Maybe you aren’t sure about upgrading to Windows 7, even though you’ve heard it is the best operating system to have ever been created, which it is in my opinion. If so, here are a few resources to help you make sure you are ready for Windows 7:
1. You PC/Laptop: Use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if your PC can run Windows 7: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=1b544e90-7659-4bd9-9e51-2497c146af15
2. Your Software & Peripherals: Will your existing software and devices (printers, webcams, etc.) work with Windows 7? Go to the Windows Compatibility Center and check: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/en-us/default.aspx
3. Your files: Use Windows Easy Transfer to copy your files, photos, music, e-mail, settings, and more from a computer running Windows XP to a computer running Windows 7. You can transfer data using an Easy Transfer Cable, removable media, or across a network. See the XP version here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=734917D8-0663-4C26-89D0-2D00B632EBDB&displaylang=en and the Vista version here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=09D80814-2A73-4245-A63B-8E780D0430CB&displaylang=en
More Information (from ars technica):
The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center (8.3MB). This tool is meant for those who are upgrading Windows on their current rig. It will examine your PC's processor, memory, storage, graphics capabilities, and lets you know if you can run the 64-bit version. The tool tells you your upgrade options and informs you about any known compatibility issues with the most commonly installed software programs and devices connected to your PC. If an issue can be resolved, it suggests next steps for you to take before installing Windows 7. The tool checks against the following Windows 7 system requirements:
The Windows 7 Compatibility Center helps the user easily check the compatibility of thousands of devices and software programs for 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows 7. Microsoft determines a product's compatibility status for the Compatibility Center by looking at whether it has earned the "Compatible with Windows 7" or "Certified for Windows Server 2008" logo and whether the software publisher or device manufacturer states that they currently (or plan to) offer product support for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.