Windows 7 has been out for almost 6 years now, and since its release it has been the most commonly used personal computer OS (Operating System). A few years later, Windows 8 was released and drove a lot of users to change their OS. But while the latter was supposed to be an upgrade, many users still stood by their Windows 7. Why? It’s because they differ in so many ways that even users can’t fully decide whether to upgrade their OS or not.
Released on July 22, 2009, Windows 7 was featured as an incremental upgrade to its predecessor, Windows Vista. It was designed to improve performance, hardware and software compatibility, and better user interface. And as was intended, it does offer excellent performance, making it one of Microsoft’s biggest successes.
Here are some key features you can expect from Windows 7:
- User Interface – To name a few, users have the option to personalize desktop themes, pin applications on their taskbar, manage their fonts, experience thumbnail previews, and enjoy keyboard shortcuts.
- Devices – Devices can be accessed with a friendly control panel interface that’s directly accessible to the Start menu. It provides you with an accessible location for externally connected multi-function devices and presents its functionality to the user.
- Software Compatibility – Compatible with almost all common 32-bit and 64-bit applications and programs.
- Security – Offers its Windows Firewall and Windows Action Center that function as both your security and maintenance.
Released August 1, 2012, the Windows 8 introduced major changes to the usual operating system’s platform and user interface. It was intended to improve users’ experience with tablets and other touch screen devices.
Here are some key features you can expect from Windows 8:
- User Interface – Features Windows 8 Touch for a better touch screen experience, with a new startup screen that features tiles instead of icons, and a Charms bar instead of a Start Menu. It is intended for users to get to their applications faster and more easily.
- Startup – Offers the new “Hybrid Boot” mode by the use of UEFI integration to provide a faster boot sequence.
- Software Compatibility – Supports 32-bit, 64-bit and 16-bit applications, although, 16-bit applications will need the support enabled.
- Security – features PINs and pictures passwords (tailored towards touch screens), parental controls to monitor and manage children’s activities, and system recovery through the new “Refresh” and “Reset” functions. It also comes with an antivirus program “Defender”.
|Windows 7||Windows 8|
|Lacks touch screen capabilities||Good touch screen experience|
|Startup Screen: Menu + Icons||Startup Screen: Charms Bar + Tiles|
|Fast Performance on 3D mark||Fast performance on Startup time, Shutdown Time, Browsing, Multimedia, and Data Transfer|
|Good multiple monitor support||Better multiple monitor support|
|Needs updates on compatibility with apps and programs||Needs fewer updates on compatibility with apps and programs|
There are actually a lot of differences between the two, but only some are noteworthy.
- Starting with their speed and performance, Windows 8 somehow manages to top Windows 7. The difference might not be relevant for some, but with just a few seconds difference in terms of speed, it’s a sizable amount, especially for frequent users.
- Now for the user interface, it will actually depend on the user’s perspective. One would see Windows 7 as more user friendly and more manageable, but another may see Windows 8 as the better choice. The upside for Windows 8 is you have the option to switch back to the Windows 7 desktop theme.
- Compatibility is always an issue when talking about operating systems. Luckily, they are both compatible with almost all applications and programs. The only key difference is that Windows 8 was developed at a later time, giving it an edge for troubleshooting current compatibility issues.
While Windows 8 does have the upper hand, being the newer OS, Windows 7 however has matured long enough to become stable. But it does not mean that Windows 8 isn’t stable, it only means that there’s a probable chance it may have difficulties in the near future, just like Windows 7 always had for its 6 long years.