Windows 7 is coming next month. That's hardly news to any of you, I'm sure, but have you considered that this major OS release could be the catalyst to end the recession? I'm guessing not many of you have come to that conclusion, but consider this: Many, many companies steered clear of Vista, but companies still using XP will be looking to upgrade in the next 18 months. And it could be very much like the book, "If You Give a Moose a Muffin:" If you give a company a new OS, chances are they are going to need some new hardware to go with it, and that could set off a hardware buying frenzy.
Slowly Coming Out of It
The numbers have suggested the economy probably has hit bottom and we are slowly moving in a positive direction, so perhaps Microsoft can't be given sole credit for this (if it comes to pass), but the writing is clearly on the wall. When I criticized Microsoft in my recent post, Has Microsoft Chosen Subterfuge Over Quality, I garnered a lot of comments, more than any other post since I've been writing this blog, and what a lot of people said is that I should see Windows 7 in action. The word is that this is a much more stable OS, that companies are going to like it, and that they are going to buy it.
Unfortunately for them, they are probably going to have upgrade their hardware to do it. That means the Dells and HPs of the world are sitting back and licking their chops at the prospect. This transition could be the beginning of a hardware/software boom for Microsoft and its many partners. But only if Windows 7 is as good as people say it will be.
Let's See What It Looks Like
Ultimately, the real proof will be when we see Windows 7 in production. I'm kicking myself at this point that I didn't download the free Beta versions that were available last summer because I really want to see how well this works in a true production environment. How easy is it to use? Unlike Vista, does it really stay out of the way for the most part? I have watched some videos and clearly it is pretty, but overall it doesn't look entirely different to me than Vista without all the annoying messages asking me "if I'm really, really, really sure I want to install this software."
The changes could be mostly under the hood where it is said it is faster, more efficient and less intrusive. Vista was so restrictive in its attempt to save PC users from themselves that it made it virtually unusable for me. I found people who liked Vista had loaded up on the RAM with a minimum of 4 gigs to make it usable. The hardware requirements for Win 7 suggest you could run it on a 1Ghz PC with 1 GB of RAM, but I'm guessing it wouldn't run very well under those conditions. You certainly couldn't run the new fancy slide show wall paper with only 1 gig, not if you wanted to run a couple of programs along with it.
So Windows 7 may end up being a fresh start for Microsoft, and if it is, it could lead many businesses to switch. Microsoft shops are not likely to move to the cloud (where the underlying OS becomes far less important) or Linux in one fell swoop. Many companies, if the word on the street is good, will make the transition to Windows 7, and when they do chances are they going to want some hardware to go with that. And that's going to be very good for the economy.