Windows 7 is amazing, far better than Windows Vista in regards to memory management, services, registry modifications and security issues. I highly recommend Windows 7, I have personally used Windows 7 Ultimate (Trial), but I need faster computer in order to get result what I expect.
I've worked with Microsoft Windows Technical Support (Complete Operating System Troubleshooting). I was in Tier II Support as an Escalation Engineer for almost three years. Windows Vista was not upto my expectations and many users did not like it.
However, without a doubt I would highly suggest you to purchase Professional Edition, believe me you will not regret it. I would also suggest atleast 4GB RAM and a DirectX 11 card.
I went from Windows XP to Windows 7 Ultimate. I skipped right over Vista - it was a flop; a total failure of an O/S. Windows 7 is (on my setup) very stable, loads quickly, shutdowns quickly. Lots of reasons to get it. Some reasons to avoid it. Overall though, if you're going from Vista to Win 7, I say DO IT. For those people going from XP to Win 7, well, I say keep them both.
...However, without a doubt I would highly suggest you to purchase Professional Edition, believe me you will not regret it. I would also suggest atleast 4GB RAM and a DirectX 11 card.
Whether you get Pro or Home Premium depends on what you need the computer to do...what you use it for. Look at the supported features of both. In general, Professional is more flexible and gives the user more options in how to administer the system and network connectivity, but it may not be worth the extra money to you. You easily should be able to find a side-by-side comparison chart somewhere online.
If you are talking about a laptop computer, you may or may not be able to upgrade your video or RAM. However, if you can, then...
As for buying an DirectX 11 capable video card, unless you are really into high-end gaming, or very sophisticated graphics design, IMO it's a waste of money. If you can do what you need to do with your current video card, and the performance is acceptable to you...just keep it. Again, you should be able to find a side-by-side feature comparison chart for DirectX11 and whatever version your video subsystem currently supports.
As for the 4GB of RAM, if you can do what you need to do, and with performance that is acceptable to you, then it's also a waste of money to buy more RAM. However, Win7 is a 64bit operating system and can use more than 4GB of RAM (unlike a 32GB OS), and you may even wish to consider 6GB or 8GB IF your system supports it. On a limited budget I'd buy more RAM before I worried about buying a new video card. The added RAM can help performance considerably if you run a lot of programs at once (or open lots of documents in a program like Word), have a video card with a huge amount of memory (e.g. 1GB), and/or use a multi-core CPU. If your motherboard supports "dual-channel" you may want to purchase and/or configure your memory cards to obtain higher performance possible with "dual-channel" configurations. You can search on "dual channel" for more info on that.
Tried Before (95689) said on Jan 14, 2011 at 10:09pm PST:
I went from Windows XP to Windows 7 Ultimate. I skipped right over Vista - it was a flop; a total failure of an O/S.
You skipped over Vista, so how would you know? Get your info from Mac ads? It always seems to me that the Vista haters are the ones who never actually used it.
That's not to say that Vista is better than 7, quite the opposite -- 7 is pretty much better than Vista in every way.
I used Vista from the day the RTM was leaked to the day the Windows 7 RTM was leaked and never had any major problems. Of course, soon after 7 came out I got sick of Windows in general and switched to Linux full-time.