Windows optimize

Poll: After a year in the wild are you ready to deploy Windows 7?

The TechRepublic Windows Blog member poll question: After a year in the wild are you ready to deploy Windows 7?

In December 2009, I published a blog post, "Hello Windows 7 and Goodbye Windows XP?" polling TechRepublic members about what they were thinking regarding Microsoft Windows 7 and the potential for migrating from Windows XP. The results from that poll back then indicated that, despite the general acceptance of Windows 7 as a viable operating system, most enterprises were still waiting for a catalyst to drive the upgrade process.

Now, it is one year since the retail release of Windows 7, and I thought it would be a good time to revisit the question. Has the IT universe changed its thinking regarding the deployment of Microsoft's latest operating system? Will the new poll show movement away from XP? What are you planning now?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

121 comments
GDoC
GDoC

The vast majority of our user base is using HW that is 5-7 years old with 512M DRAM. We keep putting replacements into the budget but it seems to disappear.... Who was it that said "Nobody will ever need more than 640K".....? I'd like to have a word with him now that he's retired.

reisen55
reisen55

With Service Pack 3 supported until 2014? Why bother.

gduamroh
gduamroh

compatibility issues with samba 2.0(Linux) may slow us down for a while. why don't they release a patch to resolve that issue once and for all. too much goes into migrating to samba 3.0 plus the additional stuff you have to do in the registry of window 7.

diesellayer
diesellayer

When they said XP support will soon end back then during Vista nightmare, and because of Vista failure, My team learn Ubuntu Distro for development instead of switching to Vista. Now we dont even care how Windows 7 looks or feels like, as we have found the best alternative for XP...

FTAdmin
FTAdmin

Our office desktop systems were old and failing, so we needed to upgrade anyhow. I had reviewed Win7 Pro on my home computer for several months already. Based on the experiences of how much I stress my home system (gaming box, media server, file server), I found that Win7 would be reliable enough for what we do in our office. Our ERP vendor was already supporting Win7 and all other apps are from mainstream vendors that were also on the boat from the get-go. It only made sense to get the new machines with Win7 pre-installed. We do have a great deal of the shop PCs still running XP. This is because we don't find it necessary to spend funds on old machines that do little more than scan bar codes all day.

g-man_863
g-man_863

On my last major consulting project of 50 point-of-sale and office PCs, my proposal to use Windows 7 was initially greeted by the company's CEO as if it were an obscene comment. Based on the (justified) public criticism of Vista, he felt deploying Windows 7 on this upgrade would be digital Armageddon. Due to the increased safety of 7 and Microsoft's end of support for XP approaching, I persisted. Finally, I dropped off a trial PC with both Windows 7 and his software packages installed for a "crash test" - I challenged him and everyone on his staff to take a shot at violating security settings or crashing the PC. In the ten day trial, nobody from novices to an A+ Certified tech was able to make it hiccup. After about 10 minutes of basic instruction, employees currently using XP found 7 more user friendly. This test sealed the deal for Win 7 Pro on all 50 PCs. XP has jumped the shark. Since many clients now hold on to PCs up to 5 years (totally obsolete or dead), it is likely Microsoft's XP support will die sooner than a new PC. In situations where a current client software version doesn't work with any OS newer than XP, it is a red flag the software package is due for an update. If a newer software version is available, it's usually advisable for the client to invest in it based on new features that increase speed and data analysis options. If the software vendor has no plans to support 7, it's a bigger red flag indicating the developer's support for the software (like Microsoft's support for XP) is entering its final hours.

davidjbell
davidjbell

Win 7 still has far too many bugs compared with XP Pro that Microsoft won't admit to, hasn't fixed and that I regularly encounter. How about the extremely serious Library bug where Explorer doesn't update it's view of the filing system. I have even saved files to find them not actually saved later - all part of the same bug?

aksalaymeh
aksalaymeh

I have already deployed Windows 7 in my PC before the official release and I was highly satisfied

MrRich
MrRich

Only as new machines roll out. Going with OEM software. SA is a scam. It will be 3 - 5 years.

vincent
vincent

Ready to deploy Windows 7 ? Yes, if my machine can take it, which is not the case thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT graphics that equips my Vaio VGN. Any idea how to resolve this ?

wlportwashington
wlportwashington

I was happy with XP Professional. It works, it is stable and most if not all the bugs are out of it. It is only on account of some "I am smarter that you" executives demand that we move to Windows 7. Hey according to them "it is the latest and greatest"....sorry the jury is still out on that one in my eyes. And they feel that since they are smarter than anyone else they claim everyone in the industry is running Win7...I'd like to see the proof, you know, put up or shut up. Of course they can't and don't but still insist that they are right and none of them have any I.T. knowledge or background. But I have to answer to them or get fired. XP works, why mess with something new? So far I have seen that many legacy printers that work fine in XP just will not work with Win 7. And to make matters worse, there were no drivers until recently (thanks HP, what took you so long?) and they are the PCL5 and 5e. No PCL6 which our webhosted apps require. Win 7 has IE8 (how many way can you say 'yuk') and that is not compatible with many of our financial sites and hardware. I would love to go toward Linux and save thousands of dollars in license fees, but unfortunitally the apps we have will run only under Borg Technology (Microsoft) and WINE does not support them. What it all means at the end of the day I get my arm twisted to head towards Win 7.

Stovies
Stovies

Not until we see the real ? (British Pound) value reflected. Britain has always been ripped off by the Americans. Microsoft loses a lot of trade here because of it. They also forget that there is as large a population of retire people who could use the student rates to keep them moving to the latest software, software companies lose out through this as well. XP does alright, but I would move to Open Source if the proprietary companies, like CAD issued drivers.

harryolden
harryolden

No reason to change, Microsoft is still sending updates every day so untill Microsoft stops sending updates I do not have a reason to change over to windows 7

systemsgod
systemsgod

We wont ever deploy Windows 7. We have almost completed our transition to linux, and will never look back. Sure, there is a learning curve moving from Windows XP to linux, but no more than one would see when moving from Win XP to Win 7. Regardless, the huge cost savings on licensing and hardware refreshes (linux runs quite well on 3 year old hardware) has saved our company a lot of money, and will continue to save us money every year from here on out. My users dont care if we use a Microsoft product or not - they just want something that works and linux fills the bill.

chedbe
chedbe

We deployed Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit this summer on new hardware (some old hardware as well) and it has been great. We were on Windows XP SP3 32-bit.

dpetsuch
dpetsuch

Be certain your VPN client is compatible with Windows 7. An easy one to overlook.

5th Regimental Combat Team
5th Regimental Combat Team

We never switch operating systems, just because a new one is available. If its not broke, don't try to fix it. If we do, then is slows things down getting used to another system. Learned this way back in the late 79's with MSDOS.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

While I sort of agree there are still way too many specialized applications that simply do not work correctly with anything newer than XP. For instance the Main Medical Program here used by GP's will work up to 2003 R2 and nothing newer according to it's maker and even then it's just been certified for that within the past year or so. You stick that onto a 2008 Server it appears to work but can drop unimportant things like Allegories just what you need a Medical Application to do. But I suppose it's great unless you are the affected patient. :D For places that have no special software other than anything more complex than Windows & Office the M$ Product Cycle is great but for the majority it just plain Sucks. There are way too many expensive applications that are yet to be rewritten for new Windows OS's and they are not going to arrive soon either. Not too many business who can afford to replace their Hardware and Software from M$ at M$'s required time frames and things get worse when any specialized Software Hardware is involved. I still remember a 6 month old network printer that the owners where told to scrap and replace so that they could use Vista by a M$ Rep. Didn't matter that the Printer in question cost 50 K + or that they had to build a special building to house it as there where no Vista Drivers it was obsolete according to M$ and they are still using it now with another 1-2 years on it's life to go. Seems fair to me though replace a 50 K + Printer so you can use a $1,200.00 computer yep makes perfect sense. :^0 The only thing that came about was that that place refused to have anything to do with M$ after that and are using XP and Office 2003 as their newest Software Applications. All new Hardware has to come with those loaded or you get shown the door in no uncertain terms. I actually got a 7 NB in the place for a few days before the owner with real passion asked me to remove it. ;) Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

M$ Admitted to their partners that they where finding 5,000 Serious New Bugs per day. The M$ people where pushing this has great as it showed heavy Duty Testing but I saw it as a major problem if when that close to RTM they where finding so many new problems. As 7 is nothing more than a slight rework of Vista what can you expect they are still working at fixing the bugs that they found with Vista. They can not have started yet on fixing the problems with 7 as there are just too many. The only thing I can say about Vista/7 is that at this stage of it's development it's better than XP was but that isn't saying much either. ;) Col

NKX
NKX

They also send out updates for Windows XP. Apple sends updates for OSX Leopard and Snow Leopard, and all falvours of linux get updates too. Maybe you should go back to Windows 95... I have it on good authority that they don't release updates for that anymore. Maybe even try an Acorn or Amiga... why not go back to DOS? That is a stupid argument, and you know it. You must be trolling. Either that or I am ashamed to be residing in the same state as you! Shame on you.

NKX
NKX

Good for you. I wish you all the best of luck with linux... I have a few servers running the OS, but I hate the thing as a desktop OS. It's cool that all your users seem to be coping with it... ours would freak out! We deployed Windows 7 64-Bit to three year old hardware, and that works fine too. Linux isn't the only system that can do that. OSX Leopard runs better on my PowerBook G4 than the original version of the OS... and thats much older than three years. In our testing, supporint a linux system cost more to maintain/patch/deploy/train, than signing up for an annual subscription (volume agreement) with Microsoft and getting Windows, Office, Exchange, Sharepoint, etc, and all the light-touch deployment systems and coumentation we could eat.

gechurch
gechurch

You're lucky. You have no legacy apps that run on Windows only? I'm amazed. And users who are happy learning a new OS - even better!

carlsf
carlsf

We are happy on XP/VISTA we have had no problems, we made sure that the hardware was powerful enough to carry VISTA (32 and 64bit) we dont buy budget systems and expect them to perform like power systems. We ran and used WIN7 for three months sorry MS it was NOT liked in our enviorment. Main reason all our computers/notebooks use the "CLASSIC" option available in XP and Vista, and MS decided to remove that option altogether. So the choice has been made to stay VISTA, NEW hardware purchased recently has been "UPGRADED" to VISTA 64bit if we cannot purchase what we want from one supplier we will go elsewhere, and our existing/current supplier is only to happy to have our business, and give us what we request.

darren.stewart
darren.stewart

The changes MS made break PPTP dial in on some draytek routers (via testing) client side. One of a very very long list.

wlportwashington
wlportwashington

Amen to that! I just wish some of our execs would realize that.

darren.stewart
darren.stewart

Windows 7 remains garbage. Apart from facing up to the serious speed issues Vista had, the core of it remains Vista based. Its still riddled with problems. Its a huge fat useless OS, it breaks all your tools, it breaks your software, its had some improvement in drivers, but not at the OS level. These have slowly come from 3rd party vendors. You can bang on heaps of breakage. VPN and networking are both garbage, and shot to ribbons. It breaks PPTP dial in for none MS servers, it doesn't work unless a CAT 5 lead is plugged in, the multiple stupid firewall rules, and stupid network sharing confusion for users centre was and remains utterly lame. Explorer is wrecked, working with the 'start' bar and subsequent menu's is a complete pain, and having to re-educate user bases just for the pure waste of time and money is pointless. There is not a single part of 7 that is not scorn worthy, from the garbage imaging tools, to the utterly broken backup software if you have data of any size, to the hopeless driver and app model. I'd praise it on security but can't because sadly what is happening is people are turning off UAC and making themselves admin which takes us almost back to XP level security landscaping. Further, its not 1995 any more, Microsoft may believe in some cookoo 5 year turnover plan for refresh, refresh, refresh, and that might have worked before. Today, throwing equipment away and turnover actually costs (WEEE Directives), and adding masses of systems just to satisfy redmonds cravings is completely broken. The candidates who can move forwards are light in terms of legacy, but in most other cases moving forward is painful across the board, and costly. Microsoft should have left and supported XP as the 32 bit end of the road, and stuck to improving this as a 64 bit way forward. But Vista and 7 are a shambles.

g-man_863
g-man_863

I understand the issues of older hardware and software not working with newer OS's. I have had several systems I had to build with XP (in a strange way, this actually helps my business since it's hard to find off-the-shelf new PCs with XP Pro pre-loaded). Although hardware and software providers go to great lengths in their "warranties" to exclude OS and driver issues, clients and IT professionals as a whole need to start complaining and putting pressure on vendors who don't support Win 7 or Server 2008. If only a few people whine to the vendors' low level support flunkies it's useless. If customers and IT decision makers complain to the President of the company (including noting they are not recommending the product to colleagues or other clients) and post their bad experiences on trade websites (in your case, medical software), there is a chance the vendor will lose sales and be publically shamed to the point they update their product to work with current OS's. Customer reviews on sites such as Amazon and NewEgg greatly influence purchase decisions. My idea just copies this and applies it to much larger investments.

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

"dropping Allegories" sounds like something most religions do on a daily basis. Sorry. :) No offense meant.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

What do you read this to say? [i]No reason to change, Microsoft is still sending updates every day so untill Microsoft stops sending updates I do not have a reason to change over to windows 7 [/i] Maybe I'm stupid but I read it to say that we are using XP and there is currently no valid reason to change as we are still getting updates for XP. So why the response [i]Stupid argument... They also send out updates for Windows XP. Apple sends updates for OSX Leopard and Snow Leopard, and all falvours of linux get updates too. Maybe you should go back to Windows 95... I have it on good authority that they don't release updates for that anymore. Maybe even try an Acorn or Amiga... why not go back to DOS? That is a stupid argument, and you know it. You must be trolling. Either that or I am ashamed to be residing in the same state as you! Shame on you. [/i] I don't see the logic in your post. ;) Col

systemsgod
systemsgod

Really? Using a free product (like linux) costs you more than one that you have to pay for (Microsoft)? Sounds like you have to do some pretty creative accounting to come up with that one...

NKX
NKX

You'd be surprised. We had a heap of legacy applications, and a heap of newer software that was simply packaged into poor installer designs. Other than a few free updates/service-packs here, and a few paid-for upgrades or crossgrades (to alternatives), we were all up and running. Out of some 210 application, we had about a dozen that needed fixes or upgrades, and most of that didn't cost us. in fact, most of the issues were programs hard-coded to root registry locations and wouldn't find the Wow6432Node registry sub-key. That simply required us to replicate the application keys into the 64-Bit key area until a new version is released. As for user's learning new things... there's not that much to learn. If you deploy "Windows XP" using the "Luna" theme and "New Start Panel", your 90% there already. Users found the rest of the changes intuitive and loved the new productivity feaures like aero-peek, aero-shake, aero-dock, etc. Have you used the OS yet? It's amazing how compatible it is, and how easy it is to learn. I liked it so much I bought a license for all of my home computers... which is the first time I've done that ever (normally it gets a new OS when I replace the system).

CheechWizard2010
CheechWizard2010

I deal with a lot of average home type users. When they ask me to configure a new machine for them to buy, if it came with Vista I would always suggest downgrading the OS to XP. If they insisted on Vista, they hated it until I showed them classic mode. Then I was the only one hating it, because I had to support it anyway. Even XP classic is more intuitive and faster than Luna. Nowadays you would be insane to downgrade to Vista from Windows 7 (not an option from the OEMs anymore, and no more disaster recovery CDs anymore either, unless you request them and in some cases PAY for them) even if you could. I like Windows 7 and run it in classic mode. If you are really a tech, you should be able to find that feature. Don't forget about the classic start menu also... it IS there. As far as the new themes go... they are for kids and the "wow" factor. On my personal machines I run XP Pro 64 bit ( in classic), talk about finding drivers! It is without a doubt in my mind the best OS ever to come out of Microsoft and I will continue to use it until it is no longer viable.

NKX
NKX

You use a "classic"... theme, and that's your reason not to update... OMG!!!! LOLz! Serisouly, the days of Windows 2000 are over man. Sure, it took me about 18 months before I could stand the "Windows XP Luna" theme, but that soon became easy - particularly with the Royale/Media-Center/Tablet theme or Zune theme. Considering you've got the hardware to support Vista 64-Bit, and how truly horrible that OS is... I can't believe you're using the "theme" as a deal-breaker for upgrading. You obviously already have the user profiles, group policies and deployment systems for the new OS (being so similar to Vista). It's a no brainer really... embrace the new theme!

n.gurr
n.gurr

I have found Vista secure and stable, far beyond anything I have experienced with Linux or XP. As I said YMMV, I support 3-400ish desktops almost exclusively Dell some in a lab environment. Laptops come from practically every vendor under the sun although with more Dell and Toshs than most. I have just rolled out 9 labs with a new Win 7 image that has 139 pieces of software due to the lack of funds to buy softgrid etc. I have about 3 aged and in some cases replaced software running in a VM. That is in total 3 problems in 142 pieces of software. We have made our image taking backups on Activex which with has been great although we used Ghost for deployment. We have had users on Win 7 since it came out - and no issues at all yet, let alone less than with XP. All good, in fact some problematic machines under XP and Vista have become far more usable under 7. Much of our hardware is old and never designed to run Vista let alone 7 and it all works. I have even personnally had it running on an HP TC1100 tablet, albeit upgraded! YMMV, lighten up things have to change or there would be no more Windows. I bet you hate Linux more! Sorry for the essay.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin

For goodness sake get your self in the real world think before you open your mouth about something that you know little about, and while you are at it take full control of your business and move forward...get well soon.

drew.mcbee
drew.mcbee

I don't have anything nearly as passionate to say about the subject, but - Overall, I completely agree with Darren's summary here. I'm not sure 7 is THAT bad, but it is definitely not really worth the trouble of switching to. There just is not a significant business reason to switch OS's.

ctaylor
ctaylor

Oh come on Darren, tell us what you realy think! Don't hold back now. Chris

marvin.novello
marvin.novello

You're a real "half-empty" kind of guy aren't you. Windows 7 is a massive improvement over Vista. In my experience it is very stable, very user friendy, and has excellent legacy application compatibility. And how come your users are having such a problem using modern windows? What are you running now? DOS 5???

Burg1
Burg1

I also agree that for a new system, and if everything works right, then Win7 is the better choice. Besides being a better more up to date operating system, chances are much higher for driver updates and fixes.

CheechWizard2010
CheechWizard2010

Microsoft is still sending "Important Updates" ie security updates to machines with pirated software and older versions of their software. They are trying. Talking about Stupid... DOS? Are you kidding or just being "out there dude?"

CheechWizard2010
CheechWizard2010

It is sad that you are a total geek and have no loyalty to any OS. Some people like Ford,Chevy,or Mopar. But NOT all of them.

jasondlnd
jasondlnd

I bet the entire production staff was grateful to be able to get back to work :)

NKX
NKX

Except, of course, when you're just the employee and the executives make the decision for you. Optimising the testing, building the environment, and deploying the thing as efficient aspossible was MY job. The actual decision and financial benefit analysis was done by the people that pay the bills - so who am I to refuse? I was only part way through the trial and R&D for W7 when the decision was made for me. I did protest a little and suggested that we needed more testing, but I was told to make it happen or they'll find someone that could. I did see their point in some cases. Our XP environment was pushing the boundaries of its usefulness. It really did feal old, tired, and slow. Users wanted more memory to run CAD/Modelling software, animation software, video editing, photo editing, and virtual machines. Users wanted better indexing, searching, offline files and volume shadow copy. Our 32-Bit Windows XP professional SP3 environment couldn't give it to them. New hardware was coming out with 4GB of RAM (or more) and we can only address 3GB - and questions were asked. Combine that with some stability issues and nasty application compatibility handling, the decision was made for me that we'll be running with Windows 7 64-Bit. I just built the environment like a good little worker. And like I've said elsewhere - our volume licensing meant that we were already paying for Windows 7, and our annual build process had the same requirements as an OS switch. It would have been silly to flog the dead horse in XP and delay the inevitable for 12 months. Iterestingly, the same execs refused Vista on site and took my recommendation to bin it - it was horrible. Obviously they found the benefits in W7 were to be had. After ten months - they haven't regretted their decision, and neither have I.

NKX
NKX

I may have misinterpreted that, you're right. My bad.

terrydunlap79015
terrydunlap79015

jasondlnd, I am with you on this one. I service linux, MS, and Apple as well, they all have there pluses and they all have problems. I just don't understand why everyone pushes the latest MS like it is the best. Everyone pushed Vista when it came out. Yeah, not the best idea. I love cutting edge, but not when I have to put it into my network and then explain why there is not financial benefit, or worse, more problems than it is work. My philosophy, If it aint broke, don't fix it. R&D, sure, look for something better, always, but just because it is the latest, does NOT make it the best.

NKX
NKX

How can you possibly jump on the "oh, he's just a fanboy" argument? What makes me a fanboy? The fact that I work for someone that has a prodominantly Microsoft-based site? Am I a fanboy because I have accpeted this fact and found ways to achieve great results for my employer using the Microsoft-based technologies? Or is it just the fact that I am supporting Windows (which this article was about)? How can you call any IT Professional a "fanboy" for doing their job? I have been building and supporting Linux, Apple, Novell, and Windows for a VERY long time, so I don't know what qualifies you to post this rubbish/attack on TR. What are your credentials? If this article was about the deployment of Ubuntu 10.04 (or RHE, or whatever your favourite flavour is) or OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard, I would be equally opinionated and scathing of people suggesting us all to "hold out for a year" (as this article was originally about). I openly say that I love features from all the main Operating Systems and find that they all have their place. I am a huge fan of competition, innovation, and technology in general - and have been an IT Professional supporting all these systems for over fifteen years. My environment has proved that Windows 7 works large-scale, and that there is no need to wait. You don't know me... so don't dimiss me as a fanboy just because you happen to disagree with me (for whatever reason).

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But they figured out that they don't allow the Tech from the Office into the Production Area of the business. Seems that one trick has cemented me in work forever at this place. Not sure if that's good or bad though. :D Col

carlsf
carlsf

To have seen the CEO and FCO officers faces when they got the bill, and on Monday when the users could not do their jobs.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

It currently reads [i]And, no...I'm not a Mac, Windows, or Linux fanboy...I'm just a computer tech who services, repairs (and uses) all of the above.[/i] And it should read [i]And, no...I'm not a Mac, Windows, or Linux fanboy...I'm just a computer tech who services, repairs (and uses) all of the above. [b]And knows that each has it's place.[/b][/i] :D I still remember a Windows Fanboy who stripped SUSE out of a 6,000 CPU Blade and loaded Windows for a Movie House who was generating CG Stuff with a Special Linux Program. 300 Workers and 6000 CPU's I would have loved to see that Licensing Cost and even better it took me all of 5 minutes to destroy it and return the SUSE installation so that the people working there could continue doing their work. Whoever said that Spare HDDs where a waste of money really had no idea. :^0 Col

jasondlnd
jasondlnd

Windows fanboys will vehemently defend their OS...until the next version proves to them and everyone else that it was utter crap. It is not unlikely to hear a Windows fanboy say any of the following: "Vista is out now, and it's great! XP is utter crap" "7 is out now, and it's the best thing since sliced bread! Vista is utter crap and XP just needs to go away" I never could understand why Windows fanboys do this. They tend to get into heated debates over how great they think their OS is, just because it is the current OS from Microsoft. And, no...I'm not a Mac, Windows, or Linux fanboy...I'm just a computer tech who services, repairs (and uses) all of the above.

diesellayer
diesellayer

I cant produce the right formula for that!.. You will not teach 1+1=2 every year to individuals. Also definitely does not need to buy any software to start the learning process... Training and resource.. You got the biggest library available for your people to learn, the net. You might be looking at black and white console of your servers interface, but to let you know, Linux is not all that. You might need to research more about linux, soon youll discover that there are more free product available for free and more flexible and better than those you mention. cheers. after random reading, I cant resist not to comment to this..

john3347
john3347

It does on my installation. I prefer a desktop shortcut, but pinning to the taskbar works equally well. edit: ...or quick launch bar in Windows XP and Windows 2000.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Classic doesn't give you easy access to "My Computer" or "My Documents". The two most commonly used items.

john3347
john3347

It may not be as much the loss of the more familiar and MUCH more efficient classic theme as it is Microsoft's attitude of "screw you, we dropped it, it's gone, and it is not coming back" that turns many individuals and companies off to Windows 7. The inability to create many shortcuts and customizations that have been available in previous Windows versions is a huge negative. Windows 7 (and Office 2007 and 2010) are simply less efficient than previous versions because of the way everything is hidden beneath numerous steps that previously have been accessible with 1 or 2 steps (whether mouse clicks or keyboard strokes). I seriously doubt either the data or the assessment of the data of anyone who claims that a user can get more work done in a given amount of time with Windows 7 (or Office 2007/2010) than with previous versions. More attention needs to be paid to making an OS run applications and less to making it be an application itself with all the gimmicks and tricks and fluff and puff that has invaded Windows 7.

darren.stewart
darren.stewart

Security is so bad in XP that in theory its a good business reason. The problem I have with this is again, MS left it so broken that in a general sense people do two things 1. CLose and shut off UAC. 2. Make themselves an admin Both take you backwards a good way towards the very flawed and broken security model that most XP boxes ended up in. I'm still meeting devs today in the windows world who make and write apps that *require* admin rights to run and use, and they are worthless people who won;t learn despite being advised. There are no excuses for this in 2010, and I think seeing as 7 has some fundamental issues, we might have all been better off if they had actually enforced the model of UAC and non admin account lock downs. Windows developers who are still making software that requires Admin rights to use (apart from some very very specific cases) - need to be told to amend their ways, or go find a job in some other industry.

NKX
NKX

It's power management systems are better, it has a proper sleep mode which makes it greener, batteries last longer on mobile devices, and wakes up really fast... just as fast as the much-loved Apple computers. This makes our users happier than on XP, and out bean-counters as well. It's deployment process is much more stream-lined with the ImageX tools, free WDS/WAIK tools, SYSPREP is now stable and doesn't break settings. You can offline mount and modify the disk images without recapturing using DISM. And a single image can span multiple systems that step across mass storage requiremnts and hardware abstraction layers. Supporting multiple SOEs, I had to build and maintain twenty-six (26) different images at one point... updated annually at a minimum. Now I support three (3) total. It also deploys twice as fast as XP on the same system thanks to the improved setup processes. Our users, some of which are pretty much computer illiterate, were able to adapt to Windows 7 within a 30-minute training session we had for all our migrated users. Those that didn't have the training had no issues adapting either (after maybe a few support emails and howtos). If you have used the "luna" theme and start menu in XP, you can use the Windows 7 system. if you used the Windows XP task bar and had also seen the Mac "Dock", you'll love working with Windows 7 taskbar. Don't be afraid of change. As for application compatability - we had a couple of IE-specific ActiveX controls on an internal site that needed updating, a few updates from vendors that were needed for compatability (minor updates or service packs), and a couple of paid-for upgrades (to new versions or alternatives) to get the rest of the software working. Some of the applications that were failing were due to us using 64-Bit Windows 7 and the programs were hard-coded to the non-"Wow6432Node" registry locations for application settings/registration. A quick script and reg-hack, and it all worked. Our biggest issue was that a total of three printers and twelve scanners were not W7x64 compatible. We bought new gear, as the gear was several years old anyway. In terms of caompatability and performance, we've generally found more stuff working trouble-free with 7 than when we had it running on XP. No more "memory error at location 0xxxxxxx"... it all just works. It's not as fast as XP, but it is massively more stable and capable. We had way more user compaints with "Office 2007" than we did our Windows 7 roll-out... and I can count the Office 2007 complaints on my hands. As we do an annual (minimum) update of ALL site software (including repackaging), rebuild disk images at least annually for all our systems (and redeploy the systems), and re-test all the applications on the SOE... we already were faced with a build/test process. Instead of flogging a dead horse in XP, we chose to spend the time getting a "Windows 7" deployment working... and haven't looked back. We recieved Windows 7 RTM in early September last year (as we're a Microsoft volume and software assurance customer and din't need to wait until public release). By the beginning of December we had our first deployments happening. In the time between, we tested ALL our applications, profile settings and group policies on the system (updating as required). Designed a test SOE and deployed it to a few dozen testers, received feedback and released an "RC" SOE to select testers, then designed and build the SOEs (including mandatory and default user profiles), built a deployment system, and thoroughly re-tested everything... and the Design/SOE/SysAdmin team to do all of that consists of just me... seriously. So in a few months, any SysAdmin worth their salary can fully evaluate and prepare a new system. And if your company is paying Microsoft anyway (as you do with Volume Licensing and Software Assurance), then it's worse for the bottom line NOT to update. Dead money and all. And it's not like I work for a mega-corporation... I work in the education sector. Yep, we're a School. Those that delay now, only have more pain to come. Those that skipped Vista and have so far not deployed Windows 7 have to learn a LOT of stuff for the next deployment, and that will cost you a bundle.

eguhlin
eguhlin

First of all, you come on a public forum and call someone and idiot because they have a differing opinion than you do...how rich is that? You must be super intelligent! Secondly, I have worked for many "for profit" organizations, all of which did not impede progress because they had a staff that could not figure out how to make an OS work in their infrastructure. How long have you been in this business as a desktop support tech? I have been in this business for over 20 years and have seen many budgets and many infrastructures. In all of my years, there was never a time that I blamed an OS for MY problems. Since moving out of the desktop arena, many years ago, I still have not blamed an OS or an infrastructure for anything. Failure is not an option. You should take a look in the mirror before you start calling others idiots. It sounds like you do not enjoy your job very much, genius!

darren.stewart
darren.stewart

This has nothing to do with advances in technology. If you think I'm against foward steps, you're an idiot. A broken OS, with multiple failures, that breaks existing infrastucture, devices, and forces spending purely for no valid reason might be valid for you. I'm frankly amazed that you work for a not for profit outfit and have your views. Maybe you should work in a 'for profit' organisation, you might get a wake up call on your logic.

eguhlin
eguhlin

I do not work for the Federal Government, I work for a non-profit, so overstaffed is absolutely out of the question. You are twisting what I said. I support over 4500 people and even more machines than that. And if you bank on end users messing things up to keep you in a job, then obviously, you are not doing a very good job of educating your users. The computer industry is not what it used to be. Now, babys are coming from the womb with an iPhone in one hand and a mouse in the other. The baby boomers that require all of the help as well as "mess things up," will eventually be gone. Users WILL eventually be as smart as you when it comes to technology. I would certainly hope you see that. Emerging technology and staying on the bleeding edge of it definitely plays a part of job security.

justagallopin
justagallopin

Spoken like an employee of the Federal Government. Do your job to the point that you create more work, not to the best of your abilities or for the good of the employer. End users will always find a way to mess things up enough to sufficiently keep you in a job. If what you say is possible then you are currently over staffed.

slam5
slam5

Short term pain for long term gain. Anytime you switching over to a new OS bring pain. Once you see win 7's benefits, you and your staff will appreciate it. You only had use/support it for one week, give it some time.

t.rohner
t.rohner

But it doesn't make Vista/7 any better... I'm fighting myself with hands and feet against W7. Mainly because it has to work with so many different products/drivers in my environment. They should have had enough time to fix it, since Vista came out.(It's not just MS of course, but suppliers on tight budget won't write Vista/w7 drivers for products, they don't sell anymore) I also question the usability of the new interface. Lots of it is very counterintuitive for me. Since i don't use Office in it's full depht, i switched to Openoffice to write a occasional letter. At home, i did that long ago...

eguhlin
eguhlin

Darren, I think you are forgetting one thing...this advance in technology is what keeps you in a job. Sooner or later, your users are going to understand how to make everything work on their own. If the technology does not continue to move, you are out of a job. I have never seen so much hate for something that is obviously beneficial. Take all of the budgets and training out of it. That is not for you to worry about. You should be thankful for new technology that others do not quite understand.

terrydunlap79015
terrydunlap79015

"Windows 7 is a massive improvement over Vista. In my experience it is very stable," That doesn't take much to be an improvement. As far as stable, I have had my new windows 7 crash twice trying to do windows updates. Did I mention it is only a week old. Give me back my XP any day. Our stuff works on XP and there is no need to update. Updating to 7 provides no benefit in our network, and in fact causes frustration having to retrain all of our workers for a new OS when the see no benefit. Lose/Lose for us.

MrRich
MrRich

Good that both of you are in the UK, was just hoping that it wasn't a general feeling over there...

darren.stewart
darren.stewart

A massive improvement over the worst OS MS ever released? You're a kind of set the bar low guy, Arn't you Marvin? I agree, it is stable. But this is an NT kernel developed system - What argument can you make about stability? Should we not expect stable given its development time? You say it like its a 'plus' point. Its not, its a minimum specificiation for a release in 2010. Its more user friendly to new users, This I believe is a correct statement. The problem is that its a re-training time and cost cycle for existing users, and users who know XP best hate 7 the most. Legacy applications, please, there is no need to lie. Its not changed from Vista, in the main, if your app did not work on Vista, it won't work on 7. Further, it still has fundamental breakages with drivers, scanners and printers. Yes, again, I'm citing its 2010. Printing is a serious cost, and people often have to invest in contractual obligations covering years. With printing costing some organisations upto 10% of their entire turnover, breaking the printing and driver subsystem is simply not on. Finally, its only the tip of the ice berg, as I said, it breaks a great deal, it breaks 3rd party PPTP dial servers, the program and start bar are a wreck, the control panel is complete garbage, network interfaces actually shut off when not connected (you'd be surprised how often people actually use these in various gueses in the windows world). The network and sharing centre and VPN is the biggest pile of garbage to eminate out of Redmond in a very long time. One of the all time jokes of 7 is do more in less clicks. Well, firstly, its true, but only if you've actually had training, because the clicks are placed in the most stupid and none intutive places, poor design, and often ill thought out. Further, many previous controls were better. Now for some dumb reason many are nested deep in multiple stupid menus, and the network sharing menu is but one troubling example. Lastly someone stated its power handling is better than XP. The serious problem I have with this is its a garbage statement. It may be better, but it has a far heavier weight requirement in power terms. DX11 and Aero is not free. It has a system a power cost that should have been questioned from the earliest moments of its design. Further, the design was uttrly broken when at the tail end of Vista they allowed garbage Intel GFX in 'vista' ready programs. 7 is not a lightweight system, it requires new hardware, or it will use more energy on older systems. So the power 'scheme' is required and needed. Yes, people will cite that computers always require upgrades. However, again - its 2010, and a deep recession. One of the things they did fix in 7 was the utterly broken Vista 2D gfx function. Some have cited other areas. Imaging, licensing, and prep. This is site dependant. On many small sites, they had set and solid licensing in place, Sysprep and Ghost or similar tools, and things in place. By breaking almost all previous tools, don't assume everyone will look kindly on this. And the licensing of new MS software is made_as_practically difficult and awkward as possible. Yes, I could expent additional time and money on WAIK and training, and learning ImageX. Perhaps rather than this, MS need to understand we are in 2010. The days of churn just for MS to make more money, and for everyone else to bear the brunt, time, and cost, and hand over a large and growing sum for the pleasure, well, what can I say. And yes, I spent some time in discussion with Sinofsky, and it became plain that MS could not give a damn. For large companies who are willing to replace large numbers of printers, scanners, and computers, and who happily pay all the licensing costs and re-training for end users and techs, of which there are still many, this all may be fine. But some of the problems herein are part of why 7 is both hated, despised, and has made less than expected progress than some had expected.