infoTECH Feature

April 14, 2010

Early Windows 7 Adopters Satisfied So Far

With Windows 7 approaching its six-month birthday, people who have upgraded so far seem happy with the new operating system, according to a recent survey from Forrester (News - Alert).

Among the almost 5,000 consumers surveyed by Forrester, 86 percent of these early adopters said they were satisfed with their computers compared with 74 percent of overall Windows users who reported that they were pleased with their PCs.

Forester's report 'Windows 7 Early Adopters Are Very Satisfied,' also found that 43 percent of Windows 7 users bought their copy of the new OS to upgrade an existing PC. That's about on par with the 45 percent who said they purchaseda new PC with Windows 7 already installed. In the past, Microsoft (News - Alert)'s release of a new operating system often prompted people to buy new computers to obtain and run the latest version of Windows. This was certainly true with Windows Vista, which in many cases demanded new and beefier hardware than XP.

But with Windows 7, Forrester believes that more people were able to upgrade because the hardware requirements were leaner and lighter, and the new OS could sufficiently run on older PCs.

Commenting about the survey in a blog, Forrester analyst JP Gownder wrote, 'In the past, OSes were designed with Moore's Law as an underlying assumption -- that is, that newer PC hardware would be significantly faster and more powerful than the previous generation's hardware. Windows 7, however, is a less burdensome OS than Windows Vista. The rise of Netbooks, the physical assets of multi-PC households, and an attachment by many consumers to their Windows XP machines all contributed to the need for a sleeker, thinner Windows OS, which Windows 7 delivered.'

The overall satisfaction with Windows 7 ties in with a previous column I wrote on a survey of IT pros moving aggressively to deploy Windows 7. The IT admins questioned expressed a fairly high degree of confidence in the new OS, prompting them to not wait for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 before launching a migration.

Personally, I've found upgrading from Windows Vista to 7 to be smoother than I expected. Late last year and earlier this year, I moved a few of my own PCs from Vista to 7. The upgrade itself ran relatively quickly, and most software survived the migration intact. I ran into one issue with a Netgear (News - Alert) Wireless-N adapter on one of my desktops. The adapter ran fine under Vista using Netgear's Vista driver. But after moving to Windows 7, the adapter no longer worked properly. And too late I found that Netgear failed to get its act together in time to create a Windows 7 driver. Fortunately, I found a workaround on a Netgear forum and was able to coax the adapter back to life.

I also found a problem with an older HP laser printer. Like most manufacturers, HP isn't likely to create Windows 7 specific drivers for its older hardware. But using the Vista driver instead saved the day. Other than my Netgear and HP issues, all hardware and software have been running smoothly.

So overall, you can add me to those 5,000 consumers who are satisfied with the Windows 7 upgrade.

Lance Whitney is a journalist, IT consultant, and Web Developer with almost 20 years of experience in the IT world. To read more of Lance's articles, please visit his columnist page

Edited by Alice Straight

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