It has been just three days after the release of Microsoft's newest operating system Windows 7. It is definitely to early to call it a successful operating system launch but early reviews and reports from online retailers as Amazon seem to suggest that Microsoft did a great job overall. Computer users who are thinking about switching to Windows 7 have several options at hand to evaluate if they computer hardware and software will run under the new operating system. They can opt for the rule of thumb method which suggests that almost every piece of hardware and software will run fine under Windows 7 if they are compatible with either Windows XP or Windows Vista.
Another option is Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor which can evaluate hardware and software on computer systems running either XP or Vista. That on the other hand does not help users who plan to buy or build a computer system.
That's where the Windows 7 Compatibility Center comes to the rescue. The online service can check hardware and software for compatibility with Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. This can be checked using a simple web form on the main Windows 7 Compatibility Center website.
The user needs to select hardware or software from the pulldown menu and enter the name of the device or software in the form. The online service will display information about the compatibility of the hardware or software on the next page if the item is listed in the database.
A set of filters is available in the sidebar. Here it is for example possible to check 32-bit or 64-bit compatibility or select a specific compatibility level like items that are compatible and have the Windows 7 logo or only items that are not compatible. A quick series of tests revealed that not all software programs are available in the database. Popular third party software like Firefox, Opera or Putty are either listed as "information coming soon" or not at all.
Users can also browse the Windows 7 Compatibility Center by software or hardware category. Microsoft should consider adding popular software programs faster to the compatibility database for better evaluation.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.