Focus on... Windows 7

Windows 7 is arriving on shelves this week. Here's everything you need to know about Microsoft's latest OS.

Windows 7 boxes

Microsoft's Windows 7 has finally hit store shelves this week, arriving on a wave of decent reviews and marketing noise - including Windows 7 parties.

While firms and IT professionals have had the OS for months, it's only just hitting commercial shelves now, or in the case of many, their front doorsteps after ordering online.

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Here's everything you need to know about Microsoft's latest OS - the news, reviews, tips and tricks and more to keep you going before and after the discs arrive at your door.

Latest news

Since it was announced, Windows 7 has rarely been out of the news headlines on tech sites.

The beta was repeatedly extended to allow the many thousands who wanted to download it a chance.

The EU got involved, forcing Internet Explorer to be shipped on a separate disk until Microsoft came up with a browser ballot scheme to calm anti-competitive fears.

That lead to all sorts of pricing and version confusion, which was resolved by giving UK customers a discount on full versions - for the rest of the year, at least.

Click below for the latest Windows 7 news:Windows 7 preorders already top Vista salesWindows 7 launches in the UKDell: Windows 7 a boost, Vista a bust Windows 7 arrives early because of postal strikeApple not worried by Windows 7

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Ready for business

While Windows 7 is just hitting store shelves this week, it's been in the hands of manufacturers and businesses since August. And some have been willing to wait, putting off Vista deployments in favour of the better-reviewed Windows 7. Gartner even advised businesses that haven't already rolled out Vista to just skip it.

Read on for more Windows 7 business coverage:Top 10 business features in Windows 7Windows 7 the most accessible one yet?Ballmer claims Windows 7 saves 100 a seatIntel plans quick Windows 7 rollout

The features

Vista didn't win over anyone, to be honest. After the service packs tweaked things, it certainly improved, but no one was excited about it. That's changed with this next iteration. While Windows 7 is based on the same kernel as its less well-loved predecessor, the reviews have been much more positive.

Read on for more on the tech side of Windows 7:Top 10 Windows 7 featuresWindows 7 RTM reviewHead-to-head: Windows 7 vs Snow LeopardNeed to Know: Windows 7

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Tips and tricks

While many have been using Windows 7 since the first beta hit the web earlier this year, it'll take some getting used to for some of us.

Here are a few tips to making it easier:Using Windows 7 XP Mode Top tips for Windows 7PC Pro's How Tos on Windows 7

Click to the next page for more on Windows 7 security, the death of Vista, and the future of Microsoft.

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