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Windows Operating Systems Software

83% of Businesses Won't Bother With Windows 7 545

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the count-me-in dept.
Olipro writes "Most enterprises stated they won't bother with Windows 7 for at least a year as they simply continue to distrust that compatibility issues won't occur with their mission-critical software ... The Million Dollar question will be whether the fact that XP upgrades to Windows 7 requires a clean install will prove to be Microsoft's undoing." I suspect that will change before they actually release the OS.
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83% of Businesses Won't Bother With Windows 7

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  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:37AM (#27556367) Homepage
    why upgrade when the current software provides everything you need
    • by mangu (126918) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:47AM (#27556537)

      why upgrade when the current software provides everything you need

      Security? Although software doesn't wear out, one must keep updated against the newest vulnerabilities.

      Perhaps Microsoft should consider adopting a six months interval between updates, like Ubuntu does. That would make for less marketing glitter, since updates would become trivial happenings, but would also make for less traumatic failures.

      KDE 4 was a terrible mistake, but it's no big deal, we don't need Ubuntu 8.10, just keep 8.04 and wait for 9.04, or 9.10, or whatever update will have a usable KDE.

    • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:48AM (#27556551)
      Exactly. Why upgrade to new comments when the current ones provide all the insight you need?
    • by mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1 AT verizon DOT net> on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:48AM (#27556557) Homepage
      Because eventually updates are going to go away. And Hardware is going to break and hardware manufacturers are not going to devote the resources to writing the drivers for the new features on printers or scanners or whatever for XP.
      • by goltzc (1284524) on Monday April 13, 2009 @10:14AM (#27556921)
        Hardware manufacturers will develop drivers for whatever system(s) provide them with the largest potential market. As long as XP has a substantial market share you can bet that hardware manufacturers will develop drivers and support their product under XP.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bordershot (741722)

          Obviously you didn't go through the migration from Windows 98/ME to 2k/XP. I lost multiple printers and a scanner in the process. Once the sale is made, the hardware maker has no reason to revisit and update drivers for old devices, they'd rather you upgrade to their current model--which probably will include drivers for the older OS's.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

        Updates for Win2000 went away ages ago, but there are still a *lot* of companies still using it for infrastructure. Most are on 2003.. even Win2008 is not seeing any significant rollout yet, and we don't expect it to do so for at least another 2-3 years.

        Windows 7? That won't even *start* to enter the test cycles of most companies until next year.

        Hardware manufacturers will make drivers as long as there is demand. They will continue to support XP until there's no significant use of it - so you're good for

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by paganizer (566360)

          I've been doing a lot of testing on Win2k8, listening in dark corners, etc.
          I've heard buzz that they are going to release a Corporate level only workstation version of windows 2008; since Win2k8 actually doesn't suck (how it manages that with the Vista kernel at it's heart is beyond me), it could prove interesting, if true.

    • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:52AM (#27556617)
      TFA states two reasons for why companies "dread" windows 7 (dread is the word TFA uses):

      "The majority of participants do not plan to upgrade to Windows 7 in the next year. Economic factors are contributing to the delay in Windows 7 adoption for almost half of all participants. Software compatibility is the most frequently cited concern with Windows 7," notes the study, which was carried out by Dimensional on behalf of systems management appliance vendor KACE. KACE's KBox appliance is designed to help IT managers more easily deploy Windows, Mac, and Linux software across the enterprise.

      The news for Microsoft doesn't get much better in Windows 7's sophomore season. Less than half of the IT pros surveyed, 42%, said their organizations planned to deploy Windows 7 within 12 to 24 months of release. 24% said they would wait 24 to 36 months, and 17% said they would wait more than 36 months to migrate to Windows 7.

      So basically, yeah, why would they upgrade, especially when their profits aren't that good. What's bizarre here is what happens now? We have a huge entrenched monopoly operating system that nobody really wants to give up, do we just keep buying new computers and put old software on it? Do businesses end up like the aircraft traffic controllers with software 20 years and more out of date just because that's what works?

      For myself, since I'm a dual rabid apple and linux fanboy, I certainly don't mind reading about how MS can't get people to buy their new product, but I don't see how this situation really helps apple or linux either. (I'm actually not an apple fanboy, I just think they make good hardware and software that isn't too annoying to use.) If they're worried about software compatibility migrating to vista, what makes anyone think they'll pick a non-windows OS? More likely they'll just keep putting band-aids on old systems.

      Maybe what Microsoft really needs is an XP emulator, like the classic mode in OS X or rosetta for running PPC software on Intel, or an independent implementation of the XP API, like what's in wine. I haven't haven't heard anything about Microsoft designing such a thing though, has anyone else?

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday April 13, 2009 @10:00AM (#27556733)

      why upgrade when the current software provides everything you need

      1. What you said.
      2. Nobody has the money to upgrade anyway.
      3. Nobody's coming up with anything new to justify throwing everything out.
      4. Netbook phenomenon is finally putting emphasis back on getting more for your dollar rather than writing bloaty code and throwing horsepower at it.
      5. Repeat point 2, nobody has the money to throw out perfectly good hardware just to get a new OS that does pretty much what the previous one did.

      I know predicting the death of Microsoft is good fun and we've been doing it for years. I won't say this is the death knell but this is certainly a bit of a pickle. The plural of anecdote ain't data but a lot of people I know are going Mac out of frustration. Those who haven't are still adamant about keeping XP.

  • by Cormophyte (1318065) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:38AM (#27556381)

    ...MS hasn't often demonstrated an ability to make major functioning software improvements at the last minute. I suppose we'll see, though.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:51AM (#27556599)

      Its not improvements businesses want, its stuff that works with the stuff they've got. Who cares about running a new OS if the old one still works, and the new one would cost you for the new OS but also new hardware, new versions of your existing software (if its available).

      Some businesses moved to Vista and found that MSs plans to drop backwards compatibility (in favour of new .NET everything) meant lots of applications stopped working. I think this is a big reason why they're very cautious this time, and also why XP is the 'top of the pile' as generally it tried to keep that backward compatibility going as much as possible.

      • Some businesses moved to Vista and found that MSs plans to drop backwards compatibility (in favour of new .NET everything) meant lots of applications stopped working. I think this is a big reason why they're very cautious this time, and also why XP is the 'top of the pile' as generally it tried to keep that backward compatibility going as much as possible.

        Allow me to play pundit here for a minute: This is going to turn out to be Microsoft's downfall. People expect their antiquated, crap software to run on Windows no matter how much newer it is. For the most part this has worked out for people because they have been forced into buying new hardware every so often and encouraged to make a break from the old -- on the rare occasion that something won't work (at least mostly work, heh heh) there's usually something new and cheap to free.

        However, Microsoft has finally reached a point where they're stuck making major breaks in compatibility or being left very, very far behind. And since Microsoft has always been the compatible operating system, that's expectation number one. Everyone out there pretty much expects their old Windows software to run on new versions; Try running some old 16 bit stuff on Windows XP sometime, odds are it will work fine. Now try running some ~Windows 95 software on Vista. Fun times! While Microsoft has improved compatibility significantly with Vista SP1 it's hard to believe that they aren't taking a fundamentally wrong approach somehow.

        If Microsoft has to break compatibility then it opens the door for competitors. I don't think too many businesses are seriously considering moving to an all-Macintosh environment any time soon, but there certainly has been some of that in the SMB space. More seriously, it opens the door for Linux on the corporate desktop, which is definitely the first step towards dominance of the home desktop. It worked for DOS, and it worked for Windows...

  • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:38AM (#27556391) Homepage Journal

    Mainstream support for XP ended last week. It's dead, Jim.

    2003 to 2009 is longer than any version of Ubuntu is supported. It's had a nice life. Shoot it in the head, and move on :-)

    • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:40AM (#27556421)
      Shoot it in the head, and move on :-)

      I just did exactly that. Now, does anyone know of a good deal on a new monitor?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jav1231 (539129)
      But in the enterprise support will continue. We have almost no Vista, though we do have a corp image for it. We still have 2000 running on servers. Windows 7 full-scale adoption will be as fast or slow as every other version.
    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:49AM (#27556573)
      The difference is, the newer versions of Ubuntu, dare I say it, actually work. If I don't like Ubuntu or it doesn't work, I can just as easily move to Debian, Red Hat, openSUSE, or any other distro with minimal loss because all the applications are still there and everything is standardized, not to mention its free. With Windows if I wanted to jump ship, I would either have to learn a new OS (Mac, Linux, etc), or stay with Windows, buy overpriced hardware and still spend money retraining people and pay for the software too.

      When I upgrade Ubuntu, its painless, just about everything works the same, same data, same everything just newer versions of some software which generally work the same as the prior versions. Everything is still reasonably fast (though it might be a tad slower), on the other hand, performance is almost non existent on Vista and you will notice a drop in speed and a loss of money in your wallet.
      • by sjames (1099) on Monday April 13, 2009 @10:51AM (#27557521) Homepage

        And the other side of the coin. In some very specific applications, there are Linux systems based on the 2.0.x kernel still running and doing their job well. In those rare instances where upgrades are out of the question, nobody has to sweat bullets wondering if the vendor will declare them dead. Affordable support will exist for as long as they want because they have the source code.

        The source for kernel version 1.0 is still on kernel.org for anyone interested. With a bit of net archeology, install media from the '90s can be dug up and used to install a new legacy system and nobody will scream about license violations or anything.

        It's really amusing for several reasons and on many levels watching corporations begging MS (like the lapdogs they are) to not EOL XP.

    • by dotancohen (1015143) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:57AM (#27556703) Homepage

      Shoot it in the head, and move on :-)

      That's how I've always dealt with XP machines in zombie networks. [what-is-what.com]

  • Dubious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Norsefire (1494323) * on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:39AM (#27556397) Journal
    First it's 84% of IT pros [zdnet.com] and now it's 83% of businesses? Might have something to do with these surveys being carried out on a submission basis, where the only people who respond are a minority that are either passionate "must-have-the-latest-version" fanatics or passionate "anything-other-than-XP-sucks" fanatics. The apathetic majority isn't taken into account.
    • Re:Dubious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday April 13, 2009 @10:23AM (#27557065) Homepage Journal

      First it's 84% of IT pros [zdnet.com] and now it's 83% of businesses? Might have something to do with these surveys being carried out on a submission basis, where the only people who respond are a minority that are either passionate "must-have-the-latest-version" fanatics or passionate "anything-other-than-XP-sucks" fanatics. The apathetic majority isn't taken into account.

      Yup, this is why I prefer to base myself on real market statistics. People often don't know what they'll do until its time to buy.

      My reasons for not wanting to move to Windows 7 is pretty much the same reason for not moving to Vista:
        - Windows 7 feels like a Vista 2
        - Windows XP works well enough
        - I get the feeling that real people weren't taken into account with some of the UI changes
        - I don't see the "must have" features (maybe someone can convince me otherwise?)
        - I don't want to reward a company that needs 6 versions of the same release

      I am probably expecting too much from the OS and maybe I'll have a change of heart in six months. I can't say I'm someone who doesn't want the latest and greatest since I tend to keep up to date with whatever the latest version of my Linux Distro or MacOS X, when then there hardware is covered. These latter two probably have their own issues, but apparently I am capable of overlooking them for whatever reason.

  • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:41AM (#27556449)

    Most enterprises stated they won't bother with Windows 7 for at least a year as they simply continue to distrust that compatibility issues won't occur with their mission-critical software...

    First off, whoever edited that sentence needs to get a clue-by-four -- "distrust that issues won't occur" is just terrible English.

    About the content, why would any IT person ever have to resort to "trust" anyone for their software compatibility? You'd almost think they can't grab a VM image of Windows7 and test their software to see if there are compatibility issues.

    If I were a CIT and someone came up to me with this dribble, I would tell them to build a testbed and actually report on compatibility issues, possible savings, and so forth. Windows 7 probably won't be worth the money but deciding that before you actual evaluate it is madness.

  • This is normal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:42AM (#27556453)

    I've been working in software development for 35 years. No company I've ever worked at jumps on new versions of Windows, they all have a policy of waiting at least until SP1 regardless of whether its an improvement or not.
    The only news here is that the figure is that 17% might move straight away. From my own experiences I would have thought nearly all, if not all companies would wait at least a year.

  • Microsoft has announced the infrastructure for its cloud computing service Azure, formerly (and presently) Windows Vapor [today.com].

    "We want to be more responsive to your needs," said Sam Ramji of Microsoft during a Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit panel this week as he wiped rotten tomatoes off his suit.

    "We want all open source innovation to happen on Windows 7. In practice, Windows is too slow, and just putting Linux underneath the same software stack triples performance. So we're running the Windows versions of the software on Linux using Wine. We'll also be funding the Wine on Windows initiative."

    The new Microsoft Amazingly Open And Genuine Public License allows you complete freedom to use, modify and redistribute the software provided that every copy comes with a DVD of Windows Vista Ultimate, you acknowledge that Microsoft's FAT patent protects a remarkable and valuable innovation in computer science and all accompanying documentation is in OOXML. Also, all your data belongs to Microsoft.

    The overwhelming dominance of Microsoft was assured, he said, pointing to their success in paying netbook manufacturers to use Windows XP and paying US retailers not to stock the Linux versions of the computers. "We're also enforcing our patent on right-clicking. And on the number seven."

    Get daily email alerts [slashdot.org] of new News of the News — home delivery via Feedburner [slashdot.org]!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      The new Microsoft Amazingly Open And Genuine Public License allows you complete freedom to use, modify and redistribute the software provided that every copy comes with a DVD of Windows Vista Ultimate, you acknowledge that Microsoft's FAT patent protects a remarkable and valuable innovation in computer science and all accompanying documentation is in OOXML. Also, all your data belongs to Microsoft.

      The overwhelming dominance of Microsoft was assured, he said, pointing to their success in paying netbook manufacturers to use Windows XP and paying US retailers not to stock the Linux versions of the computers. "We're also enforcing our patent on right-clicking. And on the number seven."

      I'm having difficulty telling the difference between satire and the news these days. Doesn't seem too far off here.

  • by eln (21727) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:43AM (#27556475) Homepage

    Isn't this basically the exact same story Slashdot ran before Windows Vista was released? Guess what guys: Businesses tend to be conservative by nature, and aren't going to do a massive upgrade without a good plan. For any reasonably large business, it will take several months to certify all of their internal software with any new OS release, not to mention the actual time it takes to execute the switch. They would be saying the same thing if you asked them when they would be switching from RHEL 5 to RHEL 6.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Isn't this basically the exact same story Slashdot ran before Windows Vista was released?

      IIRC, the previous story only contained lies and damn lies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Isn't this basically the exact same story Slashdot ran before Windows Vista was released?

      Your point being that Vista was a rousing success?

  • The norm? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Samuel (950418) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:44AM (#27556481)

    Most enterprises stated they won't bother with Windows 7 for at least a year

    Well, seriously, how often do business environments run a brand new version of Windows? I don't work in IT, but I'm going to go with almost never. This doesn't sound very special.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:59AM (#27556727) Journal
      Absolute rubbish. All real businesses plan to deploy as-yet-unreleased technology all across their business within the next year. Why, I was talking to a local farmer just the other day, and he plans to replace all of his tractors with electric ones within the next year, and the local factory is planning on replacing all of their equipment with brand new machinery (due to be released fairly soon) some time within the next year.
  • The answer is 'no' (Score:5, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:48AM (#27556545) Homepage Journal

    The Million Dollar question will be whether the fact that XP upgrades to Windows 7 requires a clean install will prove to be Microsoft's undoing.

    The Million Dollar answer is "no". Because when you upgrade a corporate desktop, you don't upgrade in place. You create an image and you reimage your desktops en masse. Anyway, Microsoft will find a way to spur Windows 7 adoption, probably by making Windows XP slower with a required security update again.

  • by tonyreadsnews (1134939) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:48AM (#27556549)
    I don't see anywhere that says upgrading to Windows 7 is going to require a clean install. The only thing that came close was the article last week where Microsoft said they wanted people to clean install the RC instead of trying to upgrade to the RC from the Windows 7 beta .

    Also, don't most people want to do a clean install of a major OS version?
  • No kidding (Score:3, Insightful)

    by night_flyer (453866) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:48AM (#27556553) Homepage

    Most companies don't like spending money just for the sake of spending money, they have XP in the enterprise right now, and it works, and it doesnt require machine upgrades either. there is no compelling reason to make the switch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zoobaby (583075)
      But they will make the switch. Businesses were slow to adopt XP, and even said they wouldn't. Obviously most did. I see Windows 7 having a similar slow adoption rate in businesses, then become a mainstay for 2 MS OS release cycles.
  • by Dripdry (1062282) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:48AM (#27556555) Journal

    Often, that clean install makes for a much faster system after years of cruft building up on a system.

    Although there may be compatibility issues, MS making a clean install mandatory might be one of the most clever marketing tools they've had in a while. Then again, it could backfire.

    Word of mouth from those who migrate and see how fast a clean build of Win7 is vs XP might breathe new life into the Windows brand.

  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:50AM (#27556585) Homepage

    I know I am, I hear it's quite popular with test groups.

  • by clinko (232501) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:51AM (#27556609) Homepage Journal

    Most PEOPLE stated they won't TRY A NEW OPERATING SYSTEM for A year BECAUSE THEY THINK IT won't WORK with their software...

    /Paraphrased...

  • Duh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:52AM (#27556623) Journal

    Not news. Either they just upgraded to Vista, and see no need to move again, or they're still on XP, and have seen no need to move so far.

    No business that's not Windows-centric (producing products for Windows) runs out and upgrades to the new Windows first thing. You wait, you see what the stupid early adopters have to say. You install a couple of desktops, see how the new os behaves in your environment.

    Then, if you like it, you begin a phased roll out. That's the right way to do it. You minimize your problems, and you make fewer bad technology decisions.

    Myself, I'll probably buy 7 for home use, and I think 7 is a much more serious effort than Vista (yea, it's just Vista with some of the annoyances pulled out, and a lot of driver issues fixed, so what?). Eventually I'll need to know it, so might as well get some experience on it.

  • by lseltzer (311306) on Monday April 13, 2009 @10:04AM (#27556807)

    Only idiots and consumers do actual upgrades. Any self-respecting enterprise makes their own images and deploys them, complete with apps.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday April 13, 2009 @10:19AM (#27557015) Homepage

    Failure by Windows 7 to catch on early might also cause headaches for the wider IT market, slowing sales and innovation.

    Windows XP, still in use by the vast majority of businesses, was released in 2001â"meaning that it will be a decade old in two years.

    There is a difference between what is good for the IT market and what is good for business in general. Us IT crowd want to push the latest new thing, for some this means mark up on s/ware, others it is more consultancy. What a business wants is a stable IT system that does what the business needs in a stable way -- boring, not sexy. Once applications are written they stay written; the will be changed when the business requirements change, not because the computer systems change.

    MS is also caught up in the sales/upgrades treadmill - to not do so would badly damage its bottom line. What is in the best interests of MS is not in the best interests of its customers.

    Windows XP, still in use by the vast majority of businesses, was released in 2001â"meaning that it will be a decade old in two years.

    Linux is based on 35+ years old Unix, I regularly use programs that are essentially unchanged since I wrote them for System V Unix 25 years ago. How old a system is is not an issue unless you need to make money by flogging your customers new versions. In this regard Unix/Linux is a better platform for companies than MS Windows systems.

  • Subscription Model (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lymond01 (314120) on Monday April 13, 2009 @10:33AM (#27557245)

    I believe this is why Microsoft wanted to move to a subscription model (and probably still does). If Microsoft can convince a company with 10,000 newish XP machines to upgrade -- that's 10,000 times the cost of an upgrade license. And any machines not upgradeable will be replaced with new machines and OEM licenses. And home users aren't a small market either as most will need to upgrade or buy new systems to support the software....

    With a subscription model, like the one we use at the university, we pay X amount of dollars per year for OS and Office upgrades/installs, whether we buy new systems or not. Mostly it's to upgrade from XP Home to XP Pro. Anyway, if MS could have everyone move to a $30/computer/year model, they'd have a steady stream of cash and wouldn't need to create a new OS.

    Though honestly, XP is ready for a refresh -- I'm not sure Windows 7 has enough useful features (the imaging is one though and UAC is not as annoying in 7) to warrant an upgrade. Perhaps as a platform to enable new features such as touch screens or Minority Report holographic interfaces (I swore that was in Windows 7 RC 4.52).

  • by Quick Reply (688867) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:00AM (#27557651) Journal

    If not even Microsoft can stop the Windows XP monster, what hope does Linux have?

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:12AM (#27557813) Homepage

    The real issue is money. There's no real business case for upgrading business PCs. Really, any machine built in the last ten years has enough CPU power to run most business applications. Even big spreadsheets. At most, a RAM upgrade might be useful. Face it, Windows 7 is a minor improvement over Windows XP. The last major upgrade was from Windows 9x to Windows 2000, a decade ago. Most business apps run just fine on Windows 2000, which still has significant usage in the business community. (You run Windows 2000; it's not a slave to Redmond's remote updates like XP and later. Some businesses like that.)

    We're in a major recession. Business activity is down. Nobody is expanding, adding employees or customers at a high rate. So where's the need for more compute power?

    A real upgrade would be a transition to an all 64-bit world, or IPv6 by default, or an OS with security good enough that "zombies" never happened. But Microsoft isn't delivering anything like that. Windows 7 is a yawner. It doesn't even have many of the features originally promised for Vista, like the relational file system. So why upgrade?

  • by Mr. Picklesworth (931427) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:14AM (#27557843) Homepage

    There is one sensible thing Microsoft can do with this situation: provide a stripped down Windows XP with 7 that runs in a VM for "compatibility mode" stuff. It's not like that would cost them anything.

    Either that or continue to piss off businesses, which happen to be their favourite target audience.

  • by earlymon (1116185) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:58AM (#27558559) Homepage Journal

    There are a lot of threads about corporate users not upgrading until SP1 is out - an agreed good thing.

    However - and please correct me if I'm wrong - I believe that Windows 7 is the name of the great big fix to Vista and that furthermore, the name was changed from Vista to Windows 7 to avoid the bad taste, as "proven" by Mojave.

    Now, if I have my history and nomenclature correct, Win7 is really some flavor of VistaX and if so named would have by-passed the SP1 adoption rule. The catch is that the Vista name was sullied by bad performance (or defects, whatever).

    So, the real problem in my opinion isn't that Win7 is new - it's that it's the waited-for corrected Vista, but because of their own shenanigans, they can't win: the Vista name is poison, a "brand new" Win7.

    FWIW, they could just take a page from Apple's playbook when their time comes: scrap their OS, use some *nix variant as a core - say.... Linux? - and then layer their own GUI on top of it. This was a highly successful strategy resulting in a market-acceptable product for Apple, and I am being NEITHER a fanboy nor catcalling when I suggest surprise that MS is NOT copying this approach yet.

    (Just to save us all some time - I'm well-documented hereabouts as being a supporter and critic of both MS and Apple, so props in advance for not putting me in some narrow category when reading this post or replying to it. A few days ago, I praised MS, today I'm dising them.)

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