Microsoft launches Windows 7

LOS ANGELES These have been tough days for Microsoft. The last time they came out with an operating system, Windows Vista, consumers hated it. Apple Computers Inc., once spoke of only in "geek" circles, now has the cool factor. But with the release of Windows 7, Microsoft is getting attention again, only this time, it's all good.

At a Best Buy in Culver City, the launch of Windows 7 meant a return to the business of selling computers.

The reviews have been so good for Microsoft's latest operating system that some consumers decided to exchange what they already had in hopes of getting an upgrade.

Experts at Symantec, the anti-virus software company, have had the program for quite some time.

"I have to say that versus my laptop, which is running Windows XP, versus my Windows 7 machine at home, I prefer my Windows 7.1 for all sorts of reasons," said David Cole, director of Symantec's Norton Group. "It's very fast, it's responsive, it's a little bit sexy. We think it will be a great release for them."

With a touch-screen computer, Windows 7 has some features that remind you of the iPhone's fancy graphics.

Is this an opportunity for Microsoft to grab the cool factor that has been Apple's these past few years?

Microsoft isn't stopping with just new software to compete with Apple. The company also opened a Microsoft store in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Thursday.

If you have Windows XP now, you might want to stick with it until you buy a new computer. If you have Vista, you would be happier with a change to Windows 7.

Although Windows 7 has new security features, that is only for the operating system itself. Microsoft admits you still need additional security software to protect your computer.

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