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Doug's Mailbag: Moving to Windows 7, Can Microsoft's AV Compete?, More

Some reports are suggesting that a higher-than-expected percentage of users will stick with XP rather than move to Windows 7. But that doesn't apply to these readers:

I'd start deploying Windows 7 at work tomorrow if there was budget for it (sigh). I plan to buy a new laptop with Windows 7 on Oct. 22 for home. I've used Windows 7 at work personally since it was available through MVL. It is far superior to Vista with no real issues to keep XP around.

I am sick of XP, to tell you the truth, though I got my money's worth out of it. I received a free upgrade to Vista when I bought my Dell a few years ago and never installed it, mostly because of the bad press. Now, I can upgrade to Windows 7 for $200 (Ultimate), but I have to do a clean install from XP which is a drag. I'm looking to "upgrade" to Vista for a couple weeks, then go to Windows 7 to take advantage of the upgrade pricing and hopefully not have to re-install 50 applications (go ahead and say it).

XP is just not taking advantage of newer machines. Since i/o prioritizations was introduced in Vista, Windows has the architecture of a "mature" OS, but most people just don't realize the difference it will make. It will take all day Saturday to do the upgrades, but it will be worth it in the long haul.

Windows 7 does everything that XP does and more (at least, everything that I have tried to run). I have been running 7 since the beta and now RC1 (on a MacBook, no less). Pre-ordered 7 for 50 bucks back in late June -- can't wait until the 22nd!

At home, I've already moved to Windows 7. As for work, all new laptops issued to my employees will have Windows 7 on them. I see no reason to move to Vista, and then to Windows 7.

Microsoft released its free anti-virus solution last week, but Jeff already has one of those -- and he's not switching:

I'm very happy with Avast anti-virus from Alwil Software. It's free, for home, personal use! No more paying Norton et al. for annual updates, or being swayed into buying a whole new package instead of the virus updates. Runs way faster than Norton, too, which was slow when downloading large files like pictures. I haven't been aware of having any virus problems that Avast missed. Not sure how Microsoft could be better if they're both free.

And finally, readers share their thoughts on Steve Ballmer's recent unfavorable assessment of IBM's business moves:

Ballmer's analysis is correct as to why IBM got out of these businesses, but their service model is dramatically different than Microsoft's. IBM has ALWAYS been a service company. They sell and lease computer hardware in order to lease software. There is far less profit in hardware than there is in software. IBM cannot afford to sell commodity hardware; there is just too little profit in it to pay for their sales force, which can make a lot more money for IBM by selling proprietary solutions and the services needed to keep them running.

Whether the IBM model can survive in the future is hard to say, but IBM is still the largest computer services company in the world. Microsoft is merely the largest SOFTWARE company in the world. Ballmer is just trying to poke IBM in the eye. It is a waste of his time and ours.

IBM is old, slow and out of gas!

Check in on Friday for more letters, including thoughts on Windows 7 editions and more. Meanwhile, leave a comment below or send an e-mail to

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/07/2009 at 1:17 PM


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