Windows operating systems are a little like Star Trek movies: Every second one has problems significant enough to displease the target audience.
Windows XP was one of the good ones. It was stable, worked well, and the interface was friendlier than any of its predecessors. Released in 2001, it has been the PC standard for almost a decade.
When Windows Vista started coming pre-installed on PCs, consumers (especially business consumers) created such a backlash that Microsoft let system builders provide XP as an option for much longer than they planned.
Vista’s major problem is that it’s a resource hog. It requires a lot more memory and processing power than XP, but PC manufacturers initially shipped it on computers that were woefully underpowered. The other issue (that was a lot less prevalent than the hype made it out to be) was that some older applications would not run on Vista.
Microsoft seems to have solved both these problems with Windows 7.
The look and feel of Windows 7 is similar to Vista, but the hardware requirements are more in line with Windows XP. Look and feel, though, isn’t why you buy a business operating system. So, what can businesses expect from Windows 7?
I’ve been running the Windows 7 Release Candidate for a few days on my laptop. For those who care, it’s a three-year-old Dell Inspiron 6400 with an Intel Core Duo processor and 512 MB of RAM. Windows 7 ran surprisingly well with that configuration, but I did upgrade to 2 GB of RAM just to make things go a little more smoothly.
What I’ve found is that it’s fast, it’s stable, and it runs all my programs. To top it off, I really like the new user interface—and not just because it looks slick, but because the design offers some great productivity enhancements. As I continue to use Windows 7 in a variety of scenarios, I’ll present applicable findings in this blog.
Windows 7 should start shipping with new PCs in October. While businesses shouldn’t run out and upgrade all their computers to Windows 7, they certainly shouldn’t fear it, as they did Vista.