If you don’t know which version of Windows you’re running, it’s quite easy to find out. There are a few ways to find this information and each version of Windows has a slightly different way of getting there.
In most versions of Windows, there is a Start button typically found at the lower, left-hand corner of your screen…
Just click Start > Run, type winver and click Ok. You’ll be presented with the version of Windows you’re running…
In my example, I’m running Windows XP. Just below the Windows logo, you can see detailed information about the version of Windows I’m running – e.g. Build 2600, Service Pack 3, etc.
The Start button looks a little different in Windows Vista and Windows 7, mostly because it doesn’t say “Start” on it anymore…
You can also right-click your My Computer (in Windows Vista and Windows 7, it just says Computer) icon and then choose Properties, to find out even more information. This is important, especially with Windows Vista and Windows 7 since they frequently come in 64-bit editions (as opposed to 32-bit). Hardware compatibility (e.g. printers) comes into question when 64-bit is introduced into the equation. While it’s becoming more and more prevalent, we still live in a largely 32-bit world – especially when it comes to POS hardware.
Windows Vista was one of the shortest-lived versions of Windows ever. It was released in mid-2007, only to be replaced by Windows 7 in early-2009. In short, it was (in my and many peoples’ opinion), the worst version of Windows ever. Even worse than Windows ME, which died not even a year after it was released.
Windows Vista consumes too much RAM and feels sluggish in general. It also introduced a very annoying feature – User Account Control or UAC. UAC generates a nagging prompt each time a user goes to do anything from install a program, to make a change in the Control Panel.
It was so bad, computer manufacturers started offering free Windows XP downgrades on new computer systems. Windows 7 has turned out to be what Windows Vista should’ve been. For all intents and purposes, Windows Vista was a ‘beta’ version of Windows 7.
If you have a computer that’s running Windows Vista, you might be able to stomach it for a little while longer. Consider though the cost of purchasing a new system running XP or 7. Avoiding the one-time cost of purchasing a system that actually works vs. the cost of the day to day annoyances and issues, just isn’t worth it.
Don’t just run out (or click away) and buy a new PC though. Consult with a certified, experienced IT professional such as … hey, The Computer Peeps! =)
We’re not in business to sell you over-priced computers and hardware. We want to show you how you can save money by purchasing the system yourself. Why pay nearly $2,000 for a computer when you can get the same system for about $600. Our consulting fee is less a fee and more a tool you can utilize to save a lot of money…and headaches. You could purchase two, new computers and pay for 2-hours of consulting and still not spend as much as you would elsewhere.
If you can avoid using Vista, do it. If you have Vista, consider replacing it.