Windows 7 Will Throw Down, But Not Just Yet


The Windows 7 trumpets are blasting with gusto, with Steve Felice, president of the small and medium-sized business (SMB) division of Dell (s dell), claiming that Microsoft’s (s MSFT) new operating system is fueling a surge in demand for PCs, according to Computerworld.  “As soon as Oct. 22 hit, both our consumer business and our SMB business had a very healthy increase in demand,” Felice is quoted as saying. Meanwhile, David Coursey reports that with Vista on the sidelines and a well-reviewed new OS, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer “has a new ‘f’ word” to describe Windows: ‘Fantastic.'”

These comments fall in line with recent lofty predictions from Dell founder Michael Dell about Windows 7 driving the PC market forward. But is that, in fact, true? Moreover, is it not still too early to measure the operating system’s success?

At a Churchill Club event that I attended in Silicon Valley in October, Michael Dell said that many businesses were running Windows XP, which is eight years old, and that Windows 7 would usher in a major upgrade cycle. The fact that Dell just missed profit estimates amidst declining market share has nothing to do with Windows 7, of course, but there are some signs that a truly major upgrade cycle toward the OS hasn’t yet happened.

While research shows that Vista users are upgrading to Windows 7, keep in mind that Vista has only 30 percent market share after several years in the wild. Windows 7 is not replacing the huge installed base of Windows XP at anywhere near the rate that it’s replacing Vista.

The Wall Street Journal estimates that some 30-40 million copies of Windows 7 have sold since its October release, and most estimates put the operating system’s market share at about 4 percent. These numbers are nothing to shake a stick at (GigaOm Pro, subscription req’d), and I agree with Michael Dell that Windows 7 will spark a major upgrade cycle — eventually.

In the meantime, however, we are in a period of relative limbo in the PC buying cycle. Holiday shopping hasn’t taken off yet, and, for safety reasons, businesses tend to wait and watch whenever a brand-new version of Windows is released before implementing widespread adoption.  Hardware incompatibilities, driver issues and many more things get resolved in an operating system’s first months, prompting many businesses to sit on the sidelines.

Historically, January has a much higher PC-buying profile than October and November do, and by that point holiday shopping numbers for Windows 7 will have started to roll in. Indeed, it will take a few months before we have truly accurate numbers for Windows 7 adoption, but I don’t doubt that it will eventually spark an upgrade cycle that — love or hate Microsoft — will benefit the tech industry.


Boycott Microsoft

What’s worse purchasing Windows 7 Starter “Cripple” Edition or experiencing buggy Windows 7,000 hidden flaws which Microsoft conceals as often as possible?

-> 32bit Only (Must use slower PC)
-> 1 CPU Supported Only (Must use crappy PC)
-> Cannot Create a Home Group (Don’t Share)
-> Cannot Backup to Network (No network back)
-> No Multiple Monitor Support
-> No Fast user switching
-> No Changeable Desktop Wallpaper
-> No Desktop Window Manager
-> No Windows Mobility Center
-> No Windows Aero Glass Themes
-> No Aero glass remoting
-> No Multitouch
-> No Premium Games Included
-> No Windows Media Center
-> No Windows Media Player Remote Media Experience
-> No Encrypting File System
-> No Location Aware Printing
-> No Remote Desktop Host
-> No Presentation Mode
-> No Windows Server domain joining
-> No Windows XP Mode
-> No AppLocker
-> No BitLocker Drive Encryption
-> No BranchCache Distributed Cache
-> No Direct Access
-> No Subsystem for Unix-based Applications
-> No Multilingual User Interface Pack
-> No Virtual Hard Disk Booting

Microsoft builds in all these restrictions, then plans to charge you big money to remove them. Is this the type of “Features” you want to purchase?

old dogs can learn new tricks

What you are talking about is basically windows xp, and since xp is becoming outdated and will begin to lose support from microsoft and drivers will begin to not support it ur paying for an operating system that’s current and is just a little better than xp but safer…. kindaa sounds like how mac upgrades


7 will completely take over from vista. xp i am not so sure about, it may be around for a really long time. i see xp a bit like win98. i deal in used computers. when i see a machine come in with an Me or a 2000 license tag it is almost a guarantee that the computer has XP on it. however lots of machines with 98 tags still boot their original OS install.

i even have customers coming in looking for used copies of 98 retail as well as XP retail copies. i have never had anyone look for any of the other versions of windows.

my own opinion is that 7 is a much better system than vista but for those who have rejected vista in favor XP even to the extent of a downgrade i just do not see that much difference. many of those user will continue to want XP for its comparative simplicity. i expect a lot of corporate/government users to also stick with xp to best support a mix of new and older hardware and software compatibility.

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