A lot of people (including me at times) have beaten up on Windows over the years for being less than user-friendly. But Windows has come a long way since the early days, and Microsoft has introduced their share of innovations. One that we like is the Windows Experience Index.

Microsoft introduced the “Windows Experience Index” in Windows Vista and it continues in Windows 7. A computer’s score on this standard set of performance tests (processor, memory, graphics, and hard drive if you must know) gives you a good idea of how well that computer is going to perform, or how good your computing “experience” is going to be. The 1.0 – 5.9 scale seems arbitrary, I think a 0 – 5 scale would have been easier for most folks to immediately understand, but despite that I think it works. Why?

Because you have better things to do than learn about the differences between single-, dual-, and quad-core processors. Or 32-bit versus 64-bit operating systems. Or the different RAM types and speeds. Not to mention hard drive rotational speeds, or even solid state hard drives. When you have a user-friendly IT staff (like us!) working for you, we figure all that stuff out and make recommendations in plain English that will fit your performance needs. If you don’t have a user-friendly IT resource, the Windows Experience Index can be a useful tool.