Microsoft Windows 7 is here! Three years after the release of Windows Vista, we have the first major upgrade of the operating system from Microsoft. The first week of August Microsoft released to manufacturing the final code in Windows 7. At the same time, it made available to certain customers downloadable copies of Windows 7. These downloadable copies are available to some Microsoft Partners, Microsoft Software Assurance subscribers, and TechNet subscribers. For those who do not fit these categories it will be about two months before Windows 7 reaches stores either on a new computer or as a boxed product. Windows 7 is important because it is actually what Windows Vista should have been. Microsoft has taken Windows Vista and polished it with a very nice shine. I started working with Windows 7 when the Release Candidate became available in May 2009. I have been testing since this time various applications and so far have found no issues with any of the programs I use. Windows 7 even has a much improved compatibility tool – which I have not yet used by a colleague has – with great success running older applications. He loaded an older copy of Peachtree Accounting in this mode and it worked just like it was on Windows XP. While I have not completed testing every application in our office that we currently use on Vista, I will be doing so in the coming weeks in preparation for rolling Windows 7 out to all our employees in place of Vista. Some of you may be wondering why we are planning to move off of Vista. It is not because Vista has performed poorly for our firm. It has actually performed very well for our firm reducing significantly system reboots and other issues that would cause XP to hang. The reason we are moving is because Windows 7 has memory optimization and performance enhancements which will make the software we use run better than on Windows XP or Windows Vista. While some accounting firms have been reluctant to adopt Windows Vista, Windows 7 should not produce the same reluctance. Windows 7 is a solid performing operating system better in my opinion than Windows XP and Windows Vista and should be adopted before tax season on new systems and those systems which would support an upgrade to Vista. Will your firm update?