It's coming. Windows 7 will start to appear in October, so now is as good a time as any to make sure you're familiar with what's new, what's not so new, what matters, and what doesn't. Fortunately, every online technology pontificator has an opinion, not to mention a healthy collection of screen shots, so it only takes a few minutes of browsing around to get all the headlines.

Windows 7For the IT perspective, start at, which offers a Windows 7 Bible with an overall view of why Windows 7 matters in the corporate setting, and what steps you and your IT colleagues will have to take between now and the end of the year to switch over, if that's what you choose to do.

eWeek also has a useful gallery of Windows 7 improvements that make the point that yes, there are some important developments here that will make it a good idea for Vista holdouts to jump from XP, if their computers can handle it. 

Finally, the experts at have a hands-on review of the latest prerelease version. Their capsule summary:

Microsoft's new OS is an improvement over Windows Vista, but because it's based on the same underlying kernel code there should be fewer compatibility headaches if you make the switch. Add to that a retooled taskbar, simpler home networking, faster startup, and other conveniences, and Windows 7 may succeed where Vista failed. XP users can stop living in the past and move to a modern OS.

Sounds like it's upgrade season again.

-- Don Willmott