Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is Windows 7 = Vista SP3?

It appears Microsoft has listened to the complaints about Vista and is addressing them with a more-compatible, leaner and easier-to-use Vista/Windows 7. Windows 7 looks like it could also be named Vista SP3. This is exactly what enterprises are waiting for and if Microsoft delivers it in late 2009 as expected the adoption rate among enterprises should be very high.

Analysis says Vista has been a disaster in the enterprise market. Not even Microsoft can deny that, despite their statistics about how high the Vista license rate is overall. Those numbers are driven by consumers, who don’t have any choice since all new PCs ship with Vista, and by enterprises that buy a Vista license and promptly downgrade to XP. Its likely Vista would have been much less successful in the consumer market had there been a choice provided to consumers. Apple is on record as stating Vista is the best thing that happened to the Mac, and indeed even in enterprises a lot of consideration is being given to Macs today that would not be the case had Vista been successful.

Most enterprises today are still running XP and waiting for Windows 7 to become available. Apple’s Mac has made some inroads into the enterprise market, as has Linux, but both are still in relatively small numbers. If Windows 7 were to repeat the Vista experience, however, it seems probable that widespread defections from Microsoft would start happening. XP is getting old enough that by 2010-2011 most enterprises will have to dump it in favor of something newer.

Apple's Mac is less than ideal for enterprises. It scores high on the cool factor, but a complete lack of compatibility with the installed base of hardware and software, combined with relatively expensive new machines, means significant cost increases to convert. Linux will at least run on all existing hardware, but software compatibility is still a problem. Support for both will be both difficult and expensive, and thus few CIOs will go that way if Windows 7 provides a viable alternative. Both Linux and the Mac can use virtualization to run Windows applications, but then the complexity and cost goes up.

Windows 7 promises a leaner OS with full compatibility for Vista-compatible hardware and software. In other words, if it works with Vista it will work with Windows 7. The ever-annoying UAC has been toned down. Some new management features have been added. Disk encryption works better. All these things speak well for the acceptance of Windows 7. There are also several consumer-oriented improvements focused mostly on ease of use.

Windows 7 seems to essentially be Vista SP3 under a different name, which is what most enterprises want to see. Microsoft is not and should not strive for a major change from Vista to Windows 7. The pre-beta release of Windows 7 seems to be more mature than one would expect for a pre-beta, which suggests a full release late in 2009 (at least for enterprises) is achievable.

If Windows 7 goes into full release for enterprises by the end of 2009, it should be fully tested by the middle of 2010. Since it’s not so different from Vista for compatibility, the testing cycle should be reasonably short. By the middle of 2010 most hardware and software in enterprises should be compatible with Vista, so not many changes should be required for Windows 7. There will be a huge pent-up demand for an upgrade by the middle of 2010, and as long as Windows 7 meets its early promise it seems safe to expect very large adoption of Windows 7 in enterprises between the middle of 2010 and the middle of 2011.
Source: Internet.


Aviral Sharma said...

watever it is... I dumped it 1 month back. Poor support for iTunes with iPod Touch, iPhone, iPod Classic and even iPod Shuffle...iTunes simply crashes. MS Paint has been improved but wasn't required ( is better). Lot of other stuff but wasn't appealing enuf for me to continue using it over Win5.5 or Win6. I'll agree with you, Vista with SP3 = Windows 7.
- Aviral