Windows 7 – Last Chance for Microsoft??

As a small business owner there are always periods of time when investments in infrastructure become a blinding necessity. Just recently we embarked upon a re-branding and website overhaul which we trust will be completed by the end of this month – that’s a significant investment in time, energy and cash. But the rewards are tangible and satisfying. Next on the agenda is the question of materials upgrades…

With this in mind I came across the following article on about the value of smb’s upgrading to Windows 7. It reminded me of the fact that I had already blogged about XP verses Vista back in 2007 . Back then we made a decision to not support Vista. We deliberately purchased a half dozen machines with XP that were put on ice and rotated into our renewal program as other machines slowed or new staff joined. That policy ensures a consistent operating platform and contented employees for two more years. Given all we know about Vista it was a wise move.

Now maybe different. While XP still feels perfectly adequate for most day to day business applications the tech world is radically different now than it was back in 2001 when XP first showed up (yes THAT long ago). I’m dealing with a generation of iphone app users now and frankly the expectations they have as consumers absolutely impacts the expectations they have for business tools.

So the big question for this new generation of Microsoft Windows software is whether it really does offer enough bells and whistles to justify early adoption. Already I hear that there are issues. Initial versions will downgrade to XP to facilitate transition but reportedly after a relatively short period it will only downgrade to Vista (OMG!!!).

Microsoft need to be very careful – there are other valid alternatives solutions available to smb’s now like the ability to pull apps from the cloud (back in 2001 we had a server in house running Lotus Notes for email, database and collaboration tools – now everything is piped in via the web) or even a move towards Apple technology which can more easily be integrated into the existing systems as several of our team have done.

So I will watch with interest the reaction to Windows 7. I’ll read the reviews and listen to the discussions on the web amongst early users and see just what this has to offer and then we will decide in which direction to move…if I’m a representative sample of a typical smb then Microsoft better get it right this time or it could be game over for them.

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

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