Incentives to upgrade from XP to Windows 7


Continuing the guest post initiative on Msigeek, Today we have a guest speaking on a very important topic  “Incentives to upgrade from XP to Windows 7”. I’m sure; many of us have this question in our mind. Few are reluctant to ask, few understand the truth and few put their own minds, assume things and complain that Microsoft Windows does this always!! I am sure this article will prove noteworthy for all.

Well, let me introduce the author of this post. His name is Stephan Rose. He is a Senior Community Manager with Microsoft. His role spans in supporting IT pros all over the world in the use of the Windows client OS (XP, Vista and Windows 7). Before joining MS, Stephen spent many years as a technical trainer and consultant with various companies and universities. In addition, he spent several years as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). He blogs at http://blogs.technet.com/stephenrose/.

Over to Stephen’s Article…

Last week I sent out a Twitter via @MSSpringboard regarding some new features in Windows 7. I received the following response: ” …….. what exactly is the incentive for users to upgrade XP to 7? Is it purely gfx? I would honestly like to know what feature 7 offers that can’t be done either natively or via 3rd party software in XP.”

After writing my response, I realized that was a question a lot of people had; so when Vj asked if I would be interested in posting a guest spot on his blog (www.msigeek.com), I jumped at an opportunity to share this out with a larger audience.  Thank you for the opportunity and I welcome your feedback.

Here was my response: “Windows XP was released back in 2001. Mobility was not key factor as it is now. Malware, spyware and rootkits were also not an issue like they are today.

As we all know, many of our users did not move to Windows Vista for a number of reasons, so many corporations stayed with Windows XP and through much work, have made it an excellent operating system for their end users. Before joining Microsoft last year, I spent the last 10 years managing networks like this. I have been an MCSE and a MCT since the NT 4.0 days. I taught engineers in the classrooms and spent many a week freezing my butt of in server rooms installing Apache web servers, Groupwise, Lotus Notes Novel Netware and Microsoft OSes.

With Windows 7, what is great is there is no one “killer feature”. It is the culmination of many features (some large, some small) that makes Windows 7 a great operating system. Most end users don’t want to know how it works; they just “want it to work.”

When they are sitting in a Starbucks working connected to public internet, they fact they can click a link in a document that points to a corporate intranet sharepoint server and they are able to download a document without having to go through a long and involved RAS process due to the implementation of Direct Access . Seamless and transparent.

When a user walks into the office and has a 20 MB document download is seconds due to BranchCache makes that user more effective. When a user is prompted to encrypt a thumb drive so that any data on it is secure makes the job of a security manager easier.

When a user gets a faster boot up, more batter life, jump lists to access documents faster, quicker connectivity to wireless, built in drivers to WiFi cards, search connectors to find internal and external resources, when they can drag a window to the right and have it automatically resize, when it comes out of sleep quickly and is ready to go and home groups so that home users can stream video, share photos or print to printers at the other end of their house with needing to be technical are all wins for the end user..

Sure, you can do some of this with XP, plug-ins and such. Who has that kind of time? Do I want to sit and create an image with 30 different tools that constantly require updating, that may not be supported, that have additional costs that cannot be centrally managed, and were possibly written non-securely? Of course not. What IT pros would? Some would argue that they do not want one company doing all of that and controlling it. That diversity of product creates a better experience. If you buy an off the shelf computer that is a complete, ready to go experience that will do what an end user wants, some people will shun this experience and will choose to build their own for a more customized experience.

Will you get a better machine? Depends on your definition of better. More things to go wrong and no single coverage. You cannot return that machine and there are possible incompatibilities. Each person has their own yardstick.

We have had millions of downloads around the Beta and Release Candidate. Tons of great feedback and a lot of excitement around this launch. This is the first OS from Microsoft in a long time that requires less hard drive space, RAM and Processor power than its predecessor. People are very excited. We are trying to make the best OS for many different types of users from consumers and students to tech enthusiasts to developers and IT pros of all ages. We are always open to new ideas, thoughts and ways to make our operating systems better.

We encourage all users to download the Windows 7 Release Candidate from http://www.microsoft.com/springboard and try it for themselves for free and what you think.

Best Regards-
Stephen Rose