Win7: To Migrate or Not to Migrate?


With the release of any new OS release, the question facing developers is whether or not to port existing applications. Often the answer hinges on two major factors: Will the operating system be widely adopted and what's downside of doing nothing?

In the enterprise the decision is often made for you, when policy dictates whether the company will upgrade its desktops to something new. According to a survey of 450 developers conducted by Visual Studio Magazine published this month, almost two out of every five (38.9%) are currently developing for Windows 7 or plan to do so within the next three months. That, despite the fact that not all of Win7's promised capabilities will be present in .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack, which is included with the release. The Multi-Touch UI, ribbon toolbars and other major functionality will have to wait until next year when .NET 4.0 comes out.

While UI whistles and bells are a major focal point of Windows 7, most of the developers surveyed were more interested in better performance. When asked about their "level of excitement about specific Windows 7 features," the top two responses were improved security and optimized I/O handling. Tied for third place were a "power-efficient infrastructure" and an "updated graphics stack and high DPI support."

Will Windows 7 be the must-have OS that XP was, or will it fall flat in the enterprise as Vista did? I'll admit I'm rooting for Microsoft. After all, Apple's OS fortunes certainly turned in the 1990s with System 7, the focus of which was not on look and feel, but on performance and peer-to-peer functionality. Perhaps Microsoft will be as fortuitous when Windows 7 arrives in stores on Oct. 22. The way I see it, Windows 7 is already widely referred to as "Vista fixed," meaning that Vista's coming whether the world wants it or not. So you might as well get to work.

About the Author

I am Technical Editor of the [url=]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=][/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

Between '06 and '09 I was editor of [URL=]ST&P[/URL], a software testing trade magazine. I also wrote a software [URL=]Test & QA [/URL]newsletter, and was chairman of the [url=]Software Test & Performance conference[/url].

Shade01 0 Junior Poster in Training

I think it will do much better than Vista. It is a good combination. The only concern would be compatibility to older programs if one can not run the XP Mode.

kaninelupus 275 Practically a Posting Shark

To be honest, I think the fact that end-users are savvying up should be the point to consider.

When XP was released, some devs took 12mths or more to upgrade their wares, counting on the fact that a slow adoption rate would keep the up-roar to a minimum. With Vista, many users were happy to throw the blame at MS for lack of backwards compatibility, and software vendors were happy to hide behind that excuse... I mean, Vista was already copping a lot of flak, so it was easy to hand off the blame.

In all honesty though, I think end-users are wising up, as many are being better educated as to how a buggy piece of software, or a bad driver, can bring down even the best OS. To be honest, I think if software vendors sit on their lorrels this time round (especially as MS is offering a high-quality OS that makes a large scale transition both viable and attractive), you'll likely find users looking to software alternatives.

Shade01 0 Junior Poster in Training

I agree with you. With the amount of software available now vendors are not going to be able to drag their feet.

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