Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

110 Issues to Watch For in Implementing Windows 7

1. It’s Not XPThe vast majority of organizations decided to skip Windows Vista. It was a smart move. Microsoft’s last operating system was rife with problems. Several hardware and software products didn’t work with the operating system when it was released. It was subject to security issues. And perhaps worst of all, it failed to deliver a reasonable improvement over XP. But now that Windows 7 is everything that Vista should have been, companies using XP first need to realize that it’s nothing like their favored operating system. There will be growing pains when switching between interfaces. 

2No Title

2. Compatibility Is Always An Issue Windows 7 is arguably the most capable operating system Microsoft has released in years. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with issues. For one, compatibility could still be a problem for some companies. Those that are using outdated hardware or legacy software might not be able to run their those applications on the operating system. Windows XP Mode can be a solution to that, but over time, companies will need to update software and hardware if they plan to keep Windows 7 in place.

3No Title

3. Security Goes A Long WayWindows Vista was a security nightmare for Microsoft. Although it eventually became a secure operating system, when it launched, it failed to adequately protect its users. That’s precisely why so many organizations stuck with Windows XP. Luckily for those organizations, they won’t have to experience those same problems with Windows 7. The operating system is more secure than Vista and arguably more secure than XP. Plus, it’s the operating system that Microsoft will be supporting most heavily for the foreseeable future.

4No Title

4. Encryption Is A Key Consideration Windows 7 adds several new encryption features that Windows XP users would like. For one, users can protect data on a computer by encrypting removable drives with the software’s BitLocker to Go feature. It also includes DirectAccess, which offers users the ability to connect to their corporate VPN over an encrypted network that the operating system sets up. In the corporate world, encryption is a major consideration. Windows 7 caters to that.

5No Title

5. Users Are Largely Uneducated Unfortunately, the average employee has little knowledge of the dangers involved with using an operating system. That should be a key consideration when deciding to deploy Windows 7 in a corporate environment. Windows 7 is more secure than its predecessors. It also gives IT administrators the ability to control more security and encryption settings than before. That won’t keep all the trouble out, but it will somewhat reduce the impact employees will have when they engage in dangerous actions on their corporate computers.

6No Title

6. It’s the Same Old Windows At the same time, it’s important for companies to know that Windows 7 is just like Windows Vista, Windows XP, and just about every operating system dating back to Windows 95. Microsoft’s latest software might have more bells and whistles than before, but it’s still subject to security outbreaks, it still has weird design quirks in some areas, and it will almost undoubtedly cause headaches from time to time. Windows 7 might be better than its predecessors, but when it comes down to it, the operating system is still from Microsoft. And it’s important that everyone remembers that.

7No Title

7. Defaults Aren’t EnoughWindows 7 certainly comes with better security and software than any of the operating systems Microsoft previously released. But that doesn’t mean that it’s enough. Like before, IT staff will need to install better firewalls, several security tools, and more. Unfortunately, Windows 7 doesn’t automatically address all of the potential issues that could arise. That means the battle between malicious hackers and Windows advocates will continue to rage on.

8No Title

8. Windows XP Mode Can Solve Some ProblemsWindows XP Mode is arguably one of the best options available to Windows 7 users. Since productivity will almost certainly slip in the near-term, Windows XP Mode can mitigate some of those losses. Within the operating system, users will be able to run a full version of Windows XP. So, if certain products don’t work with Windows 7, they can be run in the virtual Windows XP. It’s also a nice option for those that want to wean employees on to the new operating system, rather than push them right into it. Windows XP mode could be one of the biggest selling points of Windows 7.

9No Title

9. Productivity Will Slip In the Short-TermAs mentioned, productivity is a key consideration for any organization. And since there are still far too many employees that don’t adequately understand what needs to be done in a computing environment, productivity will almost undoubtedly slip once Windows 7 is deployed in the enterprise. Luckily, that loss will only occur in the short-term, since employees will eventually get used to it over time. That said, waiting for Windows 7 won’t mitigate those productivity losses. They will happen regardless of when the operating system makes its way to a company. So, perhaps now is as good of a time as any to start bringing Microsoft’s latest operating system to an operation.

10No Title

10. The Alternatives Aren’t Any BetterSometimes, organizations look for alternatives to Windows. When Windows Vista was released, some companies considered opting for Linux or Mac OS X, rather than deploy Microsoft’s latest operating system. All that talk of switching to a new operating system has subsided now that Windows 7 is available. Microsoft’s latest operating system might not be perfect (or even close to perfect), but it delivers the best service for any organization. And that won’t change anytime soon.