Home > Windows > Does Microsoft Need to Ship Windows 7 in 2009? Does Microsoft Need to Ship Windows 7 in 2009? Submitted by estherschindler 2008-11-12 Windows 34 Comments Industry analysts differ on the importance of shipping Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system before the 2009 holidays, but agree that the release of the OS needs to be swift and smooth to avoid the sins of Vista’s past. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 34 Comments 2008-11-12 6:20 pm Milo_Hoffman The only thing that should be swift and smooth about Windows would be to remove it completely from your systems. 2008-11-12 6:44 pm antik No. 2008-11-12 6:58 pm tjbogart33 So, let’s get right to it. What will be the name for an XP license under Windows 7? 2008-11-12 6:59 pm evangs When XP was released in 2001, there was countless whining about it. It was slow, Luna was ugly, it was bloated, etc. 6 years and 3 service packs later, people are now unwilling to leave XP. The problem, as I see it is two fold. One, people just love a good whine. Two, there are issues with any OS that MS releases and they need a few service packs to get it running smoothly. Vista is working great for me, and I think that if MS just focused on Vista and push out a few more service packs, Vista will become the new XP. A good and stable platform is great for both users and developers. I’d like Vista to be around for as long as XP has. 2008-11-12 7:25 pm tjbogart33 “When XP was released in 2001, there was countless whining about it. It was slow, Luna was ugly, it was bloated, etc. 6 years and 3 service packs later, people are now unwilling to leave XP.” Yes, I’d like a little cheese with that whine, thank you very much. On the other hand, you might want to do just a leeetle bit more analysis there. How about the XP upgrade was the arguably the first that didn’t have people lining up in stores waiting to get their hands on it? At release, you had to upgrade your hardware to make it run without going woof (and 6 + years later, the hardware to make it run without going woof is _cheap_). Maybe folks don’t want their OS upgrades make them change hardware – maybe they want to have a decision along the lines of ‘if I pay for and install this, I want it to make my hardware seem better …’ Maybe after all those years of having to buy new versions (since there was no such thing as a fix or service pack) and now, fixes and service packs are free (like other OSes have been for decades) and after years of fixes/service packs, it is finally sorta stable and you want me to pay money to change to a first release? I mean, come on. I’ve kept Vista on my laptop so far because 1) It came with two drives, so I can do real things with the OS on the other drive and 2) it embodies everything I haven’t missed in the 10 years since I left off even having an MS OS available on a dual boot machine. And more. It simply confirms how difficult it is to take ones eyes off a train wreck when it is right in front of you …. 2008-11-12 7:36 pm evangs How about the XP upgrade was the arguably the first that didn’t have people lining up in stores waiting to get their hands on it? Apart from Windows 95, when have people ever lined up to buy a new release of Windows? Windows 98? Windows 2K? Windows Me (ugh!)? I don’t remember anyone being excited over a new Windows release post ’95. At release, you had to upgrade your hardware to make it run without going woof (and 6 + years later, the hardware to make it run without going woof is _cheap_). Oh please, I ran XP on release on my trusty Dell Inspiron 3700. It was a 1999 laptop with a 433 MHz Celeron processor, and 256 MB RAM. It ran XP fine and I admit I disabled Luna since I considered it an eye sore back then I think you’re greatly exaggerating the hardware requirements to run XP, in the same way people exaggerate the hardware requirements for Vista. It simply confirms how difficult it is to take ones eyes off a train wreck when it is right in front of you …. I returned to using Windows as my primary platform in April 2008 when I took up a new job as a Windows C++ developer. Previously, I’d spent 5 years being a Mac head. I’d hardly consider myself as a Windows apologist. 2008-11-12 9:27 pm helf yeah, I don’t get people talking about upgrades. XP, for the majority of users, ran fine when it came out in 256mb of ram on a 300+mhz cpu.. which gobs of people had. Only now, with more advanced flash crap, HD video, etc etc, have you needed more ram for basic tasks. 2008-11-13 4:38 pm tjbogart33 “Apart from Windows 95, when have people ever lined up to buy a new release of Windows? Windows 98? Windows 2K? Windows Me (ugh!)? I don’t remember anyone being excited over a new Windows release post ’95.” 95 was notable, in my alleged mind, becaused I remember the media coverage it got – but my recollections of even 98 was that it was quite popular among the faithful. And yes, I even purchased that upgrade because those among the faithful were still giving me the ‘oh, no, really, _this_ is the one. As I mentioned at the end of my post, I have avoided MS OSes for about the last 10 years entirely on my own machines – frankly, when 98 turned out to be business as usual, I convinced myself to even ignore folks I would have, until then, at least given _some_ credence to. The various NT versions, in my recollection, got all sorts of favourable reviews, and certainly was highly touted among the faithful I knew. ME is a conundrum to me. It disappeared so quickly – replaced by XP in about a year! – and I, even after all these years, can only recall one person who claimed to actually have it on a machine…. not to mention how out of sequence it was 3.1 in 92, 95, 98 (burp) XP in 2001. 😎 So for someone who was no longer nose to the grindstone in Windows on a day to day basis – XP is arguably the replacement for 98. And in the sequence of 2.x, 3.x, 95 and 98 – remember, no ‘fixes’ in the early years, you jumped at the upgrade, hoping that some of the worst problems were being addressed. “I think you’re greatly exaggerating the hardware requirements to run XP, in the same way people exaggerate the hardware requirements for Vista.” Again, I never bothered with XP, so I am not making any claims, per se. I am saying there was a lot of pushback based on performance. I am saying people balked at upgrading because they said it took significant hardware upgrades to maintain their perceived performance thay had with previous versions. You already agree with this; it was in your opening statement. Now, Vista, as I mentioned, I have _some_ experience with. Dual booting Linux gives me some ‘side by side’ data, and it is quite pathetic. Building the same code with gcc is right at 3 times slower. Given, that is not ‘native’ code, so I try something like a ‘backup’. Hours to write a couple of DVD/s? It is not like I have to exaggerate anything …. And of course the famed Windows user experience out of the box .. ‘ you just downloaded this, sure you want to touch it? I take no responsibility if you touch this. I am not touching this without you admitting anything that happens is your fault. ‘ Yeah, the hardware overhead is a little different concept there. It is replacement for what you throw against the wall…….8-) I might accept what you say about XP, given I don’t have the direct experience. But if you are going to say Vista ‘runs fine’ and doesn’t have considerable hardware requirements, I’d really have to ask if your are doing anything more than booting the box … 2008-11-12 7:35 pm pysiak The general feeling is that most OSes that I’ve seen don’t have higher and higher reasonable hardware requirements with each new version as Windows has. Of course other suffer too. It’s absolutely crazy that you can’t install most of the leading linux distros on 64 MB ram. Of course Linux would run it, but the installer often tells you you need more RAM. In my POV Vista’s only sin is that runs slower compared to XP. I mean from all the hype of better (less wasteful) scheduling, i/o priorities, i/o cancellation, memory prefetch, et al. you’d be wanting better performance. And with 512MB you won’t get it. You possibly do, provided you’re at least dual core and 2GB of RAM. Now, of course you can’t say for sure that the lesson is learned, but we’re already seeing (from PDC) that there is push to make windows 7 not needing even better hardware. And yes, I agree, people love to whine about way too many things. And the worst thing is to blindly pass that whining on and on ad nauseum. 2008-11-12 7:44 pm wannabe geek Vista is working great for me, and I think that if MS just focused on Vista and push out a few more service packs, Vista will become the new XP. A good and stable platform is great for both users and developers. I’d like Vista to be around for as long as XP has. Maybe that’s Microsoft’s worst nightmare 2008-11-12 8:59 pm jbauer A good and stable platform is great for both users and developers. I’d like Vista to be around for as long as XP has. The stable platform is already there with Vista. If Windows 7 manage to accomplish what MS is aiming for and the keepy the same hardware requirements and (almost) total compatibility, not much will be broken and the transition will be very smooth. Edited 2008-11-12 21:00 UTC 2008-11-12 7:26 pm GCrain In 2009, I will be running Haiku 🙂 2008-11-12 7:36 pm pysiak Just curious: have you contributed something to haiku ? Code, money, other work? I have contributed some money. Not much but I really have a good feeling about this 🙂 2008-11-12 7:48 pm GCrain Just curious: have you contributed something to haiku ? Code, money, other work? I have contributed some money. Not much but I really have a good feeling about this 🙂 Yes, actually I have – code and money. I’m not sure what qualifies as other work, but I try to enlighten people. 2008-11-12 7:42 pm shiny …really? We’re all gonna use it, whenever it comes. Or we’re not. We’ll see it when it gets out. 2008-11-13 5:21 pm gilboa “We’re all gonna use it”? I won’t. Neither will most of my family, half of my friends and at least 1/3 of my co-workers. … And if Windows Vista usage numbers in the group above is any indication (0%), I wouldn’t bet you next paycheck on having too many Windows 7 users in the group above. – Gilboa Edited 2008-11-13 17:22 UTC 2008-11-14 9:29 am 3rdalbum “We’re all gonna use it”? I won’t. Neither will most of my family, half of my friends and at least 1/3 of my co-workers. Oh, you’ll use it. Your family, all your friends, and all your co-workers will use it. Microsoft’s new programs will require at least Windows Vista to run. Hardware manufacturers will start releasing speccy hardware that requires Vista or 7. You can either run XP and use outdated software on an outdated computer, or you can run Vista or Windows 7 and use new software and new hardware. That’s how Apple works. If they want to move people to a new version of the OS, they just obsolete an older version so newer programs won’t run. 2008-11-15 3:03 am gilboa Oh, you’ll use it. Your family, all your friends, and all your co-workers will use it. Microsoft’s new programs will require at least Windows Vista to run. Hardware manufacturers will start releasing speccy hardware that requires Vista or 7. You can either run XP and use outdated software on an outdated computer, or you can run Vista or Windows 7 and use new software and new hardware. That’s how Apple works. If they want to move people to a new version of the OS, they just obsolete an older version so newer programs won’t run. Your argument is false to begin with. Apple produces its own machines. Microsoft produces keyboards webcam and mice. … and unlike you (as a private customer) Microsoft will think 200,000 times before pissing the only clients that matter – the big hardware manufacturers. If anything, you’re seeing far more Linux friendly hardware out there. (Splashtop InstantOn anyone?) EDIT: Pressed send too fast. I believe you missed my point. I don’t run Windows at all *. At least a third of my family and friends doesn’t use Windows at all. Half of my team-mates doesn’t use Windows at all. … And those who do run Windows, use Windows XP with -far- older copies of Office. (Mostly Office 2K/XP and Office 2K3.) Heck, even my company has refused to upgrade our -new- machines beyond XP and 2K3. (Running it as a VM) In the long run? -Some- people will switch to W7; Maybe if it’s good, a lot of people will. But never the less, bear in mind that ~2 years ago, you’d say the same about Vista… and thus far, it didn’t turn out that way. – Gilboa * Actually, my work requires me to port my code to Windows, so I have XP and 2K3 VM’s on my Linux workstation(s). Edited 2008-11-15 03:12 UTC 2008-11-15 2:53 pm cmost …really? We’re all gonna use it, whenever it comes. Or we’re not. We’ll see it when it gets out. I’m not using it. I haven’t used Windows for years. Microsoft can do whatever it wants…as long as it doesn’t interfere with my freedom to NOT choose its products or services. Edited 2008-11-15 14:54 UTC 2008-11-12 7:56 pm REM2000 As ive said before Vista is now ok with SP1 + patches. It does some things well, but mostly it runs the same as Windows XP. However one thing that will never change is the reputation. SP2 could bring the memory usage of Vista to 50MB and make your computer run 1000x quicker however it’s reputation will always let it down. I will agree that RTM vista wasn’t much of a release. So your in Microsoft’s shoes. You now have a pretty solid OS however it’s got a bad rep. You have Mac’s gaining market share and mind share, with rave reviews and another release soon. You also have Linux which is evolving incredibly well, it’s completely free of charge and is getting more and more public attention with every minute. What you do is to distance yourself from the naming scheme so that your next product doesn’t get associated (i.e. appear to start from scratch in a manner of speaking) so you call it windows 7. You clean up the UI, listen to your client base (the E7 blog has done really well to open up a channel between MS engineers and the general public) and think carefully about what your clients want and not what you want. However you still have a problem, Vista is still out there with not much chance of ever getting away from it’s rep, so you don’t get over ambitious and release your next product as soon as possible, without of course releasing a buggy or beta product as RTM. I think with Steve Sinofsky at the helm Microsoft have a really good chance of doing the above. ( Slighty Off topic) The one other thing i would change is the Advertising, ive seen a lot of those im a PC adverts and i think they are pretty stupid as to me a PC is something that can run Windows, Linux, Solaris, Haku etc.. Plus the tagline of bringing down the walls is pretty stupid, if you have no walls then you don’t need windows. In your adverts sell your product, don’t take cheap shots at competitors just say whats great about your product) 2008-11-12 8:39 pm Smeagol I think it’ll be a train wreck. They might put a new pretty UI on it, so as to be able to distinguish it from Vista, but the guts will still be mired in a compatibility nightmare. 2008-11-12 8:46 pm google_ninja Time from install disc in the drive to logged in on the desktop was 14 minutes on a laptop with a 5400rpm drive, which was a great first impression. Boot time is also improved over vista, I would say by a quarter as an unscientific guess. Overall it seems like a more polished version of vista. I am finding I really like the dock, although there will probably be an epic revolt over that one from the longtime windows users. It is also very impressive how stable it is at this point. I played around with pre beta builds of both XP and Vista, and neither even come close to 7 milestone 3. I have yet to hit any sort of crash, and performance is snappy and responsive. Vista they changed everything under the hood, this release seems focused on UI, with the only under the hood changes being for optimization. Edited 2008-11-12 20:47 UTC 2008-11-12 9:59 pm segedunum It is also very impressive how stable it is at this point. Considering that Vista is a public pre-alpha build of Windows 7, then I would hope so. 2008-11-13 12:26 am buff performance is snappy and responsive. There is a lot of data on the web in independent tests that show performance is identical to Vista. The UI feels faster since they tweaked it a little so that windows reposition, repaint faster. The underlying execution of application functions is identical to Vista. 2008-11-13 2:03 am google_ninja I never said it was better then vista, all i said was that it was fast 😉 on my hardware, there is no visible difference between xp, vista, and now 7 performance. 2008-11-12 9:57 pm segedunum Like I’ve said before around here, Windows 7 is what Vista definitely should have been to start off with. Vista is the new Windows ME, and if you bought it into it then you got stiffed, especially if you’re a business with desktop OS and hardware life cycles. 2008-11-12 10:13 pm poundsmack microsoft hopes it will be ready by then. as much as they have learned from the train wreck or bad publicity and user complaints it all comes down to this, “when would we sell the most copies?” (spoiler altert) answer: the holidy season. i would venture to geuess that 30-40% of vista users will upgrade (unlike the old days when everyone upgraded, now that things work, yes they work well enough, most people dont see the need). all new PC’s will be released with Windows 7 siring lots of new pc sales for the holidays. the other option is wait until 2010 to release like initialy expected and wait for “back to school” which is the second largest time of the year for PC sales. in the end MS will ship it (finished or not) when they believe it will generate them the most $$$. BUT, I think they are farther along than they are letting on and it will be feature complete and stable (as stable as pre SP1 releases can be) by its release time. and contrary to popular belief (and i have to be carefull how i word this to not violate my NDA), there is no “set in stone” release month, let alone a date. just trust me when i say MS learned from its mistake, and they have their tales between their legs still. windows 7 is going ot be what we all wanted since day 1 in an OS. 2008-11-15 4:21 pm abraxas windows 7 is going ot be what we all wanted since day 1 in an OS Hyperbole anyone? I think you don’t understand what we all want in an operating system. I hope Windows 7 is a worthwhile upgrade but I doubt it is going to gain any traction with people already using other operating systems. 2008-11-12 10:38 pm moleskine Microsoft’s most lucrative market is the enterprise. If the enterprise clicks its fingers, by and large Microsoft has to take notice. In contrast, Microsoft can easily afford to flimflam you, me and Joe Blow. They’ll never lose that many folks to Apple despite what the pundits may claim. So far as I can see, the enterprise has said that it doesn’t much care for Vista, seeing no need to upgrade from XP and besides, Vista’s hardware requirements mean that too many machines would have to be replaced. I’d guess that what Microsoft can’t afford to do is upset the enterprise with Windows 7. They’ll release Windows 7 when they are sure they’ve got the corporate mix right and maximized their chances of all those corporate billions pouring in. The catch is that whether they release in 2009 or 2010, Microsoft will be releasing a new product in the teeth of the worst economic recession in several decades. That will constrain pricing and demand, a hefty but so far hidden cost of ballsing it up with Vista the first time around. Vista was released at the height of a boom. 2008-11-12 11:20 pm h3rman The catch is that whether they release in 2009 or 2010, Microsoft will be releasing a new product in the teeth of the worst economic recession in several decades. That will constrain pricing and demand, a hefty but so far hidden cost of ballsing it up with Vista the first time around. Vista was released at the height of a boom. Probably worse, I’d say the worst depression of the century. If the us dollar finally collapses when Asia is getting out of the dollar, new computers will be far more expensive (the yuan will go up inevitably); sales will plummet and so will MS’s revenues. MS doesn’t care, they’ve got lots of cash. 2008-11-12 11:10 pm blitze Given the undelying changes MS did in Vista – they did a decent job but the UI has some glaring issues especially with Explorer. Also that MS didn’t bite the bullet with Vista releasing x64 only and you have quite a lot of market confusion. I hope that Windows 7 will be able to address these issues combined with some fat trimming and removal of obsolete compatability layers. I like Vista but I will be happy to be able to move to something more User Friendly whilst retaining the app compatabilities I depend upon. Then there will be Haiku which will be my alt OS of choice. 2008-11-12 11:19 pm djames the REAL question is…shouldn’t Microsoft release Windows 7 as a service pack for Vista. Methinks YES. 2008-11-13 10:28 am unoengborg The problem with OSes today, regardless of what vendor they come from, is that they start to be quite feature complete, i.e. they already do what people expect them to do. This means it is getting harder and harder and more and more expensive to create the new features that will make people run to the shop to get an upgrade, unless it is free, and perhaps not even then. Even if it is a free download from the web, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no costs of integrating the new piece of software into the IT structure of customer organization. Today Microsoft still have their OS bundled with almost every computer that is sold on the consumer market, it doesn’t matter if that OS is called XP, Vista or Windows 7. This is not going to change for a foreseeable future. Market inertia and data lock in will make sure of that. Microsoft still makes money on preinstalled OSes, but to be really successful they need to have products that make people want to upgrade the OS on their existing hardware. To some extent you can force upgrades, by ending support but that is not good for customer satisfaction, and may send the customer to a competitor. The current state of the economy will not help either. So, what they need to do is to focus less on products and more on services. Preferably services can be sold over and over again to the same customer. From what I understand Windows 7 is supposed facilitate this, but I think it would be better to deliver this functionality as free service packs, e.g. along with security updates that most people want, than as to make a brand new OS. That way they would avoid having OS buyers inertia hold back a more profitable service market. Opensource vendors like Red Hat have already learned that services is the way to survive in a commodity OS market. It is time for Microsoft learn it too, or they will lose the iron grip they have had over IT for over two decades. Edited 2008-11-13 10:31 UTC 2008-11-15 4:13 pm abraxas Microsoft made some nice interface improvements but now they should just focus on fixing Vista bugs and optimizing as much as possible. With an updated interface and smoother overall operation people will be more than happy. Drivers will still be compatible so it shouldn’t be an issue like it was when Vista was released. If they make a good impression people will jump ship from Vista in a heartbeat and they can get that mess behind them. They need to do this sooner than later to limit defections to other operating systems. This is especially important in the business world where most have refused to upgrade to Vista and are currently using a 7 year old operating system.