25 October 2009

Will Windows 7 Replace XP and Vista?



This article is written by a guest author Mukesh Jha, a USA based IT Support Tech. This week, Microsoft came up with its latest operating system, Windows 7, in the market. The previous launch by Microsoft, Windows Vista, was disliked by most of the users. People are in a dilemma whether to go for Windows 7 now or is it too early. I installed Windows 7 recently on my computer and personally I am also interested to know a bit more about this much hyped operating system. In this post, the author intends to compare the last three operating systems by Microsoft – Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 – and presents his opinion. Before I stop, let me thank Mukesh for writing this article for the readers of this blog. Please welcome him as he prepares to take over.


Microsoft, the undisputed leader in business productivity software, has almost enjoyed a monopoly in the market of operating systems for personal computers. This week, on October 22nd, Microsoft launched its latest version of operating system called Windows 7. According to many, Microsoft’s last venture, Windows Vista, was a failure thanks to the reasons like poor marketing, faster battery drain in the laptops, higher system requirements, missing drivers, poor overall performance, missing file system like winFS and so on. Windows Vista could get a share of less than 10% installation on the corporate computers. Microsoft itself did admit that Vista was not a success after all. Now we are entering into the age of Windows 7 but the question is “Will Windows 7 Replace XP and Vista?” I am going to share my opinions with you all with the help of this post.

After a great success of Windows XP, Vista came up. Unfortunately Vista was unable to replace XP and couldn’t come even close to XP if we talk about its share in terms of use. Still 60% of the businesses are using XP environment because they believe that it works best for their working needs. There are quite a few companies still using Windows 2000 that’s because there are some particular applications which may not be compatible with XP but other than that most companies use Windows XP. Besides this, the world seems to be in love with Windows XP. People want to keep it in market especially after their experience with Windows Vista, and this makes Vista look even worse. There are some reports about people reverting back to XP after finding the drawbacks of Vista.

Windows Vista is out for quite some time now. Vista originally came carrying a goal to replace XP but failed to leave even its own footprint. I have encountered very few instances of a company using it in their work environment. To many, Vista is nothing better than a piece of junk. Vista is being used mainly by either home users or those who use the computer for their home/ personal use because they do not have a choice other than using it. Here in the United States, most of the outlets like Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, Sams Club, Costco etc. were selling computers with only Vista preloaded (before Windows 7 was launched). When People ask to uninstall Vista, they charge some additional money ($99.00) to remove Vista and put XP back on (except for some Vista ultimate users who had an option to get their operating system down- graded for free). The percentage of people who don’t know anything about an operating system despite of using computer for a long time is fairly high even now. For people who fall under this category may not have any issues either by with XP or with Vista. So basically Microsoft is forcing people to buy the computers with Vista pre-loaded. This way, Microsoft still making profit whether you take the computer as it is or even if you ask them replaces Vista with XP at additional $99.00. Let’s forget the Vista here but do keep the XP in mind and let’s move towards the new innovation, Windows 7.

Windows XP has been the best operating system for almost a decade now but is it the turn for Windows 7? Many People say that Windows 7 seems to be nothing more than some polish applied liberally to the Vista Aero theme. I would say, please do not jump into this conclusion so early, because windows 7 seems to be a complete replacement of Vista and much better than Vista in terms of performance. Windows 7 is more than just spin. It's stable, smooth, and highly polished operating system introducing new graphical features, a new taskbar that can compete handily with the Mac OS X dock, and device management and security enhancements that make it both easier to use and safer. Importantly, it won't require the hardware upgrades that Vista demanded (at least Microsoft claims it). The reason behind this is partially because the hardware has caught up, and partially because Microsoft is eager to make Windows 7 accessible to as many people as possible.

Microsoft is offering six versions of Windows 7: Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, OEM, and Enterprise. The three versions that Redmond will be promoting most heavily are Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate, although Starter will also be available to consumers. Windows 7 will support both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. The bare minimum requirements for the 32-bit include a 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB available hard-disk space, and a DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver. 64-bit systems will require at least a 1 GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 20GB of free space on your hard drive, and a DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver. A touch-screen monitor is required to take advantage of the native touch features. Do note that some users have claimed to have limited success running the Windows 7 beta with less than 1GB of RAM, but that's not recommended.

Comparing Windows: XP vs. Vista vs. 7


Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7

Minimum hardware

Processor: 300MHz

Processor: 1GHz

Processor: 1 GHz

RAM: 128MB

RAM: 1GB (32-bit), 2GB (64-bit)

RAM: 1GB (32-bit), 2GB (64-bit)

Super VGA graphics device

Support for DirectX 9 graphics device with 128MB of memory

Support for DirectX 9 graphics device with 128MB of memory

HD: 4.2GB (for SP3)

HD: 20GB (32-bit), 40GB (64-bit)

HD: 16GB (32-bit), 20GB (64-bit)




Interface

Luna theme

Aero theme

Aero theme

Introduces task-based windows options

Introduces transparent panes, window animations, live thumbnails of running programs

Supports slideshow backgrounds, RSS and theme packs

Skinning possible but difficult

New desktop sidebar supports gadgets

Introduces Aero Shake and Aero Snap

Desktop Cleanup Wizard automates removing old icons

Supports touch screens

Desktop gadgets can be placed anywhere



Supports multi-touch on touch screens




Explorer

Replaces tree navigation by default with task pane

Task pane integrated into toolbar

Support for federated searches and libraries

Improves image handling

New breadcrumb navigation

Virtual folders aggregate content from local and networked drives

Offers thumbnail previews and group views

New metadata display


Supports some metadata

Improved icon resolution



Some documents can be edited from the preview pane





Start menu

New layout

Added search box

Taskbar jumps appear in the Start menu and replace the right column when viewed

Devices and some Control Panel options appear in menu

All Programs folder changed to a nested format

Documents, Pictures, Music buttons now link to their libraries


Configurable power button

Control Panel options have been integrated into search results


User profile picture





Taskbar

New look

Refreshed look

Interactive mouse-over preview panes

Hideable icons in System Tray

Alt-Tab hot key now shows preview thumbnail of program

Replacement of the Quick Launch bar with pinned programs



Program-specific jump lists based on pinned programs



Aero Peek for mouse-over desktop viewing



Revamped System Tray




Devices

Introduces Universal Plug-n-Play

Debuts portable device API, designed to communicate with cell phones, PDAs, and portable media players

New Device Stage provides a centralized, unified window for managing all aspects of printers and portable devices

New driver library allows for downgrading drivers when necessary

Introduces Sync Center for managing data synchronizations



Misc.

Introduces context-menu CD and DVD burning from Windows Explorer

Built-in drive partitioning

Expands Windows Explorer disc burning to include ISOs

Supports multiple versions of a single DLL to prevent programs from overwriting each other

More powerful screen-capturing tool

Introduces XP Mode

Introduces Hibernate and Sleep modes

Hybrid Sleep and better configuration options for more nuanced power management

Expanded options for disabling components

Remote Desktop for accessing a computer from another location

User-based file-type associations

Can search text in scanned TIFF

Fast user account switching

Previous Version automatically backs up changes to individual files

Additional power-saving features for laptops




(source: CNET)

The good: Strong design and Microsoft don't always go together, but they do in Windows 7. Users might take a while to get used to the new taskbar and Aero Peek, but they're a pleasure to use.

The bad: Performance is still hit-or-miss in Windows 7. At the ripe age of seven, Windows XP still performs better in some categories.

The bottom line: Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go. How much damage Vista did and whether Windows 7 is enough for people to finally abandon Windows XP are questions that nobody has the answers to right now. (source: CNET)

I have recently installed the Windows 7 on my computer. The first impression of this looks okay to me and I would encourage users to install it. It looks like the operating system consumers have been waiting for. Microsoft claims to have fixed most of the problems that were in Vista and believes that Windows 7 is the future of Windows brand of operating systems.


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13 Comments:

Mukesh Jha said...

Dear our regular blog readers!
I have shared my personal opinion through this post, please do not mind if you disagree with any of my opinions. As this is part of my personal work experience, so please feel free to comment with your valuable opinion and experiences. I would love to hear about your experiences specially in regards to Vista. No offence here, if you like vista, this is just my general opinion and there is nothing to do with that. At last, I would like to thank Mr. Deependra Jha for letting me share my opinion via his blog.
Thank you.

Very kindly
Mukesh Jha

Dilip Acharya on October 25, 2009 at 1:08 PM said...

Due to several nagging messages, some hardware issues and it's slow performance, I also down-graded my system from Vista Home Premium to Windows Xp Pro.

I installed Win 7 just yesterday, but my first impression is not very much different than that of Vista, Installation took lesser time though.

As there were some remarkable changes between it's previous versions of Ose's (like win 95 to 98, 98 to 2000 and xp etc.) I didn't found much difference in it's GUI.

I figured out some enchantments on it's taskbar and it has became little user friendly than it's previous Avatar, Vista. But I think people who disliked Vista may also have similar feeling about this new Avatar.

Last but not least, I think it's ever growing hardware requirement makes people to think about something alternate and migrate to Linux and other Oses.

Thanks for the in depth info and comparison table; which will be of much help for users like us to make a choice.

Hasitha on October 25, 2009 at 2:40 PM said...

I think this is a timely post, since many people will be interested to know how the newly released Windows 7 will compare against its predecessors. Personally I think Windows 7 is a very good product, and finally it seems that Microsoft has managed to release a worthy upgrade to Windows XP. But , for me Windows 7 is not a huge technical break through, since it simply delivers the stability and security of Vista with XP level performance. After all, it is largely based on Vista code base, so we can’t expect too much out of it.

However I see few problems in the way MS is launching Windows 7. First : the number of editions. There are 6 standard editions, 3 regional editions, 3 upgrade editions (with 4 options), and 3 more editions for Netbooks. That puts the total count at 15! Why confuse the customers like this ? This is the most ridicules marketing strategy I’ve seen so far.

The next is the cost. ! $199.99 for Home premium and $319.99 for ultimate. IMO that is way too much. On top of that the upgrade licenses costs almost as high as the retail licenses: $119.99 for Home Premium and $219.99 for Ultimate. Personally I think Windows 7 should’ve been a free upgrade to at least those with Windows Vista Ultimate. After paying $399 for vista Ultimate why are we asked to pay another $219 just for a performance upgrade?? Pricing (especially the upgrade pricing) is a huge letdown for me.

Prabesh on October 25, 2009 at 4:40 PM said...

I m interested in using windows 7 although I have not used it till now....all these words encourage me to install windows 7 as I m using vista till now...

Ashesh on October 25, 2009 at 5:08 PM said...

up to now i am satisfied with vista but eager to install windows7. Thanks to writer for sharing his experience.

आकार on October 25, 2009 at 7:48 PM said...

Will post my view, only after using it...anyway, thanks for sharing this information...

badri on October 26, 2009 at 12:43 PM said...

thanks for sharing information and comparing windows.

Prajwol on October 26, 2009 at 5:45 PM said...

I'm on with my XP Pro till I total my computer. I don't see the necessity or desire to ever upgrade from it. The ever increasing hardware requirements with each new OS don’t make any sense on upgrading either.

I appreciate the author and the blog owner for posting this very informative post. But, what I am more interested in reading is "why should an average computer user ever need to upgrade from XP?" If anyone one of you find a post shedding light on that regard, please do forward me the link.

Adios!!

Shilpa Garg on October 26, 2009 at 6:45 PM said...

That's an informative post and cool analysis of XP, Vista and 7.
The features, benefits and advantages of windows 7 are tempting me to upgrade from XP to 7.
But is it advisable to wait and watch for some time to see more usage among the consumers!!??

MADHU RAO | (INDImag.COM) on October 27, 2009 at 9:08 AM said...

I downgraded from Vista on a machine and am still using it, albeit grudgingly, in a few. To say Vista has been a remarkable failure would be an understatement. I started dabbling in Macs recently and the difference is telling. Fooled around with W-7 on a friend's machine and unfortunately it's no SnowLeopard.

PS : Reviews are better when they are un=biased. When you start out with "Microsoft, the undisputed leader in business productivity software..", it does not convey impartial review. Sans for Office & Windows MS has been having a bad decade and is out thought in every aspect be it Databases, Search, Browser or company in general..

Chaitanya on October 28, 2009 at 6:39 PM said...

Thank you Mukeshji for an elaborate discussion on a timely subject matter!Thank you Deependraji also for providing this forum to him.
Personally, as a home user, I preferred vista to XP because of its stronger security system and smarter toolbar options. I am looking forward to installing 7 in the near future and your description will, of course, remind me what to check in a new system.

Nirmal on October 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM said...

i read ur article n now i am convinced abt windows 7. i'll buy a laptop with windows 7 in it. can i get it??

Mukesh on November 2, 2009 at 9:53 AM said...

Dear Readers,

I really appreciate all your valuable comments and suggestions regarding my post. It is obvious that we are always ready to try something new. People – at least Microsoft’s fans – have waited long enough for a better replacement of XP and Vista and here we go, we have got windows 7 now. Thanks to Microsoft for making such a nice operating system which is capable of challenging Mac.

In response to Dilip Acharya's comment, it seems better than Microsoft's all previous operating systems. Yes, I must say Vista was piece of junk but again XP has been one of the best OS in the past decade and it is still popular among both personal and corporate users. I must say, Windows 7 has come up with a complete set of features and requirements what we can think of either for personal use or official use.

Thank you Hasitha for sharing your feelings and experiences on Windows 7.

The comment made by Prajwol echoes the sentiment of many especially the PC users. We will discuss about why we should now upgrade to Windows 7 and gradually give up XP, in one of my upcoming posts.

Regarding Shilpa’s comment, I would say yes, it’s fair to give the new OS a try. You will find it exciting and cool.

In response to the comment by Madhu Rao, the statement that Microsoft is the undisputed leader in business productivity software, I actually wrote it in the context of the operating systems.

In response to Nirmal's comment, yes, you can buy laptops with Windows 7 pre-loaded for as cheap as $699.99.

I have myself started using windows 7 and so far I am pretty happy with its graphics, performance and outlook. I can't say it's better than Mac but it is not inferior either. We are still to learn more about Windows7 and will post my next article as I will experience some more about it.

Thank you once again for your time to read the post and comment on it. I am glad that my post was informative and helpful for you guys. I will look forward to share more of my experiences in future through this blog.

Very Kindly
Mukesh Jha

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The views expressed by the guest authors as well as commentators on this blog do not necessarily reflect my views and of those who link to this blog. The comments on this blog are the sole responsibility of their writers who will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that result from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The accuracy, completeness, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed.


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