropped ESET and, since my subscription was about to expire anyway, I bought Kaspersky AV. (Tried their firewall too, liked it in general, didn't like the constant pop-ups. "Total Commander is trying to start a process, blah blah." I'm not paying for you to annoy me, firewall :-) )
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 10:47:52 AM by tranglos »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2009, 09:13:59 AM »
The trouble with the ESET firewall is that it was set to 'out-of-the-box' settings since only very common applications are used (e.g. MS Office is the main application) and the firewall has pre-built rules to deal with common applications and simple network setups (including network printing). Even though nothing was tweaked it caused problems and tweaking the settings didn't seem to have any effect at all.

Innuendo

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2009, 10:55:54 AM »
I'm not a big fan of 3rd party software firewalls, since I find blocking outgoing connections pretty much useless...

While blocking/monitoring outgoing connections is useless in regards to fighting malware I find it invaluable in discovering what non-malware programs are doing and what web sites they are trying to contact. My favorite example to cite regarding this point is that early versions of WinDVD, a popular DVD player, would contact the author's web site and communicate the movie titles of every single movie you watched using their software. I never would have known this without my software firewall. Heck, the current version of WinDVD may still do this. I haven't used it in years, though.

I have to agree with Carol's assertion for having a good AV program installed. Even the best, most cautious behavior surfing the internet isn't an impenetrable defense when people are discovering viruses and trojans on pressed discs bought from a brick and mortar store. I won't even get into the crap we're now having to deal with with poo imbedded in Flash ads, cross-site vulnerabilities, etc. The vectors of attacks are increasing and the days of just being careful what you click on and which sites you visit are coming to an end. The bad guys are getting very clever.

Makes me yearn for 1993....biggest problem we had on the internet was trying to figure out how to block banner ads and popups.

f0dder

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2009, 11:21:20 AM »
Innuendo: well, I block flash and java. Of course there is the risk of a whitelisted sited being hacked... but to be really dangerous, it would need to combine 0-day exploits in {firefox, flash, java} (pick one) and UAC, and it would be on a whitelisted site and something that passes through AdBlock. Could happen, but for now (and I might one day regret this) I personally prefer not bogging my system down with AV software. Even the relatively light NOD32 causes a noticeable speed hit for me.
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Josh

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2009, 01:46:48 PM »
How about we fork firewall/av requirements off to a separate thread?

f0dder

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2009, 02:18:49 PM »
How about we fork firewall/av requirements off to a separate thread?
Sounds like a good idea to me, it's cluttering the thread a bit but is still a useful discussion.
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2009, 03:42:47 PM »
My Windows experience is admittedly second-hand these days: I setup and maintain the wife's business machine that runs Windows. And if your choice is between Vista and Win7 -- and you're staying with Microsoft -- take the Win7 every time.*


.......................
*Otherwise, I'll suggest you try something like openSUSE or Linux Mint.

iphigenie

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Re: Will Win7 last as long as XP?
« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2009, 02:45:23 AM »
After my last serious attempt to switch to the open source world, the lack of apps that work smart (apart for a few glorious text-based ones - but my gripes with FOSS desktop are a things for another thread) and get out of the way clearly shows me I'm probably staying on the windows train for a bit

So it would make sense to update to a family pack of some sort when there is a good deal

(I am trying to be thrifty, no income at the moment while I find my next reinvention)

My problem:

1. So far windows 7 does not work properly on my main desktop, it's a problem between motherboard and graphics card that gives garbled graphics (not usable, you are guessing where buttons would be). I could try other graphics card or change the motherboard, but of course that makes it a bigger job... or wait and hope it gets better. (I updated the bios to all versions and alas no improvements, and i lost the fan speed management somewhere along the way)

2. I use a lot of shareware, some of it is not updated often or an old version. Not sure it all will work ok on Windows 7 unless I get the Pro version, if I understand it correctly. Due to my graphics issue I havent been able to test that  :(

3. Not sure about this but I'd want to have ALL my main OS on my machines on the same, rather than some still on XP some on 7 (ofc for the usual "fix someone's problem" i have several OSes on multi boot - a win98 and a 2000 somewhere too, but havent looked at them in ages)

All in all I am tempted to wait and upgrade a bit later, but getting knowledge of it is also important...

In short? undecided