To get right to it, if you’re a PC, and you have any version of Windows preceding this, you’re going to want to upgrade. This is, by most accounts, the best version of Windows to hit the shelves ever. You have historical reason to be suspicious, but trust us when we say it is significantly improved over any past Microsoft OS.  Here’s a few reasons to upgrade, and ways to go about doing so.

Use the Upgrade Advisor

If you’re unsure about whether or not your current system can/should be upgraded (or even if you think you are sure) you ought to run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. It will scan your hard and software and let you know which bits are compatible, which are upgradable, and which will have to be left on wayside when you upgrade. It’s free on Microsoft’s site right here.

Use Microsoft’s File Transfer client

When you’re migrating your old files to your new, spiffied-up, Windows 7-runnin’ machine, you should use Windows Easy Transfer to do so. Head to the Microsoft site where they offer this free service for either XP or Vista (both 32 and 64 bit versions) to transfer any and all of your old files, cleanly, to your newly formatted computer. 

It’s Pirate Friendly

Vista and XP had so much built-in security that, sure, most people got fewer viruses. But, there were so many rules and permissions that it also would try to protect you from yourself. And, if you aren’t buying all your music and movies off of iTunes, this was sometimes kind of a hassle. Windows 7, though, eschews that and gives the freedom (at least in terms of media playback) back to the user. Pirate away, friends. Just don’t get caught.

It’s Prettier

Sure, it’s superficial. But, it’s also true. In the same way that your high school girlfriend had a great personality, but a little more curvature than you were after, Windows 7 is just sexy enough to make you forget about Vista. The bonus, though, is that it’s witty, to boot (as in, “in addition to.” We can’t speak for any puns it makes upon start up). It’s got a cleaner, more Apple-y interface including a completely revamped toolbar (a notorious source of screen real estate-consuming clutter).   

The Downside

It’s going to cost you, it’s going to take some time to get it customized to your specifications, and it’s going to take a little time to even install in the first place. Without any discounts, Windows 7 is going to set you back a cool $120. However, there are a few ways to get it cheaper including, most notably, if you’re a student you can have it for $30. Depending on your current OS, it might require that you reformat your hard drive