Let the countdown begin. We are at less than T-minus 24 hours to the general availability of Windows 7. Whether you are a die-hard Windows XP user, or a Windows Vista user (satisfied or disgruntled), or even a user of a non-Windows operating system, there is reason to look at Windows 7 and give serious consideration to embracing the new operating system.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be headlining the red-carpet Windows 7 launch event in New York on Thursday. Perhaps Microsoft is a little gun-shy after the Vista backlash, but the Windows 7 launch is significantly more modest than the nightclub gala spectacle Microsoft hosted to introduce Windows Vista.
By most accounts though, Microsoft would be much more justified in celebrating the launch of Windows 7. Throughout the beta testing and public preview of the new operating system it has been favorably reviewed and showered with accolades-- the most common being that its not Vista.
Users have some PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome) about new Windows operating systems as well resulting from experience-- either firsthand or anecdotal-- with Windows Vista. Among desktop operating systems, Windows XP still holds a commanding 71.5 percent to Windows Vista's 18.62 percent.
The broad availability of the Windows 7 beta and RC (release candidate) versions have allowed a large number of users to dip their toe into the Windows 7 waters though which should help overcome the trepidation they might feel about rushing out to get the OS tomorrow.
Many users will be making the first operating system upgrade they have made in nearly a decade. The vast majority of them are probably running on hardware that is fine for Windows XP, but lacks the zest to run Windows 7. That is why David Coursey, a PC World peer, recommends that users would be better off to purchase a new system that includes Windows 7 than to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 on their existing hardware. I definitely agree that the experience is much more likely to be favorable with new hardware than trying to fit the round Windows 7 peg into the square Windows XP hardware.
Dell has a lot to gain from a successful Windows 7. Dell has experienced sluggish PC sales and has stubbornly avoided trading profit for volume by embracing the netbook market. That decision has allowed Acer to surpass Dell for PC market share and knocked Dell down to third place. Unlike Acer though, Dell has established relationships large enterprise customers and 2010 could be a very good year if those customers finally drop Windows XP and refresh their technology for Windows 7.
There are a number of very good reasons to forget about the Windows Vista debacle and give Windows 7 a chance. Windows 7 has improved security features, and enhanced networking for both consumers and businesses. Microsoft has resolved the issues-both real and perceived-with Windows Vista and developed an operating system that performs well and provides a great end-user experience.
If you aren't in New York and haven't been invited to the Windows 7 launch event, never fear. Over the coming weeks there will be smaller regional launch events being held as well. Attendees will get an overview of the features and functions, as well as a free copy of Windows 7. Seats are filling up quickly though so check out availability and get registered soon if you plan to attend.
Tony Bradley is an information security and unified communications expert with more than a decade of enterprise IT experience. He tweets as @PCSecurityNews and provides tips, advice and reviews on information security and unified communications technologies on his site at tonybradley.com.