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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.

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Last Post by cosuna
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If you want the Windows 7 RC to try out, there are no shortage of places to download it. And the trial serials are so easy to find you could probably get one from Bing.

That said, I actually tried the RC out on my OLD tower. Sempron64 2500 (that's something like 1.4GHz), 1GB RAM, and an unsupported Radeon 9250 graphics card. I cheated by loading the 9550 drivers, but it caused Office to lock up pretty hard. I don't blame the RC for choking on hardware it shouldn't run on.

It was about as quick as XP was, and short of video-related issues, seemed very stable. Definitely less annoying than Vista, which is on my wife's Dell laptop (if you can call those 17" beasts "lap" top), but because of the video card, I didn't keep it on the tower. Thought about trying it out on my Aspire One netbook, but then come next year I either have to format and reinstall everything, or pony up the cash to upgrade if I found it actually usable on a netbook. Or I suppose I could drop linux on here ... but then I'd lose CS4 which doesn't work so well under wine as it does natively.

But I'm rambling now. 7. Definitely a step up from Vista, but I don't know if I'd call it the salvation of the economy. Most businesses won't pick it up until at least 7.1. Hmmm ... wonder if Microsoft is going to go with dot releases instead of SP's now that they're on a number-based system.

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Vista was supposed to boost the economy, remember? The current climate is tense. IT departments are consolidating servers with virtualization, to save money. Companies are laying off staff, they are cutting back on expenses. Do you truly believe that a new OS is going to make people start buying new things? Hmm, I need a new computer for this new OS... I'll buy a new car to go pick up the new Windows 7 computer...wait, I'll need to purchase a new house to go with my new computer, too! Honestly, Windows 7 is so much better than Vista, but it would be difficult to set your sights any lower. Windows 7 will eventually replace Windows XP. As computers are retired, new ones will come with Windows 7 pre-installed. IT will have to be trained to deal with the new OS. Older applications may or may not work. Yes, there is XP running as a guest vm, if you get the most expensive version of Windows 7. XP will run slower as a guest vm. Windows 7 is decent, it is what Vista should have been., but what does it bring to the table? It is slower than Windows XP, but with a new computer you won't notice or care. It is not malware resistant, so you'll need some anti-malware. The Internet will be exactly the same, word processing will be the same, actually using all your apps will be the same. Moving around in the OS is improved.... it looks pretty.... ummm, it nags less than Vista.... it uses less resources than Vista.... See my point

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Interesting thought Ron, but not sure even MS can single-handedly turn around a nation's economy (could even suggest the global economy, as most of those hardware components are made off shore), but I dare say it may at least contribute, as well as providing the "fresh start" you mentioned for Microsoft.

I'm not going to go into all the reasons why Vista fell down (although sales definitely improved following SP1 and onward). Personally at this end the UAC was never an issues, as had already located TweakUAC long before release to put the UAC in "Quiet Mode". One could argue that MS should have made the Quiet Mode easier to find for the common user, but then again if they had, would there have been the opportunity for end-users to try and understand said purpose? Who knows.

Anyhow, to look at why Win7 actually stands a much better chance of success:

  • Cost - I think one of the things that blew out the cost of Vista came down to both the time btwn releases - more time spent means a higher cost to recover the expenditure - and the massive R&D in making such core changes. This time round the time and R&D have been greatly refined, meaning costs can be lowered.
  • UAC improvements - much greater tuning of the UAC being given to the end-user has to help. That being said, some more savy users then started complaining that "what's the point of having the UAC if the users can then dial it down"? At least this time the end-user has the choice.
  • Hardware - love or hate Vista, in the short time since it rolled out, hardware components (ie, HDD's, RAM, Vid-cards etc) have all come crashing down... much the same way the iPhone mainstreamed the touch screen, making it a now affordable option for the masses.

    Users having to upgrade hardware for Vista faced a sometimes overwhelming cost factor. Today, even those having to look at hardware upgrades for Win7 face a fraction of the cost. This means those looking to upgrade both Windows and their physical system are much more likely to do so.

  • 64 Bit - all those RAM upgrades have recently made many more ppl aware of the RAM limitations in x86 Windows and done much to raise awareness of x64 Windows. MS has also done much to lesses the "pain" in making the transition, even providing codecs such as DivX which had issues in Vista x64 (due to DivX themselves not fixing the kinks). Given the fact that almost all system built over the last few yrs are fully capable of running the x64 architecture, there are a couple of of contingencies as to how quickly that move will happen.
    • OEMS to quit playing games, such as loading x86 Windows on machines fully capable of x64
    • End-users being prepared to take the fresh install required to move up to x64, rather than the upgrade install - much of this I guess will come down to education.
  • Spin - MS faced a massive swim upstream once countering all the initial bad-press. Now matter how much they refined it in following update and SP's, there was always the lingering attitudes. The fact that Win7 has already been well received could do much to turn the tide.
  • Software & Hardware compatibility - Vista, in attempting to move away from XP, had a lot of compatibility issues (although the number of Dev's sitting on their hands till Vista was finally released certainly didn't help either). Complaints of incompatibilities have been much fewer. Even where there have been issues, much have fallen more in line with DigitaLink's comments, looking to the vendor for solutions rather than just blaming MS.
  • Home Networking - the idea of establishing a Home Network is nothing new, but has simply been put in the too hard basket by many a less-savy user. Win7 intro's the Homegroup, which I have to say greatly provides the ease-of-use factor, at least btwn Win7 machines.
  • Toning down the "BLING" factor - I guess we can all agree that Vista looked pretty. Unfortunately the resource cost factor nullified the value of it. Dreamscene anyone? First impression of Win7 thus was a little "ohhh". That being said, I quickly got over it.

    MS this time round has been a little wiser with the GUI, meaning looks have not taken priority over actually getting the job done. A much lighter image-based slideshow for the desktop has replaced the mammoth that was DreamScene; refinements to the TaskBar are about usability rather than the WOW factor. Even the ability to customise the Logon Window (still more a Power User feature at this point) done without a resource trade-off. Given that Win7 is running on systems completely incapable of handling Vista, kinda demonstrates a learning curve.

  • Speed and Stability - the big one of course is how well the OS handles. We all know that Vista ran like a dog with three legs, especially when first rolled out. Given that Win7 handles a damn sight lighter, with much improved stability, it has to be much better received. Can also note the lack of BSOD's, but given much of that relates to much better driver and hardware support from the vendors' side, is not so much a surprise for the experienced end-user.

That being said, it will also greatly depend on the expectations of the average user - expectations which can at times be completely unrealistic or infeasible - and how well Win7 matches said expectations. NO OS is ever going to please everyone (especially true of Windows which has to cater to such a massive user-pool) - some ppl just can't understand why we need anything more than XP, or worse Win98, just to get the job done. And of course some will never get past Microsoft's past history.

Still think MS made a big mistake in handing yet another version of Windows x86 to OEM vendors, but that is just my own opinion. We'll see how things pan out as a result btwn now and Win8, which MS has already stated will be x64 only.

Edited by kaninelupus: highlighting bullet points

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There are several questions here,
Do individual companies cause the economy to improve?
Are external events responsible for the general state of the economy?

I'd say that the answer to the first question is no. Individual companies can do well in good times or bad depending on the positions they take. Some companies are counter cyclical -- they do well in bad times. Recessions do not tend to effect consumer stocks because we all have to eat.

The capital goods industries, including computers, tend to do poorly, since we can almost always put off buying durable goods like cars, refrigerators and the like. Computers are hit hard by the fact that companies will not buy them until the management sees profits being made. So, computer sales to IT departments are a lagging figure. Besides, the IT departments are likely to hold off on System Seven because they were badly burnt by Vista.

It is usually external events which effect the economy -- war, credit bubbles and previous governmental interference in the financial markets or economy. Initiating expensive governmental programs do not aid the economy, but depress it because high taxes or price inflation will be levied to pay for them. Increasing regulations or the cost of doing business depress the economy. Much of the economy depends on people having trust in stability. Anything which increases fear, doubt or uncertainty decreases a person's willingness to take risks. Expansive federal governmental programs will cause money to flee the country. Increasing taxes in New York City and State has caused the rich to move to lower tax states. This has decreased tax revenue in New York.

Given the current administration's intent in meddling in business, we are probably looking at a long U shaped correction that could last for many years. There may be individual companies and industries which will do well, but the general economy will remain stagnant. Every intervention which the Federal Government makes will depress the economy. If the government increases taxes to pay for its deficits that will depress business activity. If it monetizes the deficits that will cause price inflation later.

In short, we will be repeating, at best, the Jimmy Carter years. Whether we go into a Great Depression depends on whether the Obama administration repeats the Smoot- Hawley tariff act. Obama canceled an experimental trucking program with Mexico. This, in retaliation, caused Mexico to place a large tariff on California produce. Obama recently placed a tariff on Chinese tires which will likely provoke a retaliation from our greatest trading partner. It is unclear what extent Obama's administration intends to shut down world trade, but its opening moves seem ominous.

My bet is that System Seven will be all hype and little action.

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Wow Louis! I guess you miss the Bush administration. The economy was destroyed in that insane reign.It will take years, maybe a decade to fix the mess that was created.

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Since you know everything about economics, swiftnet, there is little reason to say for me anything to you.

You are assuming that I am a friend of the Bush administration, when both administrations act like economic idiots. Bush was guided by Keynesian advisors and Obama is by Marxists. Since both systems are in error, why would I support either?

It's still uncertain how much effect Obama will have. It looks as though he has "jumped the shark." Like Jimmy Carter, he is likely to be ignored by the democrats. It is unclear what further initiatives they can put into law.

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It's interesting to me that so many people took my premise to heart. I realize it's a big leap from selling hardware to resurrecting the economy, but I appreciate that there are so many of you keeping me on my toes.

Thanks for all the comments. It shows me that you're reading my stuff and that means a great deal to me, even if you don't necessarily agree with me (which in this case I'm not sure you should be). :-)

Ron

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I am using OS7 and linux, dual-boot. The os Seven is looking really great, and runs well! Though i still prefer my linux distro. Ubuntu is more stable and faster vs Seven.

OS Seven did a big jump comparing to Vista. It uses 300~400 MB on start-up and boots fast. I was very impressed actually (7 RC build:7100)!

Concerning the fact that it would lead americans from recession: i don't know. Maybe! I don't see why someone wouldn't want to change from xp or Vista (especially from Vista) to OS Seven. I believe they have put a lot of work in that OS. But i don't think people will change their computers just for an os. Many had enough of vista's incompatibility. So if the story will be the same with Seven then it's less likely that many will even buy it.

I'm planing on buying a laptop in november and taking the free upgrade option(though i've heard it's not so "free" actually).

PS! According to the web-bot project, the worlds economy will suffer a big decline. This should begin happening around October 10. I'm looking foreword to see how precise these predictions are.

Edited by Alex_: n/a

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I for one hope it's dead wrong! But thanks for the comment. By November you should be getting Win7 installed on that laptop. General availability is Oct 22.

Ron

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Most analysts I've read feel that the hardware most companies are using today won't be sufficient to run Windows 7.

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I don't think that's the case of IT companies. They don't seem to have a shortcoming of good computers.

I have a 2.2 Ghz CPU, 1 GB ram, 120 HDD, and Geforce 7200GS. OS 7 runs ok for me! For companies i would suggest getting 2 GB of ram or more, because OS 7 still requires a good amount of memory (~400MB).

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(The Road to) hell is paved with good intentions....

Windows Vista is one of them. dBase IV and WordStar 2000, might be other examples, which might include the Apple /// and the Newton. Even the GRiD Compass would enter in this category.

The main problem's that after this events, things changed forever. Take WordStar Plus 2000 Rev 3. It was portrayed as the fastest of the crop, against WordPerfect and Word. But WordStar 2000 did so much damage, nobody cared about this and WordPerfect had more to it at that moment.

dBase IV had a similar fate. It failed miserably attracting new users. It was slow and it was buggy (sounds familiar). dBase IV 1.1 cured most of this, but FoxBase and Clipper had by that time lured the more conservative people.

So there lies the main problem with Windows 7. It might excel in all the areas. It might have the best user interface ever invented. But it isn't XP. It isn't "tried-and-tested". It has A LEARNING CURVE. OMG!!!

So it's not for the faint of heart. This in a single swoop discards most XP users. Also there's lot's of self FUD about whether it works on existing systems. The problem's: what's an "existing system". 'Cause XP runs on them all, but Windows 7 can't even dare say that, since there's lots of systems with 256 to 512 Mb running XP.

So Windows 7 is for the brave, one might argue. Those wanting to have the "ultimate", who aren't afraid of a learning curve, can afford incompatibilities and have the money to pony for an upgrade. But then again, that market already belongs to Apple. That line starts with Linux and ends with Apple. Not much room for Windows 7, again. But you would say: "but Windows 7 is Windows compatible". Really!!!! Then why include "XP Mode".

One could also argue: "Windows 7 has gotten excellent reviews". From whom? The media. They said the same of Lehman Brothers, General Motors and the Bush Administration (remember Fox News!?). "No... the users have said it". The Users? You call users, those that will have enough money to pay for "Windows 7 Home Premium" but have downloaded---for free---Windows 7 Ultimate. Things are gonna change after you BUY the upgrade.

So in the end..... is Windows 7 gonna end the Great Recession. Good intention... but could lead to the road to hell...

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