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So, about Windows 7...
It's now been about a year since Windows 7 was officially released to much acclaim. The operating system is decidedly a vast improvement over its predecessor, Windows Vista. Vista had a poor reputation for being rather buggy at times as well as being a resource hog, leading to poor system performance. Many people familiar with computers simply stuck with Windows XP. Still, for Mac users, what does this mean? Does the success of Windows 7 have any effect on OS X? Is it a game changer which will bring present users back to Windows once again?
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Let's go further into the subject!
There are a few things to look at when considering these questions. First of all, let's look at the recent success of Macs and OS X as a platform over the last couple years. College students in particular have been a primary target in becoming new Mac users thanks to promotions Apple holds; for instance the "buy a Mac, get an iPod" yearly campaign. With so many switchers, Apple is gaining ground in OS X's overall share. Mac use has been at an all-time high as a result. With the release of Windows 7, however, Microsoft has been pushing the operating system heavily with its own "I'm a PC" campaign.
So what does Windows 7 offer? In all reality, for the average computer user, it offers most of the same things which its predecessors have offered. However, performance has gone up drastically from Windows Vista, and the interface itself is very clean and easy-to-use. Windows XP, even though it still remains the most commonly used operating system in the world, is almost a decade old now and lacks the consistent updates that Windows 7 does. This in itself is a large reason for present users to upgrade. In terms of actual offerings, though, OS X users should be fine where they are. The compatibility of software between both operating systems these days is exceptional, and in most cases, users who need a given piece of software can probably find versions made for both systems.
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What if I want both options?
Keep in mind that if you still wish to use Windows 7 that OS X provides a perfect solution in its Boot Camp software. Following the very simple instructions, you can install Windows 7 on a separate partition on your hard drive and run both operating systems independently from one another, allowing for the best of both worlds. While "Hackintoshes" exist, this is the only easy way to run both systems, giving Mac users the edge. The simplest recommendation that can be made is to research what each system offers yourself, specifically in regards to software. Some people might need a Windows machine, but realistically, OS X still offers everything you need to get the job done.