Windows 7 questions answered

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is here. We've got the reviews and charts you need to help decide if you'll upgrade, and if you do, which version of Windows 7 is right for you.

We've spent the last few months gearing up for Microsoft's grand unveiling of its new Windows 7 operating system (full review). And it hit right on schedule on October 22. Does that mean it's time to boot out XP and Vista? For XP users, Windows 7 offers tighter security and a load of neat new features that aren't just flashy, but also convenient. With Windows XP being an eight-year old operating system, you might consider the upgrade. Windows 7 may appear to have more in common with Vista, its predecessor, but there are marked organizational improvements, including new media management and sharing tools, and a reining-in of those pesky User Account Controls.

However, there have been some reports of incidents in upgrading to Windows 7, including ours. While we recommend Windows 7 overall, potential upgraders should check out our full coverage of Windows 7 to help get all your questions answered, including how some Vista users can get a free upgrade and which of the four Windows 7 editions is right for you.

Are you planning to switch to Windows 7? See how other CNET readers voted. If you have upgraded, rate your experience, or see how others weighed in. Those making the leap to Windows 7 should also check out Ninite, a Web site that helps you customize a single install file for a heap of useful Windows 7 programs, including your pick of browser, instant-messaging apps, media apps, and utilities.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.