Windows 10 vs Windows 7 – Feature Differences! Decide Yourself to Upgrade or Not – Pros and Cons

Some features new in Windows 10. Should you upgrade from Windows 7? What are the attributes that are good and bad? 10 gains and 5 pains. Videos.

It has a new build – 10158. For PC users, changes like Start Menu, Cortana, Virtual desktops, Universal Apps, Edge browser, DirectX 12, Free Pricing, Continuum make Windows 10 the best bet to upgrade. But just like Win XP, users will be tempted to remain with Windows 7, as its performance and simplicity cannot be questioned.

If you observe different benchmark performance points on YouTube and web on comparison of Windows 10 vs Windows 7, there is nothing much different till now. Both score same FPS rate and equal scores in variety of games. In many of benchmark tests like PCMark, conducted on Windows 7 and Windows 10, the results show that they are conflicting. For example, the system startup times are better in Windows 10 while the benchmark performance is good in Windows 7.

How Windows 10 boot times are different from Windows 7 Windows 7 performance is better than Windows 10 using PCMark

There are 10 gains which Windows 10 outscores Windows 7 with its newest UI experiences. Let’s see some of them.

What is Continuum?

This feature is included for phones and tablets running Windows 10. If you connect your phone to a big monitor, you will have the similar desktop experience, when you connect to a CPU. This will help the transition from tablets and PC modes. In its Build 2015 keynote address, Microsoft has confirmed that it is giving developers tools to create software that runs across PCs, tablets, convertibles, smartphones and Xbox.

The “unity” of Windows 10 OS makes apps running on a phone adapt to any screen size, using continuum. You can seamlessly copy and paste between mobile-centric apps and can even use the legendary ALT-TAB, when your phone is connected to your PC.  Continuum makes working with different devices so easy.

Ref: http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/29/8513519/microsoft-windows-10-continuum-for-phones

The Come Back of “Start Menu”

You can see a hybrid of Windows 7 Start Menu and Windows 8 Start Screen in the newest version of Windows 10. The new Start Menu has two sections: A classic “legendary” style Start Menu on the left hand side and tile-filled Windows 8 type Start Screen on the right. There are several customizations to this Start Menu in Windows 10.

You can shift gears and have only Windows 8 styled Start Screen by changing to “tablet-mode”. You can also have “full-screen Start in the desktop”. You can also change the color of the Start Menu, taskbar and Windows borders. You can pin and un-pin tiles. You can resize and move tiles. You can edit the tile sections. You can pin items to the left side of the Start-Menu.

Ref: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-customize-the-windows-10-start-menu/

The Voice Assistant – Cortana

Since the times of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft has been struggling to release a similar product. With the advent of Windows 8.1 on mobile phones, “Hey, Cortana” becomes a reality. In early 2015, Microsoft announced that Cortana is coming to the Windows 10 desktop. The setting up process does take few minutes depending upon desktop or mobile.

Toshiba is likely to include a button for Cortana in its laptops and PCs. The main purpose of this feature is to interact with your computer using voice-recognition without the help of a keyboard. Though there are some problems in Cortana’s ability to ‘actively listen’ to users commands and respond, Toshiba is making sure that it works properly. It is installing high fidelity mics to its PCs.

Ref: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2935632/toshiba-will-build-a-cortana-button-into-its-windows-10-laptops.html

DirectX12 – New Graphics

When Windows 10 debuts on July 29,2015, it is going to deliver Direct 12, six years after Windows 7. There is a difference between DirectX feature levels and DirectX point updates (DirectX 10.1, DirectX 11.1 / 11.2). For example DirectX 10.1 allows developers to perform certain tasks more efficiently and offer specific capabilities. This is a useful feature for gamers.

Though there is still some confusion whether ‘old’ GPU hardware will support DirectX 12, gamers will have a feast with the plethora of new improvements.

Refs:

  1. http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/207598-demystifying-directx-12-support-what-amd-intel-and-nvidia-do-and-dont-deliver
  2. http://www.winbeta.org/news/you-can-now-try-out-directx-12-yourself-windows-10-technical-preview

Virtual Desktops – More Workspace

If you are using a single-monitor this virtual workspace can really come in handy. Though this feature was introduced in earlier Windows, but it’s the first-time that we see multiple desktops as a mainstream feature. You can add as many desktops as you like on your single physical monitor. So when one of your desktop gets clumsy with lot of apps and programs, you can just shift to another virtual desktop. This way, you can keep all the office stuff on one desktop and play games on the other.

Just press the Win+Tab and from the Task View pane, click on Add a desktop. You can even switch between desktops with ease. This feature you really missed in Windows 7. You can even move windows between desktops. You can also a desktop, if its empty.

Ref: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-multiple-desktops-in-windows-10/

Universal Apps – Many Devices

This feature was introduced in Windows 8.1. This scheme allowed developers to create one code base to deliver modern applications to PCs and tablets running Windows 8.1 and to mobile phones running Windows 8.

But with Windows 10, it is presenting the Universal app platform (UAP) which works across every Windows device. It works from Windows desktop PCs, Windows Phones to Xbox consoles. You can write the code once and that will work on every Windows device. Even the change in screen size can be automatically handled by this API.

Ref: https://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2015/04/27/windows-10-universal-apps.aspx

This YouTube video talks about the new features introduced in build 10158. Most of them pertain to the Edge technology, but lot more features are explained. 

Edge Browser – A New Innovation

In the new build, Microsoft is moving forward to replace it’s ‘old horse’ of Internet Explorer with Edge browser. This program supports filling in forms and password fields, bringing in closer to other modern browsers like Chrome, Opera and Firefox. You can search the web faster, create a Hub and it keeps all the visited pages in one place. You can take notes on the web pages and create annotations. You can take blog pages to your home for continuation in reading and also read with fewer distractions.

Ref: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-in/windows/preview-microsoft-edge-pc

New Notifications

Windows 7 had the common notification area in the form of System Tray. You used to get notifications from Windows Control Centre, Malware messages, Google Drive and many others. But the number of applications was limited. Also, you want to see the search history of notifications, it was not possible.

But the new notification area of Windows 10 is more informative. This new feature brings together system messages, app notifications into one place and alerts are ordered date-wise. It also consists of useful functions like system functions and able to change to Tablet mode or access the settings screen.

Better Multi-Monitor Support

Windows 7 supported this feature with some limited access. You have only mirroring mode or one that stretches the whole desktop across multiple-monitors, with only a single taskbar. It also had a Snap tool, which has limited set of features.

With Windows 10, different monitors can have different backgrounds, with different slideshows. The taskbar can appear on multiple-monitors or only the primary monitor and the active monitor. Snap has also been improved, to support snapping to all the four corners.

Free Pricing

Microsoft has made it clear that if you are using a genuine Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 machine, you can update to Windows 10 freely before June 29, 2016. This is in contrary to earlier operating systems, where you had to pay for the update. When you updated from Vista to 7, or 7 to 8, you had pay for a price. But this model pricing helps to keep the same files, settings, programs and new improvements without spending a dime.

Also Microsoft confirmed, it will continue to update the OS for the supported lifetime of the device, keeping it more secure, safe and bringing in new features.

But with all these hype, Windows 10 has also some disadvantages. You are going to lose some features when you upgrade your Windows 7 to 10. The 5 pains you will feel when you do an update on July 29th, 2015 are something like this.

This YouTube talks about the pros and cons of Windows 10 phone. You will see in action, how the guest talks about the different features which are advantageous, while some are not working properly.

Windows Media Centre will be dead

When you have installed Windows 10, WMC will be deleted as part of the upgrade. It may provide a free DVD player program as a consolation for anyone who bought WMC.

One Drive may suck

In Windows 7 and 8.1, the One Drive files are visible in your File Explorer. But to make things worse, Windows 10 will only show files that are synced to your computer. The sad part of this story is that, you have to frequently visit the “web service” of One Drive to download files which are not synced on your computer.

No more Hearts Game

There were certain legendary games installed in Windows 7. One such thing is Hearts – card game. But this will be removed in Windows 10. May be it will include in Windows 11 or 12, when users cry in disgust.

Floppy Disks Unusable

Though floppies, DVDs are becoming obsolete, you may feel the necessary of installing an old game or software from a floppy. But with Windows 10, you have to install new drivers. This is unlike Windows 7 and its predecessors, where the drivers are built-in. Also you may have to install a media player like VLC to watch a disc.

Home Users have no Control on Updates

Though Pro and Enterprise users of Windows 10 have control on when updates are installed, Windows 10 Home users will have no control. Windows updates will automatically download and install without your interference. Though it may have a positive sign, with less security flaws, many of the users may not like this idea.

Ref: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/feature/windows/worst-windows-10-sacrifices-3614524/

This YouTube video gives a comparison of 3DMark benchmark tests between Windows 10 (10130) and Windows 7 SP1 64 bit. Out of the 4 games, Windows 10 is the winner in 3 games. The FPS rates are better. 

Conclusion

Though Windows 10 is like a “new movie” waiting to be reviewed, it’s just not finished. You just have to wait till the release date of July 29th and may be couple of months more. This is because the RTM version, will surely will not be without bugs and Microsoft will start patching these flaws in the coming updates. So until 3 or 6 months pass-by, it will be very difficult to assess the performance of Windows 10. Though with the hype of TV commercials and Internet advertisements, Microsoft may lure its ‘old’ Windows users into its ‘new One’ system.

But if you are satisfied with the current Windows 7 OS and your boot speed, resume after hibernate, system performance is not that slow, it is better stick to the old OS. But if you are a GUI freak like me, waiting to see new developments in action, you can try Windows 10 on a test system. Also features like better search, window management, file management, system tools, gaming tools make Windows 10 ‘a new chocolate’ in town. It looks like Microsoft is ready to adopt the ‘new game changing scenario’ of mobile OS and compete with competitors like Apple and Google.

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