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Doug's Mailbag: Switching to 7?

After the generally negative (over)reaction to a recent ScriptLogic survey that showed most participants don't have "current" plans to switch to Windows 7, Doug decided to ask readers if, when and why they're making the move:

We will probably upgrade one or two information systems computers to Windows 7 to start looking at application and device compatibility. The rest of the computers at the office will NOT be upgraded to Windows 7.

New computers may probably come with Windows 7.

As a small business, we don't have the funds, resources or inclination to upgrade all systems to any new OS. We simply buy the OS of the day with any new PCs as they are purchased, for the simple reason that we will need the new OS eventually. My take is simple: Test the new OS, and if it works fine with the small group of software packages we run, we get it on the new PCs. Otherwise, we buy PCs with the new OS' license and use our downgrade rights for a while. We have always done this; Windows 7 will be no different. Yes, this leads to a mish-mash of different OSes, but honestly, MS has done a fine enough job making them similar that it doesn't really cause any significant headaches.

I think the problem with the surveys like ScriptLogic's is that the majority of folks that participate are from Fortune 500 and other large corporate entities. I think this may skew the numbers away from how most businesses feel about any given new OS. Since small business is king in the U.S. economy, it really would not surprise me if my ultra-simple approach is more the rule then the exception on how the majority of businesses treat new OSes.

The only reason we're deploying Vista (this week, as a matter of fact) instead of Windows 7 is that we spent a bunch of money getting ready for a Vista deployment over the last couple of years. I'm told we don't want to repeat the expensive testing cycle with Vista even though everyone agrees it is a better OS.

However, I've used Windows 7 at home since its release for beta testers, and I love it.

Microsoft recently tweaked its volume licensing strategy, but it's still pretty confusing. Dave thinks the trick is not what you know, but whom:

I don't know about enterprises that are able to deal with MS directly, but for small businesses, the trick is to find a trusted and knowledgeable open license vendor and stick with them. The programs are complex enough and change frequently enough that it's worth dealing with an expert rather than trying to figure it out for yourself. It's best if you can find someone who is small business-oriented, as often the bigger players won't want to put any effort into a sale of only five or 10 licenses.

After getting treated as an afterthought by some of the bigger vendors, I settled on SoftwareONE. Their sales reps are MS-certified and they've never steered me wrong.


And finally, how much time do you spend staring at all the "glowing rectangles" in your life?

Six hours in front of the computer at work. Seventy-five minutes in front of the TV on work nights, two hours per day on weekends. So, about 35 percent of my waking hours.

So, is IE 8 slow, or what? Check in on Monday to see what readers had to say. Meanwhile, send in your own thoughts to [email protected]

Posted by Doug Barney on 07/24/2009 at 1:16 PM


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