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While all PCs have pre-installed operating systems (OS), users may prefer to use alternate software. Due to its familiar programs and interfaces, Microsoft Windows has remained a popular OS product line for the history of its many iterations.
The latest releases in the Windows OS series, 7 and 8, feature more significant upgrades to the software giant's systems. Both programs feature stylized menus and desktops that are noticeably different from older interfaces found on XP and Vista. As with all Microsoft software, there are various versions of the OS so every user can find one that meets all of their needs.
For users who aren't ready to upgrade to Windows 8, several iterations of 7 are still available and are supported by Microsoft. The OS shares some traits with XP and Vista, so there isn't a steep learning curve when using it. One of 7's most popular features is its program preview screens, which can be accessed by holding the cursor over icons in the taskbar.
Windows 7 Home Premium is likely the best option for casual users who want an advanced OS, but don't need a great deal of computing power. Meanwhile, 7 Professional is geared more toward work use and features heavy security programs like the Encryption File System.
Windows 8 is one of Microsoft's most highly anticipated products. The OS offers some radical changes from 7, while still including some fan-favorite features. The tiled screen may have some users worried about learning to navigate a new interface, but Microsoft lets people switch back to a desktop that looks similar to 7's - sans the "Start" button.
As with 7, there will be multiple versions of Windows 8 available so users can purchase one that best suits their needs. For those who only have a 32 bit processor (rather than a 64-bit), there is compatible software for sale they can still have the latest version of Windows.