Other Windows 7 ImprovementsBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
From a solution provider's perspective, the beta of the much anticipated replacement for Window Vista is not a dramatic change, but it does make small improvements.
Aside from changes to the look and feel, Windows 7 offers some other enhancements. The operating system seems to be much snappier and a better performer all around, probably due to code enhancements and bloat reduction. Solution providers will appreciate the speed of installation; most systems can go from install disk boot to fully running the operating system in under a half hour. Boot times are also improved, as well as the shutdown process.
Some other obvious changes come from the addition of Internet Explorer 8 and a revamped media player that is a vast improvement over previous versions. Notepad and WordPad have been redesigned to look more like Office applications and now feature the ribbon interface.
All things considered, Windows 7 is very much a step in the right direction so far, and one could argue that it is what Vista should have been.
For the channel, Windows 7's arrival could fuel upgrades (if not hardware replacements) for those businesses that have been sticking with Windows XP or older versions of Windows. On the flip side, the anticipated improvements offered by Windows 7 may make those considering a Vista upgrade think twice, perhaps sabotaging upgrade plans in the works. Solution providers caught in that situation are going to have to convince customers that it will be easier to move to Windows 7 from Vista than from any other operating system. Hopefully, Microsoft will recognize that dilemma and offer free or very low-cost upgrades to those who adopt Vista now and move to Windows 7 upon general availability.
With many expecting Windows 7 to arrive by November 2009 (unofficially, of course), Microsoft will need to act now to empower the channel to build interest and offer an upgrade path that makes sense to customers and solution providers alike.