Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Not every Windows user is going to like Windows 7

Not every Windows user is going to like Windows 7.

And, it’s true– you cannot please all the people, all the time.

I have been using Windows 7 as my main desktop OS for a while now, and have written several installments of  “A Tech’s Impressions” series, (see, A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 — Part 1 of a series) with more on the way. This article is not one of them – it’s more a (my) look at psychology than technology.

It is hard to be a reader of technology-oriented websites, or business analysis sources, and be unaware that Windows Vista was not a pop sensation (it did not “go viral”) … and that many people are (deliberately) “sticking with XP”.
For a multitude of “reasons”.

In fact, many flat-out say Vista was a flop. From a marketing and sales standpoint, I think I have to agree. It was, to me, mind-bogglingly stupid (and I’m being polite) to 1) let Vista be released without driver support, 2) To not hammer home to the public the fact that Vista was NEVER meant for old machines, and 3) To let 18 months (!) of brilliant “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” ads run unanswered.
And.. when the long awaited Microsoft reply finally came?
An equally stupid (and vaguely insulting) move; a campaign called “Mojave”, that nobody saw. (see, Marketing the Microsoft Way–”Mojave”). They got a little smarter with the following “I’m a PC” campaign.. but that was way too little, far too late.
The number of Apple machines jumped from somewhere around 5-7% to 10-15% (I don’t care about that though. Good for Apple). Microsoft’s revenue declined, and has announced a 5,000 -employee layoff. (see, Gartner: Blame Vista for Microsoft layoffs.)

But Vista is stuck with an (IMHO) undeserving bad rap, and many people have chosen to stay with a less secure and aging operating system. (Me? I’ll never go back. I retired the last of my XP systems a while ago.)
XP was released in 2001. In computer years, that’s five iterations of Moore’s Law ago -more people used floppy disks than thumb drives- and in human perspective.. the Trade Towers were still standing.

Microsoft has clearly learned a few things from Vista’s “failure”, and made some changes, evident already in the Windows 7 beta release. I am eager to see if that “education” will change how Windows 7 is marketed to the masses.

Let’s get back to the topic: built on the Vista kernel, tweaked for friendliness and one-click-simple, loaded with device drivers, faster, etc., etc., Windows 7 is what Vista should have been, and all the standard reasons to avoid it (or.. “wait for Service Pack 1”) seem to me to have been already addressed and answered. I boldly predict that you will not see the same “this sucks!” or “my doohickie won’t work!” reaction that Vista saw.

But people will still find ways to avoid “going viral” over Windows 7.. and find excuses to stick with old OS’s on old equipment. For instance, I know a retired Admin who won’t run anything except Windows 2000.. it, quote, “does everything I want, or need”.
Some folks will move to Server 2008 (and say they aren’t runninspockg Vista/7) because they don’t care for the “eye candy”.
Yet others will stick with XP.. because they’ve become intimate with it over the years (or claim “it’s faster”…).

People are a “trip” (to use some California lingo), and seem to me full of idiosyncrasies; and as Mr. Spock kept pointing out, don’t always react logically. I do know one thing — people are inherently resistant to change, and find it stressful.

Is Windows 7 a big change? Well, it looks different, but, no. Does it have some new “must have” feature? Well, no. (see, What’s really new in Windows 7?) Is it “better”? Well, from what I’ve seen so far, yes. (And I think 7 will go a long ways towards moving us into 64-bit computing.) Can it run on older workstations (one reason Vista was not adopted by the enterprise) or does it require a hardware upgrade? Less stringent than Vista, but, sheeze.. just how long do you want to run that single-core+512MB’s?!

The official release date of Windows 7, and finding it on computers in stores, is a ways off yet (October?).. probably coinciding with next year’s Holiday shopping period. A very good argument can be made that Windows 7’s success or failure will not be due to consumer opinion, but the state of the economy. But.. I will be carefully watching the consumer’s reaction.

One thing I’ll be watching is if Apple’s new “Snow Leopard” continues to eat into the “Microsoft share”…

Today’s free link: Fighting malware: An interview with Paul Ferguson

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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January 23, 2009 - Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, Microsoft, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. […] Vista, and 7 – The Psychology of it ALL… You have to read this article by TechPaul at “Tech-for Everyone”. He looks, not inside the PC this time, but looks inside the person when it comes to “CHANGE”; […]


    Pingback by Windows XP, Vista, and 7 – The Psychology of it ALL… « What’s On My PC | January 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. I’m still writing aps in VB6, my preferred development suite. Will the new OS run .exe’s created in VB6?


    Comment by CaptShady | January 23, 2009 | Reply

    • I use the latest Visual Studio “Express” versions (free), and so.. I don’t know off the top of my head. But, if it works on Vista, it’ll work on 7. I installed some very old games (DOS-based) games as my test, and only 1 did I have to set the “Compatibility Mode” properties to get it to work.

      If I may ask.. what are you writing in VB?

      To get Visual Basic 2008 Express, click here.


      Comment by techpaul | January 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. You name, I’ll write it. People ask me to write apps for them all the time, plus on my regular job, they’ve yet to purchase a .NET SDK, so we’re still working in VB6. I work for my local adult probation office, writing case management software for the officers.


    Comment by CaptShady | January 24, 2009 | Reply

    • That’s very cool. I finally got curious enough about programming to take a night class at my local JC. On advice from “those who should know”, I took an intro to C++ class.. even though it’s an “obsolete” language (well, out-dated, for sure).
      We basically just got far enough along to either ‘hook you’.. or for you to decide programming isn’t for you. I will be taking another class, and I’m a bit envious of those more advanced.. as it sounds as though you are.

      The Express editions of the creator/compiler, are free, as are the libraries.. and work quite well. I provided a link to the VB version.. did you perchance look at it yet?

      I apologize in that I somehow missed that you were asking me if your apps (compiled using VB6) would run.. I was thinking, “will VB6 run”.
      I would have to defer to an actual programmer for that answer.
      Anyone out there willing to answer?


      Comment by techpaul | January 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. I looked at it, downloaded it, and passed along the link. So far it looks very cool. Plus, I like free!


    Comment by CaptShady | January 25, 2009 | Reply

    • If you are not already, Visual Studio has direct links to the online resources of the Developer Network (MSDN) through the Help menu.
      I cannot say enough good things about the MSDN, and the folks who participate there. (It’s huge, too.)


      Comment by techpaul | January 25, 2009 | Reply

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