First reactions to Windows 7

First reactions to Windows 7

Summary: Having my hands on the beta 1 of Windows 7 over the holidays has been an interesting experience because it's allowed me to show the OS to people and get feedback from a broad range of users as to how they feel about Microsoft's upcoming operating system.

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Having my hands on the beta 1 of Windows 7 over the holidays has been an interesting experience because it's allowed me to show the OS to people and get feedback from a broad range of users as to how they feel about Microsoft's upcoming operating system.

First off, let me point out that these reactions aren't based on some sort of half-assed Mojave Experiment that I carried out. Feedback is based on people having a play with the OS and then being asked what they thought.

Overall, reactions from all OS camps (Windows users, Mac users and Linux users) was fairly positive. In a world where the majority of computer users are happy if they can access the web, check email, sort through a few photos and play games, this isn't all that surprising.

There was, of course, some negative feedback. A few points of concern included:

  • The startup screens being too black, giving the impression that something had gone wrong.
  • Taskbar too big/clunky/confusing/just too new.
  • No classic Start Menu.
  • Too many things moved compared to XP/Vista.

What I found interesting was the responses I got to the question of shifting to Windows 7 once it was out. I haven't yet found a Mac or Linux user who feels tempted back to Windows based on what they've seen in Windows 7. Those Mac and Linux users who still make use of Windows in a limited way (for gaming or running specific applications) see themselves sticking with XP or Vista as their secondary OS until they either can break ties with Windows completely or until forced to switch. Late adopters of Vista (those who migrated to the OS in the last year or so) feel that it's too early to start thinking about the upheaval of a new OS. Early adopters of Vista and some of those still using XP felt that the time was right to start thinking about a new OS. Some XP users are still very entrenched and have no plans to leave the aging OS.

When it came to thinking about upgrading, those who said they might had the usual reservations:

  • Need a clear idea of the benefits compared to current OS
  • Compatibility with existing hardware and software
  • Overall learning curve
  • Price
  • General worries about the economy

My take here is that Windows 7 is going to be a tough sell for Microsoft. In a climate where people are concerned about spending money people are going to be extra reluctant to spend money on an OS that might end up costing them a ton of cash in software and hardware upgrades. Maintaining a high level of compatibility with Vista hardware and software (and encouraging vendors to fix issues quickly) is going to be a must. Microsoft also needs to make 100% clear the benefits that Windows 7 offers, and these have to be far more tangible than rejazzed interface and some restructuring of components. For me the increased performance that Windows 7 seems to offer is good enough reason to upgrade, but I don't think this will be such a slam-dunk when it comes to the average home user or typical business user. 

Given that Vista only has a market share of about 21%, compared to XP's market share of about 65%, it's XP users that Microsoft needs to be targeting for upgrade. And that's a problem, because folks who avoided Vista because of compatibility issues and stayed with XP are going to be faced with similar issues when upgrading to Windows 7. This is one reason why Microsoft needs to release Windows 7 earlier rather than later in order to be able to capitalize on the mid-year "back to school" notebook buying frenzy - this market is less concerned about backward compatibility.

Thoughts?

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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205 comments
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  • Wow, Vista has 1/5 of the Market?

    Not bad for such an unqualified failure that Vista is
    supposed to be. I'd imagine militant iBoi's and FOSS
    Bolsheviks could only dream of that kind of market
    share.

    As far Win7, I don't expect the echo chamber of FUD
    that Vista generated in the blogflatusphere to carry
    over. That takes care of the consumer angle.
    Enterprises now won't have a reason and much of the
    FUD that lasted past SP1 about Vista was generated
    from companies not upgrading.

    The fact is it's hard for MS to lose in any scenario
    except "MindShare" wise. They mint $$ with every
    release.

    Snow Kitty and Linux will remain novelty/niche
    products respectively on the desktop for the
    foreseeable future.
    Gnutella
    • RE: Mom,Vista has 1/5 of the Market?

      <font color=grey><em>"Not bad for such a unqualified failure that Vista is supposed to be."</em></font><br>
      <br>
      And <strong>sold on 100% of PCs</strong>. Any product that gets a <s>80%</s> down grade to it's predecessor is an epic failure.<br>
      <br>
      ^o^<br>
      <br>
      n0neXn0ne
      • Let's guess where you pulled that "Stat" out off....

        ***
        Gnutella
        • Pretty much. (nt)

          .
          ye
        • RE: ... where you pulled that "Stat" out off.... OEMs

          <strong><a href="http://www.dailybits.com/vista-owners-mass-downgrading-to-windows-xp/" target="_blank">"Vista Owners Mass Downgrading to Windows XP"</a></strong><br>
          <br>

          "In a survey of more than 3,000 computers, performance testing software developer Devil Mountain Software estimated that more than <strong>one in three new machines had either been downgraded by vendors such as Dell, or by customers once they bought the PC</strong>."<br>
          <br>
          "<strong>One third is a really big number</strong>, especially if you consider that downgrading an operating system is not a trivial task, and most users would think twice before going through that."<br>
          <br>
          You think everyone is fact-less like 'ye'?<br>
          <br>
          ^o^<br>
          <br>
          n0neXn0ne
          • Wha?

            You do realise that one third is 33% and not 80%, right?
            RodrigoKenobi
          • And your point? to steal one from ye ... ;)

            If 33% make you feel better, take win. :D
            n0neXn0ne
          • You said 80% and provided "proof" of 33% thus...

            ...you pulled that 80% from your keester. Thus Gnutellas comment was dead on as was my support of it.
            ye
          • You're clueless....

            Yes 33% WOULD make me feel better if I were a Microsoft fanboy. It's a LOT better than 80%. It's the difference between a reasonable if high number to one that is obviously inflated, or taken out of your ass, if you prefer.

            It's just a matter of right is right. I would feel bad to use a fake number just to support my opinion. If you're OK with that...
            RodrigoKenobi
          • @RodrigoKenobi, If I'm clueless, what does that makes U? Headless?

            <font color=grey><em>"It's the difference between a reasonable if high number to one that is obviously <strong>inflated</strong>, or taken out of 'M$'s' ass, if you prefer" theirs.</em></font><br>
            <br>
            <strong><a href="http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net/print.php?news.322" target="_blank">"Vista Sales Numbers Are Inflated"</a></strong><br>
            <br>

            <font color=grey>"Microsoft counts a sale for Vista, even though the computer manufacturer has really sold XP."</font><br>
            <br>
            <font color=grey><em>"It's just a matter of right is right. I would feel bad to use a fake number just to support my opinion. If you're OK with that..."</em></font><br>
            <br>
            As you can see if you choose to, <strong>the source of the numbers are FAKE!</strong><br>
            <font color=grey><em>"...If you're OK with that..." </em></font>I'm sure you are.<br>
            <br>
            <br>
            ^o^<br>
            <br>
            n0neXn0ne
          • Wha??????

            Dude, the whole point was YOUR quote about 80% of systems being downgraded to XP after the user received the computer with Vista installed... A quote that you can't deny with a straight face that was false. What the hell does inflated sale numbers have to do with that? I'm baffled, seriously.

            Changing the subject completely is not going to win you any arguments. Take note of that for your future conversations, please. Don't waste other people's time like this.
            RodrigoKenobi
          • @RodrigoKenobi, Wha???? is it you don't overstand?

            [i]"What the hell does inflated sale numbers have to do with that?"[/i]

            Simple algebra, if you inflate on one side of the equation, you have to inflate on the other. ;)

            ^o^
            n0neXn0ne
          • I give up, you are hopeless.... n/t

            n/t
            RodrigoKenobi
          • "He who is hopeless is capable of everything"

            "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6qIETRCxbw&feature=related" target="_blank">The situation is hopeless, but not serious.</a>"<br>
            <br>
            FYI: <strong>Name-calling</strong> is a form of ad hominem attack that draws a vague equivalence between a concept and a person, group or idea. By linking the person or idea being attacked to a negative symbol, the propagandist hopes that the audience will reject the person or the idea on the basis of the symbol, instead of looking at the available evidence.<br>
            <br>

            ^o^<br>
            <br>
            n0neXn0ne
          • Oh what lengths people will go to to bash Vista:

            [i]Barth used that data to identify PCs that had [b]probably been shipped within the past six months[/b] ? a period of time when it was highly likely that most new machines came pre-installed with Vista.[/i]

            IOW they're guessing.
            ye
          • Message has been deleted.

            ]:)
            n0neXn0ne
          • What guessing are you referring to? (nt)

            .
            ye
          • You might as well have quoted the Onion

            Read your own quote again.

            "In a survey of more than 3,000 computers"

            Only 3,000? Out of the entire exo.performance network? So it's not a survey of computer users but a hand picked sampling of computers.

            "performance testing software developer Devil Mountain Software"

            The stat comes from a software vendor, not an OEM.

            "[b]estimated[/b] that more than one in three new machines had either been downgraded by vendors such as Dell, or by customers once they bought the PC."

            Key word being estimated, and when you follow the click path back to the original article, this little tidbit falls out.

            [i]The results were garnered by the research firm?s CTO Craig Barth in collaboration with InfoWorld. He based the numbers on Devil Mountain?s Exo.performance.network by collating the vendor and system model number with computer vendors? catalogues.

            Barth used that data to identify PCs that had probably been shipped within the past six months ? a period of time when it was highly likely that most new machines came pre-installed with Vista.[/i]

            Ahh, infoworld, architects of the lame and ultimately failed "save xp" campaign. That explains why the rest of the article is the usual anti-vista fud.

            Then the author and yourself make this mistake:

            "One third is a really big number, especially if you consider that downgrading an operating system is not a trivial task, and most users would think twice before going through that."

            So the systems from Dell shipped with either XP or Vista, but the author assumes that "a really big number" did it themselves instead.

            Can you really call any machine running xp, that shipped with either xp or vista, a downgrade?
            rtk
          • Message has been deleted.

            ^o^
            n0neXn0ne
          • Yes you have. Nice of you to acknowledge your posts as such. (nt)

            .
            ye