Keep Windows XP on my netbook or upgrade to Windows 7?

With Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) widely available, and netbooks coming shipped with primarily Windows XP, the natural question is, “should I upgrade or is Windows XP good enough for my netbook?”

A detailed review of Windows 7 RC by Notebookcheck.net provides some insight. It ran a side-by-side comparison of XP, Vista, and Windows 7, rating each OS on several factors such as performance, ease of install, compatibility, and stability. Although the review was run on a desktop PC, the review does offer this final opinion to netbook owners:

Whoever likes to play older titles, can do without the newest (graphical) effects, owns a netbook/laptop that is not a strong performer or has old hardware that he/she wants to make further use of, you will still get on well with Windows XP.

Windows XP offers assured compatibility with many of the older software that can run on netbooks, so this conclusion makes sense. We’re comparing an OS with several years of patches and service packs versus a not-yet-released product.

In Windows 7’s strong favor, however, is security- the newer OS was rated much more secure than Windows XP, which was notorious for its security issues.

Still, if you want to make the leap to Windows 7, most netbooks should run perfectly fine with the new OS. It’s basically a decision of compatibility/stability versus security/”shiny factor”.

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