Microsoft is betting that Windows 7 will succeed where Windows Vista failed. But there's one group of people who most likely won't like Windows 7 any more than they do Windows Vista --- Windows XP users. Here's why.
One of the biggest complaints that XP users had with Windows Vista was its hardware incompatibilities. Older printers, scanners, network cards, and other peripherals simply didn't work with Vista. Here's the bad news: They won't work in Windows 7, either, because Windows 7 uses the same driver model as Windows Vista. So XP users will be out of luck.
XP users also tend not to be fans of Vista's Windows Aero and other interface enhancements that they dismiss as so much frou-frou. Guess what --- there's even more frou-frou in Windows 7, such as a new taskbar and a nice new feature called Aero Peek. (For more details, see "Review: Windows 7 Beta 1 shows off new task bar, more UI goodies.") Those features won't make XP users happy.
Some XP users I know simply don't like change. They'd like the old Windows Explorer back, or the Run box back, or would have liked to have seen the same desktop icons in Vista that were in XP. Even though Vista lets them customize it so that it had some old XP features, it was still different enough that they weren't happy.
Once again, Windows 7 won't make them any more happy. It's different than XP --- and as far as I'm concerned, better as well.
This story, "Windows 7 Might Be a Tough Sell" was originally published by Computerworld.