Windows 7, a success!

Windows 7 is one of the most successful products coming from the Redmond, Washington (that’s where Microsoft’s HQ is located). The company had it’s problems with Vista and it was the thorn in its side that they couldn’t shake off.  As an IT guy I get a lot of questions about tech stuff ranging from laptops to servers, cell phones to USB coffee warmers and the whole gamut of gadgetry under the sun. As successful as Windows 7 already is many of my friends and co-workers ask about it.

Let’s tackle some of these questions and I’ll (briefly) explain why.

“Isn’t Windows 7 just an updated version of Vista?”
Yes it is, but it’s more than just an updated version. The core code of Windows 7 is essentially Vista, but with the fat trimmed off it as well as adding valued features such as increased security, better GUI, and  multimedia functionalities. Windows 7 is more efficient and less of a resource hog compared to its predecessor, so upgrading to Windows 7 for some may make it seem like their computer has gotten a speed boost (I’m not talking about raw FPS gaming, but day to day usage). Since the core code of Windows 7 is Vista’s many if not all of the drivers from your existing devices on Vista will work on Windows 7.

“Should I upgrade to Windows 7?”
This question is a bit tricky, but overall the answer is ‘Yes’.  But it’ll depend on the system you currently run. If you recently bought a system that came with Vista check with the manufacturer or vendor to see if your system qualifies for a free upgrade. If you have an old system that is running Windows XP and you’re planning to get a new system within a year or so then you should not upgrade. Don’t waste an OS license on an aging system. All new computers come with Windows 7 now. If you have a fairly new system that is running either XP or Vista and you plan to keep the computer for more than a year then you should consider upgrading.

“Why is Windows 7 a success?”
Okay maybe people don’t ask this exact question, but many of their concerns do stem from its answer. When Vista was released many of the vendors didn’t promptly provide drivers to get people’s devices working. In addition there were 32bit and 64bit versions of Vista which many people didn’t know the difference.  So when the drivers were updated people were downloading the wrong ones which got people frustrated and blamed operating system for its woes. Let’s not let Microsoft off the hook here, the OS did have some problems. Through my experience network functionality was horrible. Network file transfers had issues, Wifi connection setup didn’t work so well, random system slow downs, and a slew of issues that made using Vista more annoying. Granted Microsoft patched the issues throughout the months made it bareable, but OSes or any software releases should never be like that.

With Windows 7 nothing major really changed from what it had with Vista. Microsoft took care of all the annoyances, and the driver issues were a thing of the past. But the most important factor that made Windows 7 a success was that Microsoft released a year-long beta version for everyone to check out. Anyone who was interested was able to download it and try it for free. The first public beta version was already better than Vista and many people were using the beta version as their primary OS. So by the time Windows 7 was released in October of 2009 it was actually already tested out by the public for almost a year.  If the beta version worked great then the official release version was going to be at least the same if not better. Presale for Windows 7 sold like hot cakes and it became the fastest selling OS of all time.

For those people who are still using Windows XP and aren’t willing to upgrade just remember that when XP was released it had its fair share of problems too. In fact I remember most people swore never to upgrade and to stick with their trusty Windows 2000 Professional. Products mature over time and it’s the same with these OSes. But the difference with Windows 7 is that it works right out of the box. The same can’t be said for many of the stuff Microsoft has released in the past.

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