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Windows 7 to increase hardware sales

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 by Paul White

Windows 7 logoOne of the biggest complaints of the Windows OS was that it was always launched prematurely, and the product was always bulky and slow compared to its predecessor.  I knew many people who continued to run windows 98 until almost recently when XP SP3 was released.  Microsoft forever was focused on producing an OS that would increase productivity, and power.  While Apple was always obsessed with the look and feel of the OS.  In the past years with Apple slowing growing in market share Microsoft I guess was worried that between Apple with its great looks, and Linux with its raw power, would soon begin to chip away of Microsoft's market share.  This becomes an even larger worry for Microsoft's presence in China, where users are much more tech savy than Americans.  Tech savy people are more keen to make the move to Linux, while those who are slower to learn, are more keen to make the move to Apple.

The problems with Vista.

Vista's biggest problem was the boat load of RAM needed to experience all its wonder.  That and with the new Aero Interface, you had better have a decent graphics card.  Developers hated Vista, because it ran slower than XP.  People hated vista because it was different than XP.  After all with XP being around for nearly 6 years, people had gotten used to the way it functions.  Even though we like change in politics we do not like change with our Computers.  Older people have this resistance to change down to a science.  They have groups like the AARP that's only purpose is to represent the Anti change demographic ( 65 + ).  Back to Vista.  The other issue Vista had was compatability with Hardware.  Every manufacturer now had to go make new drivers just for Vista.  This prevented things for people to bitch about.  All this bitching ended up on blogs, and this trickled into the mainstream media.  Now major news outlets would joke about Vista suckin.  This of course is perceived by the consumer ( non tech savy ) and causes them to not make the upgrade, or even buy a new computer that has it installed. 

The hardware problem

Consumers also had been trained to only evaluate a computer based on its CPU speed.  CPU speed became irrelavent back in 2003.  The fastest chips only reached 3.6 or 3.8 Ghz.  We have been adding more Cache, and more Cores ever since.  Getting a consumer to understand this can be a challenge. 

The Datacenter problem.

We have all seen the IBM commercials that talk about their blade servers and how you can replace a room full of servers with a single rack.  For Microsoft this also becomes a problem.  Traditionally licenses were sold based on how many CPU's a system had.  With the quad core chips, you now have 4x the hardware power, but still only have to buy a single CPU license.  As data centers consolidate their hardware, this will result in fewer total licenses needed.  Of course some believe that Microsoft makes the newer versions of its OS to be bulky to ensure that people would not be able to reduce hardware like this.  If you talk to a developer that works mostly with linux they will tell you how great linux is because you can load thousand of websites onto a single server and it doesn't choke like a Windows based server.  Of course this could be debated, but the point is less hardware means fewer licenses and less profit for Microsoft.

The reality of OS progression via the fluff cycle

Windows 95 - Most bug filled OS ever
Windows 98 - Nice Product
Windows ME - Fluff Product
Windows 2000 - Fluff taken out and optimized for servers
Windows XP - Nice Product with long life cycle
Windows Server 2003 - Nice Product optimized for servers
Windows Vista - Fluff Product
Windows Server 2008 - Fluff taken out and optimized for servers
Windows 7 - Future Nice product with long life cycle ( fingers crossed )

How Windows 7 could jump start the industry

Currently most computers sold today are 64bit compatible.  Meaning they could run a 64 bit OS if you installed it.  But because the sheer number of software problems that run on 32bit machines, Microsoft can't force people to make this upgrade.  Years ago if Microsoft made Vista only a 64bit OS, it would have missed out on the still large number of people running 32bit machines.  This demographic would be forced to buy a new computer and would likely refuse.  If windows 7 is released as a 64 bit OS only.  This would be ideal.  Most computers sold in the past 3 years are 64bit compatible.  Plus software manufacturers have started to write programs for the 64bit platform.  Hardware manufactures could also use a boost in sales.  Anyone with a computer older than 3 years would have to buy a new system.  This would help push computer sales.

Another rumor is that Windows 7 may take the approach that Windows XP took.  Have a Home edition for home users, and a Professional editon for those who need IIS ( web server, SMTP, DNS, ect. ).  XP pro also had more advanced versions in the form of Windows Server 2003 ( server, cluster, datacenter ) meant to serve the IT market.  One of the biggest complaints IT people had was that Vista was released in 4 versions just for marketing.  They would be better to ditch the fluff, and simplify the OS options.

Recently one of the guys at CNET claimed hegot his hands on one of the Windows 7 Pre-Beta releases. He claims that Windows 7 was considerably faster than Windows Vista.  It is also rumored to be faster than XP as well.  This jump in performance would encourage many to move to windows 7.  Especially the gaming community that spends more than the average user on their system.

Another rumor is that Windows 7 is being built specifically for Multicore chips like the intel core i7.  If the rumors about windows 7 are true, there will be a quick and early adoption of it, encouraging higher demand for the newest hardware from Intel and AMD.  Next march may be a good time to buy into Microsoft if you are an investor. 

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