Why XP users will switch to Windows 7

In this second part of my Windows 7 series I will address why XP users who fought so hard to protect Windows XP will finally let it go and move to Windows 7. As I had said yesterday, the resistance to move to Vista came from two very prominent components: the enhanced security (or security that actually works as some people have expressed) and the new user interface. These were the surface reasons -- the ones everyone could put their fingers on -- but another underlying reason existed as well. Anyone who can remember the release of Windows 2000 or XP remembers that for quite some time after the software released, if you were shopping around for a new PC online or at an electronics store you could choose to have the new OS or the old one. In many cases you could order the same model with any OS you chose. Even when we began to order XP in my shop we had a few PCs for older partners that we chose to have Windows 2000 installed instead, same PC model, same specs, just a more familiar OS for the user. In the case of Windows Vista Microsoft took a different tact, OEMS and Electronics stores were made to push Vista and soon after its release getting a PC with Windows XP was nearly impossible. That is until Info World launched the “Save Windows XP campaign”, which caused retailers and Microsoft to offer a downgrade option to Windows XP when purchasing a new PC or laptop. Another infamous event was the “Windows Capable” system, many of these supposed Vista capable systems did not have the power, speed or RAM to run Vista. This was a new event for many consumers, since many past Windows upgrades had difficulties in upgrading but never an issue with hardware. Of course, as more was written on the subject, the large footprint, driver issues and compatibility became reasons for non-adoption of Vista. So what makes Windows 7 different? To begin with, it has been over two years since Vista was first released. Microsoft’s Mojave campaign (which I still strongly disagree with) and subsequent commercials were effective in showing a person there really is nothing to fear. Fear of the unknown has probably been the biggest issue in leaving Windows XP. Windows 7 will look and feel like Vista, nothing new to get used to there. Easier management of security, and as I said yesterday that smaller footprint, fast install and the ability to run well on minimal resources, is going to go a long way with consumers. Vista's own weakness is going to help people to adopt Windows 7 as well. Windows XP users have now been using the same operating system for over eight years. They are craving something new, funny to say when we just said people hate change, well people are funny they hate change and crave it at the same time. Timing for the Windows 7 release (slated for late 2009) is perfect for consumers. In short, the right time, right place situation combined with some more user-friendly changes makes Windows 7 a surefire winner with Windows XP loyalists. I loved XP but it is time to say goodbye, Windows 7 will usher in a worthy but way overdue retirement on Windows XP…so long old friend.

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