Is Windows 7 worth the current hype?

windows7logoOn Thursday, October 22, Microsoft will launch its new next-generation operating system. From that moment it will be available worldwide. Last Saturday already 777 people in the village Zevenhuizen (7 houses) in The Netherlands could get the new OS installed. Microsoft is really pushing Windows 7. They claim Windows 7 will finally fill the gap between them and Apple. And that’s something they didn’t manage with Windows Vista, probably the worst market introduction by Windows ever. Will Windows 7 provide what we are looking for?

Windows Vista not successful

We don’t have to prove here that Windows Vista hasn’t been the success Windows was hoping for. It has been there only for about 3 years. From day one there were a lot of complaints mostly about the bad performance and instability. Even Microsoft recently mentioned it has been not the best product ever. Till today the majority of people are still loyal to Windows XP. The 7 in Windows 7 should bring Microsoft the luck they are hoping for. Windows Vista was both based on the “old” Windows XP and the current Windows 7 technology. Probably that was one of the main mistakes. The performance was dramatically bad.

Windows 7 performance is a lot better

Windows 7 is a complete rebuild of the OS, fully based on the newest technology. Windows 7 is designed to make PCs start up, shut down, resume from standby, and respond faster. Already for some months, we have been testing the Windows 7 (RC) version. Windows definitely managed to dramatically improve the performance of the OS at start up, shut down and resume. The work environment indeed looks a lot more like the Apple OS, but I don’t think Microsoft really managed to match an extremely user friendly and intuitive Apple OS Snow Leopard.

Windows 7 seems to be a long-term strategy

Based on the strategy insights we recently got from Microsoft we concluded Windows 7 is there to stay for much longer. Therefore it will also attract current Windows XP users. Especially because Windows 7 will offer a “Windows XP mode” to support applications that are not compatible with Windows 7. In fact you will be able to “launch” Windows XP within Windows 7 if needed to run some older applications. This “backward compatibility” wasn’t offered by Vista. Be aware that this functionality won’t be available for Windows 7 Home edition.

Windows 7 adoption will take time

Microsoft is trying to create a hype around Windows 7 like they did before with Windows XP. A lot of marketing effort and money is being spent to make the market aware of their new OS. Despite the advantages I do not believe many XP users will instantly switch. I believe we are not going to see long queues in front of the shops this Thursday. The “upgrade” is not for free and it means a complete re-installation of the OS forcing people to backup all their data and to reinstall all existing applications. Windows Vista users can either decide to fully reinstall the OS or to install Windows 7 over Windows Vista. For sure Windows 7 will be available on most new bought PCs, but a wide adoption will take time. For businesses the main reason to move away from Windows XP will be the lack of support by 2014. Besides new applications will probably no longer support Windows XP from 2012. The following Gartner movie explains clearly whether or not to migrate. They advice to have Windows XP out of your company by 2012.

RC users don’t forget to upgrade

Users of the Windows 7 (RC) should upgrade their machines by using a valid Windows operating system before Windows 7 (RC) expires. Windows will automatically notify you that the expiration process is about to begin. Two weeks later, your PC will shut down every two hours. The bi hourly shutdowns will begin March 1, 2010. The software will expire June 1, 2010. We are curious what you think about Windows 7. Feel invited to leave a comment below.

VP Software Development Europe for Aspire Systems. Sociologist and electrotechnical engineer, a great combination that stimulates him to look for the best working software solutions for clients. Passionate about converting great ideas into new solutions. Married and a proud father of 3 great sons. Training for and participating in triathlons/runs to stay fit.