Between the incredible staying power of Windows XP and the current hype ahead of Windows 8, Microsoft’s flagship product is currently a hot topic among people around the world and rightfully so, given its deep integration into our digital lives. We all know that you’re using Windows – the question is: are you getting the absolute most out of it?
Windows 8 is just around the corner but, with many users concerned about a Vista-like flop, it stands to reason that millions of people will remain on Windows 7 for a few years yet. If you plan to stick with your trusty copy of Windows 7 while allowing the early adopters to test Windows 8 for you, here are a few ways to make your experience a smoother and more intuitive one:
As is the case with many other modern pieces of software, bloatware is all too present in brand-name PCs purchased with Windows pre-installed. While it may be helpful to have Windows up and running right out of the box, the removal of all of those unneeded apps, games, ads and service links is most easily done by wiping your OS clean and re-installing from scratch.
This may sound like a daunting task to some, but it really entails nothing more than booting your PC from your Windows DVD and following the steps to format your current Windows hard drive partition and install your fresh copy of Windows, sans bloatware and ready to be customized.
You’re Down with UAC…
Remember that crazy wonky security pop-up that assaulted you each time you wanted to change a setting or…well, anything at all in Windows Vista? The User Account Control (UAC) still exists in Windows 7, but this time around it’s much more customizable, allowing you to choose where you want it to guard you and where you don’t. If security is important to you, get to know UAC on your Windows 7 machine.
Whoa There, Widget!
While the many gadgets and widgets available for your Windows desktop look cool and offer great functionality, they also eat away at your system’s resources, even when you’re not actively using them (which is the vast majority of the time). For this reason, you should consider disabling one or a few if performance becomes an issue.
Keep in mind that many websites offer desktop-like functionality in order to replicate services like RSS feeds, games and other gadgets that may have been on your desktop – iGoogle ranks as one of the more popular options.