Why IT will adopt Windows 7

In the next few days, I want to take some time to address the coming release of Windows 7. As a person who was named a Windows Vista Master, I want to look at three areas where Windows 7 will make a difference when Windows Vista did not seem to make a dent, so to speak. Starting today, I will discuss the following topics: 1. Why IT will adopt Windows 7 2. Why XP users will switch to Windows 7 3. Why Windows 7 will crush Linux (that’s right -- I said CRUSH) Let me begin with “Why IT will adopt Windows 7.” Anyone familiar with enterprise- or SMB-level shops knows one thing is for sure: Productivity far outweighs cool new technology. In an article I wrote on Vista back in March of 2008, I said Vista had two big strikes against it from the start. First, it was secure; and as much as everyone asked for more security, UAC is perhaps the most hated feature of Vista (at least from all the e-mails and conversations I have had over Vista). Second, people hate the unfamiliar, and the new Vista interface was just too much for many users. When XP was first released, I had it on my desktop; in fact I had been running it since beta. The new look and the change in the menus made it impossible for me to roll it out for almost a year. Believe me it was not service packs I was worried about, it was user acceptance. As users started getting XP at home to replace Windows 98 or Windows 2000, they started asking for XP at work. I did not have a very savvy user base, so I needed to take it slowly. Other shops successfully rolled out XP immediately; some waited for the first service pack. In all instances, IT believed that Windows XP would be an improvement, that it would bring benefits to users and make managing the desktop easier. Not many IT pros felt that way about Windows Vista: In fact, most felt it would be a nightmare to implement. It started with driver issues -- we had that with XP (how soon people forget); the software-compatibility issue arose next; substandard hardware that was labeled Vista capable was next; and it ended with a huge footprint once the OS was installed. Installing Vista meant changing things that are working just fine. I understand that sentiment. One of the best reviews I ever received as IT director was in a year that my staff and I made no changes. We rolled out nothing new: no new OS, no new Office software, no new applications, servers, databases, e-mail or backup systems. All we did was kept the shop-running status quo; I never received such praise -- ever. So, why throw a monkey wrench into things? Well, there are a few reasons to do so with Windows 7. To begin with, Windows XP is now an 8-year-old operating system that will not see any more service packs. People are starting to get used to the changes in the user interface (which is being carried over into Windows 7). Driver issues will not be an issue in the Windows 7 release. Installations are quick and painless with Windows 7, and the OS has a smaller footprint than Windows Vista. As an added bonus, Windows 7 can run fine on legacy equipment. I read one review that said they used a Pentium 4 processor with 512MB of RAM, and Windows 7 still ran quickly. In this economy, it is important to some IT pros to keep that old equipment until it stops running. Not what we would ever preach as ideal, but reality is far, far different from idealism. User acceptance, smaller footprint, less resource hungry, and security that is easier to control (the new UAC slide controller is a great addition): These make this a worthy upgrade for IT -- and not to be forgotten is that many shops are coming up on their replacement cycles, once again proving that business moves IT as much as IT moves business! Windows 7 will get the attention that Vista did not; tomorrow's post will show how the home consumer will help the transition from XP to Windows 7: I examine “Why XP users will switch to Windows 7.”

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