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Summary:

Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, has much brighter prospects than Windows Vista had upon initial release. Its core code, while it comes from Vista, has been improved through several developer cycles; moreover, Windows 7 went through far more extensive beta testing than Vista ever did. […]

Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, has much brighter prospects than Windows Vista had upon initial release. Its core code, while it comes from Vista, has been improved through several developer cycles; moreover, Windows 7 went through far more extensive beta testing than Vista ever did.

In addition to these points, our newest GigaOM Pro research report from Kevin over at jkOnTheRun, “Windows 7 Forecast: Mostly Sunny With a Chance of Showers,” takes a balanced look at one of Microsoft’s most important product releases in many years. Here are some of the highlights from Kevin’s analysis.

It’s Headed for Netbooks. As Kevin notes in his report: “Netbooks sold with Windows 7 ought to help tremendously with adoption rates, as that market is one of the few computer hardware categories showing signs of growth -– simply pre-installing Windows 7 on netbooks should give rise to a noticeable boost in the adoption rate while buffering against losing market share to other solutions.”

Fewer Hardware Problems Than Vista Had. Windows 7 goes to great lengths to overcome the hardware driver challenges and performance issues that plagued Windows Vista. And it reached more users during its beta testing phase than Vista ever did — which was a deliberate move on Microsoft’s part, compared to its past beta cycles.

New Types of Devices Targeted. The report also discusses how Windows 7 is positioned to be used on new types of touchscreen devices. These should come in many form factors, and could take Windows in directions it hasn’t gone toward before.

You’ll find these and many other topics discussed in our latest Pro research report. Subscribe for $79 to check it out here.

  1. what i have been hearing from some friends who work at retailers is that the reason lots of people are buying net books has specifically to do with wanting something cheap with XP pre installed. while you can downgrades have been offered on a lot of the high end laptops they typically are not on the low and mid price range models. this has driven a lot of customers who would otherwise have bought full laptops to buy netbooks and sometimes refurbished machines instead of new ones. i just do not see 7 appealing to the vista rejectors; what these people want is a very simplified and familiar OS not a fancy one full of bellos and whistles.

    it is a big mistake for Microsoft to not keep XP on the market for at least as long as there is a demand.

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    1. “it is a big mistake for Microsoft to not keep XP on the market for at least as long as there is a demand.”

      From a consumer demand standpoint, I hear what you’re saying Tom. But as a business entity, Microsoft can’t afford to keep support resources engaged with an OS from two iterations ago while focusing on future projects. Legacy support is what has held back innovation in Redmond as I see it, so continuing to support a legacy OS isn’t in the best interest of the company’s future.

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      1. how much is Microsoft motivated by dropping support as opposed to a desire for higher revenue from 7? if they would listen to the customer they would do everything possible to eliminate vista from the picture as quick as possible even if it means much lower upgrade pricing. they could than offer the support they would be give to existing vista customer to xp ones. no one is going to want to continue with vista, those that do will be doing so solely for financial reasons. xp is a different story since it has a UI that many prefer.

        i think a very interesting idea for microsoft would be an offering with the windows 7 kernal and driver base but a much simplified XP style desktop/UI that is also lighter on resources.

        i have a small used computer store and get lots of request every day about downgrading vista computers to XP. the reasons are many, but the customers who are actually willing to pay for a copy of XP all want the same thing. they want the simplicity of the XP desktop/UI.

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  2. The Windows 7 outlook is certainly sunny from where I’m sitting. At Puget Systems, we build high performance computers, and from the day we started shipping Windows 7 PC’s on Oct 13th, we haven’t had a single order for a PC with Vista. And where we used to sell a copy of XP for every 10 copies of Vista, our XP sales have also dropped significantly. Windows 7 has earn near 100% adoption of our customers buying new PCs, and that’s really saying something. I have heard no talk of the standard “wait until SP1″ strategy from our customers.

    Jon Bach
    Puget Systems
    http://www.pugetsystems.com

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    1. not surprised at all. i wonder how much of this is due to a distaste for vista rather than a real desire for 7. i would also like to note that my none of my customer who downgraded from vista to xp had particularly ‘high performance’ computers. vista was a bit of a success in that market. it is the average user with a basic machine that really typically has wanted XP.

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      1. In talking to our customers, I would say it was real desire for Windows 7. I wouldn’t expect our XP sales to have dropped after Windows 7 launch if it were just a dislike for Vista. But as you said (and I agree), Vista has especially high adoption with high end PCs, and I expect Windows 7 will be the same. In addition to it simply being the “latest and greatest” it is also that Windows XP 64-bit is pretty terrible. We hardly ever build machines with less than 4-6GB memory these days, so our customers are needing a 64-bit OS.

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  3. I was an XP diehard that skipped vista, but I’m now a strong advocate for windows 7. It gives me everything I loved about xp, in a fresh new product that performs superior to xp and vista in every way. Its crazy to buy a new pc and downgrade to xp. I have 6 computers at home all running windows 7. The upgrades were easy to install and error free. I love it, the wife loves it, the kids love it. Windows 7 Family pack upgrade version FTW, 3 licenses for $149 is a great value. Use the custom install option and you basically get a clean install from an upgrade version. all your files are still saved to a folder called windows.old on your C: drive. You will need to re-install all your programs, but to take a computer thats a few years old and restore it to like new condition with a brand spanking new OS its worth it. Buy it, you won’t be sorry.

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  4. [...] version arrive this week, it’s likely to be a very early stab at the final OS. However, Microsoft has proved resoundingly that by putting more early versions of its new OS in the hands of beta testers, it can deliver a [...]

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