Windows 7 - Just a Question of When

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After using Windows 7 for awhile, I think M$ has done a very nice job on eye-candy.

Overall Windows 7 can be a nice upgrade from XP – a bit more pizzazz compared to XP and clearly a better OS than Vista – M$ has listened to users and cleaned up Vista’s usability issues, making W7 what Vista should have been out of the gate. This is what I come away with:

  • W7 doesn’t come loaded with gadgets – you can pick and choose what to install
  • The Dock is quite handy – enables you to see what windows are open by app using thumbnails
  • Windows Explorer is more like what I use in Ubuntu – easier to use
  • Very nice presentation graphically

However, the core issue for current XP users is how much is eye-candy worth? I don’t think most users really care, or take with a grain of salt, claims that W7 is faster, more secure, etc. Users that have a choice to make between what they have now – assuming XP – and paying for an upgrade to W7 HAVE to see a perceived benefit large enough to justify

  1. The cost to replace XP (Home or Pro)
  2. The pain to migrate programs and data.

I would not discount the pain factor – users have to find their CDs for programs they probably loaded 2 – 5 years ago and hope that they will run OK on W7. Then they have to either burn data to discs or use an external drive to migrate data to the new install. What weekend fun!

Over time, as XP winds down and W7 takes over as the OEM’s OS for new gear, it is INEVITABLE that users will migrate to W7 because of M$’s monopoly position in the OS market. It’s really that simple – sheer numbers will force users to W7 as apps and drivers are written for W7. Never forget that in this game M$ owns the playing field, writes the rules and is the referee – period. M$ and the OEMs are in control.

Yes, you do have two choices:

  1. Apple
  2. Linux

However, M$ would have to stumble really badly to lose its dominant position, and as arrogant as you might think they are, they are not stupid. Enterprise customers may drag their feet, but time is on M$’s side.

So there it is – you can stretch out XP for some time, but sooner or later Windows 7 will show up on your desktop.

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