5 Reasons Why You Might Want To Switch From XP To Windows 7

Martin Brinkmann
May 1, 2009
Updated • Aug 10, 2018
Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Windows XP is an excellent operating system. The majority of Windows users are still running Windows XP followed by Windows Vista and other variants.

XP is leading the field by a ratio of 3:1 according to statistics gathered on w3schools (the operating system gets transmitted usually when a user opens a website). That alone is reason enough to define Windows Vista as a failure; Or Windows XP excellent and Windows Vista not convincing enough for the majority of Windows users to make the switch.

Enter Windows 7. Windows 7 will be released this year. The last information suggests a release in October 2009. Windows XP users once again have to make the decision to switch to a newer version of Windows or keep on using the current operating system instead.

The following paragraphs list five reasons why Windows XP users might want to make the switch to Windows 7. To be perfectly clear: It is without doubt possible to use Windows XP as the main operating system in the coming five or ten years. A friend of mine was still running Windows 98 when Windows Vista came out. The main question however is if the majority will make the switch. Will Microsoft's new operating system Windows 7 convince users to make the switch?

1. Security

The introduction of UAC and several other security components in Windows Vista was probably one of the most annoying experiences for users who switched from XP to Vista. While it did increase the security of the computer system it annoyed users to no end to see UAC prompts all the time.

Windows 7 will still use UAC but with a reduced number of user prompts. A convincing reason why UAC is good are the monthly security patches and classifications that Microsoft releases. Many vulnerabilities are classified as critical for Windows XP systems but only as important on Vista systems.

It is quite possible to improve Windows XP with third party applications to reach the same, or even a better level of security, than Windows 7 will provide out of the box but installing those solutions is usually left to computer geeks and those with the know how to do so. The average user installs a security software and that's usually it. Microsoft will supply Windows XP users with security patches until 2014 (use this trick to get them until 2019).

2. Hardware Compatibility

There are not many differences in hardware support between Windows XP and Windows Vista. The only notable difference that might affect users in the future is the support of Direct X 10 in Windows Vista while Windows XP users have only access to Direct X 9. While this is not a huge problem at the time thanks to reluctant use of the new DirectX version, it could become one in the future.

Direct X 10 compatible hardware was scarce when Direct X 10 came out. Even scarcer were the games that supported the new standard. This was largely because game developers did not want to spend resources in both Direct X 9 and 10 development and because video cards that were able to deliver good framerates were practically not available.

Windows 7 will ship with Direct X 11 which again will not be available for Windows XP users. It is likely that the release of Windows 7 will see a critical mass shifting to Direct X 10 and 11 compatible gaming which might leave Windows XP gamers behind. They probably can play the games but will face a different game experience.

Other new hardware standards and devices might not work with Windows XP in the future. Hardware developers will eventually stop producing drivers for Windows XP. While this surely will not happen in the next two years it is likely that this is going to happen eventually.

3. Design

Many users don't like the default themes and designs of Windows XP. Microsoft did not exactly deliver a great variety of themes and customizability options in Windows XP.

A handful of official themes delivered over the period of years is nothing that they should brag about.

The users once again created a thriving scene of theme developers and operating system modifiers. This again was something for the hardcore users who knew how to patch system files to use different themes and such.

Windows 7 will come with a never seen before customizability. It will ship with regional themes, dozens of wallpapers, sound schemes and other interface elements. Users can create their own themes easily and even save the themes to share it with friends and the global community.

The Windows 7 design looks more eye pleasing and 21st century like than that of Windows XP. At least for most users who are asked the question.

4. Speed and Performance

Windows 7 will beat Windows XP performance wise. It will boot faster, use less system resources like cpu and computer memory while running and add better performance for SSD devices which will become a huge part of the storage device market in the coming years.

It beats Windows XP (and Windows Vista if that matters) fair and square in all performance related benchmarks.

5. New And Overhauled Features

Windows 7 adds several new features to the table. Some are not really aimed at a mass market like the multi-touch support, biometric devices or handwriting recognition. Several key elements have been overhauled, most notably probably the Windows taskbar which integrates many interesting new features. Many of the features that have been added make Windows 7 more attractive. Think of included system codecs to play divx movies or DVDs without the need for third party applications.

The Verdict:

It is likely that the majority of Windows XP users will make the switch from their operating systems in the first two years after the release of Windows 7. It is without doubt possible to run Windows XP for the next five years without major problems but it will mean making sacrifices in the end when hardware and software support exclude the operating system more frequently. One thing seems to be clear at this point: Windows 7 will not be another Windows Vista. It already receives more praise from beta and release candidate testers and feels much like the operating system that Windows Vista should have been.

5 Reasons Why You Might Want To Switch From XP To Windows 7
Article Name
5 Reasons Why You Might Want To Switch From XP To Windows 7
The article provides five compelling reasons for XP (and Vista) users that might convince them to switch to Windows 7.
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  1. Anonymous said on February 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    4 my side XP is da best, 4 performance nd Speed. Ppl dy use computers 4 wrng reason meanin if u wnt 2 play games use yr playstation nt yr Computer nd 4 me da design of windows 7 is nt yet impressive. Dats y i wl use XP til it get totally weak proudly a xp user

  2. smax said on December 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I bought a new computer for small business, all set up nicely for win 7, but had to go back to XP due to hardware problems. (the heck of it is, I researched to make sure there were drivers for my hardware first, but that didn’t help). Example: hp officejet 9110 all in one-hp said it had win 7 compatible driver–turns out that driver (as admitted by hp) will only barely run the printer (not the scanner), and the printer had many necessary options no longer available. Similar problem for a Canon DR-2580C scanner. So I went back to XP. But, a few years from now, when my old hardware dies and I can find good substitutes for them, my PC will be win 7 ready! Meantime, will have to learn how to tweak the quad processor so I can confine certain functions to one of the four, so some will always be free for multi-tasking.

  3. Anonymous said on November 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Windows 7 displays higher levels of DPC latency, as does Vista. This means drop-outs when streaming and editing audio or video. Stick with XP

  4. lf said on October 26, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Windows 7 is not compatible with MS Office 2000 not hp laserjet 1012.

  5. Wilzyx said on May 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I bought a Windows 7 two days ago at Costco.
    I love it so much! Even though it was around 1000 dollars…

  6. Jaggu said on May 11, 2009 at 6:15 am

    You say :

    4. Speed and Performance

    Windows 7 will beat Windows XP performance wise. It will boot faster, use less system resources like cpu and computer memory while running

    Do you have any tests or statistics to back that up ?


  7. Name Here said on May 3, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Windows 7 is just as fast as XP, well I would say it’s a little bit slower at some things but it’s an excellent OS and I would never go back to XP, if you have a new computer then you should try Windows 7, if you have an old computer then I would stick with XP.

  8. Womble said on May 3, 2009 at 2:41 am

    And EDO was the standard before that, is this going anywhere?

    I think it’s fair to say that a stock install would measure pretty much the same no matter which system it was installed on(give or take a few meg for for different the driver set if you insist on being pendantic).

    You know it’s been quite obvious to me that the underlying debate here is really my comment about people who disable UAC, let me guess they wouldn’t give you a refund lol.

  9. smilingman said on May 3, 2009 at 1:08 am

    SDRAM was the memory standard before DDR, when Win95 was released.
    Some people are still running system 10 years old and think that MS should right OS’s that can run on their machines still.
    Just because it shows a doubling on your system does not mean that is the norm for others, my RAM use went up very little.
    Either way it going to be a good OS and the minor system hit is worth it to get the new features WIn7 offers. Unlike VistaME when released would barely run on my 1 year home built system that was a mid-level gaming rig.

  10. Womble said on May 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm


    First of all to call double the resources a little more is stretching the imagination a bit.

    Secondly As it happens I agree that it a better OS but maths uses rules not excuses

    Thirdly I have no idea what the SDRAM comment refers to.

  11. Jack said on May 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    If I’ve learned nothing else over the last 2 decades with PCs it’s that anyone who touches a new Microsoft OS the moment it appears needs their head examining. Even if Win7 is all it’s cracked up to be, I’ve no doubt it’ll be at least a year before the final testers (i.e. the customers) have found at least the main bugs and security risks.

  12. Tonio said on May 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    I am willing to believe all those people who say Windows 7 is much better than Vista, but it is difficult to understand. If Windows 7 is based on Vista, which is a failure because of basic design choices, how can Windows 7 be fantastic??? To me it feels like the criticism Vista had was over exaggerated, and so is the praise for Windows 7.

  13. Cynic said on May 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    what i find most annoying is vista users are expected to cough up yet again for a new system software, when really windows 7 is what vista should have been were MS in not such a rush to rip its consumers off.

    MS would have to be amongst the worlds greediest companies.

  14. Ed said on May 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Having to perform a clean install when migrating from Win XP to Win 7 could prove to be a step too far for some. Sure, you get to clean up your system but what a hastle.

  15. Pootle said on May 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    “Windows 7 will beat Windows XP performance wise. It will boot faster, use less system resources like cpu and computer memory while running”

    But Microsoft’s minimum system requirements for Windows 7 are much greater than those for Windows XP. So how can this be true? My computer only just meets XP’s minimum spec, nowhere near 7’s minimum spec. If I install 7 on that PC, will “Windows 7 will beat Windows XP”? If not, you should edit this article.

  16. rruben said on May 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Before the end of the year I want to upgrade my vista with W7 for a couple reasons.

    -Speed and Performance ( Vista runs fine on my system, but the startup time is too slow and having a faster system + the point below is enough for me to upgrade.)
    -Improved usability (kudos for the new taskbar)
    -DX 11 is another reason, but then I do need to get a new videocart.

    About security I don’t care, I have turned of the hated UAC a long time ago and use Kaspersky Internet Security and haven’t had any security/virus problems ever since.

    The big question is, do you know how much the upgrade will cost from vista to W7? Any idea around which price range I should count?

  17. iampriteshdesai said on May 2, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Multicoloured curved dick wallpaper??

  18. smilingman said on May 2, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Win7 does use a little more resources than WinXP, but you get a much better OS. If you do not have a least a 1GB of RAM it maybe time get a new system, sounds like you are still using SDRAM.
    WinXP was a great OS, but once you start learn the differences in Win7 you quickly realize that it is more powerful than WinXP.
    I took me about 2 weeks to break old habits, never going back.

  19. NotEnough said on May 2, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Last and most important… “I’m familiar with XP and don’t want to learn something new”. “After all, American Idol is on and I have better things to do” :)

  20. NotEnough said on May 2, 2009 at 6:05 am

    5 Reasons people won’t change.

    1. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    2. You want how much for it!?!?!?

    3. I’m not 12 years old graphics don’t impress me. In fact, the magic show that is Vista and 7 is kind of annoying after a while

    4. It’s a hassle (see #1)

    5. “What’s Windows 7 and why should I care”?

    The ONLY reason people will change is when they NEED a new computer.

    Of course, this represents the majority of people who use the internet, email, Office, Twitter, etc. The minority of Gamers, those rendering video etc represent the minority and the gap between the two is HUGE.

    Sorry Microsoft, but it isn’t so much that Vista sucks but the 5 above reasons stated. The thing could be gold and people still won’t make the move.

  21. garbanzo said on May 2, 2009 at 5:51 am

    nice article, and i concur wholeheartedly.

    i loved xp. i never wanted to leave. but when i installed the beta on a whim back in january, it stuck. been using it exclusively ever since. windows 7 is a top-shelf OS, and it deserves the attention it’s getting. some remain stubborn, but since mindless microsoft-bashing is going out of style, maybe they’ll come ’round soon.

  22. Womble said on May 2, 2009 at 3:44 am

    People who disable UAC need to pack up their computer, take it back to the shop and tell them they need a refund because their too stupid to have a computer!

    Martin, Where do you get the idea that 7 will use less memory than XP? was it on a mail shot from Microsoft? :D My fully kitted out XP system without Firefox running would be consuming about 300MB’s My new install of 7RC uses over 700(don’t forget services aren’t visible in task manager by default).

    I will need to keep XP on a partition until hardware support stops I think due to sketchy game compatibility on 7, other than that I have to say there is a lot to like in Windows 7 looking forward to the release.

  23. me said on May 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    At first when you start using windows 7 the taskbar seems too big but after a while of using it I don’t think you would ever like to go back to XP believe me I was a die hard XP user until Windows 7 came along, Vista was rubbish compared to Win 7 or XP that’s why I skipped that mess.

  24. eRIZ said on May 1, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Mhmm, what are you talking about? Everything is in C:users not Documents And Settings.

    I even don´t like that big taskbar thing which is introduced under 7.

    People were complaining on ribbon interface in Office 2k7, now they are satisfied of usability. ;)

    New taskbar are improved and not as bigger as XP’s. But more capacious and convenient. ;) Try yourself, there are no other solution.

  25. sh. said on May 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    the most annoying beside the uac feature is the confusing and inscrutable user folder structure.
    XP is very well more structured. I just have to got to DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS and there I´ll find one folder for each user. Vista is very complicated on that.
    Well, I take a look at 7 but what I have seen so far reminds me too much of Vista. I even don´t like that big taskbar thing which is introduced under 7.

  26. VD said on May 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Well I guess 4 Speed and performance depends on the computer system.
    I only have 1 GB of ram and XP feals faster than 7 though (aero and other graphic goodies disabled)
    Havent run any benchmarks as 7 is now my only OS to see wether I will switch from XP or wait.

  27. me said on May 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Very good article, I have been using Windows 7 since Build 7022 as my main system as that is when we actually saw any real performance gains over XP, it is a very good OS and I will be downloading it as soon as they ship the RTM to my local torrent site :P

  28. eRIZ said on May 1, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I’m really amazed… Why didn’t they make such an OS earlier?

    Vista was exactly what Millenium have been made. :P Middle-system. I have been using betas and RC of Windows 7 and I can recommend it to anyone. :)

    PnP is very improved – in fact, all of hardware is being detected and usable with new system (except very old EPP scanner). Performance is okay even if animations are enabled (how did they do that? ;)).

  29. Speedmaster said on May 1, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    On the speed issue, so 7 will run faster than XP on my current hardware?! VERY interesting, and compelling. ;-)

  30. Rarst said on May 1, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    1. Native Windows security always sucked and I don’t expect trend changing. :)

    2. WinXP is probably most hardware compatible OS (out of all of them) on the market.

    DirectX is nice and everything, but we’ll see if situation with 11 will be any better than with 10.

    3. Yay for eye candy. :)

    4. You mean Windows 7 or leaked pre-releases of one? Because no one had their hands on performance of final stable release of Win7.

    5. Yay for eye candy twice? :) If Microsoft bundles taught people anything – it is to look for solutions elsewhere.

    Win7 seems to be shaping into much better product than Vista. It might become tasty solution for new computer but again I see little reason in switching. There in no core selling point that XP had when it dominated market (new core and massive stability improvement that allowed it to last so long).

  31. RG said on May 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    pretty much everything I have read about it looks good, pretty strange for a MS product. The system codecs stuff will make many happy I would think but 4. is the ultimate if you ask me

  32. Pier-Olivier P. C. said on May 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    “One thing seems to be clear at this point: Windows 7 will not be another Windows Vista.”
    It’s even funnier when you know it’s basically vista kernel pimped up (a lot but still)

    “Many users don’t like the default themes and designs of Windows XP. ”
    Especially in the enterprise where most defaulted the “old style” and disabled the theme service… (and Microsoft hidden the other 2 “default” theme so deep that techs rarely know they’re there so even fewer people know there are also a few legal-free microsoft theme on the internet for XP … great improvement there with 7 !)

    On the speed I’d add this is a perfect system for gaming because it provides new DX but with increased speed (instead of vista which often slowed down games)

    On the security of Windows I’d like to point to mark talk on “windows security bondaries” which is very interesting and explain what is and isn’t a security bondary on Windows : http://www.microsoft.com/emea/spotlight/sessionh.aspx?videoid=993

    It’s definatly a great upgrade from XP as you pointed out.

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