MS sees Windows 7 leap, but XP workhorse refuses to die
Analyst report says putting OS on
Vista diet really helped
Most Windows 7 customers are satisfied with the new operating system, according to tech analyst house Forrester Research, but many stick-in-the-mud types still see no reason to upgrade from the OS that refuses to die - Windows XP.
Forrester published the results of its study (subscription required) about take-up of Microsoft’s old and new operating systems this week. It found that 86 per cent of 4,559 US punters who took part in the survey were happy with Windows 7.
However, the same research also reaffirmed that there’s still plenty of love out there for Microsoft’s aged Windows XP, with 43 per cent of respondents saying they could see no reason to upgrade to Windows 7.
"The biggest competitor to Windows 7 isn't the Mac," said the report. "It's Windows XP."
That statement will come as little surprise to many people given the continued popularity of the operating system that refuses to die, despite Microsoft’s efforts to shove customers over to Windows 7.
Part of the reason why XP remains so popular is due to Redmond’s disastrous release of Windows Vista to OEMs in 2006, which later hit retail shelves in early 2007.
Microsoft’s failure to get that bloated, application and driver support-shy operating system off the ground meant customers stuck by XP.
In contrast to the Vista snub by businesses, Forrester analyst JP Gownder noted that customers “upgrade behaviour was much stronger for [Windows] 7”. The fact that Vista’s successor offered a “thinner client program” helped that move, he said.
Another factor that buoyed Windows 7's arrival was its ability to run on older hardware kit compared with Vista’s memory-hogging demands from newer machines.
According to the report, around 43 per cent of those surveyed upgraded to Windows 7 on existing computers from an older operating system, while about 45 per cent bought a new PC pre-loaded with Windows 7.
And despite, or perhaps because of, Microsoft’s truly atrocious “I’m a PC” marketing campaign, awareness of Windows 7 among US customers hit around the 90 per cent mark by the end of 2009, according to Forrester’s report. ®
They are annoying for one, rubbish for another, blatant lies (PR spin) for a third.
One tells you that you can home network as if Win7 invented it. One tells you that more than one person can use TV, file sharing and network stuff as if it is a new feature. One tells you that snap is an MS invention and new, despite linux having it for a while. One told you that you can see bigger windows by looking at the tab on the task bar like vista did. One tells you about parental controls which have been around from routers to browsers for yonks. One tells you that you get faster boot up times, faster than what? Vista definitely, but not faster than ubuntu or XP.
And the peple used are the kind of sad geeky techie morons or competitive dads that you normally wouldn't associate or listen to. They give us sad techie geeks a bad name. If I met a guy in a gym with a laptop, you don't think wow, you think what a sad ****er. And pushy dad who has networked his house, the look on his kids faces says it all.
It ain't broke, don't fix it
I bought a new home PC around the time Vista was getting slated in the press, so I ordered it with XP. Added Solaris and Linux as multiboot options, but XP still does all the windozy things just fine. I certainly see no need to risk trashing it by upgrading to an OS that doesn''t seem to do anything else that I need.
When I replace this system, or my XP laptop, I'll probably take W7 on the new one. Until then, it ain't broke so I ain't fixin' it.
Windows 7 is great just because it's not Vista. The difference between the two in terms of performance is night and day. (And I'd know...I did an installation--primarily for humor value--on a Compaq Deskpro EN PIII 1GHz machine. Surprised the heck out of me at how usable it really was. It would have been perfectly fine for a lot of tasks.) On that basis alone, I can at least put up with Windows 7. And that's the best I can say for it.
But on the surface, Windows 7's UI is just a mess. I don't like the fixed toolbars with their fixed buttons. The new task bar is supremely annoying for the most part and way too big. Things that used to be quick and easy to do now take a ton of mouse clicks. Menu bars are under toolbars where they DO NOT belong. I don't need all that goofy UI "chrome" that does nothing but waste screen space. Navigating a lot of Windows 7 via the keyboard seems to be difficult, a notable exception from every prior release of Windows.
I'm still on Windows 2000 Professional SP4 for my primary computer. It leaves me wanting for nothing, it's paid for and I still say it's probably the best release of Windows that Microsoft ever managed. It's quite possible that I will end up finding just how far beyond its support expiration date Win2K will remain a feasible operating system.
All the while, I'm definitely keeping my ear to the ground on Linux, which I so want to like on the desktop (but it's not there yet), have seriously considered some sort of FreeBSD distribution and some Macintosh stuff has managed to sneak in. I don't know which way I will eventually go...but I am probably heading away from Windows...