Okay, so I have to chime in on Windows 7. I know its been done to death, but I can’t help myself. I have no doubt that this is the operating system Microsoft should have delivered instead of Vista. Don’t get me wrong, Vista is a step in the right direction, but Windows 7 brings the ideas Microsoft only half delivered in Vista up to par.
So, what do I like about Windows 7? I like how it feels. Maybe I’m just finally getting used to navigating in the Vista interface, but it seems to me that things are more intuitively placed in many instances. There is a lot of counter-intuitive placement in Vista that’s still broken in 7 though.
I think what I like best about Windows 7 is the speed. I upgraded my aging Thinkpad T61p with Windows 7 from Vista and it’s definitely faster than it used to be… even with spotty beta driver support from Lenovo and other vendors. Yes, I get some driver errors, but I think even so, it’s more stable than Vista was on my laptop too. The peppy start up is very nice. Slow laptops especially will benefit from the shorter startup times.
So, with Windows 7 coming on October 22nd, I’m advising all my clients to hold off on new PC purchases if possible. We’re going to walk the bleeding edge so we can access some of the new Server 2008 R2 features. Several of my clients are interested in branch cache. I could set them up now with DFSR, but I think BranchCache is a more elegant solution. Many of my customers are interested in accessing their files remotely without starting a VPN client. Combined with RPC over HTTPS (Outlook Anywhere), I think Direct Access has the potential to be a major productivity enhancer.
Finally, I’m excited about a new Microsoft desktop O/S. I haven’t had to learn much new on the desktop side since, well… 2002 or so… when XP was released. I think the Windows 7 evolution (not a revolution though) is going to be good for the industry and good for users both. I’ve seen projections that few businesses are planning to upgrade (still), but with the way that consumers are leading businesses to new technology today (uh, iPhone anyone?) I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing more Windows 7 than some of the analysts think, and sooner.