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It’s Windows 7 Day: Are We the Early Adopters?

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windows-7-box-artApple (s aapl) did pretty much everything they could to steal some of Windows 7’s thunder by announcing some pretty major hardware changes earlier in the week, but Thursday is here nonetheless, and that means Microsoft’s (s msft) latest OS is on store shelves now, ripe for the picking. Question is, will Mac users be helping with the harvest?

I’m getting a copy (might pick up a burger, too), but for me it’s a legitimate business expense, so the decision, even without an upgrade path (I’ve just been using the Windows 7 RC on my iMac, and don’t have an existing retail license), it makes financial sense for me to have access to a Windows machine. Maybe you’re in the same boat.

The question isn’t really whether Mac users are also Windows users, since recent research on the subject seems to indicate that yes, there is in fact plenty of crossover. I’m wondering whether it might be the case that Apple fans not only buy Windows, but that we might also represent a big chunk of the early adopter crowd for this new incarnation.

Everyone I know who is buying a copy of Windows 7, upgrade or otherwise, uses a Mac. It may not be their primary machine (yes, that does actually happen), but they have one nonetheless. Most of those people are planning on installing Windows 7 on a boot camp partition or a virtualized PC using Parallels or VMware Fusion.

I know you’re thinking that I probably surround myself with like-minded people, and as a result have a lot of Mac-using friends, but that isn’t the case. The majority of people I know are exclusively PC users, and not a single one that I’ve talked to plans on upgrading today, or even in the near future.

As Mac users, we have a tendency to also be gadget addicts. I’ve found we’re more interested in all tech, not just our own, perhaps because we consider ourselves connoisseurs in the area thanks to our impeccable taste. For me, and for many others that I know, that interest translates into a pretty heady case of gadget-lust, one of the symptoms of which is early-adopterese. And also a willingness to acknowledge when a company besides our beloved Apple releases a smart, well-designed product.

Fact is, Windows 7 is a huge improvement on its predecessor. I say that as someone who’s been using preview versions since the first beta was released. It’s not Snow Leopard, don’t get me wrong, but that won’t stop me from being among the first to jump on board. Anyone else making that jump today? If you are, what are your reasons? Do you consider yourself an early adopter with tech in general?

24 Responses to “It’s Windows 7 Day: Are We the Early Adopters?”

  1. The interesting thing is that old media think it’s still Windoze against Mac OS. I run Mac OS with a virtual machine, for free, because it’s open source….Yes winblows 7 is good becuase you can strip it bare and run it in a VM. That’s why it’s good. Period. Otherwise I can run Fedora and Sun Virtual box but you know what it’s just not as beutiful.

  2. I use a macbook pro for garageband mixdowns of live music files from my band, adding between song dialogue to make a podcast. Prior to 2006 I was always a PC guy. Bought the Mac when i got sick of windows crashing. Still use WIndows 2000 at work though. Now it is three years later and I am really wrestling with dropping $2K for a decent macbook pro with the gear I need to progress in my recording work, our dropping about $800 for a similarly outfitted PC version (+ new software and learning that). big reasons for waiting were 1) I figured that Apple would role out something new at the same time and I really really didn’t want to buy a new laptop and then have it outdated in two months & 2) I really didn’t want the hassle of having to upgrade a pc to WIndows 7. I’ve been reading reviews today for Windows 7 and have read the reviews of Snow Leopard. WHile I know the “guts ” of windows, I have been pretty much clueless about the guts of the mac. This is because I haven’t had any problems with my mac in the three years I have had it (other than a limited amount of RAM and HDD space). I can’t say that about my PCs. So I will end up dishing out $2K and getting a mac. BUT I am also going to dish out $400 and get a netbook pc in a month or so once they have figured out if windows 7 works on them. Wish apple would make a $400 netbook….

  3. Although I would agree that apple users that are running windows are by nature more likely to be early adopters, I think there is another reason that you may not be seeing so many PC users rushing to adopt. Most apple users running windows are using windows for a few specific programs (games, MS office, etc). If they run into a problem with windows 7 they are not completely hosed. However, for PC users, if they run into problems with windows 7 they are hosed. Therefore, PC users are naturally more conservative on upgrading.

  4. I just installed windows 7 professional 32 bit in parallels workstation 4 over windows xp 64. It took about 5 hours, including downloading the installer. It was a bit of a pain early on because microsoft’s instructions didn’t mention things like unpacking the downloaded file; I also had to clean off 12 GB of space before the installer would proceed. Another hang-up was the lack of a second drive on my macbook pro for saving whatever user files the installer thinks I needed to save; I was a little surprised by this because I thought going from windows xp 64 to windows 7 32 meant my drive would get wiped. I bummed a flash drive from a neighbor and the installer was happy.

    My next step is getting a copy of parallel’s tools that’s compatible with windows 7. Oh yeah, and installing all the applications that got wiped.

  5. I was part of the invite-only beta, so I am already running the RTM version (virtualized on VmWare Fusion 3 – finally! Aero glass LOL). Overall, I would say that most people at work/home are showing marked interest in Win7…. but most are also waiting at least 3-6 months before taking the plunge. Apparently, Vista’s bitter taste has not yest left their collective mouths.

  6. Darrell

    I think you are spot on with your article. As an Apple user, I do not own a Windows machine. However, I do use VMware Fusion and I am currently running Windows XP. As we speak I am downloading my $30 student copy of Windows 7, not because I have been waiting in anticipation for its release, but like you said Apple people tend to be early adopters and that is precisely what I am. I enjoy new technology, regardless of who produces it.

    J Snyd

  7. I’m curious to see what all the fuss is about. John Martellaro wrote an interesting peice last week about Mac advocates and Windows 7 –

    As a Mac consultant, I do believe that irrespective of whether you’re a fan boy and/or evangelist, or just a Mac professional, you’re going to be fielding questions about windows 7 and how the two compare. I’m going to be buying a copy as a pet for parallels, and educate myself so that I can answer my clients’ questions professionally.

    I guess the answer to your question is “yes”. Your topic of conversation is poignant and a good observation.

  8. Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, it’s all still Windows, yawn, and the reason I started to use the Mac more and more a couple of years ago.
    Since then I have been running Windows 7 on my 2009 Macmini with 4GB of ram, in Fusion since RC1, and it runs fine. However it uses more memory than Windows XP Pro which I run in Fusion on my Macbook Pro. I keep all the data on the Mac side in shared folders, ensuring Timemachine backups. By only using the Bootcamp partition through Fusion, it can be kept small. I only need to run the Windows OS. for the few custom Windows programs I need, when I need it. XP uses fewer resources, although I do not find that it boots any faster than Windows 7 in Fusion. All in all Fusion or Parallels allows you to run the Windows version of your choice, when you need it, if you need it and ignore it the rest of the time.

  9. I bought $30 student version of Windows 7 yesterday ( I was running the RC 7 on my 13″ MBP through Fusion from an external HD, and screwed up and unplugged the extHD without ejecting it… i.e. really screwing up Fusion. I need Windows for some programs I have to run for my research (science graduate student), so I’ve been up the creek. Unfortunately, the method I used to buy 7 (the student cheapy) has you dl an downloader first (a .exe) to actually download the 7 installer. Had to wait till this morning to run the downloader on a work computer, save the installer to a USB drive. If it works the same way for all purchases of 7, looks like MS wants to make it hard for Mac owners new to Windows to get it without buying a disk.

    Early adopter, yes. Mainly because there was no way I was ever going to pay for Vista and have been waiting for 7. I agree with your article. All my Vista PC co-graduate students are not upgrading (even for the $30).

    Nearly everyone I knew (self included), upgraded to Snow Leopard nearly immediately when it came out. My question, is it the type of person who owns a Mac, or just the fact that Apple is awesome that so many more people were willing to go to SL? I agree with your assessment of Mac owners (impeccable taste and gadget-lust). In the past 1.5 years, I’ve replaced my white MB with an iMac and a 13″ MBP. Now I want to buy the new iMac that just came out . (FYI, graduate student = low pay… you don’t have to be rich to own a Mac….you just have to understand the value and cost-benefit).

  10. I have been running the release candidate on my MBP in VMware Fusion since Early August. I have to use Windows for work, so it made sense for me because Vista was chewing up all the resources on my mac. I will upgrade soon, but I am not rushing out today. The purchase will get made when the boss approves it.

  11. I got a copy through my school. Haven’t played around with it much. But I had one of the beta versions. I just got it because I need it to play games and stuff. Other than that I don’t anticipate using it much.

  12. MuddyBulldog

    I’ve had similar experience. I only know of a couple of PC users who are actually going to upgrade and in all those cases they were gearheads who one way or another had early access to RTM and have already done so (I’m talking MSDN, not TPB). I don’t know any average citizens who are upgrading and being in the IT field I’m exposed to quite a few.

    On the Mac side, it’s different. I obviously know fewer Mac users than PC users, but most of them either have or are planning to go to 7, whether it be via Boot Camp or Fusion. Now I will say that amongst the PC users, they are a mix of XP and Vista users who may or may not be upgrading whereas on the Mac side, every one that I know is moving to 7 from XP, not Vista.

    I think most outsiders look at the “it just works” advertising of Mac OS X and assumes we’re all stupid and can’t work our gear and need a “simple OS”. I believe there’s a significant percentage of us who are true gearheads and gadget addicts and could wrestle our way through the “eccentricities” of Windows on a day to day basis but choose not to because we realize there is a choice.

  13. Nope. I’m bored with Windows. Every time I have to use it, or program in .NET (after iPhone and Mac development), I get bored and wonder what I’m still doing using it. The faster I can get away from it, the happier I’ll be.