It Won't Pay to Hold Out for Service Pack 1

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-04-08 Print this article Print

5. Microsoft was smart this time

Microsoft made an extremely smart move with Windows 7. Rather than release an operating system that it knew would need to be substantially fixed after its release, the company spent more time on the launch version of the operating system. By doing so, it ensured that Windows 7 would be a more capable and reliable operating system than previous versions of the software. It's easy to rail against the many mistakes that Microsoft makes, but the company did a fine job of ensuring that Windows 7 was ready for the entire market at its launch.

6. It arrived ready for enterprise use

In the past, the main Windows holdouts were enterprise users. Companies that were content with their current operating systems shied away from deploying a new version of Windows until it was properly patched with the first service pack. But once again, Windows 7 is different. The operating system is ready for enterprise customers. As mentioned above, it provides full compatibility with most legacy products, thanks to Windows XP mode. And with the help of some of the extra security and encryption features built into the operating system, it's a fine choice to use right now.

7. Waiting with
Vista isn't a good idea

Windows Vista is still a nightmare for users. The operating system suffers from awkward design quirks, security problems and compatibility troubles that plague enterprise customers and consumers. And although Windows 7 hasn't been bolstered with its first service pack just yet, it's still a better bet than Vista. At this point, no Windows user should be advised to stick with Vista over Windows 7. Microsoft's latest operating system improves upon Vista on far too many fronts for it to be considered a more viable software solution. If users are opting for Vista over Windows 7, it's a mistake.

8. Keeping XP running too long isn't good either

Windows XP is undoubtedly a reliable operating system now that it's running Service Pack 3. And it's still in wide use by companies and consumers that have yet to make the leap to one of Microsoft's newer operating systems. But that doesn't make it a good move. Windows XP computers are starting to get old and unreliable. And due to the success of XP, malicious hackers continue to pelt the old operating system to find holes that would help them exploit users. Although conventional wisdom suggests that users should stick with the current operating system until the first service pack is released, Windows 7 is different. And XP owners need to remember that.

9. The Windows 7 deals are going away

From a purely financial perspective, sticking with an older operating system could be expensive. Microsoft works with vendors to offer deals at the beginning of an operating system's availability to drum up demand for the new OS. But as time wears on and folks have no choice but to opt for a new computer featuring Windows 7, all those deals go away. Many of those offers are gone now, but some can still be found on different vendor sites. The sooner users can capitalize on those deals, the better. After all, if the user knows that they will be switching to Windows 7 eventually, why not save some cash?

10. The past is gone

If Microsoft has shown us anything since Windows 7's launch, it's that the company is finally serious about delivering an operating system that people will want to use out of the box. It seemingly realized that Apple was doing a better job at delivering an operating system that people are looking for. And to fix that, it followed suit. In the process, it has delivered an operating system that doesn't require users to wait until Service Pack 1. After far too many miscues in the past, Microsoft finally got this one right at launch.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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