Best Argument: Yes
Audience Favored: No (74%)
Let’s start the debate by defining our terms
Ed Bott: A "Windows 7 PC" is a desktop or portable PC that was designed specifically for use with Windows 7. That means a hardware generation that was largely defined during the Windows Vista era, from 2006 through 2009. Crucially, those PCs lack support for key features that are essential to a modern device in 2014:
- UEFI and Secure Boot. If you want to steer clear of rootkits, these are essential.
- Pervasive encryption. Modern PCs have the built-in capability to do strong encryption.
- Touch support. Touch is an essential aspect of a modern UI. Someday soon, a device without touch will just seem odd.
- Great power management. Essential on mobile devices, but also important for keeping costs down in desktop-centric enterprise deployments.
If you’re buying PCs that fulfill those criteria, go ahead and downgrade them to Windows 7 temporarily while you plan your migration to a more modern environment. But if you assume that the OS is the only piece of the puzzle that matters, you’re making a big mistake.
Don’t settle for outdated technology because it’s superficially familiar. That’s a dead end.
Prudent to wait and see
Matt Baxter-Reynolds: For me, this debate is whether to jump to Windows 8 at this point in time or not. Windows 7 is obviously a modern and capable operating system that will run all of the enterprise software that you need to run.
Windows 7 is the staple desktop environment for enterprises. It's been out for years, is well-honed, and well-trusted. Hardly anyone was on, or is still on, Windows Vista. If you're on XP, you have some real problems. Most enterprises are already on Windows 7.
Windows 8 is not well loved. And it's unfair that it's not. Windows 8 is a good operating system. In important ways it builds on Windows 7 and provides solid improvements. Windows 8 just takes some getting used to. But right now, at this moment, Microsoft's whole Windows vision is in a state of flux.
Microsoft -- perhaps the most customer-led and customer-response business in the IT industry -- is listening to customers and changing things in Windows 9.
For me, it would be prudent to wait and see what that brings before jumping off of (or over) Windows 7.